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(SanDiegoUnionTribune)   "We are in a time of irrational exuberance in craft brewing," said Greg Koch, co-founder and CEO of Stone Brewing   (utsandiego.com) divider line 66
    More: Interesting, CEO of Stone Brewing, Greg Koch, Stone Brewing, CEO, irrational exuberance, Great American Beer Festival, craft beers, El Cajon  
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1359 clicks; posted to Business » on 15 Nov 2012 at 1:44 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-15 12:06:51 PM
"Irrational"? I don't see the problem.
 
2012-11-15 12:10:46 PM
It might helped if they stopped over saturating the market with hop bombs.
 
2012-11-15 12:20:05 PM

Aarontology: It might helped if they stopped over saturating the market with hop bombs.


But how will people know you're into obscure micro brews if they can't smell them from across the bar? Then again, the Hipster Hops may become too mainstream soon...
 
2012-11-15 12:24:21 PM

Donnchadha: Aarontology: It might helped if they stopped over saturating the market with hop bombs.

But how will people know you're into obscure micro brews if they can't smell them from across the bar? Then again, the Hipster Hops may become too mainstream soon...


Damn, I forgot the hallmark of a great beer is being unable to actually drink it!
 
2012-11-15 12:56:52 PM

Donnchadha: But how will people know you're into obscure micro brews if they can't smell them from across the bar?


By looking at your glass and seeing that it's not the color of piss.
 
2012-11-15 01:01:02 PM
Wait, is Greg Koch of Stone brewing related to Jim Koch of Sam Adams?

Lot of Kochs in the beer industry.
 
2012-11-15 01:23:03 PM

Voiceofreason01: "Irrational"? I don't see the problem.


Diversity and variety in the market = bad??????
 
2012-11-15 01:44:35 PM
Sooner or later, we are going to hit a bump in the road."

Yeah, there won't be any farking hops left.

Seriously, try making some more obscure styles. Pale Ales and IPAs are passe.
 
2012-11-15 01:48:21 PM
I agree with him despite not running my own brewery. You guys are farking annoying
 
2012-11-15 01:49:21 PM

Aarontology: It might helped if they stopped over saturating the market with hop bombs.


But this new Hip Hop Hooray IPA crafted by Hoppy By Nature Brewing in Mooseknuckle, Colorado is exquisite. You've probably never heard of it.
 
2012-11-15 01:49:39 PM
Seriously, try making some more obscure styles. Pale Ales and IPAs are passe.

Hey, I'm going to do my first all-grain brew on Saturday and it'll be a pale ale.
 
2012-11-15 01:54:41 PM

Teknowaffle: Sooner or later, we are going to hit a bump in the road."

Yeah, there won't be any farking hops left.

Seriously, try making some more obscure styles. Pale Ales and IPAs are passe.


Seriously. Does anybody even drink beer anymore? Why do they still make it?

"Pale Ale" is a much more general term than people think. IPAs are hoppy as all fark, but pale ales are not necessarily so.
 
2012-11-15 01:57:59 PM
Will be cracking open my first bottle of home brew later this evening. I'm thinking this will be a hobby I won't ever get bored with.
 
2012-11-15 01:59:17 PM

Nezorf: Voiceofreason01: "Irrational"? I don't see the problem.

Diversity and variety in the market = bad??????


competition = bad

I'm finding I drink beer more with dinner than as a stand alone "close the pub" activity. Might just be I'm old.

/still love a well done pale, and the barrel aged stuff rules across the board.
 
2012-11-15 02:00:19 PM

naturalbornworldshaker: Will be cracking open my first bottle of home brew later this evening. I'm thinking this will be a hobby I won't ever get bored with.


My first batch sucked, gave up. I found no joy in any of the sanitation rituals either. I'll leave it to the professionals.
 
2012-11-15 02:03:27 PM

Donnchadha: Teknowaffle: Sooner or later, we are going to hit a bump in the road."

Yeah, there won't be any farking hops left.

Seriously, try making some more obscure styles. Pale Ales and IPAs are passe.

Seriously. Does anybody even drink beer anymore? Why do they still make it?

"Pale Ale" is a much more general term than people think. IPAs are hoppy as all fark, but pale ales are not necessarily so.


Pale ales are everywhere still. My local brewpub's pale ale is their top served beer.
Most local brewpubs have a pale ale
Lots of small breweries don't make basic pale ales, because most people won't pay upwards of $9 for a basic pale ale.
Also, as a small brewery its hard to make your mark by making a basic beer.


