These days it’s a real chore keeping up with all the new craft brewers. There is such an abundance of choice in a good beer store these days. so I suspect our decision making is different than it was ten or even five years ago. Now we have to be pickier. Some of us may refuse to buy a beer if the brewery was purchased by a huge multinational corporation. Some of us limit our purchases to good brewers within a 100 mile radius of where we are at the time. Others may be prejudiced for one reason or another. One reason for prejudice may be avoiding brewers who sold out to a big corporation. Another reason may be that one brewer is getting great reviews and is charging way too much for its product. Many of us have tried a couple of disappointing beers from one brewer so we no longer give them the benefit of the doubt.
I personally enjoy buying beer from small humble breweries, and would not pay the price to go to New England to try trendy beers from Hill Farmstead or Trillium, as good as their beer may be. I figure that they have enough fans so that they don’t need my support. Perhaps I’m reminded of when I was a token midwestern scholarship student in a New England prep school, where many of my classmates thought that I didn’t belong in their exclusive social circle.
Sorry. This question doesn’t require such personal responses, but I’m sure there are those of you who refuse to buy product from a specific brewer or a certain class of brewers. Can you say which one(s) and why?
I play a game. Can I get in the top 5 of raters of a brewery? If there’s no hope I don’t try too hard for brews. If there’s hope, and the beers are nice, I do try. San Diego is an interesting area to play the game. I’m living about 250 miles from there.
Breweries tend to be in tiers for me, though not a conscious list or anything. Some I will buy anything new regardless of style (as evidenced by the ‘craft’ rice lager I am about to drink). Some I will only buy stuff in styles I like. Some I will maybe only try stuff that sounds really good, and often only on tap where my choice is more restricted. Very few (craft) breweries around that I avoid completely.
I generally try to avoid breweries from the United States. I still managed to rate around 30 over the past year, but it’s usually either because of a lack of new options at a bar/store or because sometimes it’s difficult to avoid them at a tasting.
I also sort of subscribe to what @bhensonb mentioned above: I don’t actively seek out beers from breweries with hundreds of things on offer (e.g., De Molen, Mikkeller). If your brewery page is too long to actually load on the standard brewery page, then I’m probably not drinking your beer. That said, I find it really difficult to get into the top five list of raters for most breweries that I like. I’ll stick to making my world map a bit darker step by step
I avoid all the Inbev owned craft breweries like Goose Island, Blue Point, 10 Barrel… it is not per se because I think they are sellouts, but they are selling beers at the same prices as true craft breweries are selling at, so I think they are getting unfair windfalls. In New York, I avoid Kelso and Greenpoint and Chelsea. Generally, I have kind of started avoided the breweries that have started churning out hazy IPAs, but are second rate in that regard. Looking at you LIC Beer Project… you used to do saisons and Belgians and just junped on the bandwagon.
I’m same but more because i don’t like inbev’s business practices but its not the strongest boycott as i break it on rare occasion. I also avoid Southern Tier as i find their beer to be big sugar bombs i no longer have tolerance for. Also in NYC Big Alice as i’ve just disliked everything i’ve had from them.
Coronado (though recently improving)
A couple more NC brewers. (Brueprint shit just sucks)
I avoid these because they all make at least 1 beer that I really love but they refuse to date their cans.
Since I’m a lover of light hoppy beers, I wont take the chance on old product.
As far as big beer/sellouts go:
Other than 15 packs Wolf Pups and the odd Lagunitas, I pass on basically all. (Founders’ though?)
They just don’t interest me, to be honest (that they are often overhyped certainly doesn’t help). Nor does travelling within the country or contributing to its’ economy, so visiting the United States is never a consideration for me when I’m making travel plans.
I’m far more curious about craft beers from countries that don’t come to the minds of most people (i.e., people that don’t use a beer-rating website/app): China, Hong Kong, Hungary, and Poland, for instance. But I’m always searching for beers that come from breweries in a country I don’t know a lot about.
De Noord-Hollandse Bierbrouwerij and therefore all their clients as well. They’re a contract brewer, but their quality control is seriously lacking. As is their lack of temperature control during fermentation. But apparently they’re cheap.
White Birch Brewing. The guy can brew some really good barleywine but that’s it. I really don’t know how that brewery is in business. Not worth trying to rate their beer
Ebenezer’s pub (not a brewery) but I’ve had one interaction with the owner and it was god-awful. Aside from charging an ultra-premium for beers in the middle of nowhere Maine, he’s just an unpleasant person.
the other places I used to avoid are all out of business now so that makes things a lot easier.