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Local percentage

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by teal, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. teal

    teal Initiate (75) May 3, 2012 Wisconsin

    Last night I went to a little forum put on in my town's library. It had 5 of the 7 or so breweries in our town represented and they discussed the state of craft beer in the area and our state itself.

    Really very informative and I am glad I got to go. Something one of the brewers said sort of resonated with me as I read through the list of posts here. He mentioned that most likely, the last 1500 breweries that were opened in the US were like his. Small, family owned and basically serving a neighborhood or small area via tap room or limited account/distribution. This brewery has been open less than a year and have 18 accounts for their beer and I'd bet not a single one is more than 40 miles from their facility. None of the principles have quit their day jobs - it's basically a second full time job for them.

    Here on BA we talk a lot about beers that many people know - the breweries have either national distribution or are what could be called super-regional or even national reputations via beer press (New Glarus type breweries). Makes sense, hard to have a discussion about beers that 90% of the members have never had if all we talked about were our local tap rooms.

    Got me to wondering - what's your percentage? When you drink, would you say that mostly you drink those beers with the large footprint or are you a very local kind of person who only occasionally goes to the larger market. The thread on SN's dropping (or not) of Porter and Stout pushed me to post this. I don't think I've ever wanted, desired or even noticed SN's offerings in those styles and I don't know that I've missed anything because I'd say that I'm EASILY a 80-90% drinker of beer that's made within 30 miles of my home.

    So where are you on the scales?
  2. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt Aspirant (251) Jan 27, 2014 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    85+ depending on how you define local. I count MA and NH as I live in one and work in the other so it is in my daily route.
  3. Squire123

    Squire123 Poo-Bah (1,600) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    I drink what I like irrespective of where it's made.
  4. rozzom

    rozzom Defender (621) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    Probably 60-70% local
  5. Mongrel

    Mongrel Crusader (760) Feb 14, 2013 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Probably 25-50% local depending on the time of year. There aren't a ton of great stouts/barleywines brewed in my area, so I'm drinking a lot of Bells/Founders/Lagunitas, etc right now. But in the warmer months, there are plenty of great, local pilsners and IPAs to stock my fridge with.
  6. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,030) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Over the course of the year it's probably -
    1/3 local+plus
    1/3 regional/national
    1/3 import

    Naturally, during something like Oktoberfest season the ratio swings heavily import, but at other times it swings the other way.
    Premo88, Bitterbill, Ranbot and 2 others like this.
  7. MNAle

    MNAle Champion (840) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    I suppose it depends on the region, but there is always a pretty lively discussion about local Minnesota breweries in the Midwest forum.
  8. FonyBones

    FonyBones Aspirant (225) Dec 19, 2015 New York

    About 50% of what I drink comes from breweries within a ~one hour drive from my apartment. Percentage would be even higher if I didn’t live in an area that gets a lot of great non-local beer distributed to it.
  9. surfcaster

    surfcaster Defender (628) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Supporter Beer Trader

    A good number of the newer “locals” do not can or bottle— only crowler/growler. Other than having it there or at a bar, it really limits for me at home.

    My fridge today: Celebration, Westbrook One Claw, Urquell, KBS, Black Note, Lunch (gift). One Mectoberfest- a little old. There are some great locals now that simply don’t can/bottle- yet.
  10. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,389) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    I always have a pilsner. I like it and you know that line from the movies " We have both kinds here country and western" ? I feel the same way about my pilsner. I like both kinds the Bohemian and the German . As far as whose pils I like the best it is no secret I prefer the imports. I won't chase whales so I will buy anything as long as it is not too expensive and I think I might like it. When I go through the bottles it is to check dates and abv. The other day I saw a pils named killapils. 7.5%. I bet it is.
  11. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,055) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    I drink items I really enjoy regardless of local or out of state. When my my local guys make items I really like I stock up, I also stop in their places for lunch when I get time. Overall I cannot give a % because it fluctuates a lot depending on what is out at the time etc.
    chrismattlin, VABA and Eduk8traz like this.
  12. PittBeerGirl

    PittBeerGirl Poo-Bah (1,570) Feb 27, 2007 Ohio

    30 of my 50 most recent ticks are from PA or OH. So I guess it depends on your definition of local. We are looking at 50-75% regional for sure though with new beers.