Also IPA = India Pale Ale.
 
2012-11-15 02:04:51 PM

whither_apophis: Nezorf: Voiceofreason01: "Irrational"? I don't see the problem.

Diversity and variety in the market = bad??????

competition = bad

I'm finding I drink beer more with dinner than as a stand alone "close the pub" activity. Might just be I'm old.

/still love a well done pale, and the barrel aged stuff rules across the board.


Why is competition bad?
Yeah, over saturation of the market is bad. But some regional brewers have been sitting on their laurels recently. The boom of brewing in MN has really upped the ante for Schels and Summit.
 
2012-11-15 02:06:49 PM

Rincewind53: Wait, is Greg Koch of Stone brewing related to Jim Koch of Sam Adams?


Nope.
 
2012-11-15 02:08:02 PM

tricycleracer: naturalbornworldshaker: Will be cracking open my first bottle of home brew later this evening. I'm thinking this will be a hobby I won't ever get bored with.

My first batch sucked, gave up. I found no joy in any of the sanitation rituals either. I'll leave it to the professionals.


I'll agree with you that sanitation sucks, but if you keg instead of bottle its 10x easier.

Make one 5 gallon bucket of onestep
Dump all your equipment in it.
Brew beer.
Dump all your gear in the san, pull it out and stick it on a drainage.
Dump the 5 gal into the carboy, dump back out.
Dump beer.
Sanitize yeast and pour
Done!

2 weeks later
Sanitize one carboy, racking cane and airlock
Rack
Clean yeastcake out

Three weeks
Repeat step 2 but put in keg.

4 weeks
BEER ON TAP!

I love homebrewing and having 4 beers on tap and 2 beers ready to keg is a nice thing to have in your basement.
 
zez
2012-11-15 02:10:09 PM
As a hophead I say bring on the bitterness!!! Sweeter maltier beers bother my stomach.
 
2012-11-15 02:10:46 PM
We're reaching an interesting era for two reasons.

First, a lot of the most successful craft breweries are now reaching such a size that they will see increasing bureaucracy and more and more "corporate culture" in their daily lives. We've already seen the trademark C&D letters start flying. It's only a matter of time before they start using their superior muscle to bully smaller brands out of distributor portfolios. This is the very behavior those same craft brewers have been complaining about being victims of in the recent past. I guess all those so-called "unfair tactics" make sense when the shoe is on the other foot.

Second, we have a whole lot of brands out there. Some are brewing shiat beer; others great beer that is very similar to already existing brands. Only a few are both great and innovative. I think there's no stopping people from going more and more to good beer, so the amount of craft beer people drink will online continue to rise. But, the number of breweries is probably going to drop significantly. Bigger pie with fewer players.
 
2012-11-15 02:16:31 PM
Stone is overrated, and one of the main offenders in the ridiculous overabundance of IPAs.

I like to bag on microbrew culture, but some are really good. The midwest has some awesome ones: Three Floyd's, Founders, Two Brothers, Great Lakes Brewing Company (best lager EVER).

But for me, Stone as well as Brooklyn Brewery are two of the most overrated in the country (even if the latter's brewmaster is the writer of the best beer guide on the planet: The Oxford Companion to Beer).
 
2012-11-15 02:17:35 PM
the domestic beer market has been shrinking for years, despite the surge in popularity of craft brews.

usually shrinking markets are not good places to invest in, and a whole bunch of entrepreneurs are about to find out why.
 
2012-11-15 02:21:17 PM

tricycleracer: naturalbornworldshaker: Will be cracking open my first bottle of home brew later this evening. I'm thinking this will be a hobby I won't ever get bored with.

My first batch sucked, gave up. I found no joy in any of the sanitation rituals either. I'll leave it to the professionals.


Did you sanitize with bleach? Because that'll f*ck up your universe.
 
2012-11-15 02:23:16 PM
There's really no bad that can come of this. There's a surge in breweries. The good ones will survive, the bad ones will go under and the overall quality of beer in the end will have improved.

That's what's supposed to happen.
 
2012-11-15 02:25:12 PM

Donnchadha: Aarontology: It might helped if they stopped over saturating the market with hop bombs.

But how will people know you're into obscure micro brews if they can't smell them from across the bar? Then again, the Hipster Hops may become too mainstream soon...


