Is Samuel Smith Too Corporate to be Good?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Brianhophead, Jan 13, 2013.

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  1. Brianhophead

    Brianhophead Initiate (64) May 16, 2007 Alberta (Canada)

    I've been a huge fan of Samuel Smith beers for a long time. For me they're the standard by which I judge other English beers. Yesterday my brother said he thinks Samuel Smith is too corporate for its own good.

    So I put it to you guys. Is Samuel Smith too corporate for its own good, or are its beers still the yardstick by which to judge other English beers?
  2. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,687) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I don't know about being the yardstick thingy but I know I love a lot of what they put out and some make it to my town. Too corporate? Does that equate to too big of a brewing company?
    hardy008 likes this.
  3. albertq17

    albertq17 Initiate (122) Oct 11, 2010 California

    Why can't they be both? or neither? And what does "too corporate for its own good " mean?
    5thOhio, pitweasel, cmannes and 11 others like this.
  4. rlee1390

    rlee1390 Poo-Bah (2,165) Mar 6, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Yes, when I drink their beers I can taste the corporate. It really throws off the balance.
    Mgm54, 5thOhio, BladeRunner and 36 others like this.
  5. Danny1217

    Danny1217 Champion (856) Jul 15, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Too corporate seems to imply that there large production scale has affected the quality of their beer. It hasn't. To me Samuel Smith makes some of the best English beers sold in the U.S.
    naloxone, fox227, Bung and 3 others like this.
  6. TheJollyHop

    TheJollyHop Initiate (0) Sep 2, 2009 California

    Everyone knows that once a brewery reaches a certain output that their beers suddenly turn mediocre.

    Must have something to do with the flavor of rare, but who knows? :stuck_out_tongue:
  7. robboyd

    robboyd Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2011 Indiana

    Your brother's comments are why people label us beer snobs and is far from advocacy. If you pour it into a glass and give it to your brother blind, then beer just becomes beer, with no corporate association. Try it next time he's around and ask him if he likes it.
  8. sukwonee

    sukwonee Crusader (740) Dec 13, 2011 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Is organic chocolate stout their new offering? If so, I would say they still got it. It was tasty.
    nogophers likes this.
  9. match1112

    match1112 Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2011 Illinois

    sibhuskyx and Steimie like this.
  10. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,256) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    I say "neither".
    Pahn, Levitation, spry and 9 others like this.
  11. Mbennett

    Mbennett Aspirant (270) Jun 16, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    baby jesus what is this world coming to
    5thOhio, YogiBeer, Zach136 and 3 others like this.
  12. RDMII

    RDMII Disciple (359) Apr 11, 2010 Georgia

    Um, who cares? If you like their beers, cool. If your brother doesn't, also cool. To each his own.
  13. Ruds

    Ruds Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    It's a yardstick to judge average English Beers by - that's for sure !

    They're an American export brewery in essence.

    The organic chocolate stout was ok as are some of the other stouts/porters - but theres a hell of a lot better on offer - ANYTHING Kernel for starters which you don't get in the US.

    7 out of the top 50 UK beers are Sam Smiths on here - that is laughable !

    You can only drink whats available to you in the US I fully understand but they are no yardstick believe me !
  14. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I don't think so.
  15. yamar68

    yamar68 Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2011 Minnesota

    Perhaps the least exciting thread since the inception of BeerAdvocate.
    BigBarley, kirbmeist, ant880 and 4 others like this.
  16. Brianhophead

    Brianhophead Initiate (64) May 16, 2007 Alberta (Canada)

    What I mean by too corporate is simply this. Some breweries get so big they're more concerned with profit than making a great, characterful product. So the beer they make becomes bland so it can appeal to more people.

    Let me know if this makes any sense to everyone.
  17. Brianhophead

    Brianhophead Initiate (64) May 16, 2007 Alberta (Canada)

    Good idea, I think I might try that. Especially since I mentioned yesterday how much I love their porter
  18. Brianhophead

    Brianhophead Initiate (64) May 16, 2007 Alberta (Canada)

    meow, lol
  19. taez555

    taez555 Poo-Bah (1,588) Dec 9, 2002 Massachusetts

    They don't seem to be following the same path as Sierra Nevada has, so... I'd say not even remotely.
  20. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Zealot (596) Jul 4, 2008 Ohio

    Their Taddy Porter has always been my personal favorite. Sam Smith along w/Pre-Well's merger Young's were my introduction to English beers in the beginning & even then I bought Sam's only when I couldn't find Young's stuff which I preferred style wise in comparison. Glad to see Sam Smith is still around. I enjoy St. Peter's quite a lot but American craft has really squeezed a lot of their stuff out, gotta really look for it in NE Ohio, where as Sam's stuff is a lot more common particularly the oatmeal stout, which is solid but not earth shattering.
  21. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,346) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    They are not one I look for in England. Have been to a few of the historic pubs and the bitter on cask, if they have it, is bland.

