When your local brewery losses its true essence

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by McFinniganOfTheFinnigans, Feb 28, 2018.

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  1. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy Defender (646) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island

    Gritty's does still seem to thrive regardless of the new breweries around them, a good sign of their atmosphere and service. I have met family many times in the Freeport pub and the non-beer drinkers like their food and value. I would never choose to have a hoppy beer from them, but Gritty's does a decent job with the malty beers. And the attached shop has Black Fly Stout bombers at $3 a pop which my brother in law enjoys.

    There seems to be an audience in Maine and probably a lot of other places for community gathering locations like this, where the Budweiser-drinking guys can order some craft but not go TOO far outside their comfort zone. Despite the turnover in the industry, I think there can still be anachronisms like old school brewpubs. But at the same time I understand if the choice is between closing up shop or brew fruited beers, NEIPAs, etc. well I can't blame the brewer for trying to survive.
    LeRose likes this.
  2. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy Defender (646) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island

    Totally agree. If you can't take the effort to get the beertender on board with your brand and vet them out to make sure the person enjoys your beers, can give tasting notes, etc. then that doesn't reflect well. For a bartender at a TGIFriday's, I don't expect that person to know much about beer, but when someone serving a single brewery's beer is clueless about beer in general or your brand in particular...
    storm72 likes this.
  3. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,816) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Unfortunately, I don't expect them to even know what's on tap. :slight_smile:
    storm72 and LeRose like this.
  4. BeerBelly99

    BeerBelly99 Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2018 California

    Our local brewery got bought out, the original founder and brewmaster left. The recipes changed, and the stylistic offerings.

    But it happens.
  5. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (252) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    My favorite local (Barrier) just posted a photo showing a milkshake IPA in the works, so yeah I'd say I'm worried about what direction they are going nowadays.
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,821) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I have never had any Barrier beers but I looked at their portfolio of beers on BA and it appears that the majority of reviews are for hoppy beers (e.g., APA, IPAs, DIPA, etc.). Do you think it is fair to say that Barrier is most renowned for their hoppy beers?

  7. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (252) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    Show me a brewery whose IPAs don't have the most reviews over other styles!

    Barrier has been known to make all kinds of styles without straying from traditional representations. That's why they have fans like me. Of course they make great IPAs too but they make a cream ale, a kolsch, brown ales, dubbels, etc. But about 2 years ago they started really overloading on the IPAs at the expense of old favorites. Now about 6 months ago they started making the dreaded NEIPA and today we see a milkshake IPA coming, so yeah I feel they are getting away from what made them great in my opinion.
    mrmattosgood and islay like this.
  8. pro100

    pro100 Initiate (118) Oct 12, 2014 California

    The brewery closest to me started off with a bang but now they just can get away from their core beers that they've been brewing for about three years now since they've opened and pretty much every beer they make taste like or is a different variation of these same core beers. They refuse to do a neipa which is fine cause I can get that from somewhere else but at least give us a tropical, a hoppy red, a black, or a fruit based ipa, some new stouts or porters or something. Hell anything to give me a reason to stop by again.
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,821) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    OK. As an aggregate Sly Fox has more reviews for their non-hoppy beers (i.e., beers not APA, IPA, DIPA) than their hoppy beers.

    One of their non-hoppy beers is Pikeland Pils with over 700 reviews as a singular example.


    P.S. The Helles has a respectable over 300 reviews.
  10. Eamonn-Cummings3

    Eamonn-Cummings3 Poo-Bah (1,990) Jan 23, 2014 New York

    I completely agree. I remember visiting there when my sister was at New Paltz and really liking it. I visited again recently, and was super disappointed.
    cavedave likes this.
  11. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (252) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    That really wasn't my point - I think its safe to say most breweries that opened in the last 10 years get more attention to their IPAs if they do them well (or not even).

