Posted in Beer News, Dogfish Head

Sam Calagione Gives Beer Geeks An Earful. And It’s Awesome.

I have a small Op-Ed coming this week.  I don’t do Op-Eds often, but sometimes there are  just a couple of thoughts I want to put out there.  The Op-Ed is on beer geeks, beer drinking, & a few personal resolutions.  Sam Calagione just spelled out part of my Op-Ed.  Insufferable beer geeks need to read this.  It’s brilliant.  He posted it to a BeerAdvocate.com thread, where a reader spoke about over-rated breweries.  It struck a nerve with Sam.  Props, Sam.

It’s pretty depressing to frequently visit this site and see the most negative threads among the most popular. This didn’t happen much ten years ago when craft beer had something like a 3 percent market share. Flash forward to today, and true indie craft beer now has a still-tiny but growing marketshare of just over 5 percent. Yet so many folks that post here still spend their time knocking down breweries that dare to grow. It’s like that old joke: “Nobody eats at that restaurant anymore, it’s too crowded.” Except the “restaurants” that people shit on here aren’t exactly juggernauts. In fact, aside from Boston Beer, none of them have anything even close to half of one percent marketshare. The more that retailers, distributors, and large industrial brewers consolidate the more fragile the current growth momentum of the craft segment becomes. The more often the Beer Advocate community becomes a soap box for outing breweries for daring to grow beyond its insider ranks the more it will be marginalized in the movement to support, promote, and protect independent ,American craft breweries. 

It’s interesting how many posts that refer to Dogfish being over-rated include a caveat like “except for Palo…except for Immort…etc.” We all have different palettes which is why it’s a great thing that there are so many different beers. At Dogfish we’ve been focused on making “weird” beers since we opened and have taken our lumps for being stylistically indifferent since day one. I bet a lot of folks agree that beers like Punkin Ale (since 1995) , Immort Ale (wood aged smoked beer) since 1995, Chicory Stout (coffee stout) since 1995 , Raison D’être (Belgian brown) since 1996, , Indian Brown Ale (dark IPA) since 1997, and 90 Minute (DIPA) since 2000 don’t seem very weird anymore. That’s in large part because so many people who have been part of this community over the years championed them and helped us put them on the map.These beers, and all of our more recent releases like Palo Santo, Burton Baton, Bitches Brew continue to grow every year. We could have taken the easy way out and just sold the bejeezus out of 60 Minute to grow but we like to experiment and create and follow our own muse. Obviously there is an audience that appreciates this as we continue to grow. We put no more “hype” or “expert marketing” behind our best selling beers than we do our occasionals. We only advertise in a few beer magazines and my wife Mariah oversees all of our twitter/Facebook/dogfish.com stuff. We have mostly grown by just sharing our beer with people who are into it (at our pub, great beer bars, beer dinners, and fests) and let them decide for themselves if they like it. If they do we hope they tell their friends about. We hope a bunch of you that are going to EBF will stop by our booth and try some of the very unique new beers we are proudly bringing to market like Tweason’ale (a champagne-esque, gluten-free beer fermented with buckwheat honey and strawberries) and Noble Rot (a sort of saison brewed with Botrytis-infected Viognier Grape must). One of these beers is on the sweeter side and one is more sour. Knowing each of your palettes is unique you will probably prefer one over the other. That doesn’t mean the one you didn’t prefer sucked. And the breweries you don’t prefer but are growing don’t suck either. Respect Beer. The below was my favorite post thus far. 

This thread is hilarious. Seriously, Bells, Founders, FFF, Surly, RR, DFH, Bruery, Avery, Cigar City, Mikkeller are all overrated?  Since I’m from Ohio, I’ll pile on and add Great Lakes, Hoppin Frog, and Brew Kettle to the list. Your welcome. 

Hopefully soon we will have every craft brewery in the US on the list.

Editors Note: I love being from Delaware.  That’s how we roll.

  • Reid Davis

    I agree with Sam’s exasperation. At the same time I’m tickled to realize that the old indie-music trope of attacking “sellouts” and turning up one’s nose to say “Hmph, I liked their early stuff” is alive and well in the beer geek world.

