Your Biggest Wrong Or Right Beer Predictions From Past

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by cavedave, Jan 3, 2018.

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  1. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,099) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    We all make predictions about what we hope will happen, and also what we believe will happen, in the beer future. What beer predictions have you made in the past that turned out to be right? What beer predictions have you made in the past that turned out to be wrong? What beer predictions have you made that are still works in progress and could go either way? What is your biggest hope for the future (not a prediction)?

    I think my biggest wrong prediction was I predicted ABI/GI would never be able to produce enough BCBS to send across the country. I also predicted Larry Bell would never change his mind and send Bell's to NYS.

    I think my biggest right prediction was sitting in the Alchemist Brewpub drinking Heady Toppers circa 2010 and predicting that this style of beer, soft on palate heavily dry hopped and unfiltered less bitter fruity hop masterpieces, was not a fad and would grow to dominate the IPA market.

    My prediction that craft beer would top out at under 20% of total beer sold in this country hasn't played out yet.

    My biggest hope for the future is my local brewers start to make stout of the same quality I have to purchase from out of area brewers, or trade for, every year to stock our Stout Night beer tasting.

    How about you? Inquiring minds want to know.
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  2. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,989) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    Between you and me, Dave, I don't see Heady Topper as being in that style. :stuck_out_tongue:

    My biggest wrong prediction would be with how recent revival beers would be welcomed by today's market. And I gotta add, you people have really disappointed me because of it :rolling_eyes::grin:.
  3. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (458) Jan 7, 2011 California

    @cavedave you & i went back & forth a bit on your ABI/GI predictions & news you heard that BCBS would be cranked up to year round product. you were more right than wrong. BCBS did go nationwide in much larger quantities. in certain locations it is on shelves year round - pretty sure at least a tiny bit of that is for unintended / negative reasons too though.

    things i predicted that appear to be correct.

    • GI would be forced out of its Heaven Hill barrel supply.
    • GI would suffer losses via misunderstanding or ignoring barrel supply trends
    • GI wouldn't be able to corner the market on high end barrels because. . .
    • barrel quality & availability was likely to plummet after 2012
    • the whiskey brand likely associated w/ & supporting BCBS was disappearing
    • barrel pedigree mattered a lot more than beer nerds understood. . .
    • when GI allegedly only discarded one of the 50 PVW23 barrels used to age "Rare" - we probably weren't going to see results like that going forward - whereas a brewer could rely on a 98% barrel success rate.
    things i was wrong about.

    i don't think i stated when but i expected BCBS to likely experience issues starting 2014.

    i can definitely say i was wrong about how long IPA obsessiveness would last & expand.:astonished:
  4. MistaRyte

    MistaRyte Defender (677) Jan 14, 2008 Virginia

    Wrong prediction for me: Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale craze sweeps the nation. (its a shame, because they're delicious, people)
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  5. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,803) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
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    About 20 years ago I told a bunch of people that I thought this micro brewed beer would eventually take off. Fast forward to today about half of them drink only craft beer and the other half still drink Coors Light.

    So I was half right and half wrong.
  6. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,099) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    To me it was Abner, Ephraim, and Heady that started it, and defined it. And I know some disagree, wasn't sure if you were joking or not?
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  7. Bryan12345

    Bryan12345 Zealot (523) Mar 17, 2016 Texas

    After having Stone’s Arrogant Bastard I thought there’s no way THAT brewery will stay in business

  8. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,989) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    The HFs I can see, but there was no joking about Heady. The malt profile, finish and bitterness don't really jive with the sub style, of which those seem to be defining features.
  9. Minipork

    Minipork Initiate (166) Dec 11, 2010 Illinois

    Right: After having Lagunitas Equinox (and loving the mouth feel) a few years ago, I thought oats would be included in a lot of IPA malt bills.
    Beer enthusiasts having the same ethos as punk rock fans did in the 90's. Wearing t-shirts of their favorites, getting mad when breweries sell out, being loyal to local bands/breweries, etc

    Wrong: 16oz cans were a rip off and people wouldn't pay more per ounce and breweries would go back to 12oz servings. As many other do, I now prefer 16oz cans.

