Midwest vs West vs East Coast Breweries?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by HOP_KING, Sep 1, 2013.

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  1. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (706) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    OK, that's true, but tell me why Smutty Finest Kind gets no love, you New Englander you!
    ChipMurray likes this.
  2. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (375) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    It gets fairly regular loving from me! (It also gets somewhat unorthodox and/or freaky loving from me, but I won't get into that.)

    Based on what I've read on this forum over the years it seems that Finestkind is loved by many, if not touted as the absolute best New England IPA. I think if we eliminated certain hard-to-get, need-a-tank-of-gas IPAs (cough VT cough) from this topic and focused on widely available IPAs instead, Smuttynose would be all over this thread.
    beertunes likes this.
  3. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (706) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Here, here!
  4. spoonhawk

    spoonhawk Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2010 Iowa

    Going Midwest
  5. DaveAnderson

    DaveAnderson Devotee (479) Jan 11, 2011 Minnesota

    There is most certainly doubt, Greg.
  6. DaveAnderson

    DaveAnderson Devotee (479) Jan 11, 2011 Minnesota

    This midwesterner disagrees. Sixpoint is top-notch.
  7. WassailWilly

    WassailWilly Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2007 New York

    Lets just say it is a GREAT time to be a beer drinker anywhere in the USA !!!!!
    anglagard1 likes this.
  8. spoonhawk

    spoonhawk Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2010 Iowa

    Just to add a little something to this. I quickly entered the top 100 into a spread sheet and tallied them based on a loose definition of East Coast (I included Fl in this), Midwest (Great Lakes + IA and MO), Mt West/Plains (CO,MT,UT, the Dakotas, KS etc.), and Foreign.

    I ended up with following geographic representation in the top 100:
    E: 18%
    M: 26%
    MT W: 2%
    W: 33%
    F: 21%

    I stand by my Midwest pick, but here is an arbitrary marker worth engaging in this discussion.

    Perhaps a more interesting question is: Why is the Mountain West, in particular, not considered here and otherwise underrepresented in to top 100.
    Kurmaraja, beertunes and sacrelicio like this.
  9. DaveAnderson

    DaveAnderson Devotee (479) Jan 11, 2011 Minnesota

    This assertion that East Coast beers are overlooked smacks of the West Coast claim that their college football teams are overlooked.
    jakecattleco likes this.
  10. kingofhop

    kingofhop Initiate (0) May 9, 2010 Oklahoma

    West Coast, overall. Midwest and East Coast and the South have great ones, too.
  11. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    Third Coast 4 life
    nickapalooza86 and sacrelicio like this.
  12. zid

    zid Champion (800) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Yorkshire has the best squares.
  13. AdamF625

    AdamF625 Disciple (330) Nov 25, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    East Side
  14. BeahDrinkah

    BeahDrinkah Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2010 South Carolina

    Try as hard as you might, you can't beat Vermont Brews.
    WassailWilly likes this.
  15. Giovannilucano

    Giovannilucano Devotee (445) Feb 24, 2011 New Jersey

    I choose all of them equally because that is how I believe in approaching it. I love the West Coast, have traveled every state in the Mid West and the Great Lakes, and am currently live on the East Coast.

    I would say more so then just the beer, is also maybe a weighty subject of each regions attitudes on a collective scale. I can see how many can see the West as snobby but consider that Oregon and Washington are laid back to the extreme. I have found Mid Westerner's to be rigid and disciplined in their regional brews. And the East Coast, I am still trying to figure out!
  16. celfan

    celfan Disciple (327) Jul 4, 2004 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    just check the trades forum
    BeahDrinkah likes this.
  17. celfan

    celfan Disciple (327) Jul 4, 2004 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    I'll give you Alpine and Russian River, the rest is mediocre

    The great breweries are pretty spread out

    Hill Farmstead
    Cigar City
    Toppling Goliath
    Russian River

    I'm sure a few more..but not too many
  18. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2005 Minnesota

    As a Midwesterner, I am partial to what I can get here, but the West Coast hits it out of the park. They nail styles perfectly, are successful enough to expand widely, and just have the overall know how and skill to continue both. The Midwest/Great Lakes comes close, with lots of new guys popping up all over the place. The East Coast has plenty of good beer, and a few breweries are making best-in-style examples, but there just isn't enough world class stuff out that way.
  19. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2005 Minnesota

    Are you kidding? That is a solid list.
    jakecattleco and jrnyc like this.
  20. jrnyc

    jrnyc Champion (894) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    C'mon, let's be real. Stone, FW, Alesmith, Lagunitas, you call these mediocre???? These breweries make some of the best beers in the country.
  21. celfan

    celfan Disciple (327) Jul 4, 2004 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    I gave you Alpine

