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Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by beertunes, Sep 17, 2019.
Nice thread idea!
Oxbow seemed to be quite a journey from Portland, but well worth the trek!!
I think "isolated" might be the better word to describe Hill Farmstead given the reasonable proximity to major metro areas? As they say, "ya can't get there from here", but it's just a truly rural location that's a bit tricky to get to. There is the "mecca" factor - this is a place people will/do drive to from anywhere, which seems to take them out of this discussion, IMHO. They aren't reliant upon the resident Greensboro Bend, VT population of 230-ish people, which is what I think you might be getting at based on our chat in the other thread.
Good idea for a thread. Be interesting to see where it heads.
I'm going to put my lot in with Kennebec River Brewery in The Forks, Maine. The population of The Forks is 37 according to the 2010 census.
This thread needs an algorithm for remoteness that works in the same idiosyncratic vein as does the the esoteric rating system for beer. Let me make couple proposals:
(1) Solve for Isolation. Sliding scale based on distance to nearby metropolitan centers. Value given based on both distance and size.
(2) Isolate for Remoteness. Population clusters within the radius of distance to given metropolitan centers.
(2a) Divide by area to get population density.
(2b) Control for variable by equalizing with number of breweries that exist in its population cluster.
(2c) Eliminate bias by controlling for difference in quality.
(3) Introduce second matrix variable of distance to fast food.
(3a) There will be a sliding scale as well with McDonald's correlating to a smaller metro area.
(3b) Repeat steps 2 thru 2c.
(3c) Account for regionality of fast food chains.
(4) Introduce other matrices for isolation and remoteness like wealth and banking institutions. Theme parks and number of cool roller coasters. Water parks and tall water slides.
Maybe someone who took economic statistics class at Berkeley can help.
For further research, I think we can explore questions of the interplay between communal loyalty and the encroachment of new brewing ventures. Will local commitment provide enough support for the original brewery even if the competition is better?
In the end I want to advocate for some local brewers that I view as adequately geographically isolated, anecdotally speaking. Here are a few breweries that have both beer worth drinking and beer worth venturing for. Old Klaverack Brewery and Honey Hollow Brewing Co. in the rural midpoint halfway between Albany and NYC. Both make fine beer, and at both you literally feel like family because you're drinking in a shed sized brewery in their backyard. Not quite a backyard experience, more like Wrong Turn, but West Kill Brewing is down a dead end road in the Catskills I can imagine TH being like this before the hype monster transformed East Hill Rd into the BQE.
We need to realize that remoteness is a state that's been relatively lost to us on planet Earth, especially in America, but even in places long thought to be vast expanses of wilderness like the Amazon, the Sahara, Siberia, etc.
As far as the US, there are locations in Wyoming and Alaska that have some of the greatest spaces between them and our civilization and its well worn routes, but, we're getting to a point where there's light pollution and noise pollution everywhere (not to mention the more physically harmful varieties of pollution). Remote islands and archipelagos enjoy the perks of being the most remote inhabitable locations on Earth, but they also experience some of the most negative side effects as well, like sea rise, and accumulating tons of unsightly trash from our massive intercontinental runoff.
In regards to breweries, not counting places like Hill Farmstead, Jester King, and Ommegang is just being picky and requires the original post to be far more specific. Like: "I'm looking for small breweries only, breweries that no one has heard of but me, breweries that are remote, but also not in a state I don't like, and not in a state that has a popular urban center" would be more accurate.
To contribute one that hasn't been mentioned, 450 North is in the middle of a corn field. When you're on your way (and your car GPS and/or old school GPS are directing you incorrectly and your phone is going out), you'll definitely think you're lost. Print those MapQuest turn-by-turns beforehand
Especially true once we consider that some 'remote' behemoths like HF have a distribution radius of IDK, but I'm sure it more expensive than their geographic remoteness suggests. Then take account collaborations, brewers' origins/influences. It's not like Sean Lawson grew up in the woods and decided to make beer in VT. He was born in NJ, and then retreated to the relative recluse of VT. Except what was once a pilgrimage to a bottle shop on a specific day to get said beer, this same beer I can now get a mile way.
I was in Bill 2 days ago. I think I was the only one there.
It's not everyday I see mention of Bill! Warms my heart as a Wyomingite. There are quite a few others of similar size too. Sage comes to mind but I think it has 2 residents assuming it still exists/hasn't had a population boom.
When I visited Scotland we took a ferry up to the Orkney Islands and went to the Orkney Brewery. The brewery itself is well outside any town, so they are pretty remote as well - even if they have a beer that's exported to the US.
The most remote I've personally been to would probably be:
49th State Brewery in Healy, Alaska near Denali National Park, 4 hour drive north of Anchorage. https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/26743/
Missouri Breaks Brewing in Wolf Point, the north east corner of Montana.
