Jon Taffer from Bar Rescue "about 60% of craft beer basically sucks"

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Jason, Feb 10, 2016.

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  1. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Only if you can assume a random process created the sample from a normal distribution in the first place. That's not a particularly safe assumption.
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  2. Pahn

    Pahn Initiate (0) Dec 2, 2009 New York

    yeah, from my brewery visiting experience in CT, MA, NY, VT, MI, MN, WI, FL, GA, IN, IL, ME, NH, DC, DE, NC, and from drinking from all 50 states, i'm like... 60%? i don't think so. 10% maybe? 20%? and that's mostly shitty brewpubs that were shitty before the craft boom anyway. most of these startup-ish breweries are in it for the love.

    if you just want to grow capital from craft beer, and you actually *have* capital, you'd buy, not found. and if you don't have capital, good luck even opening your doors, much less selling anything if you suck.
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  3. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Significance is not meaningful. I once worked with a data set that had over 20,000 observations and found correlations of .0002 and less to be statistically significant at the .0001 level. Not very helpful from an analytic perspective.
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  4. bcmac983

    bcmac983 Initiate (0) Sep 9, 2010 Indiana

    He's a great business man that knows nothing about beer. All you need to do is watch his show to understand this. Isn't he the one that put in a computerized self brewing machine at a brewery that he "rescued"? He's an entertaining and successful guy, but that's pretty much all he is. He is just in it for the money and I wouldn't be surprised at all if Inbev paid him to say this.
  5. Jaycase

    Jaycase Grand Pooh-Bah (3,302) Jan 13, 2007 Illinois
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    If you read the quote, I don't think he is saying 60% of craft beer (the beverage) sucks but rather craft beer as an industry. His very next sentence after the 60% thing is "I’ve been to a lot of the facilities. They’re not exactly clean. They’re rookie-run." He's talking about craft breweries, how they operate, perhaps how they run as a business, etc and not specifically how the beer tastes. I think some people are misinterpreting what he said. You need to read that sentence in the context of the other sentences.
  6. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Initiate (0) Jun 18, 2012 Michigan

    I'd say that's about accurate, to be honest. There's an awful lot of shitty breweries and beers out there, but there are also plenty of great ones... not sure there's much to argue with here.

    I also agree with the fact that I'm not going to give a local brewery money just because they're local -- if you brew it (and it doesn't suck), they will come.
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  7. Jason

    Jason Founder (0) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts

    Yup ... surprised any of those are still in business. Hit one up over the holidays during my travels and you'd think after 15-20 years they would get it right. Nope.
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  8. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Pooh-Bah (2,473) Mar 28, 2009 California

    A fake comment from a dude on a fake show. He supposedly remodeled a bar down my street and made it a moneys machine. The place is basically same outside a few lame changes and I see the same people That I did before the show.
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  9. PeterParker

    PeterParker Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2013 New Jersey

    "60% of craft beer sucks." Well 100% of BMC beers suck. The worst craft beer is still preferable to anything macro.
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  10. BrokenEdge

    BrokenEdge Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2015 Pennsylvania

    If a brewery is unclean and not run by professionals, chances are they aren't turning out good beers either. So it doesn't matter which way you look at it, it all comes down to "most craft beer sucks."

    As for the comment about "rookie run" and unclean breweries...everyone starts somewhere and him turning his nose up to brewers with little experience is pretty disgraceful imo. Yeah, I'm sure their quality control and cleanliness isn't up to par with Budweiser, but I'm sure most breweries are doing the best they can with limited funds and resources and I'm sure most of them legitimately care about making good products (craft beer isn't exactly a multimillion dollar profession). In order to get better, what they need is local people supporting their efforts, not abandoning craft beer altogether because so much of it supposedly sucks.
  11. spaceman24

    spaceman24 Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2008 Texas

    My understanding is that we were looking at all 32,000+ craft beers in existence, or the entire population. Don't we have to assume the population is normally distributed? If we are taking a sample from the population, we have to figure out how to make that random, yes. Poor choice of words on my part earlier by mixing sample and population when talking about the 32,000 brews, among what I'm sure are other errors.

