Is Samuel Smith Too Corporate to be Good?

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

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  1. cubbyswans

    cubbyswans Aspirant (238) Jun 10, 2008 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    It's not a strange fetish. It is fact. 'MERICA!
    JxExM and Levitation like this.
  2. Padraig

    Padraig Initiate (181) Jan 14, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

  3. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (3,871) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Beer Trader

    You can't really have a fair opinion of British beers unless you have it at the source, from a quality cask. The bottled stuff in the States does not do their offerings justice. A generic "their" not specific to Sam Smith. That being said Stingo holds up very nicely in a bottle. Regardless, just enjoy some Sam Smith if you want. No more corporate than say Fuller's or any other brewery that wants to make money.
  4. pitweasel

    pitweasel Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2007 New York

    Samuel Smith?


    Since when did England boot the metric system?
    hopfenunmaltz and chinabeergeek like this.
  5. WhatANicePub

    WhatANicePub Initiate (183) Jul 1, 2009 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    You are right in general, but Samuel Smith is the exception that proves the rule. They only put one of their beers in a cask, Old Brewery Bitter. There are a couple of keg draught beers too, but all the speciality beers they are known for in America are bottle-only even in the UK.
    champ103 likes this.
  6. Zimbo

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

    And bottled Sam Smiths beers are actually better than their single lacklastre cask twig water beer. Wooden cask or no wooden cask.
    Ruds likes this.
  7. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,035) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Is Goose Island too good to be corporate?
  8. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,493) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Don't like their IPA, but I haven't had a good British take on an IPA yet.
  9. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,272) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    try stuff from meantime and thornbridge
    Zimbo likes this.
  10. marquis

    marquis Crusader (744) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    The British hardly need to have a "take" on IPA :slight_smile:

    Regarding the metric system we have hardly really embraced it! We buy beer in pints,measure distances in miles and weigh ourselves in stones and pounds.
  11. Beer-A-Lot

    Beer-A-Lot Defender (675) Oct 4, 2012 Virginia

  12. Aml42000

    Aml42000 Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2011 Washington

    The entire premise actually. The beers are good to your palate, or they aren't. What the size or structure of the company has to do with it escapes me. Being candid, the question actually reminds me of being back in college and listening to some hipster tell me how the Beatles & Rolling Stones sucked because they were commercially successful.
    Not because the songs were lousy or boring or ponderous, just commercially successful. I'll even throw a really wild one out there, I like some Samuel Smith beers, don't care for some others and haven't considered their corporate structure until this thread began.
    zach60614 likes this.
  13. Jparker37

    Jparker37 Initiate (0) Aug 26, 2011 Wisconsin

    This is making me thirsty for a taddy porter.
  14. EJLinneman

    EJLinneman Aspirant (221) Mar 2, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Who cares? Just drink it if it tastes good.
    musicman7070 likes this.
  15. Bill2809

    Bill2809 Initiate (147) Jan 15, 2013 Maryland

    Old - experienced
    Large - Successful
    Corporate - ??
    They are very tasty now and they were very tasty in the 1980's when I first had them.
    Maybe there is something to be said for being good for so long
  16. Brianhophead

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

    You see, all of this is exactly what I keep trying to tell my brother. As much as he sometimes likes interesting beer, I sometimes think he's a bit of a poser. He has this automatic attitude that if a brewery becomes big and popular, then its beer automatically can't be good.
  17. BradtheGreat7

    BradtheGreat7 Defender (621) Jul 22, 2011 Ohio

    Don't see what it matters. I mean I won't buy from AB or huge beer companies like that for the simple fact they have ruined this industry and the quality of crap they release isnt even average. And these people have all the money and resources to produce the best beer in the world. As for Samuel Smith, they make quality world class English ales and are at the forefront of brewing in the United Kingdom. Craft brewers aren't as plentiful across the pond as they are here, but the breweries they have craft top notch ales. Samuel Smith is up there with Harviestoun, Brewdog, J.W. Lees, thornbridge, and even Traquair House. They may have a bigger market and may distribute more beer than any of those other what I consider the best of the UK, but their quality isn't overshadowed but equal or greater than the rest. For me, I'll always support Samuel smith's. They aren't any bigger than Sierra Nevada here in the states and I consider SN one of the best in the world. Samuel Smith is an excellent brewery and craft beer brand. Idk what your brother was referring
  18. Grohnke

    Grohnke Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2009 Illinois

  19. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    Is your brother a hipster? Sadly this is an American malady that is not even restricted to imported breweries.