    There are 2 brewpubs in the town closest to me...one is decent and the other is meh. I haven't found a brewery in the Youngstown or Warren area that I drink from regularly but Palladin offers some hope. There are a lot of good breweries in the Akron, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland area though.

    I am sure if I still lived in Pittsburgh my percentage would be a lot better.

    There was a recent thread about your go to beer...when including beers that we frequently buy it's probably closer to 90-95% regional.

    The percentage of true local within 20 min of my house is dismal.
    #12 PittBeerGirl, Dec 6, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
    Bitterbill and Junior like this.
  13. bsullivan

    bsullivan Initiate (124) Aug 17, 2017 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    My 'local' is quite large, I work/live in CT during the week, family is in RI, and girlfriend in Boston, so I'm in Boston every weekend (I spend a lot of time driving). I would say 80% of the beer I drink is from CT, RI, or MA.
  14. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Devotee (463) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Since I basically only drink commercial beer when I'm out, I'd say it's probably about fidy-fidy. Like @Squire123 said, though, I drink what I like and/or what are the best beers on the menu, regardless of where they are made.
  15. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,253) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    In the last month it's been about 95% local. On average the last three years or so probably close to 65% local.
  16. tlema1

    tlema1 Meyvn (1,305) Nov 19, 2008 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Within a 50 mile radius, I would say less than 1%. I may buy a single of a special/seasonal release but that’s about it
    Andy311x likes this.
  17. devilmakesthree

    devilmakesthree Disciple (320) Nov 27, 2013 Oregon

    I'd say 90%-95% of the beer I drink is made within the state of Oregon, and 90%-95% of that is made within the city of Portland, OR itself. Pretty easy to do here, as we have breweries in town doing excellent examples of nearly every style of beer, and excellent breweries all over the state doing the same thing. Furthermore, I get about 70% of the beer I drink directly from the breweries themselves, be it pints, growlers/crowlers, bottles/cans to go, or (increasingly as of late) kegs for my kegerator.
    cavedave likes this.
  18. LeRose

    LeRose Meyvn (1,179) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Supporter Subscriber

    I don't have what I would consider a top notch "neighborhood" brewery and that's probably a good thing... There are a couple within a 20 minute drive that are pretty good or at least don't suck - I don't do the rabid local for the sake of local thing at all. So what I consider local is within an hour to 90 minutes or so of home base which picks up places like Jack's Abby/Springdale, Exhibit A, Trillium, Castle Island, Mystic, Night Shift, Harpoon, CBC, all of RI, some of NH and ME. But I have great bottle shops within 15 minutes where I can most of those plus, so why bother?

    If I look at my stock, and consider local to be New England and what I can get at the good local shops that comes from the six state region, then I'm around 75%. If I cut Allagash from "local" consideration (over 90 minutes away), then I'm probably 50%. My imports (overseas) are limited to a couple I can get where I don't worry about freshness too much - St. Bernardus (esp. Christmas Ale) and Gouden Carolus van de Kaiser Blau, both of which I think are outstanding values for the dollar in the stores (often on sale) I haunt. Founders makes up a good portion of the remainder, Sierra Nevada and Stone another chunk, and the rest is a random scattershot.

    ...Opinion Alert... I think the concept of the neighborhood brewery (ie, no or very limited distribution) is fantastic. But unless you are a "mecca" like Hill Farmstead, I think to truly succeed a local might need to take it to the next level and offer a great setting and food in addition to being absolutely on top of their beer game. It obviously can work if it is just beer (even if it is mediocre beer), but I'm not sure that is sustainable over the long haul with some rare exceptions. I think there is a "tipping point" where beer sales alone (without distribution or another "draw") won't feed the bulldog, especially if the beer is average. Yes - there are examples that contradict that, but there's a difference between maintaining an existence and succeeding in my opinion.