    • Reid Ramsay

      Cheers Reid!

    • Tomasfmunoz

      Sam, there are times I disagree with Dogfish, but not this time. The points are Validation for what I been saying for years. I so sick of beer geeks trying to dictate what mkt can bear in term what style is even tho as professional brewer, I like brewing to style . But are times I do not.also think they know everything about craft Beer because they purchase it. Its awesome you love Craft Beer. Buti f you doon’t like it? Don’t drink it. The rest of will buy great beer that aged well. All so called experts win medal and know what it takes at GABF. Then lets chat. Cheers TomasFMunoz Brewer at large.

  • D-Nice

    Haha this is SOOOOOO awesome.  Been waiting to see those dorks on B.A. who do nothing but bitch get clowned.  Sad it had to happen at all but amazing that it was at the hand someone who’s actually done something amazingly positive and creative w/his life. 

  • scott lathrop

    I think ranting that some beers are over rated is in itself, over rated. We drink craft beer because we like craft beer. Not because we love to trash those we don’t like. 

    • Ed G

      I like drinking as a fun social activity. When you can get some cool new stuff, that makes it all the better. Beer is supposed to be FUN. It’s drinking…people need to stop acting like a beer they had was such a burden.

    • Nora Deirdre

      “I think ranting that some beers are over rated is in itself, over rated.”

      You, sir, win at the internet today. Good night and godspeed.

  • http://twitter.com/armchairstudios Chad Baker

    I agree with him. I personally know brewers who will not visit the site. If you don’t like it, don’t drink it. And don’t write about it. Just because you don’t particularly enjoy a product, that doesn’t mean that someone else won’t. Keep the negativity to yourself. I don’t review beers often, but when I do it is to recommend the product. I would never bash something I didn’t like.

    • Timtim565656

      Chad, by your methodology, how am I going to know if I like a beer or not if I don’t ever try it?  And if I don’t like it, why can’t I express my opinion?  Are you saying it’s ok for me to express positive opinions, but not ones not ones that aren’t so positive?   How are breweries going to improve their product if they are not getting real world feedback?   This doesn’t mean them have to take every single outlier review to heart, but they should be aware on how they and their products are perceived. 
        
      I agree that negativity can be cancerous, but most people who take the time to do a real review supply ample feedback to support a positive or negative review. Also over time, the  I take great pride in my reviews.  I’ve given some highly rated beers relatively low scores (standard deviation of approx -30%) but I gave constructive, specific criticism on why I reviewed that way.  I don’t care if anyone agrees or not (there is no prerequisite that you do) , it’s my opinion and I gave substantial documention on why I felt that way.  Heck, I’ve seen people beat up some of my favorite beers with a 2.0 rating – I don’t message them accusing them of being some right winged extremist.  I might not agree with what they
       
      I might disagree with what they are saying, but I respect their opinon if it’s justified and I take it with a grain of salt (a lesson Sam apparently hasn’t grasped yet).  It’s a shame he feels the need to try to beat up on the 140 or so people that commented his brewery was overrrated….even though a lot of posts included positive comments on the Dogfish beers they enjoy.
       
      I did post that Dogfish is overrated in this thread and I stand by it.  They make very solid IPAs and a few others, but a lot of their beers are sought after because of marketing, so in my mind, it makes them overrated.  Maybe your definition of overrated means something else, and that is fine.  Give me a reason why you feel otherwise and I’ll be complacent.  Out of every brewery in the US, Dogfish probably does the best job of anyone pertaining to how their product is marketed and perceived- and that’s fantastic.  I’ll admit I bought many of there beers bases of their marketing.

      One last thought.  90 Minute has over 3000 reviews on BA and it’s rating is a 4.25/5, 95/100 and listed at world class….the world is such an evil place.

      • Timtim565656

        ans yes, there are many gramatical errors in my response – but I am ok with it,I’ve been sipping on Hopslam all night…. I post off centered comments for off centered topics!  Prosit!