    Yes, that's true. I think my point was just that there is a large enough population (or sample size, if we go that route) to provide valid data. I don't even know what we would be testing.
  12. tasterschoice62

    tasterschoice62 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,523) May 14, 2014 Rhode Island
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    The " Trump" of the bar and alcohol industry...... some like, some hate.
    Sometimes facts- sometimes fiction.
    He sure knows how to make money and self promote.
    And keep himself in the forefront with statements as such as this....
  13. CanadianBacon

    CanadianBacon Initiate (0) Aug 26, 2015 Canada (QC)

    Personally I feel there are lots of Breweries newbie run that are dirty ect... The thing about those breweries is that they definitely dont last. They are up against people who do love making beer and they just cant compete. In the end true beer drinkers will always find the good beers so thats what's important here.

    As far as Taffer is concerned its neat watching him turn bars around to some degree, but his bars are always mainstream "lets bring in anyone and everyone type bars" I wouldn't take his opinion on craft beer to heart.
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  14. nc41

    nc41 Initiate (0) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    I'd agree. He sees that 90% of beer drinkers would be fine with with Bud Light or Miller Lite, and he'd be right. I haven't seen his show in a craft beer bar, only sinking ships slinging up shitty drinks and shitty food. Most craft bars don't seem to need saving.
  15. Jaycase

    Jaycase Grand Pooh-Bah (3,302) Jan 13, 2007 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    This is not necessarily true. Look at hole in the wall restaurants. Some of these can turn out pretty good food.
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  16. CanadianBacon

    CanadianBacon Initiate (0) Aug 26, 2015 Canada (QC)

    One thing I've noticed with him is when the bar is aiming towards hipster/concert crowds, he puts local crafts on tap. He does absolutely nothing but try and sell to the stereotypes.
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  17. tasterschoice62

    tasterschoice62 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,523) May 14, 2014 Rhode Island
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    I tend to compare this to the "Chef" boom in the restaurant industry that probably started a few years before the craft boom. Back then anyone working in a kitchen could call themselves a Chef- no matter what the training or experience. (ie: chef tony tweaking mustache on your pizza box) Since then food TV and everything about preparation has grown into a massive industry. And the common person knows so much more about quality and what it takes. You put out crappy quality you lose, and lose fast.
    Same with craft- it was mysterious and many of us weren't sure of the techniques or ingredients and how they affected the final product; a mediocre or poor beer from a upstart-hmm that's not bad. But now thanks to all the materials available to gain knowledge, our friends here on BA and the wealth of product available its tough for a hacker to survive with so many discerning palettes- and so much completion and pride of product. And so little space on the shelf to share.
  18. nc41

    nc41 Initiate (0) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    To be honest if my ass is on the line I'm serving up Corona on TGIF, I'm offering up wine specials to appeal to women, I'm serving Bud Light at special prices by the pitcher. I'd guess most guys sitting in a bar right now wouldn't have a clue what Bourbon County was, nor would they care. Not to knock Taffer too much, he's far more successful than me, but he's only looking at the bottom line, which is fine. But he's not saving craft bars being run into the ground, so perhaps he should. There's some shitty out there,
  19. BrokenEdge

    BrokenEdge Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2015 Pennsylvania

    I'm all too aware, my all time favorite Chinese restaurant is one such hole in the wall place and I go there all the time when I visit my parents. :grinning: That's why I said "chances are." It typically indicates a lack of care or quality control, but not always. Although beer is more sensitive than food. If a restaurant bring me a piece of undercooked chicken, they can always throw it back in the oven, or if it's bland, I can add salt and pepper...if a beer's quality or flavors are off then there's no saving it. Still, I don't necessarily blame the brewers if they're working in not ideal conditions, I still think most of them are making due with what they have and you shouldn't necessarily judge them poorly for it. I just think it's also a fact that they're more likely to put out sub par beers than another brewery that has the ability to manage itself better.
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  20. CanadianBacon

    CanadianBacon Initiate (0) Aug 26, 2015 Canada (QC)

    I get what your saying, business is business and in the end he is good at making money. He knows how to appeal to a mass market and when it comes down to it, the world we live in today cares way less about quality and flavor and more about speed and efficency. Most guys would prefer to drink "liquid corn" and get drunk fast rather than sip on something with flavors of citrus which is fine. In the end I guess if that's your business go for it but don't make stupid comments with nothing to back them up about a community that you dont really have any part in. Thats where Taffer went a bit to far.

