Beers that have gone downhill............and some good solid locals.

CigarStone

For once, knowledge is making me poor!
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Mar 7, 2007
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I am curious to know what other beer "snobs" think of some of the former "holy grail" type beers? Some of the ones I used to count the days for but will no longer buy.

Here are a few IMHO that have slipped:
  1. CBS, used to be a real treat that I would buy multiples of to drink fresh and age just to see the difference.
  2. KBS is still a great stout but there have been so many tweaks to stouts these days I just don't buy it any more.
  3. Founders in general has slipped in my opinion, however, the new KBS Espresso is excellent.
  4. Hopslam, used to be the IPA of all IPA's but has been replaced by so many better, less expensive beers since the NEIPA's started to dominate.
  5. The Abyss, the last couple of these I had were just plain bad. I suspect that I somehow got some that were not properly cared for but I have bottles from many years back, aging in my cellar, I just opened a 2014 last week and it was yet another drain pour. I won't buy it anymore.
I am a member of Hoppin Frog's rare beer club in Akron Ohio and I know they get a well-deserved bad rep for not dating their beers and their wonky labels but they make some of the best barrel aged stouts I have had without giving up a kidney.

Hardywood in Richmond also makes some incredible beers, mainly B/A Stout because that's what I gravitate to. When I go to see @jfields I always get more, either from John or at Total Wine (which should damn near be illegal).

BCBS Goose Island is always a treat and it is so hard to get here in Ohio, which is odd since Illinois is the next state west?

Love to hear about some of your experiences?
 

Breedy

Busted
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Nov 14, 2007
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2,119
I think the decline is part fact and part perception. KBS went from being virtually unattainable, to the beer girl at Giant Eagle asking me if I wanted to buy a case. The increase in production may have led to lower quality, but it definitely effects my perception of what I'm drinking.

At the same time small market Breweries have been cranking out fantastic beers. I remember when Hopping Frog had just starting to sell beers in Akron, long before the Taproom.

Next time you swing out to Hopping Frog get off 224 at rt 93 South (Ma
nchester Rd) and hit up Magic City Brewing. Their "A Stout has No Name" (chocolate peanutbutter; currently on tap) and "All Hail the Void" are really good stouts. Their sours are phenomenal and Jay will occasionally have a barleywine up too.
 
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gtadroptop

You can't make this stuff up
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Dec 13, 2007
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With the proliferation of microbreweries up here on the North Coast, I've been primarily drinking local the past few years. There are some outstanding beers being brewed up here to try if you ever journey up to the Erie area, Mr. Stone.
 

BlindedByScience

Proud Father of a brave U.S. Marine
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Jan 31, 2005
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9,372
I am curious to know what other beer "snobs" think of some of the former "holy grail" type beers? Some of the ones I used to count the days for but will no longer buy.

Here are a few IMHO that have slipped:
  1. The Abyss, the last couple of these I had were just plain bad. I suspect that I somehow got some that were not properly cared for but I have bottles from many years back, aging in my cellar, I just opened a 2014 last week and it was yet another drain pour. I won't buy it anymore.
Love to hear about some of your experiences?

In a couple years past, Deschutes had some troubles and some really bad bottles of the Abyss went out. Can't find it in Beer Advocate right now, but it was a well known problem. Had a couple, they were....awful. Something went awry in the process and the brew would basically spoil in the bottle. Yuk.....
 

smellysell

Go Vols!!!
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Jan 9, 2007
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6,650
In a couple years past, Deschutes had some troubles and some really bad bottles of the Abyss went out. Can't find it in Beer Advocate right now, but it was a well known problem. Had a couple, they were....awful. Something went awry in the process and the brew would basically spoil in the bottle. Yuk.....
They were infected. I have one from that batch in my cellar still I think. 😐
 

CigarStone

For once, knowledge is making me poor!
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They were infected. I have one from that batch in my cellar still I think. 😐
Justin, do you happen to remember the year/s of bad ones you had? @BlindedByScience , thanks for the Beer Advocate reference, I was able to find this https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/abyss-infected.247990/ which points toward 2014 so I went down to the cellar to check and it was indeed a 2016 that I had last week. I guess I won't be bragging this stuff up anymore and I will only open a bottle when it's just me:confused:
 

smellysell

Go Vols!!!
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Justin, do you happen to remember the year/s of bad ones you had? @BlindedByScience , thanks for the Beer Advocate reference, I was able to find this https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/abyss-infected.247990/ which points toward 2014 so I went down to the cellar to check and it was indeed a 2016 that I had last week. I guess I won't be bragging this stuff up anymore and I will only open a bottle when it's just me:confused:
I don't, it was right towards the end of when I was still drinking though, so 2014 sounds in the ballpark. If the one you had was just not that good and wasn't awful, it wasn't one of the infected ones.
 

tomthirtysix

Wishing I was as cool as Phil
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Dec 27, 2006
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6,611
I think the decline is part fact and part perception. KBS went from being virtually unattainable, to the beer girl at Giant Eagle asking me if I wanted to buy a case.

I think I might still be able to get a case of BCBS at my local, too. The way these guys all ramped up their production at the same time to flood the market is hysterical.

I'm lucky that I live in an area where, depending on what direction I head out, I can be at a brewery that makes really good beer in under 20 min. Nothing you guys have ever heard of. Small places that put out great beer. Especially now, it's important to spend your money locally, keep these guys in business.

Are they on the level with the BA stouts people chase all over the country? Maybe not. But I don't have to wait for their once a year release. Don't have to hope they distribute to my state. Hop in the car, talk to the guy that brewed it, bring it home. If a bottle is infected (which has only happened to me once with a local brewery), I let them know next time I'm there and it's taken care of. I don't have to look for receipts and deal with a refund process.