      • Chad Baker

        I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reviewing the product. Constructive criticism can be useful, but we all know what Sam is talking about here. What a lot of people may not realize, is that there is a lot of experimentation that goes on in a brewery. Sometimes a product you get from a micro is the first time that beer has been brewed. Some of the less successful brews may turn into the best beer you’ve ever tasted. Basically, I think it’s pretty sad when people have nothing better to do than pick apart a hard-working, independent, small-business owner who’s trying to change beer for the better. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BREWERIES!

    • http://twitter.com/missnecie Denise

      I think it’s completely OK to write a constructive REVIEW of a beer that you maybe all in all didn’t like, or would only rate a 2 — it helps others have a heads up about what they may be interested or not interested in trying. That’s not the same as bashing – bashing and snobbery are 100% the problem. 

  • Tim Nichols

    BeerAdvocate has way too many haters, and holier than thou beer geeks.  As beer lovers we should celebrate the beers we love, and not worry about what’s “overrated”.  I think the beanie baby like feeding frenzy over PIiny the Elder and Younger is a little out of control, but it’s still a good beer. 

    • Beerkristine

      Beer SNOBS are the problem…not Beer Geeks.  BEER GEEKS find something
      positive about every beer, they realize if they don’t like a beer it
      doesn’t make it bad, they just aren’t into it…these guys will also use
      their knowledge to uplift the community rather than depress it.  They
      are always willing to invite new people into the world of craft beer. 

      BEER
      SNOBS hate on everything…if a brewery gets popular then they no
      longer like it…it is always about the Bigger Better Deal…they will
      also use their knowledge to look down their noses at people…they also
      use their knowledge as a barrier of entry into their world, if you don’t
      know as much as they do then you aren’t invited to their cool kids
      table.  Also, no one knows more than the BEER SNOB…or so they believe.

      • Beerkristine

        Point being…BA is full of BEER SNOBS

  • winobob

    Being from Stockholm, Sweden, I’ve been to the best pubs in Sweden, and it hurts me to see these snobs sitting at the bar, waiting for a life and putting down ‘noobs’ who are seriously interrested in learning about good beer. How come people have to become dicks as soon as they ‘know more’ than the average Joe? I thought beer was about enjoyment, not about “I’m better than you”. It reminds me how me and my fellow metal heads loved Metallica until they started selling albums – then we quickly informed everyone how they’d sold out…. Kudos to you, Sam!

    • jb1907

      We went to Akkurat in Stockholm and it is one of the best bars I have been to. All Seven Trappist beers plus many varieties of Cantillon.

    • Kent

      I was in Stockholm 2 years ago and spend way too much time at Oliver Twist. I so wish I could’ve brought home some Tjockhult Tjinook (spelling?) Fantastic stuff.

  • Fraser_ian

    I will say this, it is kind of cool that craft beer has grown to the level that we now have beer snobs within the ranks of beer snobs.  It shows the growth that is happening.  But more to Sam’s point I just had a friend make this very type of comment to me yesterday and I wish I had read this reply before it happened because I totally would have parroted him.

  • Beerkristine

    Beer SNOBS are the problem…not Beer Geeks.  BEER GEEKS find something positive about every beer, they realize if they don’t like a beer it doesn’t make it bad, they just aren’t into it…these guys will also use their knowledge to uplift the community rather than depress it.  They are always willing to invite new people into the world of craft beer. 

    BEER SNOBS hate on everything…if a brewery gets popular then they no longer like it…it is always about the Bigger Better Deal…they will also use their knowledge to look down their noses at people…they also use their knowledge as a barrier of entry into their world, if you don’t know as much as they do then you aren’t invited to their cool kids table.  Also, no one knows more than the BEER SNOB…or so they believe.

  • Mrhockey65

    I love how these assholes sit home in their easy chairs and criticize the great leaders in the industry. Who, laid it all on the line at some point and risked everything to bring their passion to the masses. I salute all our great craft brewers for their innovation, balls, and the passion that they put into every beer they make. Keep up the good work boys and success will almost always follow! F the haters!!!!!