Yeah.

I see more sour beers around town.

I'm happy there are so many little craft brewers, but the market is brutal. You find one you really like and 6 months later they're out of business.
 
2012-11-15 02:26:27 PM

dumbobruni: the domestic beer market has been shrinking for years, despite the surge in popularity of craft brews.

usually shrinking markets are not good places to invest in, and a whole bunch of entrepreneurs are about to find out why.


I do think brewing is one business that a lot of people do for the joy of it. And I think they are the ones who end up rising to the top. With the exception of my aforementioned overrated brewers (who rely on attitude and marketing), most of the well known ones are actually not coincidentally very good offerings. And I'm sure I may take some flak for saying it, but Sam Adams/Boston Beer Company didn't get to where they are by making sh*t beer. They can be hit and miss, and yeah, Koch knows the ins-and-outs of the business, but their flagship lager is amongst the best in the world...regardless of one's opinion of their business tactics.
 
2012-11-15 02:27:22 PM

MugzyBrown: There's really no bad that can come of this. There's a surge in breweries. The good ones will survive, the bad ones will go under and the overall quality of beer in the end will have improved.

That's what's supposed to happen.


The only thing I worry about is the creation of local breweries getting too big and becoming bullies within the market. Cease and Desist letters, buyouts, manipulation of laws to shut down smaller competitors, etc.

I'm looking at you Surly.

Must be vigilant I guess.
 
2012-11-15 02:28:04 PM
more like renaissance. I found this the other day:

nancyfriedman.typepad.com
 
2012-11-15 02:29:31 PM

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: tricycleracer: naturalbornworldshaker: Will be cracking open my first bottle of home brew later this evening. I'm thinking this will be a hobby I won't ever get bored with.

My first batch sucked, gave up. I found no joy in any of the sanitation rituals either. I'll leave it to the professionals.

Did you sanitize with bleach? Because that'll f*ck up your universe.


Why would bleach fark up everything, aside from getting spots on your clothes if you're not careful?

Soak it, rinse it and be done.
 
2012-11-15 02:30:34 PM
I would like to see the craft beer bubble burst. We have way too many breweries making over hopped high gravity beers. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a well balanced hoppy high octane brew, there just are not that many of them.

I haven't brewed since I moved into my new house. I've been putting it off because I want to run a natural gas line to my backyard so I can quit screwing around with propane tanks (yeah screw you Hank Hill). It's been 5 months, I need to quit putting it off and get the keggerator stocked up again.
 
2012-11-15 02:31:56 PM

meat0918: I'm happy there are so many little craft brewers, but the market is brutal. You find one you really like and 6 months later they're out of business.


I like finding regional breweries -- they're big enough that they've survived the tiny craft phase and have a little lasting power, but not so large and mega-corporate to have lost all semblance of experimentation.

Minnesota has Summit and Schells which are pretty much staples in every bar and beer store in the Twin Cities. Unfortunately, they don't distribute to North Carolina -- and I haven't yet found a good one here partially because I live in bumfark nowhere.

Granted, I currently have a case of Mother Earth Endless River with special DNC Obama labels (and thus, on sale for ridiculous cheap) -- and that's damn tasty, but I had to drive a 45 minutes from where I live to get it.
 
2012-11-15 02:33:22 PM

dumbobruni: the domestic beer market has been shrinking for years, despite the surge in popularity of craft brews.

usually shrinking markets are not good places to invest in, and a whole bunch of entrepreneurs are about to find out why.


The one caveat is that the large selection of craft brews does influence the overall marketplace demand. For example, craft brewers get creative and start making beers like oyster stouts. Now maybe Person A wouldn't normally drink beer, but then Person A tries an oyster stout and loves it. Suddenly, the large selection and variety of brews generates its own demand.

Or maybe something like a bourbon barrel ale siphons some drinkers off liquor and on to beer?
 
2012-11-15 02:33:39 PM

meat0918: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: tricycleracer: naturalbornworldshaker: Will be cracking open my first bottle of home brew later this evening. I'm thinking this will be a hobby I won't ever get bored with.

My first batch sucked, gave up. I found no joy in any of the sanitation rituals either. I'll leave it to the professionals.

Did you sanitize with bleach? Because that'll f*ck up your universe.

Why would bleach fark up everything, aside from getting spots on your clothes if you're not careful?

Soak it, rinse it and be done.