    The rest of my post still stands, Barrier is notable because they are probably the only brewery in the NYC area that makes 20+ different styles regularly (and not a hopped up kolsch either) and without gimmicks. Until recently I guess.
  12. pjbear05

    pjbear05 Initiate (138) May 28, 2008 Florida

    ^^^ These, especially the Beertenders. If your front line employees arent evangelizing, they need to leave.
  13. honkey

    honkey Disciple (349) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona

    If that’s the case, they got into the wrong business. It’s hard even for experienced business people and experienced brewers a lot of time to figure out ways to make money in this business
    seakayak likes this.
  14. chrisjws

    chrisjws Savant (937) Dec 3, 2014 California

    To add to this point, invest in your employees. If you hire them at minimum wage and give them minimum training don't be surprised if they do a mediocre job representing your brand. Pay them to be beertenders and ambassadors and reward the ones who give your customers great experiences. Don't skimp on your beertenders. Make sure to do tastings, education, etc so you're equipping them to be the goddamn sherpa for the customer's great beer adventure.
    pjbear05 likes this.
  15. WIBeerSnob

    WIBeerSnob Initiate (153) Jan 31, 2017 Wisconsin

    Tell me about it....Miller hasn't been the same since the mid 1800's.

    The good ole days
    chrisjws likes this.
  16. pro100

    pro100 Initiate (118) Oct 12, 2014 California

    Of course they should know their beers that are on tap and be in a at least semi good mood but we probably need to know what else customers expect from the beertenders tbh. Some patrons want to be babysat, coddled to death, and are miserable people in general.. not all of course but everybody has their own definitions of good or bad service. I don't expect anything from a beertender but a solid pour. Who knows if they're even being paid well at said brewery
  17. socon67

    socon67 Poo-Bah (2,612) Jun 18, 2010 New York

    There are many factors that change a brewery's business model. What may have started out as a local brewery has to keep up by offering new releases, potentially distribution, and at the same time retaining customer share. Some are able to keep that same model going for a long time. Others have to change to the market, competition, or lost some of the pieces that made it a good brewery.
  18. JoePasko

    JoePasko Initiate (97) Mar 10, 2018 New York

    The craft beer business has certainly become a big game of monkey-see-monkey-do. While there may very well be a market for pomegranate-marshmallow ale, I would suspect that the demand was already met long before a dozen other brewers decide they need to jump on that bandwagon.
    storm72 likes this.
  19. pjbear05

    pjbear05 Initiate (138) May 28, 2008 Florida

    ∆∆∆This. Better known as "Speak the fuck up". If there's an issue your local isn't attending to, TELL THEM as they may not know what's going on. If the issue Isn't addressed then, you may need to drink elsewhere.
  20. tinoynk

    tinoynk Initiate (128) Sep 25, 2010 New York

    The lactose thing is definitely new for Barrier, but haven't they been doing Suite for a couple years? Obviously the "NEIPA" definition can be loose, but I can't imagine Suite isn't considered an NEIPA.
  21. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (252) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    I would consider Suite and Tanto to be NEIPAs (and I definitely didn't like them) which were released last year sometime.
  22. McFinniganOfTheFinnigans

    McFinniganOfTheFinnigans Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2017 Maine

    1) Yes.
    2) I love nothing more than style changes. Keep it fresh vs. stale.
    3) That isn't a problem. A crowded place shows if they're good.
    4) Much like a seasonal. Sometimes my favorite rotates on and off. I love that.
    5) The more people discover said local brewery the better. I just hate when a local brewery with lack of any talent gets whored out. Floods the water with algae.
  23. McFinniganOfTheFinnigans

    McFinniganOfTheFinnigans Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2017 Maine

    Yes. Yes, I have. One of the ones I love I'm hoping to join to their festival team as a tent support on tap.
  24. McFinniganOfTheFinnigans

    McFinniganOfTheFinnigans Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2017 Maine

    Don't play devil's advocate.
  25. LuskusDelph

    LuskusDelph Initiate (0) May 1, 2008 New Jersey

    This. 100%.
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