Debate: is Ontario's beer scene really bland?

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Bytowner
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Postby Bytowner » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:39 am

I think Ontario is the undisputed global leader in beer scene navel gazing.
Craft beer hipster before it was cool
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Craig
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Postby Craig » Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:15 am

We're #1! We're #1!
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Postby midlife crisis » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:12 am

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Postby northyorksammy » Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:23 am

well written article though I do not agree with all of the opinions and its lightweight in analysis
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Postby midlife crisis » Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:51 am

Yes, agreed. I was intrigued to see Stephen Beaumont say that "Creemore's beer has become better" since being purchased by Molson. I wonder if he was accurately quoted. Personally, I think Creemore's product offerings (Keller, Alt) have become better but there has certainly been spirited debate on here about whether or not the core lager has diminished since the acquisition. I'm also always amused by business writers who seem to assume big beer and craft beer are more or less interchangeable, and that we drink craft out of some desire to embrace a hipster locovore mentality, to feel better about our consumer choices, etc. What a bunch of crap. Molson and Labatt crank out pale lager after pale lager and don't make any product that tastes anything at all like Karma Citra (or insert your favourite craft beer here). If they did, I might well buy it.
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Postby Kel Varnsen » Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:47 pm

midlife crisis wrote:I'm also always amused by business writers who seem to assume big beer and craft beer are more or less interchangeable, and that we drink craft out of some desire to embrace a hipster locovore mentality, to feel better about our consumer choices, etc. What a bunch of crap. Molson and Labatt crank out pale lager after pale lager and don't make any product that tastes anything at all like Karma Citra (or insert your favourite craft beer here). If they did, I might well buy it.


I would say that is true for a lot of people. I mean I have had discussions/debates with a number of people who have told me that they have a policy or at least do their best not to buy anything produced by Molson/Labatt or any of the big brewers. And it is purely a mentality thing based on how they feel about the company they would be supporting and has nothing to do with the quality of the product.
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Postby ercousin » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:13 pm

If you guys haven't already read through the AMA on reddit I suggest doing so. One of the questions he answers is why doesn't ABInBev make an IPA.

http://www.reddit.com/r/beer/comments/2 ... ng/ckt3vkm

I have linked to that exact question but I suggest you read the whole thing, it is very interesting.
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Postby toweringpine » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:39 pm

matt7215 wrote:
midlife crisis wrote: what styles are we supposedly lacking from our local brewers in Ontario?


Porter
Belgian Strong Dark
Belgian Strong Golden
Belgian Dubbel, Triple, Quad
Barley Wine
American Strong Ales (Imperial Browns, Imperial Porter, Imperial Reds)
Biere De Garde
Doppelbock
Old Ale
Scotch Ale


This is fine list of styles we may be lacking on but I don't think there is a market for most of them. Porter, Dopplebock and Scotch Ales may be viable but realistically 95% of Ontarians wouldn't try the rest of these styles if you poured a glass and handed it to them. A couple of craft breweries in Toronto and area have done alright with some outside the norm styles and they look good on paper because they are small production runs and sold exclusively in the city of greatest population so they often sell out quickly. Selling a beer that excites a community of a couple hundred beer geeks does not make good business sense for most breweries. If more breweries started turning out the same sort of things as Bellwoods the market would be over saturated. Craft beer is growing and more people are open to trying new styles but there is a long ways to go before a serious market is formed. A few specialty stores would do alright but the LCBO is going to reject many offerings on that list because most of their shoppers wouldn't buy them so why go through the process of trying to get them listed? If brewers were allowed something like VQA stores and a few stores could sell specialty brews from multiple breweries I think they'd do alright at least in the larger centers but producing enough of something to satisfy the huge LCBO machine is too risky if it is a flop. Too often a brewery will try something and many here will try it once but find it does not stand up to the other examples of the style and wouldn't buy it again. Look a Beaus. They have tried many styles and mostly get shot down by the community here. Their flagship style sells alright because it appeals to the masses who want to be part of the craft revolution but don't really want anything that tastes funky. We all get excited about funk night but most people would send it back at a non beer geek bar thinking it had gone off. When these special brews cost more to make and come in a large bottle with a hefty price tag it is hard to get new buyers. Although that is just my $0.02 I think the length of my post makes it worth a nickel at least.
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Postby midlife crisis » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:50 pm

Kel Varnsen wrote:
midlife crisis wrote:I'm also always amused by business writers who seem to assume big beer and craft beer are more or less interchangeable, and that we drink craft out of some desire to embrace a hipster locovore mentality, to feel better about our consumer choices, etc. What a bunch of crap. Molson and Labatt crank out pale lager after pale lager and don't make any product that tastes anything at all like Karma Citra (or insert your favourite craft beer here). If they did, I might well buy it.


I would say that is true for a lot of people. I mean I have had discussions/debates with a number of people who have told me that they have a policy or at least do their best not to buy anything produced by Molson/Labatt or any of the big brewers. And it is purely a mentality thing based on how they feel about the company they would be supporting and has nothing to do with the quality of the product.