  • Curtis

    Rock on Sam, I love your product and the fact you keep exploring with every batch. Don’t change a damn thing!

  • http://twitter.com/embracebeer Embrace Beer

    EmbraceBeer.com is a relatively new craft beer rating and recommendation website. Since day one, we’ve said, “Rate beers you try, whether you like or dislike them. It’s okay to give something a low rating. It doesn’t mean that it’s a bad beer; just that it’s not the beer for you.” Our goal is to introduce people to new beers, and hopefully introduce new people to craft beer. While debate and discussion are healthy, many, many people just want to explore and try beer without all the fuss or pretense.

  • SMc

    love that he gave a shout out to my local Brew Kettle at the end……….keep up the great work Sam.  

  • Steve Cook

    Most of the people posting to that thread weren’t snobs, they were fanboys, which is infinitely worse and really sad.

  • Peter Charbonnier

    The whole argument is confusing to me. Maybe because I was a degenerate punk kid who got most of their music from mail order. DFH and the other craft brewers are like record labels to me. I like some releases, not so much others. Black Flag, Dicks, Minutemen…classics. I never got into fIREHOSE.
    Does this make SST a bad label? Or DFH? World Wide Stout is a shitty band but that 1st Palo is amazing! I’m still gonna buy it because DFH has put out some good beers. I trust Sam like I trust Greg Ginn. Support independent shit you jerks!

  • Cubedoggy

    Too bad those posting to that site (of which I am a founding subscriber to its magazine) seem to have forgotten its URL is comprised of two words: beer [and] advocate. 

  • Qwerty

    “Respect beer”…period

    • Turd Ahlstrom

      It would be cool if my alter ego would actually respect people, much less beer. But I’ll continue being a pussy in real life, and imagining myself to be badass online!

  • Timtim565656

    I understand Sam’s feeling might be hurt, but BA is a forum for (most) people to express their own personal views, whether Sam agrees or not.  No one said being overrated necessarily means your product is bad – he read way too much into it, got personal, and made himself look like a fool.  No you can’t have an opinion about my product, but I’m going to put myself out there as this crazy, off centered brewery for off centered people. Just be warned the first time you put us down, we’re going to cry about it.   Come on Sam, you are smarter than that my friend.    

    • Happydagger22

      It’s not even close to the first time DFH has been put down on Beeradvocate. Nor will it be the last. The man just has to protect his baby. It’s a forum for him to express his personal views as much as anyone else. The beauty of the internet.

  • dogfishrulz

    BA forum is not much different than any other forum on earth. People hate everything, yearn for the early days of products, armchair experts in any and every topic that comes to pass. 

  • Dadsl8r

    Even if you made the best ultra tasty supreme beer that mankind had ever experienced, a beer that made men weep and women swoon, a beer that could build a nation and end all war, a beer that solved global warming and ended hunger around the world, a beer that made birds sing and clouds roll away, even if this wonderful beer were free and plentiful and available to all…………There will still be those who would say it’s in the wrong shaped glass.
    You can’t please everyone, geeks and snobs will always have an opinion, so lets raise a glass to them and not take them too seriously !

    • Ian

      Best reply on here that I have read so far!  Relax and have a beer! 

  • http://twitter.com/MiamiMaltBomb Patrick L.

    You know, there’s a certain subset of beer geeks that I really think have forgotten how to actually appreciate beer. To these people, unless it’s super-rare, paint-strippingly hoppy, sour, or aged in a rum barrel (which of course, most of the uber-hoppy, sour and/or barrel aged beers typically are rather rare), they’ll crap on it or find it average at best. They have long forgotten how to appreciate a delicate hefeweizen or a straight-up porter.

    In short, to these people, EVERYTHING is overrated, unless it’s beer from a tiny brewery near their home that they can hype up and use as trade bait in order to obtain the ultra rare offerings from other tiny breweries across the country. It’s more about a pissing and ticking contest than it is about the actual beer. In this context, the only real problem with Sam’s beers is that they are too “available.”