Chlorine is the devil. Hey, if you rinse the holy fark out of it, great. But you have to be careful.
 
2012-11-15 02:35:03 PM

meat0918: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: tricycleracer: naturalbornworldshaker: Will be cracking open my first bottle of home brew later this evening. I'm thinking this will be a hobby I won't ever get bored with.

My first batch sucked, gave up. I found no joy in any of the sanitation rituals either. I'll leave it to the professionals.

Did you sanitize with bleach? Because that'll f*ck up your universe.

Why would bleach fark up everything, aside from getting spots on your clothes if you're not careful?

Soak it, rinse it and be done.


If you use an oxygen cleaner, you don't have to rinse.
My sanitation procedures take only a few minutes.
Why do something twice when you only have to do it once?

"Bleach should be used with cold water as hot water neutralises it. For the same reason, rinsing should be done with hot water.Bleach is unforgiving however, and some people have a very low threshold for detection of chlorine. If used at excessive concentrations (as is common), or not allowed to drain and fully dry it can easily be detected in the final beer. Couple this with the high level of chlorine already present in some water supplies, and its highly recognizable (and unpleasant) taste and smell, and it isn't surprising that many brewers are wary of using it around the brewery. "
 
2012-11-15 02:38:07 PM
I think it is a cautionary tale:

-There are those getting into it thinking it will be a quick buck
-Those that may have a "Passion" but don't know how to brew Good* beer. (When I say Good, not what I like, but true to whatever style they are making, with sound technique, sanitation, patience, etc.)
-Those that will look to invest in their buddy that brews at home and thinks he can go pro
-Bad beer clogging up shelves, possibly turning new drinkers off of what craft beer can be

But, it wont be the first time (it happened about a 15 years ago), nor will it be the last.
 
2012-11-15 02:38:20 PM

meat0918: Why would bleach fark up everything, aside from getting spots on your clothes if you're not careful?

Soak it, rinse it and be done.


Unless you're rinsing with sterilized water, you'll just recontaminate your equipment. And even with sterile water, the stench of bleach is tough to get rid of.
 
2012-11-15 02:40:06 PM

Nezorf: meat0918: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: tricycleracer: naturalbornworldshaker: Will be cracking open my first bottle of home brew later this evening. I'm thinking this will be a hobby I won't ever get bored with.

My first batch sucked, gave up. I found no joy in any of the sanitation rituals either. I'll leave it to the professionals.

Did you sanitize with bleach? Because that'll f*ck up your universe.

Why would bleach fark up everything, aside from getting spots on your clothes if you're not careful?

Soak it, rinse it and be done.

If you use an oxygen cleaner, you don't have to rinse.
My sanitation procedures take only a few minutes.
Why do something twice when you only have to do it once?

"Bleach should be used with cold water as hot water neutralises it. For the same reason, rinsing should be done with hot water.Bleach is unforgiving however, and some people have a very low threshold for detection of chlorine. If used at excessive concentrations (as is common), or not allowed to drain and fully dry it can easily be detected in the final beer. Couple this with the high level of chlorine already present in some water supplies, and its highly recognizable (and unpleasant) taste and smell, and it isn't surprising that many brewers are wary of using it around the brewery. "


In short, it makes your beer taste like Band-Aids.

One Step FTW.
 
2012-11-15 02:42:27 PM
Nezorf: The only thing I worry about is the creation of local breweries getting too big and becoming bullies within the market. Cease and Desist letters, buyouts, manipulation of laws to shut down smaller competitors, etc.

I'm looking at you Surly.

Must be vigilant I guess.
 

Reminds me of those people who say "if businesses are people, they're sociopaths." The fact of the matter is, when you run a company, you have to do what's best for it. That means when you're small, you have to give anyone bullying you a PR nightmare and play yourself as a David to their Goliath, so you can establish a foothold.

On the other hand, when you're big, you have to crush your opponents using any and all means at your disposal, lest they drink your milkshake.

Tony Magee from Lagunitas is a perfect example. One day he complains that BMC guys are manipulating distributors against craft brewers, calling them "corporate whores". Another day he rages at one of his distributors for carrying new brands, telling them "I made you grown and now you betrayed me".

Don't get me wrong, he knows more about brewing in his pinky finger than I'll ever know, and his beer is some of the best around. He's a sharp businessman just like I mentioned earlier. But this sort of thing should make you pause before getting all touchy-feely about the "craft beer community".
 