    Wish: Prices come down on 4 packs of NE IPA's
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  10. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,160) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina

    I predicted that the regional players would benefit so much from their superior QC methods, guarantees of freshness, reputation for consistency, and advantage on price point that many smaller, hyper-local places would have started closing by now. Never would I have expected (and this still astounds me, as it did while I was recently walking the halls of Sierra Nevada's Mills River facility seeing all of the above points in action) that tiny local places would hold such a huge advantage with just their dedication to and their story of being a true part of a particular place. To think that my operation holds such an advantage -- which, granted, we genuinely set out to be regarding the value of hyper-locality and brand loyalty, and believe in deeply -- still boggles my mind.
    #10 herrburgess, Jan 3, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  11. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,989) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    I guess I was right about the 16oz cans, although it probably was more wishful thinking than prediction.
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  12. rozzom

    rozzom Meyvn (1,058) Jan 22, 2011 New York

    There’s a few bona fide oracles in this thread

    Something I was wrong about - when I first saw a post on Instagram of a beer with absolutely no head, filled to the brim, I said “that’ll never take off”

    Agreed with you about NY stouts @cavedave - posted same thing in the OH thread yesterday evening
  13. Samlover55

    Samlover55 Champion (814) Oct 8, 2015 New York

    Great thread @cavedave. My biggest prediction is something that I was wrong about, and that is that I wouldn't be able to buy quality beer made in Rockland County. Thankfully I was very wrong as we now have two top-notch breweries.
    cavedave likes this.
  14. meefmoff

    meefmoff Zealot (504) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    I agree with you about where HT sits in terms of sub-style. But having it for the first time when my palate was more accustomed to palate-wrecker-esque IPAs it did seem soft, fruity, and non-bitter in comparison.

    Others have since taken that ball and ran with it of course. When push comes to shove I still think HT is at just about the perfect spot on the spectrum of west coast to NE.
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  15. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Initiate (0) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona

    In the past when craft was just popping I said that no one in their right mind would pay $12-20 bucks for a six pack or 4 pack, that it would implode and we would be back to Bud, Miller, and Coors. Wow was I really wrong there and not only wrong but saw prices exceed those amounts and people still paying.

    I would love to hear peoples prediction on the upcoming year or years. What do you guys see going away or becoming the norm, etc?
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  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,563) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I used the term of "spectrum" in the below that I have posted numerous times in BA threads:

    In my opinion the beers of The Alchemist (e.g., Heady Topper) are not so called 'NE' style IPAs. I have had Heady Topper on multiple occasions and those beer were neither turbid/murky/opaque or had a smooth/velvety mouthfeel. In past BA threads I discussed:

    “In my eyes if West Coast style is one side of the rainbow and Trillium/Tree House is the other side, Alchemist/Lawson's/Hill are the best of both worlds.”

    This pretty much mirrors my thoughts on the ‘spectrum’ of American style IPAs. I enjoy drinking West Coast style IPAs (e.g., FW Union Jack) and I enjoy drinking the so called “NE” style IPAs but for me the ‘sweet spot’ are the hoppy beers of Hill Farmstead (and Alchemist).

    If you want to ‘translate’ this to an appearance thing:

    · West Coast style IPA are relatively clear (those beer are typically either filtered or passed through a centrifuge)

    · The so called ‘NE’ style IPAs are murky/turbid/opaque

    · The Hill Farmstead and The Alchemist beers are in between those two

  17. rozzom

    rozzom Meyvn (1,058) Jan 22, 2011 New York

    Good point. On the related bar keg-pricing side, I remember my mind being blown when a bar charged $1/oz for something rare. Maybe CBS. That was only like 5 years ago. Can’t believe how quickly things have jumped to $2/oz for some of the rarer stuff at certain places in NYC without people really batting an eye
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  18. zeff80

    zeff80 Poo-Bah (15,087) Feb 6, 2006 Missouri

    I have an on-going prediction that as craft beer grows in particular cities that food culture and downtown (or neighborhood) revitalization will occur. One place in particular that I think this is happening is Topeka, KS. My in-laws live there and for the longest time they had one brewpub. Rare beers sat on shelves. Food culture didn't exist. We almost never go out to nice dinner while we're there. In the past five years or so, a couple craft beer focused bars opened. They also had 2 breweries open in the past 2 years. Over the holidays my father-in-law told me about all the changes coming to downtown Topeka. A music venue, a boutique hotel, a small bowling alley, restaurants and a craft beer bar. It's not a very bold prediction, but when I tell him I think craft beer is responsible for the downtown revitalization he has his doubts.
  19. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,958) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
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    Did that ever really take off? I did this once just for the hell of it. It absolutely destroyed the character of the beer (King Sue, for the record). It suppresses the aroma, which is a huge component of flavor.

    Prediction I was right about: I predicted that I'd never see Michigan Maple Jesus. Stone cold, lock of the year.
  20. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    When I had a Sam Adams in 1985 or so and said" This is awesome" and put my bud days behind me. Same can be said for Harpoon IPA, both still hold up to this day.
  21. FonyBones

    FonyBones Initiate (35) Dec 19, 2015 New York

    I was wrong in predicting that there was no way people would continue to line up for hours in the hot sun/freezing cold/eves of holiday, etc. to pay $16-$20+ for 4 packs of beer they've never had before.