    My guess at the end of the day hes one of those guys sitting with either a bud light or a fine chardonnay, not drinking a BCBS, or La Fin Du Monde, or he would have thought before commenting.
    #140 CanadianBacon, Feb 11, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
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  21. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Assuming a reasonable estimate of 32,000 is fine, but there is a selection factor operating to get that 32,000. Many Brewers don't release/distribute every beer they brew. Some trial runs get "drain poured" as failures. What gets to us and others are the beers the Brewers think we'll drink. They "filter" out some beers. That's what we have to work with, so assuming randomness and normality of ditributions isn't going to be safe, regardless of the size of n. We'll need other analytic methods and tools.
  22. mig100

    mig100 Pooh-Bah (2,571) Aug 3, 2014 Texas
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    I don't think Taffer's numbers are anything to take seriously. He seemed to just be spouting off.

    Although, I kind of look at what's happening with craft beer like music. At least to me... there's always more crap than quality. Not everyone is capable of greatness, but greatness is also subjective. Around and around we go...
  23. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Maven (1,341) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    I think it's different this time around because so many people are doing less than 10 barrel breweries with less than 3 or 4 production employees, and maybe 2 or 3 front of house, with all beer sold on premise, so no distribution network (and, even, no packaging equipment other than a keg filler and a jury-rigged keg washer) so they don't have million dollar loans and 10000 sq foot buildings and they don't need immediate placement (or even, any placement ever) in off-premise retail outlets, But I'm in Denver, it may be different in places where breweries can't have a tap room and can't self distribute.
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  24. meefmoff

    meefmoff Pooh-Bah (1,786) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
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    If we made the population of the world draw numbers out of a hat to determine who did and didn't open a brewery then we might get something approximating a normal distribution. But in reality, the population of people who actually manage to overcome the hurdles inherent in opening a brewery is going to be weighted towards people who have at least some minimal degree of skill in creating (or paying the right people to create) a drinkable beer.

    Combine that with what @drtth mentions above about breweries not just randomly releasing every last beer that happens to come out of the tank, regardless of quality, and you're going to end up with a distribution of available beers that has a pretty hefty positive skew.
  25. donspublic

    donspublic Grand Pooh-Bah (3,356) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
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    Highly amusing. I made a trip to Dallas a couple of weeks ago and had 2 breweries that I wanted to go to. One was my first stop, everything was so so, great stout, everything else was ok, but they had a very strong following, nice setup, they had fans. Second brewery was pulled out of a hat by my future son in law. Not as fancy as the first, more on a shoestring, but some very interesting stuff going on. Again this brewery had a ton of people hanging out and all of their beers were spot on, definitely on my watch list for future trips. Third brewery, another hat pull was a work of art, had their pale ale and their IPA and was like, hm not sure they will be around, then tried what they called their White Stout and it was by far the best beer of the day. Wanted to tell them to start canning that shit and getting it out. Thing is, this place was packed to the gils. Last brewery by far was the best and it had approx 300 people there and almost everything they had was spot on. Point of this ramble is, if you know what you are doing and you can run a business, and you know your limitations, you can make a living running a brewery making pretty good beer if you get people in the door and make them like you. You become "their" brewery. This has been discussed in great detail in a ton of threads revolving around drinking "local". So I don't see the bubble bursting any time soon. I do see some breweries that will potentially close down because they haven't built up that local support and don't have a good business plan.
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  26. Angerhaus

    Angerhaus Initiate (0) Oct 1, 2015 Rhode Island

    I don't disagree, but that 60%, as many of your have opined, is very subjective.
  27. Premo88

    Premo88 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,414) Jun 6, 2010 Texas

    Who the hell is Jon Taffer?
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  28. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    He was probably hammered when he said this. I've seen a bunch of his shows and after the show i would check out the bars that he fixed up. He did a great job but most of them had closed their doors. It's impossible to put a percentage on bad beer but i will agree there's a lot of brewerys with at least one bad one.
  29. SensorySupernova

    SensorySupernova Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2014 California

    Doesn't at least 60% of everything suck? Movies, TV shows, books, paintings, etc. If only 60% of craft beer sucks, that's pretty good.
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  30. emount91

    emount91 Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2015 Connecticut

    not my point.

    he receives endorsements from big beer, just because he doesn't go around saying he supports it doesnt mean he's not going to bash their competitors either...
  31. cavedave

    cavedave Grand Pooh-Bah (4,083) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    Add to this Treehouse doesn't distribute, and most of their beers don't tie up tank space for very long, and you have a business that prints money, basically
  32. jesskidden

    jesskidden Pooh-Bah (2,969) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    The biggest "hits" that the former flagship brands Budweiser and Coors (Banquet) ever took were self-inflicted by their brewers, with the creation of Bud Light and Coors Light in the late 70s-early 80s - at the dawn of the "craft" era. Both brands have been losing market share since the 1980s.

