2016 in review

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sprague11
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2016 in review

Postby sprague11 » Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:15 am

Ok, 2016 was a bit of a puzzling year at best all around. I'll post best whatevers, worst etc. Later, but this link came my way. http://www.momandhops.ca/poll-whats-fav ... pany-2016/

Did this many brewers really come onboard in 2016? Is the ratio of good or potentially good brewers to mediocre really as bad as I think it is?
"A good light beer is one that doesn't taste like piss!" - Frank d'Angelo
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Re: 2016 in review

Postby Masterplan » Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:52 pm

Yes, the market is becoming very saturated. Every little town now has a brewery which isn't sustainable IMO. I willing to try all these guys once or twice, but after that? Unless the Macros drop even more of their market share, I'd say we are at or near 'peak beer', and we'll start to see some go under.
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Re: 2016 in review

Postby momnhops » Sun Jan 01, 2017 1:56 pm

sprague11 wrote:Did this many brewers really come onboard in 2016? Is the ratio of good or potentially good brewers to mediocre really as bad as I think it is?


No, I pulled that number out of my ass.

:roll:
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Re: 2016 in review

Postby Tapsucker » Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:42 pm

While I do agree we are heavily tilted toward quantity over quality, even within each individual brewery (notice how many of these smaller breweries are trying to put out multiple styles at launch, as if they could nail them all), there is something to be said for many of the small community players. If I lived in a beer desert (mmm...beer dessert) small community, I'd be likely to vote for my local upstart as a favourite, just because, you know, better beer nearby. I'd even double down on my vote if the brewery was putting out a couple solid drinkable beers rather than chasing the latest spoiled and barrel aged trendy messes.

Remember when people here used to (and some still do) mock Trafalger? Now this infected stuff seams to be all the rage. :roll: I wonder how many friends and family investors are being taken down this rabbit hole.
Last edited by Tapsucker on Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2016 in review

Postby Tapsucker » Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:42 pm

momnhops wrote:
sprague11 wrote:Did this many brewers really come onboard in 2016? Is the ratio of good or potentially good brewers to mediocre really as bad as I think it is?


No, I pulled that number out of my ass.

:roll:


Big data! :D
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Re: 2016 in review

Postby sprague11 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:42 pm

momnhops wrote:
sprague11 wrote:Did this many brewers really come onboard in 2016? Is the ratio of good or potentially good brewers to mediocre really as bad as I think it is?


No, I pulled that number out of my ass.

:roll:


Easy there cowboy. I didn't post this to cast doubt upon your site or list. If it came off that way I apologize.

I was genuinely curious if that many brewers actually came on board in the past year, and if as many of them are as bland as I fear them to be (I count 4 or 5 breweries on here I'd give my money to).
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Re: 2016 in review

Postby boney » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:52 pm

Yeah, 2015 and 2016 were big years for new breweries in Ontario. Yep, most of them were mediocre. A couple of things about it interest me.

1. That every little town having a brewery is/isn't sustainable, with the (correct) implicit assumption that most are mediocre. I'm not sure that this isn't sustainable. That's probably how is was in the pre-consolidation years. Local businesses, serving locals, being content to make a living without necessaily aspiring for larger growth. If that's what new start ups want (debatable) that's totally sustainable, almost regardless of quality. Most people aren't beer geeks but still like beer and will feel good supporting a local, easily accessible brewery, even if it's ho hum. I'd argue that's what's happening now and will continue to happen as long as start ups don't become too ambitious and over leverage their finances. However, that also means that the days of mediocre beer producers successfully expanding into larger regional markets is largely gone (ie Beau's et al.) as why would any one preferably drink one mediocre non-local beer over a mediocer local beer given todays more community driven ethos. Quality is different. The best of the best will still thrive, flourish and expand (ie Bellwoods). Who know, maybe I'm wrong and a massive correction/contraction is indeed coming.

2. I'm mildly fascinated by the befuddlement that knowledgable beer consumers express regarding the sheer number of mediocer start ups/beers on the market. Not picking on any one, just noticing recurrent sentiments in the larger community. Propigation of mediocraty is kind of how it is in every buisiness field, ever. Mediocre restaurants, mediocre recording artists, mediocre real estate agents etc. Sure, the context, scale and other things differ, but unless everyone is 100% always completely invested in a certain realm, service or interest, mediocraty always flourishes. The cream rises to the top, but the waters are deep with "meh".

Just my two cents.
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Re: 2016 in review

Postby MatttthewGeorge » Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:23 pm

boney wrote:Yeah, 2015 and 2016 were big years for new breweries in Ontario. Yep, most of them were mediocre. A couple of things about it interest me.

1. That every little town having a brewery is/isn't sustainable, with the (correct) implicit assumption that most are mediocre. I'm not sure that this isn't sustainable. That's probably how is was in the pre-consolidation years. Local businesses, serving locals, being content to make a living without necessaily aspiring for larger growth. If that's what new start ups want (debatable) that's totally sustainable, almost regardless of quality. Most people aren't beer geeks but still like beer and will feel good supporting a local, easily accessible brewery, even if it's ho hum. I'd argue that's what's happening now and will continue to happen as long as start ups don't become too ambitious and over leverage their finances. However, that also means that the days of mediocre beer producers successfully expanding into larger regional markets is largely gone (ie Beau's et al.) as why would any one preferably drink one mediocre non-local beer over a mediocer local beer given todays more community driven ethos. Quality is different. The best of the best will still thrive, flourish and expand (ie Bellwoods). Who know, maybe I'm wrong and a massive correction/contraction is indeed coming.