    I was right in predicting that I would be spending a lot more time getting reacquainted with classics that I can easily pick-up while grocery shopping.
  22. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,099) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    Yes, yes you do, just close enough to me so I can enjoy both of them too! Very glad you were wrong with that prediction.
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  23. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    I don't make short-term predictions, so I haven't seen a lot being proven right or wrong as of yet.

    That quality will be the paramount indicator of a brewery's success, especially in reference to small, local breweries.

    This could go either way, IMO. I've seen a lot of local breweries both start out well and then improve on that or start out with a thud and improve greatly. I've also seen a lot of mediocre breweries continue to make mediocre beer and still have full taprooms. For the life of me, I don't understand that with the proliferation of choice out there, but such is life with the "new" and "local".

    That the quality of beer continues to improve and the availability of great beer continues to increase. Couldn't imagine that "we" would be here even 5 years ago, let alone 20. Craft beer is amazing and I've been happy to see and participate in a lot of its journey.
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  24. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (2,051) Apr 16, 2015 New York
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    Which two? My mother-in-law lives in Nyack, so I'm there a few times a year
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  25. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (7,093) Mar 25, 2013 Connecticut
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    Great thread, Dave!

    I'm not in the business of making predictions. However, I suppose I have one assumption about craft beer growth - one in which I am by no means alone. That assumption is, simply, that current craft beer growth will result in a number of sub-par local breweries capitalizing on the craft beer trend, but not producing quality beer.

    A reasonable prediction that follows from that assumption, of course, is that many of these breweries will collapse, especially if/when the bubble contracts - if not completely bursts.

    The assumption, at the very least, anecdotally seems to be holding true. The prediction will take time to mature.

    That same assumption leads to a related prediction: we will continue to see business struggles across the market, in particular for the widely distributed "big boys" of craft (Stone, Sierra Nevada, etc.). With so many local options - at the brewery, at the pub, and on the shelf, and often much fresher than the beers receiving wider distro (not an insignificant point when purchasing IPAs - more familiar brands are sitting on the shelves more and more.

    It seems our rate of supply growth is outpacing our rate of demand increase at this point. That may not have been true 10 years ago.

    Unfortunately, if my opening assumption is correct, then the combined glut of sub-par local options and aging shelf turd national offerings may result in turning off potential new craft consumers. If your first "craft" IPA is over a year old, or carries a massive diacetyl note, you may very well never try a second. This will not help the industry.

    So, I see a lot of economic challenges ahead for breweries. Expansion requires capital investment. If sales take a negative turn at the same time a brewery is investing more capital, that's a recipe for disaster - or selling out.
  26. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,099) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    Pardon me if I sneak in, but I know these two quite well. They are Industrial Arts Brewery in Haverstraw and District 96 in New City. Both fantastic.
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  27. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (2,051) Apr 16, 2015 New York
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    Nice, thanks! I've had a few Industrial Arts brews, I'll keep a look out for District 96 when I am in the area.
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  28. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (7,093) Mar 25, 2013 Connecticut
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    @JackHorzempa @cavedave @TongoRad

    Just to chime in on Heady Topper, and how it relates to predictions and developments in the beer world:

    I agree with all of you, to an extent. I think Dave is exactly right in that Heady revolutionized the IPA market, shifting it in a direction no one had foreseen. No, it's not an opaque juice bomb like Tree House et al produce, but the haziness - the ugliness, in a way - was shocking and paradigm-altering.

    Where I agree with Mike and Jack is that I don't think Heady was particularly un-bitter (not a word, I know). I think it had waves and waves of juicy hop flavors, and in that respect heralded the later NE style, but I think it still retained a healthy dose of bitterness.

    I don't quite know where I'd put it on the spectrum; I'd be tempted to put it pretty far to the right, toward NE IPAs. It's more like a proto-NE-IPA, though. Think of the parallels in music (Black Sabbath is to Septicflesh as Heady Topper is to Julius, perhaps).
  29. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,099) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    D96 do crowlers now but will be canning come spring. Their tap room is as good as it gets, and they own Burger Loft next door, a great restaurant that serves their beer and also really amazing guest taps.
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  30. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,099) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    Totally agree with what you say. I will add I have had about thirty gallons of Heady in the last 9 years, and some batches were some of the murkiest and chunkiest beers I have ever tasted,. I think the idea of using a flavorful yeast that is low flocculating and adds to a soft mouthfeel, a mixture of hops that creates a complex fruity taste and aroma, a malt base that is complex without being caramel, and a dry hopping regimen that creates a fruity aroma and haze in the beer is what Heady brought to the table, and the inevitable cavalcade of brewers trying to surpass it, as once brewers tried to equal and surpass Pliny.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled programming :grin:
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  31. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,160) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina

    Someone asked what people see going forward. I can at least speak for Bierkeller...and maybe elucidate some larger trends?