    The same can be said of Miller's High Life and Genuine Draft flagship brands, and even it's Miller Lite brand peaked in sales in the early 1990s, due primarily to competition from Bud Light and Coors Light rather than "craft".
    #152 jesskidden, Feb 11, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
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  33. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Pooh-Bah (1,910) Aug 10, 2012 District of Columbia

  34. blivingston1985

    blivingston1985 Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2010 North Carolina

    I hate every word that comes out of that guys mouth, but I do think most everything is filled with mediocrity/suck. Most wine sucks, most beer sucks, most restaraunts suck. Most people suck. Once one excepts that life/beer/eating out/ect is mostly sucky it makes things more enjoyable because even when encounter something slightly better than sucky its a win.
  35. nc41

    nc41 Initiate (0) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    It's just a flip statement which IMO he means to be quite a bit. What he really means the profit margins aren't as high as cheap ass AAL crap, so I'll sling whatever local beer is cheap and popular, or Bud Light.

    I don't know, I'd say 10% I really don't like, maybe half in total is completely ordinary. At the top there's a clear separation between beers that are really good and beers that are just amazing. I'm not amazed much anymore by new beers, but this level of beer IMO is pretty rare and only a handful of beers really fit into this very top end. IMO of course.
  36. DoctorZombies

    DoctorZombies Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,051) Feb 1, 2015 Florida
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    I suspect time will prove him wrong...
  37. tasterschoice62

    tasterschoice62 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,523) May 14, 2014 Rhode Island
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    Just see what's on tap and what's behind him on the bar. Regardless of what he says those are the things that drive him
    He gets loads of money from backing these companies and as he says " building a brand" . seriously I bet he never spends a dime of his own money on building these bars. Everything is funded by the big companies. Not just liquor and beer either. Kitchen equipment, tap systems, POS systems etc. Bottom line is he can bad mouth craft because it makes him look better amongst these corporations and craft puts zero money in his pocket anyway.
  38. beerjerk666

    beerjerk666 Grand Pooh-Bah (4,659) Aug 22, 2010 Florida
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    It's his opinion and he's welcome to it, however I believe that he is too high with his evaluation. Since the macro breweries produce 100% beer that sucks, and I wouldn't drink on a regular basis.

    Taste is subjective and one person's sewer water is another persons manna from Heaven.
  39. Dan_K

    Dan_K Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado

    I agree with what you are saying here, but I never said what you quoted me as saying in your post.
  40. gopens44

    gopens44 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,374) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
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    His show grinds on my nerves at times. I'll watch it every now and then to see the shitshow bars he tries to rescue, but I can't take all the WWF style, in your face confrontation. I can't fathom that there's that high a percentage of confrontational people in society whereas explosive situations like that are the norm. Don't enjoy staged "reality".

    That being said (as a qualifier for NOT being a Taffer apologist), he got the show because of the record of success he has had in the bar business, or to a further extent, the entertainment through alcohol venues business. He has his ear to the ground, hears things like numbers from all sorts of bars on what's turning over and what's not. If he is getting the overall impression from a wide range of bar owners that the percentage of high turnover kegs is closer to 40%, than I'd tend to believe it. Perhaps saying 60% sucks is unnecessarily inflammatory, but one man's suck may be another's mundane. And THAT in my opinion is the bubble catalyst - the mundane. Unless you are breaking down barriers with adjuncts, barrel aging or sours; unless you are consistently creating face melting IPAs, than you are going to get lost in the shuffle. Once a brewer gets lost in the shuffle, good management and business practice need to take over in order to survive. The next point Taffer makes is the lack of seasoned leadership in business that tends to open up breweries. Mix mundane, lost in the shuffle with a lackluster business plan and you then have risk of just not sustaining.
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