  • Joel McLead

    Love it. I’m a self-proclaimed beer snob. I also have a friend who is a sommelier. The difference I notice so far is that most wine-snobs will still try to educate you on all of the nuances of that specific wine, whereas a some beer geeks form this elitist superior attitude that they’re just better than everyone else. Please, drink what you like, even if the main stream thinks it’s crappy beer. Cheers Sam, here’s to hoping I get to meet you one day!

  • http://twitter.com/Slobberchops Brett

    Beer is fun. The cynical edginess and hyperbolic opinions on those sites drove me away from BeerAdvocate and Ratebeer.After I stopped visiting those websites, I became a homebrewer.  It is interesting to me how homebrew sites like HBT.com have a much friendlier vibe than craft-beer sites.  I think there is a sort of competitiveness on BA and RB over who has the most knowledge, who has the most outrageous opinions, and who has the tightest connections to craft brewing moguls like Sam Calagione, Garrett Oliver, Greg Koch, etc.

  • CJ Truman

    He spelled you’re wrong in the article. Whilst he’s entirely correct in that the “big” American craft brewers are still utterly Lilliputian, slip-ups like that don’t help.

    • Shaken9

      Who spelled “your” wrong?  Sam?  Read again grammar douche, he was quoting his favorite post.  The poster made the error.  If anything Reid Ramsay wasn’t entirely clear where Sam’s post ended and the other picked up since it was all italicized.

  • BeerSoaked Erik

    “Respect Beer” was a great way to sum this up. I’ll go one step further and say respect other people while we’re at it. We need to remember that the folks on the other end of our forum rants, complaints, and insults are actual People. It is easy to forget that and just think of them as a screen name, a brand, or another impersonal thing and hurl insults over the internet anonymously. 

  • Phillibeer

    Kudos to Sam!  And to Jason & Todd.  This snobberyishness (like that new word?) is downright bad for the craft beer movement.  I may not like every beer I taste, but I always taste that same beer at least two more times, often in different environments. I’m aware that my tastebuds are affected by what I ate, or drank, prior to tasting that beer. I may have palate fatigue from tasting too many beers (seems strange to say “too many beers”).  The beer may be too cold or too warm.  That particular bottle my have a bad crown cap and be oxidized.  That bottle may have sat in a delivery truck in the hot sun for 5 hours.  Who knows what happened to that single bottle?  If, after several experiences with that beer, I decide that I don’t like it, then I simply say that it’s not to my liking.  I feel no need to tell people that it’s a bad beer. That would just be my ego thinking that I need to warn people about this bad beer and who knows, they may even thank me for saving them from having their own experience with that beer.  You’re not an “expert” if you judge a beer, bar or restaurant on one taste or one visit.  
    Sam, et al, are not looking for your “constructive, specific criticism”.  They created the beer they wanted to make.  If they didn’t nail it on their first try, they will tweak the second batch so it will be the beer they envisioned.  They are not going to change the recipe because you think it’s over-hopped or under attenuated. They will change it if they have another inspired way to make it better for their own taste.  They know that not everyone will adore that beer, but they have a vision for that beer and they have the balls to brew it. It would be like telling Pablo Picasso that Guernica would be a better painting if only he left out that bull’s head in the upper left corner.  The painting would be better balanced.  These brewers are every bit as much artists as are Degas, Bosch, Rodin, Stan Lee, etc.  The brew kettle is their canvas.  There is no bad art just as there is no bad beer.  I may not like that artist’s work or that brewery’s product, but that doesn’t make it bad just because it’s not to my liking.Don’t bash a beer or a brewery because you don’t care for the beer, the brewer’s personality, or the number of barrels they produce.  All of these brewers work hard to promote the entire craft beer industry and that it a very good thing for all of us beer lovers.  Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not a good, or even a great beer…it’s just not to your liking.  

    Relax with a glass of beer you love with one you love.