    I'd love having a great brewery I could walk to, but with a town population of like 2400 spread out in a largely rural area it ain't gonna happen. Nobody (in their right mind, anyway) comes TO my hometown for enjoyment - there's nothing for anybody to do, day or night. We're not a farm community any more, but we're pretty much a sleeper community for the cities within reach (and it's a stretch for Boston, but people do it). Could a brewery succeed? Dubious, but maybe it could. It seems in my town it's almost "anti-local" because we are pretty conditioned to go elsewhere even though there's more available in town than when I was a kid. You couldn't even get a cup of coffee in town when I was but a lad, but then again nobody bought coffee in styrofoam cups in those days :rolling_eyes: I think population density is another requirement in the equation.
  19. BergBeer

    BergBeer Zealot (509) Aug 21, 2013 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    I'm pretty curious about this so I went through my last 100 distinct beers I logged on a different beer site and here were my findings:

    Local (within 30 miles): 6%
    Regional (I just said New England): 41%
    USA: 94%
    International: 6%

    I had 17 states represented:

    Massachusetts - 20
    California - 13
    Connecticut - 7
    Ohio - 7
    Rhode Island - 6
    New York - 5
    Maine - 4
    Michigan - 4
    Delaware - 4
    Vermont - 3
    Colorado - 2
    Hawaii - 2
    Oklahoma - 2
    Kentucky - 1
    Missouri - 1
    Indiana - 1
    New Hampshire -1

    I had 4 countries represented:

    USA - 94
    Belgium - 4
    Denmark -1
    Germany - 1

    The shortest distance to where the beer is brewed was 6 miles.

    The furthest is 5017 miles

    Also, I drank my fair share of 60 minute this summer

    My highest rated was in my "region" - Allagash Resurgam at a 5/5

    My lowest was from Belgium - Timmermans Oude Gueuze at 2.75/5

    Funny that they were both Gueuzes

    My last comment is that some of these were "local" as I was in the state when I had them. This includes Hawaii, Maine, Ohio, and Massachusetts. I don't know how you quantify that but just an interesting note.
    #19 BergBeer, Dec 6, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
    Premo88 and Harrison8 like this.
  20. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (148) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    75% local, say within 50 miles or so. Always fresh and new stuff on the shelves. Winning.
    meefmoff likes this.
  21. storm72

    storm72 Initiate (135) Jul 4, 2010 Illinois

    I'm probably 2/3 homebrew with the remaining 1/3 tilted heavily toward breweries within 50 miles. The non-homebrew 1/3 varies somewhat by the season, which releases are out, time available from life's obligations to visit local breweries, and so on. No matter what, I try to make an effort to support local breweries that support local homebrewers and are an active part of the community.
    Premo88 likes this.
  22. mnrider

    mnrider Crusader (702) May 26, 2009 Connecticut

    This last year I’ve been drinking mostly local stuff. When i’m at a store buying beer I’ve found that the local stuff is fresher.
  23. Eduk8traz

    Eduk8traz Initiate (175) Nov 13, 2010 Arizona

    About 60% of what I drink is from instate. With about 20% of that being within an hours drive. This is a significant change for me as only a few years ago local beers only made up maybe 5% of what I drank. However the Arizona craft beer scene has vastly Improved in that time.
  24. njcraftguy

    njcraftguy Zealot (538) Apr 6, 2015 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Just a guess but 60-70% of the beer I drink is brewed within a hour or so of me and another 25% is within 3-4 hours.
  25. BeanBump

    BeanBump Aspirant (234) Dec 14, 2016 California

    Probably around 80% but I live in SD so I dont feel like Im necessarily representative of the people on this site as a whole.
    Harrison8 likes this.
  26. MNAle

    MNAle Champion (840) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    I rarely go to the brewery for beer, and even when I do it is to drink on-site, not pick up growlers, etc. So, while the truly local non-production brewery (brewpub) may account for a large number of the new openings, I'm not their market.

    Nearly all (99+%) of what I buy is from a retail store. Probably 75% of that is from MN, IA, WI, or M, brewers, with the rest being from Germany, occasionally from the UK, even more occasionally from another US craft brewer such as SN, etc.

    My daughter & family live near Portland, so on a recent trip to visit them, I grabbed some selections from a Portland liquor store of beers from OR and WA. Given the circumstances, that, too, was "local" (pFriem, Breakside, Block15, Freemont)! :wink:
  27. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Meyvn (1,014) Jul 27, 2013 California
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    Probably 25% is within 10 miles (Monkish, El Segundo, Hopsaint)

