What brewery does your community sh-t on?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by RaulMondesi, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Poo-Bah (1,912) Dec 11, 2006 California

    In Southern California we have a brewery out here called Noble Ale Works. They used to be kings. Winning medals for this beer, winning medals for that beer, and so on. But a few years back, things just changed. A never ending “expansion” became a running joke, and then more importantly, they lost their head brewer. Since then they have gone down hill and become more of a joke in the community than a commodity. I truly don’t want this thread to be about sh-ting on breweries, I’m just curious if there are ones around you kind of like the one I described.
  2. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,596) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    Gilded Otter was the first brewpub in our area, Darren Currier once brewed very good, if not great, beer as the brewmaster. Some years back they realized their killer location made brewing good beer unnecessary. Quality steadily declined. A year ago there were rumors that the place was sold to a much better brewery. They were sold, that was true, but word around here is the beer now is EVEN WORSE. I won't be stopping in any time soon to check out how bad it is.

    Also a "farmhouse style" brewery opened at one of the more touristy orchard stores (I live in apple country) I won't name here (PM me for that if you'd like), and "word on the street" is stay away, stay far away from their beer.
  3. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Savant (903) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Yale Terrace Brewing in Cranford NJ. Bad from day one.
    frozyn, tzieser, RobNewton and 12 others like this.
  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,098) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    How do they stay in business?

    mkh012, LuskusDelph and FBarber like this.
  5. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Savant (903) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Good question, and I doubt anyone can answer it.
  6. eppCOS

    eppCOS Savant (962) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado

    We have some 20+ breweries in area; most are average to very meh, or bad. Sadly, only 2-3 know what they're doing. But I live in a place that has notoriously average food, too, and I think the survival of "average to poor" breweries is actually related to our "average to poor" dependence on fast food chains.
    That's just a theory... :wink: and I try NOT to shit on local breweries. I really try hard.
    Dan_K, tylerstubs, denver10 and 9 others like this.
  7. RagingBitch

    RagingBitch Initiate (42) Aug 4, 2019 Maryland

    I would have to say Granite City in Forest Heights is the one that most shit on. It isn't because it is downright awful because in my opinion it is not, but the service is not that great at all which brings it down a lot.
    The-Adjunct-Hippie likes this.
  8. ypsifly

    ypsifly Meyvn (1,048) Sep 22, 2004 Michigan

    Atwater, and rightly so. Yet they sell like crazy because Detroiters will buy anything made in Detroit regardless of quality or lack thereof.
  9. brutalfarce

    brutalfarce Disciple (334) Mar 23, 2018 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    Shebeen in CT just makes OK beer that doesn't really measure up with other stuff even just locally. They make some fun named and cool labeled beer but thats about it. The owner went so far as to call out local CT drinkers for not buying enough of their product a few years back.
    pbrian, sulldaddy, PatrickCT and 2 others like this.
  10. SoCalBeerIdiot

    SoCalBeerIdiot Champion (899) Mar 10, 2013 California

    Before it was Noble, it was Bootlegger's here in SoCal. They had one good beer that put them on th map and then they could never really re-create it again. They managed to survive off the popularity of that one beer for years. No one I know drinks them or even talks about them. I don't know how they are still around.
  11. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,459) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I think Arcadia falls into the 'shat upon' category. It was probably 4-6 years ago that they released a couple BBA beers that were likely infected, but the brewery kept insisting that there were no issues with the beers. I think that was the beginning of their problems, but their regular menu beers were becoming just average when compared to what was on store shelves from other breweries.

    Today the brewery has new ownership (the bank) and new management but I have not watched them closely to see how things are going. I hope things improve so that all of their employees can continue to collect paychecks. They still have some beers that I like buying.
    Beer_Economicus and CaptainHate like this.
  12. Rocktire

    Rocktire Aspirant (201) Jan 15, 2017 New York

    And the "much better" brewery they were sold to is the worst brewery in Orange County, imo. Have no idea who is buying the product they put out
    GuyFawkes and cavedave like this.
  13. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Poo-Bah (1,912) Dec 11, 2006 California

    Haha, oh yeah! I randomly see 4 packs of Knuckle Sandwich around and want to try them, but none are ever fresh. If I am not mistaken, they are opening a new tasting room in Costa Mesa by Gunwhale and Barley Forge. I don’t know why, I don’t see the demand.
    brutalfarce likes this.
  14. LeRose

    LeRose Meyvn (1,387) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    We aren't necessarily talking about "bad beer" here, at least that's my take. So I'll go a different direction and say it's mostly the OG breweries that take a beatin' from the "community". I'm thinking of some of the pioneering breweries that are now more or less irrelevant - Boston Beer comes to mind. Harpoon doesn't really appeal to the beer geek crowd (yet they'll turn 10,000 people on a good Saturday in their bierhall). Smuttynose - the poster child around here for overzealous expansion plans, great location, good food and some good beers that don't get attention. I'd even go so far and say Sierra Nevada, Stone, Founders, etc. are right knocking on that irrelevancy door. They just aren't seen as being "hip" these days.

