When did craft beer jump the shark?

Reads 20889 • Replies 151 • Started Tuesday, December 6, 2011 4:24:16 PM CT

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beers 611 º places 117 º 07:56 Thu 12/8/2011

Originally posted by TAR

Hennepin is not a saison, IMHO. But regardless of style, it is a banana bomb and very unclean with too much alcohol. Helios isnít really a saison, either.

Honestly though, how many American made "Saisons" really are?

IMHO, Americans have been great at embracing brewing traditions and styles from all over the world and nailing them. Saison is not one of those styles.

beers 1943 º places 20 º 08:34 Thu 12/8/2011

I can never decide whether I love these threads or hate these threads. Probably both.

For me, it jumped when I saw Averyís The Kaiser in a store; an imperial oktoberfest? The shark then jumped itself when Stone made an imperial mild. At that point, things just started seeming silly.

places 12 º 08:38 Thu 12/8/2011

Boulevards Saison Brett and Tank 7 are top notch. I put them up there with a few of my favorites from Belgium.

beers 3822 º places 253 º 08:44 Thu 12/8/2011

I never see Dupont for less than $15 a 4 pack.

beers 2271 º places 279 º 08:52 Thu 12/8/2011

Not trying to be argumentative. But what defines a Saison? How is Helios NOT a Saison?

I read so many commments on how some beers are not "real" Saisons. From my understanding, a Saison is a pretty broad category. Are people just making those comments on their personal preference for the style characteritics?

beers 3822 º places 253 º 09:05 Thu 12/8/2011
beers 2271 º places 279 º 09:19 Thu 12/8/2011

Originally posted by beastiefan2k

Itís a great article and I know you are the Saison guru. In fact, I always refer to your ratings when looking for Saisons. My question really pertains to accepted industry standards.

When someone says X beer saison is not a real Saison. Thatís based on what? Personal preference? Wouldnít dismissing Helios a Saison be the equivilent to a west coast IPA fan saying that East Coast IPAs are not real IPAs?

Like IPAs, Saisons have a pretty broad spectrum do they not? Again, not trying to be argumentative- just trying to learn more and understand everyoneís take. Belgian beer styles and history are not my forte.

beers 3822 º places 253 º 10:48 Thu 12/8/2011

just a quick note, that is Ernest not me who wrote the article. I know shit about beer but I am really good at pretending.

beers 1570 º places 62 º 11:56 Thu 12/8/2011

Does anybody find it a striking coincidence that 90% of breweries weíre patting on the back for reasonable prices are all on the larger side of the spectrum? And also probably not the breweries with the highest hopping rates?

And who are we to say that brewers may only get a few cents off the top for beer? It just doesnít make sense. How much markup is there on clothing, not even as much a luxury item as craft beer, that isnít even going to the people who make the stuff? How about vehicles? Címon folks, the rest of the world isnít like this, and I never understand the sentiment that brewers who we theoretically want to support shouldnít make a good living.

I understand SOME prices are outrageous, e.g. the Odell examples 3fourths often brings up. And I understand most of us here have little or waning interest in the "super premium" category (or are just still pissed off about not getting them all, but thatís for another day). But it cannot be stressed enough that is such a minor portion of craft beer. Itís NOT like comic books where it seems 90% of the bubble was speculation. 90% of craft beer investment and sales is NOT taking place at Captain Lawrence a few Saturdays a year.

beers 1570 º places 62 º 12:09 Thu 12/8/2011

Originally posted by robrules
The real question for me is what happens when demand starts to wane - and it will eventually. All signs are pointing going through the same cycle we saw in the 90ís where investors are jumping on the bandwagon a little too late and getting into craft beer merely for the profit and not for the love of beer. The plethora of brands available are creating quality issues (freshness). And the sheer number of planned breweries - most of which are severely under capitalized. High priced beers are already seeing a pushback by long time craft beer lovers who will be there when the new entrants jump to another trend of the day - all its going to take is a few articles saying that craft is dead for the domino effect to take place.

Then you have to consider the future wave of consolidation when original craft beer owners sell out or pass their business down and the impact that results from losing the vision of the original owners. And mega brewer corporations inching their way into the market will have a huge impact on the craft market. IMO those that have built their companies on repeat purchases (consistent quality, affordable flagship brands) will be standing tall in 10 years, and most of those that based their business model on the current fad of the premium craft beer market and trendsetters who value things other than the beer drinking experience will have a tough time.

Iím not sure I entirely agree with the first quoted paragraph. There are tons of new breweries with passionate brewers brewing great beer. Sure some of them may suck and not be in it for the right reasons, but there will always be a percentage of those businesses regardless, and from what Iíve seen, the percentage isnít any higher now, even if (obviously) the net number may be. The rest of it about waning demand...probably bound to happen, but the thing about craft beer now is so many people beyond beer geeks still just look at it as beer, regular old beer. So I donít think it will be a boom to bust sort of phenomenon, just a slowing of growth and of course a slowing of the "super premium" stuff.

The second quoted paragraph on the other hand is something I have pondered about, regarding the future of the businesses currently owned or run by the brewers themselves. Obviously small, "nano"-type breweries are nearly always passion-driven, and they may take a hit. But there are already sound examples of large corporations as well as private but still non-beery groups owning previously independent breweries where quality remains. Iím no business guru, so I donít know things about the degree to which consolidation may take place, but thereís still tons of vineyards and wineries, small, large, and gargantuan.