2. I'm mildly fascinated by the befuddlement that knowledgable beer consumers express regarding the sheer number of mediocer start ups/beers on the market. Not picking on any one, just noticing recurrent sentiments in the larger community. Propigation of mediocraty is kind of how it is in every buisiness field, ever. Mediocre restaurants, mediocre recording artists, mediocre real estate agents etc. Sure, the context, scale and other things differ, but unless everyone is 100% always completely invested in a certain realm, service or interest, mediocraty always flourishes. The cream rises to the top, but the waters are deep with "meh".

Just my two cents.


Very well said. This reflects my views entirely.
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Re: 2016 in review

Postby Craig » Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:25 pm

I agree about the local breweries thing. Go to whichever small town in Ontario for lunch and the nice new brewpub on the main strip is probably the busiest restaurant in town. They'd fail if they were all trying for large brewhouses with provincial distribution, but most of the local places are only trying to sustain their own restaurant, takeout sales and a handful of taps in the region. I think that's sustainable.
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Re: 2016 in review

Postby Belgian » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:31 pm

MacKinnon Brothers opened in '14 or '15 near Kingston, but tried them last week and I definitely see a trend toward brewing mediocrity that depends on local sentiment to flourish. Not outright horrid the way Glenora or Trafalgar could be, but not interesting beyond trying one time.

I personally thought Upper Canada beers in the 1990's could be better, it seems retrogressive. My cousins buy MacKinnon because it's made locally so bully for them.
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Re: 2016 in review

Postby sprague11 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:08 pm

I'm posting this with the qualifier that I haven't tried something from every one of these new breweries: Of all the names listed there are only 2 I would full out vouch for (HHOE and Barncat), with 3 or 4 more falling under the "potential is there" category for me.

Out of the handful I haven't tried yet I don't have a ton of optimism or motivation to give them a try: Quite a few American Ambers (one brewer has 3 variants on an amber in their portfolio), several more of them are producing an organic pale lager as their one and done contribution.

Boney raised some excellent points. I'm genuinely curious as to how many of these operations will be sustainable 5 years down the line. I think we (not just Ontario) have been due for a market correction over the past couple years.
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Re: 2016 in review

Postby El Pinguino » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:46 am

So happy there are so many new breweries popping up.
The "local" small brewery concept can grow much more in this province if you ask me....we're nowhere near saturation point overall. Just certain markets may be overserved.

With that said, I think my palate, and expectations, have been greatly raised over the past two years.

Even some breweries like Barncat, Half Hours on Earth and Stone City Ales have put out their share of what I'd call average beers this past year. I do enjoy HHOE the most of new breweries I've tried...Barncat is a bit all over the place in terms of quality based on my 1 visit...so I'll have to re-visit.

I am excited about what 2017 brings.

My biggest hope is that the non-beer elements (atmosphere, patio, food, events) at many newer brewpubs become a bigger draw....so it becomes easier to take "non-beer" people to such places.
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Re: 2016 in review

Postby Craig » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:58 am

The one and done lagers tend to be a different beast. My impression most of those guys are contract breweries and I do think a lot of them aren't long for this world. Good riddance.

I think the quality problems are real, but somewhat overstated. For example, last weekend I was in Elora and had lunch at the Elora Brewing Company. Their beer wasn't anything that I would go out of my way to find, but there wasn't really anything wrong with it. They gave me a decent IPA and had maybe six offerings on tap. Places like that aren't going to take over the taps of Barhop or Volo anytime soon, but I think they can survive in their markets.
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Re: 2016 in review

Postby sprague11 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:21 pm

And since nobody asked, my best of 2016:

Favourite Ontario Brewer: Bellwoods
Favourite Ontario Beer: Jelly King (Also the beer I checked into the most over the past 12 months)
Favourite Canadian Brewer outside Ontario: Four Winds, though they had a couple duds in 2016
Favourite Canadian Beer not from Ontario: Bourbon Peche Mortel or Nectarous
Favourite Non-Hill US brewer: The Veil - everything I had from them was solid. They *just* edge out Trillium
Favourite New brewer: HHOE or Barncat in Ontario, Foam outside the country
Highest rated beer of 2016: Port Barrel Damon (First bottling)
Lowest rated beers: Molson 67 and Red Horse (My wife needs some new friends)

Crazy prediction for 2017: Two of the big ontario craft brewers sell out to the big guys.
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Re: 2016 in review

Postby El Pinguino » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:21 am

Craig wrote:I think the quality problems are real, but somewhat overstated. For example, last weekend I was in Elora and had lunch at the Elora Brewing Company. Their beer wasn't anything that I would go out of my way to find, but there wasn't really anything wrong with it. They gave me a decent IPA and had maybe six offerings on tap. Places like that aren't going to take over the taps of Barhop or Volo anytime soon, but I think they can survive in their markets.


I'd agree with this. Not every new brewery needs to be the "next best thing!". They just need to find a market that is underserved, whatever that market may be.

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