    There are quite a few breweries I'd rather see in the barrel. A local to me that makes ridiculous flavor combinations yet has a rabid local following - not flawed beer, but flawed concepts and recipes like who the hell ever thought that would taste good kinds of things. Couple of others that actually do make lousy beer - Buzzard's Bay comes to mind. And @JackHorzempa I know how they stay open - location is spectacular, they have music, atmosphere, and it's a very social and family oriented outdoor gathering place. I even agree that those non-beer things combine to provide a very enjoyable visit. If their beers were hitting bunts for singles, never mind home runs, it would be great. An average beer in a great setting is still a very nice experience, but below average beer in the same setting just leaves me thinking about the lost opportunity. Breweries that don't try to improve or don't see the need for improvement seem to me like the ones that should draw some flak, but it's all subjective.

    The "quality" bar seems to be rising in general and some separation between wheat and chaff has happened, but there are plenty of places open that remain so because of things other than their beer quality. Whether it's socialization, social media frenzy, food, appealing to a specific segment of drinkers, local institution, parties in the brew house - lots of other factors involved that keep places open. And (arguably) they are producing and selling what their customers want so whether I like the beer/place or not is irrelevant. Who's to say whether these places should be dumped on? I prefer finding the total package - well-made beer plus the indirect things. All of it should roll up to create the "experience".
    darthvohn, alucard6679, JrGtr and 8 others like this.
  15. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,596) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    I agree. I was shocked to find out who it was. I wonder what they paid, had it on good authority asking was 3 million. And the brew house at the Otter is killer, all copper, perfectly set up. What a waste of great equipment!
    Premo88, Amendm and Rocktire like this.
  16. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,311) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Good luck with that. :wink:
  17. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,605) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    I'm curious what other Colorado BA's think.

    Most of the places that caught shit for making bad beer (Zephyr, Grand Lake 2.0, Mu, etc.) are long gone. Prost has been up and down, but have rebounded in a big way recently.

    There's still a lot of heat around Trinity, although I find myself agreeing with Jason Yester way too much lately. I'm not sure if that falls on him or me.

    10 Barrel and Breck get some eye rolls, but I don't think that's related to their beer.
    mkh012, russpowell and eppCOS like this.
  18. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,084) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands

    Around here it was, at least to their recent sale, Melvin. Mostly for non-beer reasons, but their brews were pretty one-note.
    Amendm likes this.
  19. BeardedWalrus

    BeardedWalrus Aspirant (283) Jun 5, 2018 North Carolina

    Eh I wouldn't put Founders in that company, aside from barrel runner their releases have still been solid. Sure they don't generate hype like they used to, but they're far from being irrelevant.
  20. Amendm

    Amendm Zealot (511) Jun 7, 2018 Rhode Island

    There was a horrible brewery near me that the community $#it out of business.
    Premo88 likes this.
  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,098) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Well, @eppCOS who is from Colorado in post #6 stated:

    "We have some 20+ breweries in area; most are average to very meh, or bad. Sadly, only 2-3 know what they're doing."

    The above seems quite different from what you posted. Different areas of Colorado?

    mkh012 and eppCOS like this.
  22. eppCOS

    eppCOS Savant (962) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado

    Oof.. yeah, I was trying to avoid getting too detailed, but I'm in Colorado Springs whereas the other BA in question above, I think (correct me if I'm wrong), is from the Denver area. Two different universes in terms of #breweries AND in terms of quality. From my humble perspective, that is. Cheers!
  23. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,605) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    You are correct, sir. SE Denver/Aurora.
    I frankly don't know a ton about the Springs. I know the places that have been around forever and I know Cerberus as being a strong new school place. Sounds like I'm not missing much.
    Premo88 and eppCOS like this.
  24. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,098) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania has some similarities to Colorado with an OUTSTANDING beer scene in the Philly area both locally brewed beers but the beers we get distributed here as well (e.g., Russian River, The Alchemist, Hill Farmstead, etc.) but a lesser beer scene in the Pittsburgh area (in comparison).

  25. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,459) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Who bought Melvin? I'm visiting in CA right now and just had a Melvin IPA with my lunch. Very tasty! It brought back memories from when I visited the brewery 5-6 years ago.