  • Amber

    I completely agree with Sam. As beer geeks, isn’t this what we want?  For our small, craft, indie breweries to grow?  And when I say grow that includes in size and in what beers they are turning out.  I hope we, as a community of beer lovers are always moving away from being “boxed in” to a specific idea of what “beer” is so in turn, growth MUST happen. Let’s all be respectful of our hard working craft beer folks and if you’ve had a specific BEER that you think may be infected, tell someone, but if you just think a brewery is overrated…don’t drink their beer.  Move on. Be lovers not haters people!
    I must add Stone to the list :)

  • Goggles Pizanno

    You could try attenuating your beer a bit more Sam

  • Slim_toes

    dogfish Head for life… such hop aggresion can only be acknowledged with submission. Sam i am in your gratitude for life.

  • Froggin22

    Beer Geeks = Big mouths, small wallets

  • George Poppadopolis

    Here Sam…  here’s a tissue.  I know you need to wipe away those tears you’re crying because someone would actually think your brewery is over-rated.  How dare consumers actually voice a negative opinion!!!

  • BrewChief

    This is exactly why my partner and I created BrewChief.com. We wanted to give members the ability to rate and comment on everything, including other members. Let the haters, snobs and trolls roll the dice with their postings. They are at the mercy of the community. Consequently, our review discussions are almost always fun and educational. That’s what beer geekdom is all about. Cheers to better beer!

  • VC

    It’s a double edged sword  – Unfortunately at some point craft brews become a victim of their own success.
    I could care less — i drink craft, because I like it  – could care less who makes it, if its perceived as over-rated or too available – I’m in pursuit of flavor and complexity in my beers.
    There is a feeling of exclusivity about it – weather the BA haters want to admit it or not “i know better than the BMC douchbag – because im drinking PtE and he is not” but maybe BMC dude enjoys his brew as much as i enjoy my PtE.
    So when it becomes too “commercialized” its not cool to drink any more.
    I say drink what you think tastes good – don’t “politicize” it.
    Ultimately everyone is different – drink and let drink

  • Candysays

    Beeradvocate is now seemingly populated by frat boys and poseurs. Anyone with any class or intelligence has been driven off by the heavy-handed moderation of the arrogant Almstroms. The fact that Sam even bothers posting there anymore is sadder than anything else.

  • @PGHUVM03

    This is awesome – saw on BA, but thanks for posting

  • Chuch

    AWESOME

  • Kent E

    For the last 20+ years I have been getting my critiques of
    beers from the likes of Michael Jackson, Stephen Beaumont, Roger Prost, Charlie
    Papazian, Garrett Oliver, Fred Eckhardt, Beverage Testing Institute and others
    who have the knowledge and understanding of what beer is all about.  I do check in with BA and RB for laughs to
    see what the amateurs think.  Many of
    their ratings show a lack of basic beer knowledge, like complaining about the
    lack of head on a high gravity beer.  There
    are low ratings for world-class beers just because they don’t appreciate the
    style. And what is the fixation with lacing? 
    Makes me think they all wear lace panties.  Sam, pay no attention to those who wear lace panties!!  Love Sam and his DFH brews.  I was the first on by block to buy a 6 pack of the first offering of WWS @ 23.4%, Yah, the store sold me a 6 pack for the price of one bottle!

  • Stoffelkeere

    I’ve been a member of BA for about five years now.  Don’t really visit the BA forums that much, but I have been there off and on.  I came across this site this morning and started reading the comments about the hating on BA.  Gotta say, I agree.  God help me for voicing that I liked Midas Touch on BA… got chewed apart for that.

    • http://BeerStreetJournal.com Reid Ramsay

      Thanks for coming by.  I grow weary of the beer geeks too.  Drink what you want, whatever you want.  You won’t get flamed here.  

  • Klorditch

    Sure there are definitely beer snobs everywhere these days, but Sam, seriously, have you read a comment section in your local paper lately or any other website for that matter?  Why would a beeradvocate comment thread be any different?

  • Joe Hrdina

    Really though, Spotted Cow is overrated! hahaha Great post.

  • Anonymous

    HERE is the difference between a beer geek and beer snob if you haven’t already seen this …

    http://i46.tinypic.com/2aaapo0.jpg

    • Ryan Kelly

      That chart is pretty funny, but the font is terrible.