2012-11-15 02:47:56 PM

UseUrHeadFred: Tony Magee from Lagunitas is a perfect example. One day he complains that BMC guys are manipulating distributors against craft brewers, calling them "corporate whores". Another day he rages at one of his distributors for carrying new brands, telling them "I made you grown and now you betrayed me" is a galactic-scale douchebag.


FTFY.
 
2012-11-15 02:50:57 PM

Aarontology: It might helped if they stopped over saturating the market with hop bombs.


Farking that. Every ale I drink these days tastes like a glass of soap.

I switched to lagers to cope.
 
2012-11-15 02:55:04 PM

meat0918: Donnchadha: Aarontology: It might helped if they stopped over saturating the market with hop bombs.

But how will people know you're into obscure micro brews if they can't smell them from across the bar? Then again, the Hipster Hops may become too mainstream soon...

Yeah.

I see more sour beers around town.

I'm happy there are so many little craft brewers, but the market is brutal. You find one you really like and 6 months later they're out of business.


I kind of like that, though. I can't even remember the name of the last beer I had (I've probably never heard of it?) and I won't remember the name of the next one I have, either.

I'm not looking for the one true beer. Beer monogamy is unrewarding. Beeing a beer slut means you never have to call back.
 
2012-11-15 03:08:26 PM

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Stone is overrated, and one of the main offenders in the ridiculous overabundance of IPAs.


First, you lost me.

The midwest has some awesome ones: Three Floyd's, Founders

Then you had me. FFF makes pretty much the best everything across the board with Founders a close second.

Great Lakes Brewing Company (best lager EVER).

Then you lost me again. There's no such thing as a good lager.

Stone is freaking awesome. If you want to talk overrated, then Bell's is where we'll start.
 
2012-11-15 03:08:35 PM

meat0918: Donnchadha: Aarontology: It might helped if they stopped over saturating the market with hop bombs.

But how will people know you're into obscure micro brews if they can't smell them from across the bar? Then again, the Hipster Hops may become too mainstream soon...

Yeah.

I see more sour beers around town.

I'm happy there are so many little craft brewers, but the market is brutal. You find one you really like and 6 months later they're out of business.


Brett everywhere. I had a Brett-shot IPA recently. It was...interesting. Kinda like a transitional species being found in the fossil record. You could tel where it had been, and what it was going to become, eventually, but it was godawful at trying to do both.
 
2012-11-15 03:14:05 PM
Has Bell's changed the recipe to Two-Hearted Ale recently?

I ordered it on tap and it was nothing like I remembered it. So different that I argued with the guy that the keg must have been mislabeled. Later I got a single bottle from the store and felt like an asshole for arguing with the guy.

I swear it got more bitter, less....good.
 
2012-11-15 03:26:26 PM
 
2012-11-15 03:27:26 PM
More strong Belgian styles,
please and thank you
 
2012-11-15 03:27:38 PM

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: tricycleracer: naturalbornworldshaker: Will be cracking open my first bottle of home brew later this evening. I'm thinking this will be a hobby I won't ever get bored with.

My first batch sucked, gave up. I found no joy in any of the sanitation rituals either. I'll leave it to the professionals.

Did you sanitize with bleach? Because that'll f*ck up your universe.


The one-step oxygen stuff. I think the main problem was my apartment wasn't warm enough during fermentation. Nevertheless, I've had no motivation to try again.
 
2012-11-15 03:36:05 PM
There's a billion more hoppy beers than there were 10 years ago, but there's a billion more stouts and porters and belgians too. Do you people biatching about too many IPAs live in caves? Even if I never wanted an IPA again I could find hundreds of different beers within a half hour drive. It's a wonderful thing.
 
2012-11-15 03:58:44 PM

Nezorf: whither_apophis: Nezorf: Voiceofreason01: "Irrational"? I don't see the problem.

Diversity and variety in the market = bad??????

competition = bad

I'm finding I drink beer more with dinner than as a stand alone "close the pub" activity. Might just be I'm old.

/still love a well done pale, and the barrel aged stuff rules across the board.

Why is competition bad?
Yeah, over saturation of the market is bad. But some regional brewers have been sitting on their laurels recently. The boom of brewing in MN has really upped the ante for Schels and Summit.


I was snarking on "damn, I'm not the only game in town." Basically your second point.
 
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