When you first got into craft beer.....what has changed?

As I was opening a canned IPA it reminded me that when I first started out on the site in 2002 a canned craft beer was rare or maybe non existent, now it’s very common. The first craft beer I recall in a can was Dale’s Pale Ale around 2004.

A few others I came up with…
-Berliner Weisse and Gose were hard to find - I remember Berliner Weisse being one of the last styles I rated. I finally found a German one at a beer bar in Atlanta in 2005.
-I live in Tennessee and in 2002 it was the only southern state I’m aware of that allowed stores to sell over 6% now I think all of them do.
-Site related I recall “Pale Lager” was called “American Standard” and “Imperial IPA” was not a style it was listed under “American Strong Ale”

So what has changed since you started?


When I started in 2010 the festivals were full of craft beer enthusiasts, people with a heart for the beer and knowledge. I learned a ton. Festivals weren’t overcrowded. Nowadays there’s large groups of students downing the highest ABV beer, other idiots who’ve tried 3 Belgian tripels and call themselves experts, overcrowded festivals with long queues.

There’s plenty of positive changes too but this one about the festivals really bugs me, so it was the firt that came to mind.


Nice to see another oldie…Whats changed? Availability, A-B/INbev /Heiniken takeovers…what was once and cry against “the man” is just another commodity.
Its great to have choice but it is no longer worthy of excitment


Explosion of the Beer world

I used to tour all of the Edinburgh Pubs once a week and if i was lucky get 10 new beers.

Now Im lucky if i dont find 10 new beers every night, and some nights me and @Stuu666 often find ourselves doing 25 in an evening


Selection! Good and bad.


Everything changed. When me and @Benzai started tasting together and he would show me this box of beers he bought online, containing 12 beers including 7 beers from Belgium, 3 from the Netherlands and 2 super exclusive ones from the UK.

Then the week after he showed me he bought another box and he had the stunning amount of 26 beers in his cellar, so things were clearly running out of hands. It would take us probably over a month to finish this set.

Because back then a tasting meant drinking 6 beers. Most of the time we had to fight through three Belgian ales, two abbey doubles and a tripel to finally taste that IPA we were saving to finish the evening with.

If a new Dutch beer came out we would taste it.

This all changed. The local super market has a wider selection than a reasonable liquor store had back then. Beers from all over Europe and America are readily available. NEIPA have started to bore me because I’ve had so many of them last year, most of them tasting shockingly alike.

At any point in time now me + benzai have at least 150 beers in our possession. I bet not even 10 of those beers are from Belgium. Most will be IPA or Stout.


As far as the site goes. Who Stole My Crown? How long ago was this?


My recollection is that oh so many years ago when the “Chinese” nearly destroyed access to RateBeer, something related to “crowns” was deemed a security issue. RateBeer recovered, but the crowns didn’t return.


When I started beer rating in 2006, I was still in college and did not have a lot of money. Then I went to grad school and still did not have much money, and then I worked in a low paying job and continued to not have much money. So, in a sense I have changed and am now able to purchase multiple bottles at breweries and not economize by getting larger pours in lieu of samples or smaller ones. As for the beer scene as a whole, the number of new breweries in Philadelphia and New York make finding new beer so much easier. Bars are also way more diverse. I remember going to Monk’s Cafe and it was hard to find something on the menu I have not had. Also craft beer has atarted appearing in all sorts of new places, like the food court in the Helmsley Building and NYC farmers markets. The biggest downsides of the revolution to me are the hegemony of IPA and the fact that brewers feel way more comfortable charging $18 for a 4 pack or $25 a bottle than they used to.


I started drinking unusual (for someone from the shires) Belgian, and small batch regional uk beers back in the early 90’s (i was only 17 or 18). Back then no internet, but still had a monthly mail order selection, had my first Orval, Thomas Hardy etc. My modern “craft” journey probably started in 2014 with a range of siren beers picked up in Reading.

The biggest change recently in the number of breweries producing really good beer and the ease of availability. The down side, in the shires it’s harder to get the really major UK brewers (Siren, Cloudwater, Buxton, The Kernel).


I’m in the UK and as mentioned it was possible to get good French\German beers and Trappist beers. Timmermans and Erdinger not being difficult to find, crap, but imported macro lager like Okacim becoming available around the mid-2000s.

The real game-changers were the likes of Brewdog and American breweries like Goose Island becoming easily available must be around 2010 time when I first noticed something was changing. Before that recall the like of Tim Taylor’s Landlord being sold in Wetherspoons and a few bars popping up that sold mainly Belgian imports. What’s really change is the sheer choice as well as limited editions becoming a thing. Also some of the bigger breweries are wise to it now: Hobgoblin IPA, Greene King limited editions, plus lots of buyouts.


II think it is the effects of craft beer hitting the mainstream. Clicks, likes, hype, image and jock-like ‘chug bros’ on youtube / instagram come to mind. And unfortunately it’s the ones that shout the loudest who start to define a movement in the eyes of the media.

It hit home a bit last night. I met a guy who recently started a crowd funding campaign to start a craft brewery & taproom in a nearby city. It’s actually come up in a sponsored post on my fb wall so I recognised the name. From our conversation it was clear he didnt know a great deal about beer, and had just started brewing. He bought a DIPA for example and was shocked beer could be so strong. But his crowdfunding was in place, he had ideas about what his taproom was going to look like, what music to play, the beer artwork, yet couldn’t say much about the beer itself.

Of course, his brewery could end up making excellent beer. But it seems the beer is starting to take a back-seat to what’s really important.


Beards !

Used to belong to sock+sandal wearing CAMRA members … now the domain of urban seafarers !



When I first got into craft, “add-junked” beers were the the exception rather than the rule, now it seems 3 of every 5 seem to feature some unnecessary bullshit.


Colin don’t you know you can’t get ticks at Walmart.


Is the woman at the desk wearing the wizards spare sock on her left arm ?


This. Triple session Transilvanian saison with sake yeast barrel aged (for 3 days) in Lemonade tuns and spiced with coriander and tobacco seems to be now the thing. And from that I can say that drinkability has gone down. And quality.

  • craft beer everywhere
  • craft beer in cans
  • (multiple) beer festivals every week, even in a small country like the Netherlands
  • beer flights in most bars and brewpubs
  • influx of beers from countries other than Belgium and Germany
  • prices are ridiculously high
  • Barrel ageing is not very special anymore, and often done wrong (green apples!)
  • quality of brewing hasn’t necessarily gone up. Lots of new breweries/client brewers with shitty beers for high prices.
  • impossible to keep up.
  • The hunt for new beer is not very exciting anymore, you know you’re going to get new ticks when going to a bar.
  • craze for styles I don’t care for (e.g. Lambic, Berliner Weisse, Gose, fruit laden beers)

EDIT: so everything from Influx and up is positive, everything below is a negative. This forum changes plusses and minuses into dots.


Surely thats a possitive thing

1 Like