  • DFH can Suck It

    I have read Sam’s diatribe but have yet to get to all of the responses.

    While I appreciate Sam’s intent, I feel it so ironic that he is poopooing the DFH Naysayers.

    While DFH has been at the forefront of the Micro Explosion and along the way they have been inovative, I think it comical that Sam is complaining about people expressing their opionon. . . Sam is one of the best marketing people I have ever met and have ever known.  If you didn;t know about Sam Caigione and DFH before you met him, you will be an “expert”: afterwards

    i know from personal experience that under it all he is an ASSHOLE !!!

    I worked for DFH in the early years and while Sam (and Mariah) would try to sell the team player angle, it was nothing close to a team.  Simply put, it was the Sam and Mariah show . . I saw them chew up and spit out their closests friends with little to no remorse. 
    You ask any employee from the eary years and 9 out of 10 will agree with me.  Sure 9 out 10 of the eomplyess now would disagree but now that DHF is established and Sam and Mariah are on solid ground, Sam et al is, I am sure, simply delightful

    I know for a fact that several of their beer ideas (ie 60/90 Minute; Verdi Verdi Good, Liquor De Matl, Lawn Mower Pilsner) were taken/stolen from others in the industry.

    FUCK YOU SAM CALIGIONE !!!

    Let the people express their opinion . . sorry that you could not brainwash them all !!!

    • Deez-Nutz

      Wow, sounds like someone is bitter for getting his lazy ass fired.

  • HarponitAlready

    I like Reid’s post. Yep, the same old ‘they’ve just become too commercial’ teenage response is back and being applied to craft brews. My experience is that it’s easy to berate a small craft operation (or band for that matter) for growing unless you are personally involved or have a stake in their success. When the tiny microbrewery or band is also paying the bills, it’s difficult to see the sanity in the “sell-out” rhetoric. 

    • Stewart Ricker

      I get this same argument in “indie rock/music scene” once a band starts making it big, its popular to say I liked their older stuff better or they are selling out. This may be slightly different than a commercial producer, but the point of starting a business is in essence to produce something people like whether a service or product. When you appeal to more people your revenue in turn grows. I never understood the whole selling out aspect unless you change your business model to conform to another sources wishes. Most of these brewers that have been growing ie Boston Beer, Sierra Nevada, Anchor Steam, DFH, etc. have not changed their model in the slightest. The thing that has changed is their popularity and the amount of product sold/revenue coming in. They all have successful business models.

  • Slacker Brewing

    I can sum this all up in one word…Hipsters

  • demodave

    Hi, Sam. I get you, I think. I don’t like everything that I drink from Dogfish, and I will occasionally say that I think that Dogfish is a little too experimental for my tastes as a beer geek. But then I will always adamantly clarify that I am talking about *my* tastes as a beer geek, not anyone else’s, and I will totally defend the fact that you all are dong some bad ass schtuff. I am currently sitting in a St. Petersburg, Russian Republic, venue called Baltika Brew on the outside. You know the brand, I am sure. Nice place. Pretty quiet during the day, but getting busier (with the understanding that tonight, June 21, It will never get dark in this city). Surely gonna be bat-schtuff crazy in a few or more hours. Especially since it is Friday.

    I do wanna say that I tremendously admire what you do. I don’t always choose to drink it again, but I will always applaud you for trying. If I could have my druthers, I would love to see a greater emphasis on creating sessionable and also deeply palatable beers, but I think your creativity and experimentality is very, very cool.

  • jb1907

    Everyone wants to keep good beer a secret. But everytime you drink a Dogfish, Sam Adams, Firestone walker, it is one less Coor/Miller/Bud that gets drunk.

  • mattmmille

    Good rant! I agree. And, by the way, the Dogfish brews come in bottles that are great for home brewers to reuse!

  • Chad’z Adventures

    His first mistake was going to the bowels of the Beer Advocate forums in the first place. OF COURSE there’s going to be naysayers there. I like to think the B.A. forums (and the whole site really) can be summarized in that famous line from Star Wars: “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy”.