    We will continue to build on our success. Lagers are catching on and getting lots of attention, so we are well-positioned there. For the coming year we have added tank capacity and expect nearly 100% growth (doubling what we did last year).

    We will continue to focus on quality and consistency. I have made extensive notes over the past year and am constantly working to improve processes -- without taking any shortcuts. We have a lab tech who has helped us throughout and will continue to help us improve.

    We will increase the frequency of our beer gardens and introduce a number of new aspects, including: gravity kegs served by Bayerischer Anstich; the freshest beer dispensed into those kegs right from the tanks and served within a couple of days; a crowler machine for take-homes from the taproom, with a nice 32 oz can inside, say, a branded Masskrug...all at a very fair price.

    We think that by providing an enhanced beer garden experience with even fresher, more authentic beer, we will keep ourselves separate from the pack and keep growing. A lot of these plans (quality, freshness, enhanced drinking experience) are probably national trends as well. We seem to have found our niche within those trends and are pretty happy with where we stand. to me in 12 months and things may sound different, but for now that is what we are looking at.
  32. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Initiate (0) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona

    Love all those plans, that is so refreshing to hear and hope my local guys follow your thoughts.....
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  33. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    As long as Sierra Nevada continues with the likes of quality (hoppy) beer for the ( in MA) $ 14-15.00 12 packs I think they will be OK. I get mine at 4 weeks old all the time. October fest, celebration, narwhal, bigfoot and hoptimum, all see case buys from me. But yes, to your point, competition in a crowded market will continue.
  34. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,989) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    I was actually surprised that it took so long. Although, in a sense, Defiant (and Neill) have been at it for maybe a dozen years now. They just seem to do best with English and Belgian styles, and play to a different crowd. Still, I'd put their Tripel against any other one being made in the states.
  35. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,989) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    I'd prefer to take appearance out of the equation, at least in terms of defining factors; and I would wager that I, or any one of us, would easily be able to pick Heady from a NEIPA (even the more bitter ones) while blindfolded. So that's where I'm coming from, there.

    As far as your parallels go, I'll gladly take Heady and Sabbath all day every day, myself, no matter where they fall on the spectrum :grin:.
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  36. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (7,093) Mar 25, 2013 Connecticut
    Moderator Society Trader

    I don't disagree that you can tell Heady from a NEIPA blind. I will, however, say that I believe Heady tastes a lot closer to Sap, Green, et al, than it does to Pliny, which would seem to be a truer contemporary.

    Mouthfeel matters as well. HF and Alchemist really pioneered and popularized that incredibly smooth, luscious mouthfeel one expects from NEIPAs - and which absolutely did not exist in West Coast IPAs (or even in other world class Northeast contemporaries, like Gandhi Bot).

    I think appearance matters, too, in influencing the direction of the style. There was quite a backlash against the pulpy, opaque appearance when NEIPAs first hit the shelves. One of the simplest counterarguments was: "Yeah, but Heady is the highest rated beer in the world!"

    I suppose if one were to make predictions, you could look at some of the top rated beers of 2017, find the one thing (or perhaps two) that sets them apart, and say: this might be the new hotness! Chili stouts, for example - although that trend is obviously already riding high. In the case of NEIPAs, the mouthfeel, appearance, and flavor - if not the low bitterness - were all preceded by (and I would argue directly inspired by) Heady and HF.
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  37. Reef

    Reef Meyvn (1,133) Dec 2, 2016 South Carolina

    [QUOTE="herrburgess, post: 5812189, member: 389328]
    We will increase the frequency of our beer gardens and introduce a number of new aspects, including: gravity kegs served by Bayerischer Anstich; the freshest beer dispensed into those kegs right from the tanks and served within a couple of days; a crowler machine for take-homes from the taproom, with a nice 32 oz can inside, say, a branded Masskrug...all at a very fair price

    All your venues were well-selected in 2017. Looking forward to your events this year. I would definitely buy those crowlers.
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  38. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Poo-Bah (1,669) Jul 27, 2013 Texas
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    I was wrong in thinking consumers wouldn’t support craft price creep.

    I still am shocked people routinely spend $13 for a 6 pack, or even $12 for 4x16 ounce cans
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  39. Mindsculptor

    Mindsculptor Initiate (0) Dec 6, 2013 Texas

    You probably never went out because the Blind Tiger is expensive, or it was when my mother worked there. On Fridays and Saturdays she'd bring home a gallon mason jar filled with $20s.

    But you're right about the rest of it.
  40. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,758) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    I figured that the BA would shift their emphasis to "independent" above all else, and that ended up being the case (for now).

    Nonetheless, I was surprised by how many breweries decided to use the BA indy logo of a bottle that was all out of beer.

    I'm predicting that the blurry lines that people use to differentiate between west coast IPAs, east coast IPAs, and NE IPAs will remain incredibly blurry and this thread already seems to be bearing this out.
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