Uinta Brewing has cometh!

So for anyone that’s in Michigan, you’ll start seeing this brand pop up around the state. Uinta Brewing has just launched in Michigan, and honestly, they has some phenomenal beers to choose from.  I’ve sampled 4 of them so far and I think this brewery is going to be here to stay.  The brewery is located in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This is the first I’ve had of anything from Utah, and I’m impressed.

One of my new summer beers is Lime Pils.  Sounds boring enough, right?  I’m sure most people have had Bud Light Lime, Labatt Lime, or something along those lines.  This is so much better than that.  It’s easily crushable at 5.3% and I killed my beer before I realized it.

Some other offerings to look for is their Hop Nosh IPA, Tangerine Hop Nosh IPA, and Baa Baa Black Lager.  I personally am a huge fan of the Tangerine Hop Nosh, and the Black Lager.

Has anyone else tried Uinta beers yet?

Yuengling is the US top craft brewer???

So according to the Brewer’s Association, Yuengling is the #1 craft beer (by volume) in the United States.  I was honestly surprised to read this.  A few others made more sense (Sam Adams at #2, Sierra Nevada at #3 for example) Here in Michigan, where Yuengling isn’t sold, people are always asking people to bring back a case when they travel East.  I’ve personally never understood the fascination with the beer.  I’ve tried it a few times. It just doesn’t live up to the hype people place on it.  I haven’t had all their brews available, so maybe there’s a gem in there with some of the others.

However, I suppose my opinion is just one in contrast to the sea of people that drink Yuengling.  Oh well.

Who needs Growlers?

home-left-right-image-3So I found a link to this from a friend on Facebook.  It’s called The Man Can.  What is it?  A personal keg you can fill at a brewery (or anywhere that does growlers, I suppose).  It apparently takes little CO2 cartridges to pressurize and pour, so there’s none of that hand pump nonsense.

I personally think this would be great for kayaking, hiking (if you attach a backpack or hiking pack to it), or just to hang out.  I personally love this idea, and am thinking of getting one soon.

Anyone try this before??

Image from ManCan

Big Brewers in the Craft Scene

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How many of you knew that Blue Moon is owned by MillerCoors? I assume not too many.  Which leads me to the point of this post. How do people feel about the buying of Craft Breweries by the big corporations make you feel?  There’s a great list of what breweries are owned by the larger ones from Men’s Journal, which I’ll link to below.

I personally have mixed feelings on the subject.  On one hand, having an influx of capital in order to expand, and potentially bring their products to new markets using existing infrastructure.  Also, alike with chain restaurants, the quality control is usually better, making a more consistent product.  That’s where my short thought into the positives end.

I can find many more negatives about why this isn’t necessarily a good thing.  They can manipulate markets making actual craft too costly.  A prime example I can think of is Shocktop (owned by ABI).  The cost of Shocktop compared to Blue Moon alone is asinine here in Michigan.  The same volume is something like 60% of what a Blue Moon keg wholesales for.  Unfortunately, I can’t recall the exact pricing on the barrels at this moment.  Yes, I realize that Blue Moon is also owned by a larger company. It’s just an easy example I could think of. While the quality and recognition gives beer a huge boost, many people choose the cheaper option if perceived to be the same style/quality.  A quote from the article I’m referencing “The passion is lost when the people running a brewery don’t have ownership, and then quality suffers.”

That’s all I’ll write on the subject for now.  Let me know what your opinions are!

Men’s Journal – 32 Surprising Corporate Brewers

Walmart’s Craft Beer Apparently Isn’t..

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So I just read an article posted to esquire.com, and apparently the Walmart exclusive craft brand isn’t what it says it is…

Now, I’ve seen these brews sitting in the cooler and wondered why I’ve never even heard of Trouble Brewing.  Well, apparently it’s just a name that the beer is contract brewed under, and it’s actually brewed by Genesee.  You know, the one that pumps Genesee Cream Ale.  Which I suppose isn’t a bad choice when you’ve only got $1 to spend on beer. A place I hope I never find myself.   I’m personally glad I never tried any of these.   I hate to be snobbish about beer, but don’t pretend you’re something you’re not.

Does anyone remember Genesee Salted Caramel Porter? Maybe it was a stout?  I don’t remember and I’ve drank it.  They also had two others I’ve never bothered trying.  By the way, the Salted Caramel Whatever wasn’t good, which is probably why they stopped trying to sell it here in MI.

In case anyone didn’t know, Genesee is also owned by North American Breweries, which includes Labatt, Magic Hat, and Seagram’s FMB’s.

So, apparently there’s a man in Ohio who’s suing Walmart for marketing this beer as craft in a Class Action Lawsuit.  I wonder if he’ll get anything… If you’re going to buy this, know what you’re buying. Genesee doesn’t make good craft beer.

End. Of. Story.

Esquire.com – Trouble Brewing

Are Microbreweries Going to Slowly Fade?

tapI live in Michigan.  It’s one of the best states in the country for craft beer.  It ranks #6 in the country for the amount of breweries, and has some phenomenal examples of great brews.   Bell’s Two Hearted IPA is one of the best IPAs available in the state.  Founders KBS is a highly sought after BBA Stout.   While there’s many more examples I could give, there’s about a hundred mediocre beers for each great beer that are brewed around the state.

So, that leads me to the title of my post: Have we reached a point where all the smaller breweries are going to stop popping up or fall to the wayside?

We have approximately 225 breweries here in Michigan.  Double of the amount we had just five years ago.  Every small town has a microbrewery these days.  Trust me, they’re not all that good for  “Craft” beer.  The super-micro trend that I’ve seen around the state, in my opinion, isn’t sustainable.  Many of these breweries are the new shiny thing in their respective towns/cities, and I believe that is what keeps them going… not the product they put out.

If you look at the total number of breweries nationwide, there’s been an exponential increase in the number of breweries available in a similar time frame.  Craft beer drinkers tend to go for the new and interesting beer on the block, including myself.  This does promote innovation, and the more interesting styles that come with that. So, while I try to find new breweries to explore, I find myself often disappointed in the smaller start ups.  Yes, up-and-coming breweries may have a rough start while they figure out their line up, but they end up pushing a mediocre beer.  I’m not saying that all microbreweries will fail, and I love trying new beer, but I do think that the amount of breweries is outgrowing the growth of the craft segment.  If what’s happening in Michigan is a nationwide trend, I think we’ll see people abandoning some of these newer breweries and returning to some of the tried-and-true craft breweries that are much more established.

This is just an opinion based on what I’ve seen, but let me know what your opinion is have a discussion!

List of Breweries in Michigan – mibeer.com

Brewery Stats – Brewersassociation.org