    That's probably because you are expecting a, dare I say it, American IPA.
  20. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,272) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    i think when fresh, meantime ipa, thornbridge jaipur (and others), and belhaven twisted thistle are all excellent "english" ipa's that are within the same class as some of the better so-called "american" ipa's.
  21. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    Not sure what you mean by 'class', but if you mean they are every bit as good at being what they were intended to be, you'd get no argument here.
  22. PangaeaBeerFood

    PangaeaBeerFood Initiate (0) Nov 30, 2008 New York

    Give me a bottle of Yorkshire Stingo. If he says that they're "too corporate" after that, I'd write him off as a dunce.
  23. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,272) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    right, i was just trying to convey that i've come to realize over the past couple years that the distinction between "english" and "american" ipa (or even "west coast" vs. "east coast") was somewhat arbitrary to begin with, and has become increasingly meaningless today.
  24. Brianhophead

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

    Well, he lived in Portland for a few years and that was his introduction to the world of craft brewing. So I think he's holding on to this prejudice because he has all these fond memories of Portland
  25. BMitch

    BMitch Initiate (170) Jul 10, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    This... the size, structure, business practices, etc of a company should play no roll when forming an opinion on how their product tastes.

    However, the premise behind a product being negatively impacted by a company becoming "too corporate" is not all that unusual. Feels like this happens more frequently in the food industry.
  26. zappafrank

    zappafrank Initiate (0) Sep 9, 2012 Ohio

    Tell your brother he's an idiot.
  27. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,305) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    But such criteria can and often does play a roll in someone's decision whether or not to purchase a product. (Even if a portion of BA posters don't agree with the particular comment in this case, or that sort of buying practice in general).

    The OP's brother said nothing about what he thought of the taste of the Samuel Smith beers.
    Chaz likes this.
  28. Stinger80OH

    Stinger80OH Crusader (740) Nov 11, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    It appears, based on the # of beers in the top 20 coming out of the UK, that they're doing just fine..."too corporate" or not, which I'm still not quite clear on.
  29. BMitch

    BMitch Initiate (170) Jul 10, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    No doubt...which is why I put "taste" in italics. You can still think something tastes good, just choose not to buy it for whatever other reason. A prime example is the number of people on here who love/have loved BCBS but will no longer purchase any because GI is now owned by InBev.

    It's the whole preconceived notion that something will automatically taste bad or different just because of some other change in business practice that seems silly.
  30. marquis

    marquis Crusader (744) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Sam Smith's is a very small brewery-I estimate it as producing around 130 000 barrels a year which easily qualifies it as a "craft" brewery in the US.
    Whether it's in the forefront of British brewing is a matter of opinion.If you like what they brew you might agree though it's certainly not one of my personal favourites.
    Craft brewers aren't as plentiful in the UK only because it's a smaller country. But there are over 1000 which is quite respectable considering the entire US only has twice as many. We did have a head start but that's by the way. Many of our small "craft" brewers concentrate on traditional or near traditional British types , they have to in order to remain in business as that's where the demand lies.But there are quite a few which have spread their wings rather more. Be sure that if public tastes change the skills and resources are there to meet them.In general though the beers from this country which find their way to the US aren't a fair representation of what we have and this flatters Sam Smith's products enormously.
  31. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Zealot (501) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

    Apparently for some people, politics trumps everything, including their perception of how beers taste.
  32. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,493) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Maybe so, but a properly hoppy brew is a properly hoppy brew. The English standard is not be to pump 5 lbs of hops into a barrel, and obviously it's not, and if I want something more 'mild" I'll have a Burning River. But when I want a HT or Abrasive I embrace it, that's what I like.
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