    Some of the bottles in the US are good, but I am glad I have a medium-high Diacetyl threshold.

    I am with Ruds.
  22. aasher

    aasher Poo-Bah (2,653) Jan 27, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    No, their Imperial Stout is a stout for the masses.
  23. ubenumber2

    ubenumber2 Devotee (468) Sep 1, 2012 Arkansas
    Beer Trader

    I dont care of beer is made in some mega factory or made on someones carport , I just want good tasting beer. I think people get carried away with thinking because a beer is limited released to a small section of our country that it makes it better.
    kelvarnsen and CBlack85 like this.
  24. darknova306

    darknova306 Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2005 New York

    If and when the beer flavor starts to suffer you'll know that they've started sacrificing quality for profit. Until then, it's speculation.
    DubbelTrubbel likes this.
  25. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,013) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Yeah, like that one in Northern California -- name escapes me now because it's so mundane anymore... someone help me out... :grinning:
  26. Brianhophead

    Brianhophead Initiate (64) May 16, 2007 Alberta (Canada)

    The sad thing is, I suspect my brother has a strange fetish for American beer over British regardless of respective quality. So I think this puts an unfair slant on his opinion when it comes to British beers.
  27. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,346) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

  28. Brianhophead

    Brianhophead Initiate (64) May 16, 2007 Alberta (Canada)

    North Coast Brewing? 21st Amendment?
  29. Drew26

    Drew26 Aspirant (218) Nov 2, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I'm guessing all breweries are hoping to make a profit...:wink:
    puboflyons likes this.
  30. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,346) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The only real reason to open a brewery, if not, then you close the brewery. Sometimes the brewery is closed for you.
  31. Moose90

    Moose90 Meyvn (1,455) Nov 25, 2012 Washington
    Beer Trader

    When I think corporation I think big advertising, lots of publicity (good and bad), et cetera. When I think of Sam Smiths I don't think huge corporation. They make good beer, and they seem to have a good distribution network. I haven't done a strategic analysis of the company by any means, but they don't seem to be too big for their own good.

    I've never seen an advert for Sam Smith, I've never seen them in the news. I've heard about their beers and that's it. They have great word of mouth marketing, and they have solid distribution networks. They don't refresh their labels every other year like BMC. Sam Smith is no where near the typical corporate beer abomination (BMC). Seem like a solid company who's focused on beer and not other motives.
    fox227, YogiBeer and Bitterbill like this.
  32. NickyDee21

    NickyDee21 Devotee (467) Dec 23, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I'm definitely not an advocate for big business, but at the end of the day, if something tastes good, why can't that be all that matters?
  33. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Loved their beers years ago until I knew better. Now I just sort of like'em. Mostly. Still, the behaviour of the likes of Humphrey Smith leaves a pretty bad taste in my mouth.
  34. BedetheVenerable

    BedetheVenerable Meyvn (1,023) Sep 5, 2008 Missouri

    Too corporate? No. To 'no dates on bottles and hang around for months and years so you never know how damn old your Pale Ale is?' Yes.

    Stingo, however, is dated, and fantastic, but a bit steep at $11 for an 18.7oz bottle.
  35. Brianhophead

    Brianhophead Initiate (64) May 16, 2007 Alberta (Canada)

    You're lucky. Living in Alberta, Stingo shows up on the shelves at frakking $16 per bottle.
  36. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,013) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    No, no... those don't ring a bell so they must still be small enough to be "acceptable." :wink:
    FriarTuckInLuck likes this.
  37. Brianhophead

    Brianhophead Initiate (64) May 16, 2007 Alberta (Canada)

    They are. North Coast's "Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout" is one of the best imperial stouts I've EVER had.
  38. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    To be honest, if you went to Tadcaster, could get a proper look at the town, the brewery, their offices and its 200 odd pubs, corporate is probably the last word you could use to describe Samuel Smiths. Traditional, dated or feudal maybe but never corporate.
  39. Frankinstiener

    Frankinstiener Aspirant (233) Jul 28, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    are they publicly traded? What their ticker?
  40. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,256) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    And then, what if you looked across the street? Now that's "corporate". :wink:
    Zimbo likes this.
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