    You must be in a witness protection program? I see that they moved you again to another obscure place of safety. :wink:
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  26. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,084) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands

    Not the whole company. After the Melvin situation here in Bellingham last year, the community dropped them. A local businessman recently bought the Bham location, and the name and licences haven't quite made it through the state yet.
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  27. woodchipper

    woodchipper Meyvn (1,067) Oct 25, 2005 Connecticut

    I've got two locals I could rant about but I have a personal policy of not bad mouthing any establishment or person by name on this site.
    However I do name similar that impress me.
    Obviously I do bad mouth beers by name. Isn't that half of what BA is about?
  28. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (114) Mar 15, 2014 California

    Ahhhhh i miss old Noble as well. Back when they were more innovative and brewing things like the Five and Dime, the Naughty Sauce actually tasted good, and food trucks were plentiful. Now its a deadzone and their once full menu is home to no more than 4-5 hoppy turbid wannabe IPAs and nothing else. Place used to be packed for hockey games, angels games and now everyone just goes to Golden Road :rofl::rofl::rofl:
    Arminius757, raynmoon and RaulMondesi like this.
  29. Kinsman

    Kinsman Champion (850) Aug 26, 2009 California

    Probably my biggest pet peeve in the beer world is brewers or the general beer drinking public who think you should drink a particular beer/brewery just because it's local. I love a great tasting beer and I love supporting local businesses, but if those two don't line up then I'm going to drink the beer that taste better, regardless of where it was brewed.
  30. CannedWaggoneer

    CannedWaggoneer Initiate (96) May 1, 2017 Ohio

    I've been driving up to the MI guild summer beer fest in Ypsi since 08 or 09. Back in those days, 8, 9 or 10 years ago, Arcadia was one of the highlights of MI beer for us. Cereal Killer was always a must. I really did love the stuff they did and the brand they had.

    We haven't visited their booth at the fest for many years now. Not for any reason other than they really just haven't kept up with the pace of the rest of the breweries at the festival. That fest has far outpaced them and a few others.

    Similarly, back in those days Kuhnhenn was one of my favorite stops at the fest as was Dragonmead. Jolly Pumpkin had the only sours there every summer until The Livery showed up with Maillot Jaune stuff maybe 7 or 8 years ago. Looking back on the fest 2 weeks ago most of these breweries, and more, really seem like they are being left in the dust. None of them have long lines anymore.

    Man, what a nostalgia trip you've sent me on.
  31. honkey

    honkey Zealot (567) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
    Society Industry

    If a head brewer leaving impacts the brewery in a significant way than the head brewer didn’t do their job and ownership didn’t supervise their company properly. On the head brewer’s end, they should have trained their staff to effectively replace them. From ownership, they should have made sure that on one was irreplaceable.

    You’d be amazed how long you can stay afloat with shit for sales... it’s easy to kick the bucket down the road and delay the inevitable. It’s all about how long you’re willing to do so and how much risk you’re willing to take
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  32. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Poo-Bah (1,912) Dec 11, 2006 California

    I would have loved to continue to support the business if they ran it properly. For some reason they killed a great thing. I had to move on.

    breadwinner and Beer_Stan like this.
  33. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,084) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands

  34. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,459) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    So, you're saying that no body hits those booths because nobody hits those booths?

    "Nobody goes there anymore because it's too crowded." - Yogi Berra
  35. RyanK252

    RyanK252 Poo-Bah (2,239) May 18, 2014 California

    We've got one brewery in town that everybody shits on, and for good reason. They've got a history of making bad beer and an even worse reputation of going after customers who call them on it. (Message me for the name and some stories.) The place is run by a trust fund kid who uses it to feed his ego. Somehow they have a tap room in an entertainment district, and they just opened up another at the lake up the hill. Haven't ever met anybody who likes their beer, and I can't imagine they're making much money, but they are still around.
  36. invertalon

    invertalon Crusader (765) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio
    Society Trader

    Here in Cleveland, i'd say Platform (and that was before the buy-out). For reasons, just take a look in the buyout thread.
    ManBearPat and brutalfarce like this.
  37. BruChef

    BruChef Initiate (199) Nov 8, 2009 New York

    Not too change the subject, but on that note, anyone have any opinions on Surly since Todd left? Same? Better? Worse?
    GuyFawkes likes this.
  38. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,464) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    There was a brewery that opened in my local area about a year ago. They are now closed in less than 1 year. Owners were kinda rude (on my 1 visit, but others have said the same), beers were subpar, and business model wasn't quite right. They focused on BA wild ales, which in theory was exactly what our area was relatively low in supply of) however most tasted like vinegar, and the local area isn't quite that "hip" or populous enough to support a wild ale/sour focused taproom model brewery IMO. So nature took its course quickly I suppose.
  39. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,464) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    It's NJ, so I'm betting all of my Beer Karma points that it's a front. Migration from pizza shops to local brewery with no patrons. Who knows what business is being conducted back behind the fermentation tanks! :-)
    tzieser and SammyJaxxxx like this.
  40. eppCOS

    eppCOS Savant (962) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado

    To my mind, Cerberus in town, and Paradox up the hill in Divide, are the two places leading the way on consistent and true to style quality by a good margin. Then some others, Trinity (been around) and Metric (1 year old), are also worth checking out... then, well, then there's everything else. Occasionally, you'll hit a consistent batch at Goat Patch (of something) and at Iron Bird... but the range of what you can expect is all over the map. Cheers...
    Domingo likes this.