    Forgot about Kern
  22. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (4,685) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Two breweries equals "all of the West coast brewer's"? Sierra Nevada and Green Flash are the only one's I've heard of. Since there are at least 2 major mountain ranges (Cascades/Sierras and the Rockies) between Colorado and the coast, ya can't count those.
  23. bocky24

    bocky24 Aspirant (251) Apr 10, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Midwest by far! 3F's, Goose Island, Founders, Bells, Toppling Goliath, New Glarus, Jolly Pumpkin, Boulevard, Surly. Need I keep going? I will give props to West though, a lot of good breweries out there.
    djl9701 likes this.
  24. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (4,685) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    If you count the states that touch either ocean, and the states that touch those states, there are 6 "West Coast" states. There are 20 "East Coast" states. It's a hell of a lot farther from Dickey, ME to Key West, FL, than it is Blaine, WA, to Imperial Beach, CA. It's roughly the same distance from San Francisco to Denver as it is Philadelphia to Kansas CityMO. There's so much territory to cover. I'd like to narrow our focus: which 1/2 mile radius has the best breweries?
  25. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,276) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    You for got Alaska! ;-)

    Had to sy that, as it is on the continent and the Pacific.
    juzy and beertunes like this.
  26. shirtless_mike

    shirtless_mike Zealot (515) Aug 4, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    a couple great breweries. some decent ones. some i'd like to try. none on the level of Founders, New Glarus, 3 Floyds, Great Lakes or Fat Heads. don't be mad at me, man. spending an afternoon in Cleveland and Chicago going brewpub to brewpub is better than sex
    HOP_KING likes this.
  27. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poo-Bah (1,527) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Divide the country equally in thirds and the west side kicks ass regardless of where Colorado falls.
  28. victory4me

    victory4me Zealot (547) Oct 16, 2004 Pennsylvania

    East coast. We know what lagers are and our IPAs have caught up with the rest of the country.
    dennis3951 and TongoRad like this.
  29. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (706) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Lager? What is this lager of which you speak? Is it lager than life or a piece of the lager question?
  30. rundownhouse

    rundownhouse Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2005 Tennessee

    No, they can count, but just not very much. Ditto Hill Farmstead. Ditto Crooked Stave. If you make the best beer on planet earth, but only make 5 gallons at a time... who cares? Size = availability, which has to factor into the discussion in some way.
    beertunes likes this.
  31. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Crusader (747) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Except for Anchor and Sierra Nevada none of them can brew a good lager.
  32. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (4,685) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I've gotta admit, it took far longer than I thought it would to get a stabbing headache from this thread, but here it is. New Glarus is one of the best breweries I've had beer from. Founders is excellent. Three Floyds is not even in the discussion. It's been been well over decade since I've had anything from Great Lakes, but I remember them as being good, but nothing that would make anyone do their happy dance of joy. Never tried Fat Heads.

    All that said, with the exception of NG, you can drive down I-5 from the Canadian border and not drive more than 30 miles without hitting an exit that has a brewery within 5 miles of the exit that matches the rest of your list. And that's before you even hit Oregon. Can you say the same thing about I-71?
    chimneyjim and draheim like this.
  33. Powderhornphil

    Powderhornphil Defender (627) Apr 30, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I would add:
    Toppling Goliath
    Dark Horse
    Town Hall

    All of whom have beers on the top 250.
    shirtless_mike likes this.
  34. shirtless_mike

    shirtless_mike Zealot (515) Aug 4, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    i forgot Surly and Dark Horse. i've heard great things about the others but havent had the privilege of trying their stuff. one day...
    Powderhornphil likes this.
  35. raymo55

    raymo55 Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2011 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Best base barleywine...IMO
  36. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (3,635) Nov 16, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    This isn't another "the part of the country that is the best at brewing IPAs" thread is it?
  37. BWarrington

    BWarrington Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2012 Florida

    This is like asking the best football conference. SEC and West Coast, there should be no debate
  38. GuinnessAtRogerWilco

    GuinnessAtRogerWilco Initiate (0) Mar 20, 2013 New Jersey

    You are all arguing over 3 sections of the country. Why not just be happy we have that luxury and can say the US can compete with the entire rest of the World for great beers? It's been said that this is the best time (to date) to be a beer drinker in the US with so many great beers out there including all these little nano breweries popping up and making great beers for (mostly) local consumption.
    'Merica! Fuck yeah!
    cmannes, Potatocrawler and beertunes like this.
  39. supercolter

    supercolter Crusader (757) Apr 19, 2006 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    As a Midwesterner that has traveled the country far and wide and has regular trading partners in all three of the markets in question... this is the correct answer. There is something to be said for being so close to the perfect climate for growing certain hop strains. That doesn't even touch on the mass of individuals already demanding finer libations with the entrenched wine culture (as well as easy access to these wine barrels for some excellent aging options). West Coast is clear winner here.
    You hit the nail on the head with your Midwestern brewery assessment as well. New Glarus is elite in nearly every facet and I can't wait to see what Dan does with the coolship being installed in the next year or so. I'm surprised that so many Midwesterner's are failing to mention some of the best things we have going on lately in the IPA market. We're getting better in the Midwest, though the majority of breweries are years behind. That said, imho Kuhnhenn DRIPA and Columbus Bodhi are two of the best DIPAs on the market today. Both are easily in the top 10 for my tastebuds. Ohio is really climbing as an IPA producer, with the most notables being White Rajah, Head Hunter, and Columbus IPA. I'd strongly recommend checking out any of them, though I'm sure it's hard to justify shipping for IPA with so many good options so accessible. Cheers.
  40. jacksonweite

    jacksonweite Initiate (0) Aug 6, 2013 Michigan

    No questions about being a homer.......I love the Great Lakes beers I can get fresh. This country makes some amazing beers from coast to coast.
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