Using Alaska is cheating lol
Nice! I'm gonna be there in a little over a week. Skullsplitter is one of the first "nice imported" beers I vividly remember having years ago and it was pretty overwhelming for my tastes back then. I am hoping to try it on tap.
when I was there, they had 4 beers on cask, the rest by bottle. I actually liked their Dark Island more than Skullsplitter. Not as sweet, darker and some mild roast, perfect for cask conditioning.
But also look for a bottle of the Dark Island Reserve!
I can’t seem to find the conversation, but I traded crowns with a guy who works at the Orkney brewery on this site. If I can remember the user name, I’ll pass it along to you @TheDoctor . Very nice guy.
Will do! I'm getting excited to drink random local stuff on cask for two weeks, but am definitely equipped to schlep some bottles back here ,so that'll go on my list.
Whiskey Point brewing on Beaver Island, MI (an island in northern Lake Michigan). Just opened this year.
It took me most of the day from Arnold, CA, to drive to Tonopah, NV, on my way to Denver, and all I saw in this hot climate along the way were cows (some on the road in this fenceless country) and a few ranch houses in a desert wasteland. Tonopah Brewing's beers tasted better than I think they really were because I was so parched by the time I got there. https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/37045/?view=beers
Shorts Brewing, Bellaire, MI. Population 1,086. SALUTE! Still my favorite Michigan brewery, and I'm a Founders Mug Club Member.
Going there the week after next. I have never been but I love the
One of my favorite local brewery’s.
While visiting Santorini tried to make it to this brewery but didn’t have time as had to get back to the boat. In the middle of a freaking rock island that has no fresh water. All water brought in from boats etc. Was able to find 2 bottles of the IPA. Drank them on the boat as a hassle to try and bring back to the States. Decent enough ipa but pricey. Was able to say I had a Greek IPA tho
Ashuelot Brewing Company is fairly remote. I thought I was lost, had to drive by, saw the owner flagging me down before I pulled in. It's just some guy's garage.
Not real remote, but yeah
The most remote Brewery I have visited....
It requires a boat ride to get there, approx 10 miles off the coast of Maine.
Beat me to saying 49th State in Healy! Should probably also point out that aside from being 4 hours away from the nearest city, the population is only approximately 1021 people! Easily beats out everything else in this thread thus far.
Although your other option is quite remote too. I guarantee that area receives less people traffic, at the very least, and is even a further drive to a major population center, so it could very well be the #1.
Carnival Cruise Lines' RedFrog Pub Brewery can certainly be considered quite remote
They actually make a surprisingly decent IPA, for the record.
I was ‘mis-remembering’. I’m thinking of the Lerwick Brewery on Shetland. So more remote I guess.
On an island, ten miles off the Maine coast. You have to take a ferry then walk since there aren't really any cars on the island.
Good beer too!
Can't say I've ever been there and I can't say I see myself ever getting there...but I'd like to try the Dark Mild one day.
Pen Druid is the only brewery in Rappahanock...could we go for quality vs remoteness vs distribution?
The Orkney Brewery and Einstök in Akureyri Ísland. I know there is some distribution in the states, but to visit...remote! I had the honor of being the first American to try the Puffin Ale back in 2017...pretty good. Remote!
Eola School Brewery in Eola, TX has got to be the most remote brewery I've ever encountered. Population was recorded at 218 in 1990. Believe it's closer to 54 for 2019. It's in an old Schoolhouse that has obviously seen better days, but the beer & pizza were solid as a diploma.
It’s certainly off the beaten path that’s for sure, if your too remote how can you make money? You could brew beer at Moosehead Lake ME, population 63, but you can’t make money because it’s a logistical nightmare all the way around. But certainly Hill Farmstead is certainly a bitch to get to, winter must be unreal.
Hopkins Ordinary Aleworks is just right down the street in the basement of their B&B, so Pen Druid isn't the only one in Sperryville.
Ten Sleep Brewing in Ten Sleep Wyoming is rather remote.
Town was decent sized but this one felt far from from most everywhere but there.
I've been to Tuscon, Tucumcari, but not to Tehachipi or Tonapa. (so).
There is a classic Little Feet song that mentions all of those, named "Willin".
"And I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah"
Give it a listen. Many have covered it.
Yup...still remote and neither distribute. Thanks for the reminder. The basement pub room/fireplace is going to be a nice hang out this winter. I should have know better..I have a 2018 Saison Noire from Hopkins in the fridge right now.
North Haven Brewing Company on North Haven Island, Maine in the middle of Pennobscott Bay. It’s accessible only by boat. Discovered it last year on an early fall sailing trip. Population is about 350-400. Had a great time there and met some interesting people. Don’t remember much about the beer.