Yeah, I get that. Perhaps I should have said I was speaking mostly for myself personally (though I do think there would be less anti-Molbatt bias if they brewed a few decent beers). As for me, I'm going out to try to find more Rickards Lederhosen. It is good. Might be my first (non-Creemore) Molson purchase in 20 years!
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Postby lister » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:57 pm

ercousin wrote:If you guys haven't already read through the AMA on reddit I suggest doing so. One of the questions he answers is why doesn't ABInBev make an IPA.

http://www.reddit.com/r/beer/comments/2 ... ng/ckt3vkm

I have linked to that exact question but I suggest you read the whole thing, it is very interesting.


Actually the whole AMA thread is pretty interesting to read.

Thanks for posting that!
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Postby ercousin » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:59 pm

lister wrote:
ercousin wrote:If you guys haven't already read through the AMA on reddit I suggest doing so. One of the questions he answers is why doesn't ABInBev make an IPA.

http://www.reddit.com/r/beer/comments/2 ... ng/ckt3vkm

I have linked to that exact question but I suggest you read the whole thing, it is very interesting.


Actually the whole AMA thread is pretty interesting to read.

Thanks for posting that!


He did another one about a year ago that was also very interesting. It is what pointed me onto brewing lagers at home. My helles recipe is coming along nicely since then.
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Postby Craig » Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:00 pm

midlife crisis wrote:
Kel Varnsen wrote:
midlife crisis wrote:I'm also always amused by business writers who seem to assume big beer and craft beer are more or less interchangeable, and that we drink craft out of some desire to embrace a hipster locovore mentality, to feel better about our consumer choices, etc. What a bunch of crap. Molson and Labatt crank out pale lager after pale lager and don't make any product that tastes anything at all like Karma Citra (or insert your favourite craft beer here). If they did, I might well buy it.


I would say that is true for a lot of people. I mean I have had discussions/debates with a number of people who have told me that they have a policy or at least do their best not to buy anything produced by Molson/Labatt or any of the big brewers. And it is purely a mentality thing based on how they feel about the company they would be supporting and has nothing to do with the quality of the product.


Yeah, I get that. Perhaps I should have said I was speaking mostly for myself personally (though I do think there would be less anti-Molbatt bias if they brewed a few decent beers). As for me, I'm going out to try to find more Rickards Lederhosen. It is good. Might be my first (non-Creemore) Molson purchase in 20 years!


One of the things the ABI guy talked about was why they never bothered to make an ABI IPA. Their reasoning appears to be that their market research indicates that the craft beer crowd aren't going to drink an ABI craft beer regardless of how it tastes, so the upside growth there isn't as big for them as it is in making gross beer cooler trash. That's also why they do things like buy Goose Island, it gets them in that market without sullying it with their name.

I personally wouldn't have any issue with drinking good beers made by big brewers, but I trust them to do their market research. It's kinda a shame, sometimes I end up stuck in Molson bars and if they had a decent IPA I would have something decent to drink there.
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Postby ercousin » Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:02 pm

Craig wrote:
midlife crisis wrote:
Kel Varnsen wrote:
midlife crisis wrote:I'm also always amused by business writers who seem to assume big beer and craft beer are more or less interchangeable, and that we drink craft out of some desire to embrace a hipster locovore mentality, to feel better about our consumer choices, etc. What a bunch of crap. Molson and Labatt crank out pale lager after pale lager and don't make any product that tastes anything at all like Karma Citra (or insert your favourite craft beer here). If they did, I might well buy it.


I would say that is true for a lot of people. I mean I have had discussions/debates with a number of people who have told me that they have a policy or at least do their best not to buy anything produced by Molson/Labatt or any of the big brewers. And it is purely a mentality thing based on how they feel about the company they would be supporting and has nothing to do with the quality of the product.


Yeah, I get that. Perhaps I should have said I was speaking mostly for myself personally (though I do think there would be less anti-Molbatt bias if they brewed a few decent beers). As for me, I'm going out to try to find more Rickards Lederhosen. It is good. Might be my first (non-Creemore) Molson purchase in 20 years!


One of the things the ABI guy talked about was why they never bothered to make an ABI IPA. Their reasoning appears to be that their market research indicates that the craft beer crowd aren't going to drink an ABI craft beer regardless of how it tastes, so the upside growth there isn't as big for them as it is in making gross beer cooler trash. That's also why they do things like buy Goose Island, it gets them in that market without sullying it with their name.

I personally wouldn't have any issue with drinking good beers made by big brewers, but I trust them to do their market research. It's kinda a shame, sometimes I end up stuck in Molson bars and if they had a decent IPA I would have something decent to drink there.


Their solution still holds true though. Except that Molson doesn't own any good IPA makers. Instead you find Creemore and Granville Island.

I bet there are a few AB bars in the US that have only Bud, Bud Lite, and Goose.
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Postby Craig » Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:13 pm

Yeah, I usually settle for a Creemore. Sometimes you see that Hops N Bolts IPL thing.
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Postby midlife crisis » Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:27 pm

Craig wrote:Yeah, I usually settle for a Creemore. Sometimes you see that Hops N Bolts IPL thing.


Yes, exactly. This is the main reason I wish they would each have at least one good beer. Labatt is even worse. How many times have you been confronted with the Stella-Keith's-Bud dilemma? Happens a lot at golf courses.

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