    In total, I'm probably 90% from California.
    VABA likes this.
  28. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Crusader (771) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    For a number of reasons (age mostly) I'm drinking less beer than I used to. The % of local is up a lot to more than 50%.
    Premo88 and Bitterbill like this.
  29. zid

    zid Champion (847) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Generally speaking, I only drink "local" beer if I want any of the following:

    a) $15-$40 4 packs
    b) NEIPAs
    c) unenjoyable beer
    d) kegged beer

    If I want something not covered by the above, then I probably won't drink local.
  30. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (1,994) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    Considering only the beer that I buy and drink at home, I'll say that 95% is Michigan, and most of that is Short's beers, a brewery that is now has a modest regional distribution. If you define 30 miles as 'local' then maybe 10 points of that 95% is within that area. Most of the rest (5%) is from other states because I rarely drink imports.
    Premo88 and Zaphog like this.
  31. Selby56

    Selby56 Initiate (149) Nov 12, 2014 Tennessee
    Beer Trader

    50% local (Tennessee beers)
    20% hometown (NE, Ohio beers)
    20% Michigan (used to live there, still support my favorites in that state)
    10% everywhere else

    A good deal of my drinking out takes place at breweries, so obviously that will enhance my local drinking percentage. If I'm ever at a bar, I'll try to get something from Bell's or Dark Horse if they have it to support my Michigan guys. If not, I'll usually go with something local. There are no Ohio beers here in Tennessee really. But basically everything I have in my fridge is from Ohio or Michigan. When I go home I stock up heavily on Ohio favorites, and always have Bell's and Dark Horse in my fridge. I'll have the occasional beer from other states, but I'm at the point where I've got my favorite breweries and mostly stick with them.
    Premo88 and Mothergoose03 like this.
  32. i_run_far

    i_run_far Initiate (64) Aug 11, 2016 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    The locals I enjoy charge the equivalent of a $20+ six pack for IPA/DIPAs, I'd guess 10-20% of my purchases are local beers and those purchases are becoming less frequent.
    Premo88 likes this.
  33. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (462) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    For packaged/shelf beer probably around 30% local. I don't value a local packaged beer more than brewery far away, however, the locals may have a better chance of having a fresher product, and I might be more likely to hear about a special or seasonal from a local brewery (but I do not stand in brewery release lines) .

    For draft beer at bars and breweries I'm sure I drink more locally... probably around 60-70% local on tap.
    JackHorzempa and Premo88 like this.
  34. CFCforlife

    CFCforlife Initiate (178) Jun 13, 2015 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I probably drink about 60-70% from within an hour drive of either my old home (Grand Rapids, MI) or my new home (Cleveland, OH). This is mostly Bells, Founders, Fat Heads, and Great Lakes, with a few smaller breweries sprinkled in.
    Premo88 and Selby56 like this.
  35. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,030) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Bwah! to (c)- I think I've had a few of those :wink:.
    Premo88, zid and Bitterbill like this.
  36. AtillaTheHank

    AtillaTheHank Initiate (112) Sep 3, 2017 Connecticut

  37. pjbear05

    pjbear05 Initiate (197) May 28, 2008 Florida

    70% local brew pubs drafts (50 mile radius).
    20% retail bottles/bombers for home drinking (TW mostly)
    10% drafts in the local sports bars (usually Yuengling).
    Premo88 likes this.
  38. TWStandley

    TWStandley Crusader (737) Jan 15, 2008 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Pretty high with locals lately - that’s what happens when Trillium, Nightshift, Mystic, Idle Hands etc. are all within a 30 minute drive.
    StoutElk_92, Premo88 and cavedave like this.
  39. CB_Michigan

    CB_Michigan Aspirant (207) Sep 4, 2014 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I feel like I have a narrower definition of "local" than most. Basically, if it takes more than 30-ish minutes to get there, I don't consider it a local. Luckily, it's an embarrassment of riches around here. I'd say about 60-70% of my consumption comes from local breweries. The rest mostly consists of Bell's, Founders, Surly, and FFF. I used to drink a lot of Great Lakes, but they've mostly fallen off my radar since moving to IL.

    Whenever I travel, I stick to whatever is considered local to that area. In NYC, it was Interboro and Finback. In ME, it was Liquid Riot and Sebago. In AZ, it was SanTan and AZ Wilderness. In SF, it's Cellarmaker and Russian River. It just seems like a natural part of exploring a place to me, I want to get a sense of the kind of beers being produced nearby. I don't want to drink something I could easily pick up at home.
    Premo88 likes this.
  40. TheGent

    TheGent Zealot (567) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    About 1/3 of the beers I drink are from NJ and NY. This percentage has definitely increased over the last 3-5 years.
    Premo88 likes this.
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