    If you want to hear how bad the industry is go to the B.A. forums. If you want something positive go pretty much anywhere else!

  • Me Too

    Opinions are like assholes …….. everyone has one

  • Ed

    Totally agree with everything here. Unlike many of our senses, taste is entirely subjective. Everyone has a different palate and, that being said, an opinion should only be taken so seriously. I’ll never not try something because someone else says it tastes bad. If that were the case, the 13-year old version of me who tried beer and was grossed out would have missed out on more than 1000 different beers, over 75% of which have tasted wonderfully TO ME!

  • http://www.cododesign.com/ CODO Design

    We’re seeing less and less of this in Indiana. It’s nice seeing brewers point folks to other tasting rooms / breweries and overall, there’s a culture of supporting new breweries as well as supporting not-so-new-but-growing breweries.

  • red_skin

    Everyone wants to be overrated. But, nobody wants to be overrated.

  • Justin Tate

    BOOYAH! SAM CALAGIONE HAS LEFT THE BUILDING! Suck it noobs!

  • pawg.hunter

    love craft beer, hate the attitude that seems to be tagging along with craft beer

  • Alexander Fleming

    Sam is on the money.

    While some people on BA are knowledgeable, Beer Advocate is also full of some of the most pretentious, ignorant, arrogant beer “fans” in the scene. This is a common trait among drinkers who are new to the scene and who tout that they have been drinking craft beer for 5 years, so they are a self-professed experts. They throw around all sorts of terms that trained beer judges and brewers use without an understanding of what the mean or an ability to use them correctly.

    They lack an appreciation for 99% of the beer that comes out of craft breweries and flock to the triple hopped mega IPAs, high octane barrel aged imperial stouts and barley wines and sour beers. All of these are expensive to make and expensive to buy and, when done well, are far more complex than most shelf beer. The problem is that they think that because a beer is not a rare, expensive and amazing piece of brewing art, then it is not a good beer. It sucks. They turn their nose up at normal beer. Hell, look at their ratings and see what they think of some of the best lagers in the world. They have no interest in subtle beer, they want it to kick them in the face.

    People like beer. Most people are not judging beers on flaws and merits, they simply ask themselves if they enjoy what they are drinking. These snobs hurt the industry because they perpetuate the opinion that craft beer for the common man isn’t good enough for them, therefore it is not good.

  • soul68

    The world would be a much better place if people would stop defining themselves by what they hate as much as what they like. And to those who rag on things just because other people like them… grow up already.

  • Keith

    Just give me a keystone and screw all this overpriced craft beer….hahahaha

  • Ismith87

    You know what’s funny is the whole point of beer advocate was to be a site to rate beers. Yet when someone gives negative feedback on the forums to see if anyone else felt the same way they get punked. Its sad that the best beer rating website is becoming a dick-swinging contest. Is Sam accomplished? Absolutely. Is someone whose less accomplished not entitled to an opinion, positive OR negative? That seems to be the fundamental concept behind craft beer if you ask me. Its all so we can drink super limited release beers/brew beer in our garages/sheds/basements and enjoy comparing and contrasting the results. Its not an excuse to be a party fowl at every Christmas or super bowl party, but since when did BeerAdvocate become the place you have to watch your tongue?

    And the ironic part is, the founders of the site seem to be pretty negative at times themselves: http://beerstreetjournal.com/tweet-from-beer-advocate-founder-gets-bad-feedback/

    I think if someone posted saying the same things Sam said they’d get made fun of or banned for being a “troll”.

  • braufrau

    I’m a UC Davis trained Brewmaster, 20 yrs experience, worked for A/B Cartersville, about to move to Mumbai to brew beer hopefully for the rest of my career as the sole woman brewing beer in India. You would not believe the shit my colleagues give me for my choice of Yuengling. All that imperial, barrel-aged sour stuff that’s so trendy, I’m not ashamed of my love of Yuengling. It’s th oldest brewery in th country for good reason. I do make it a point to try all sam’s bomber bottles.:-D!