And when they're local, you get some good mashups and collaborations. One of my locals puts out an imperial stout every year. They take some of that stout and put it in a Buffalo Trace barrel. They take some more of that stout and put it in a bourbon barrel from a local distillery from down the road. That distillery? You buy a bottle of their booze and it has a plot marked on the bottle. You can go to their website, punch in the info, and they show you a google satellite shot of the field where the grain was grown to make that bottle.

That same distillery sends one of their bourbon barrels to a local coffee roaster. Coffee roaster uses the barrel to age some of their beans. Once they're done aging the beans, they send it down the street to the brewery to fill with stout. Now you have another variation. I don't have to wait on a 6 hour line to get a bottle. Now you've got 4 different variations on one imperial stout.

I've got another local place that does a once a year barrel release. They brew a beer with as much local grain as they can get, all local hops. This year's version was aged in a bourbon barrel from a different local distillery and peaches from a local farm were thrown in, too. I buy that bottle and I'm helping support three local businesses.

Between the local places and my brother's place, I'd say at least 75% of what's in my beer fridge at any moment most people have never heard of. The only things in there right now that anyone would be familiar with is some Cigar City stuff I have in there to celebrate on Sunday.
 

CigarStone

For once, knowledge is making me poor!
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
4,476
I think I might still be able to get a case of BCBS at my local, too. The way these guys all ramped up their production at the same time to flood the market is hysterical.

I'm lucky that I live in an area where, depending on what direction I head out, I can be at a brewery that makes really good beer in under 20 min. Nothing you guys have ever heard of. Small places that put out great beer. Especially now, it's important to spend your money locally, keep these guys in business.

Are they on the level with the BA stouts people chase all over the country? Maybe not. But I don't have to wait for their once a year release. Don't have to hope they distribute to my state. Hop in the car, talk to the guy that brewed it, bring it home. If a bottle is infected (which has only happened to me once with a local brewery), I let them know next time I'm there and it's taken care of. I don't have to look for receipts and deal with a refund process.

And when they're local, you get some good mashups and collaborations. One of my locals puts out an imperial stout every year. They take some of that stout and put it in a Buffalo Trace barrel. They take some more of that stout and put it in a bourbon barrel from a local distillery from down the road. That distillery? You buy a bottle of their booze and it has a plot marked on the bottle. You can go to their website, punch in the info, and they show you a google satellite shot of the field where the grain was grown to make that bottle.

That same distillery sends one of their bourbon barrels to a local coffee roaster. Coffee roaster uses the barrel to age some of their beans. Once they're done aging the beans, they send it down the street to the brewery to fill with stout. Now you have another variation. I don't have to wait on a 6 hour line to get a bottle. Now you've got 4 different variations on one imperial stout.

I've got another local place that does a once a year barrel release. They brew a beer with as much local grain as they can get, all local hops. This year's version was aged in a bourbon barrel from a different local distillery and peaches from a local farm were thrown in, too. I buy that bottle and I'm helping support three local businesses.

Between the local places and my brother's place, I'd say at least 75% of what's in my beer fridge at any moment most people have never heard of. The only things in there right now that anyone would be familiar with is some Cigar City stuff I have in there to celebrate on Sunday.
You're taunting me aren't you Tom!
 

BlindedByScience

Proud Father of a brave U.S. Marine
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Justin, do you happen to remember the year/s of bad ones you had? @BlindedByScience , thanks for the Beer Advocate reference, I was able to find this https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/abyss-infected.247990/ which points toward 2014 so I went down to the cellar to check and it was indeed a 2016 that I had last week. I guess I won't be bragging this stuff up anymore and I will only open a bottle when it's just me:confused:
2014 sounds about right to me. Not all the 2014's were bad, but a lot were.

Dunno what happened to this stuff.....used to be the nectar of the gods. I've had it out of nitro kegs here in town at Deschutes in the past, and it was amazing. But, honestly, it's gone from awesome to "meh" and up to about $25 / bomber. Nope.....
 

CigarStone

For once, knowledge is making me poor!
Joined
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Messages
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2014 sounds about right to me. Not all the 2014's were bad, but a lot were.

Dunno what happened to this stuff.....used to be the nectar of the gods. I've had it out of nitro kegs here in town at Deschutes in the past, and it was amazing. But, honestly, it's gone from awesome to "meh" and up to about $25 / bomber. Nope.....
Yep, and when you factor in the possibility that it's a $25 drain pour, it just isn't worth it. I could still get it for $17 - $18 but the last three I had were instant drain pours.
 

indyrob

You smell like my sausage!
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May 6, 2005
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Huge fan of Abyss and lucky me my company is based in Bend OR and get to go 2-3 times a year. Last time I was there I missed it at the brewery by a week and they were going to tap it next at the draft house. Just was there long enough to miss it twice.

@CigarStone BCBS is super available just about everywhere in Indy. If you need any let me know. I can grab you some.
 

Tall Paul

"insecure little bitch"
Joined
May 11, 2011
Messages
9,275
I think I might still be able to get a case of BCBS at my local, too. The way these guys all ramped up their production at the same time to flood the market is hysterical.

I'm lucky that I live in an area where, depending on what direction I head out, I can be at a brewery that makes really good beer in under 20 min. Nothing you guys have ever heard of. Small places that put out great beer. Especially now, it's important to spend your money locally, keep these guys in business.

Are they on the level with the BA stouts people chase all over the country? Maybe not. But I don't have to wait for their once a year release. Don't have to hope they distribute to my state. Hop in the car, talk to the guy that brewed it, bring it home. If a bottle is infected (which has only happened to me once with a local brewery), I let them know next time I'm there and it's taken care of. I don't have to look for receipts and deal with a refund process.

And when they're local, you get some good mashups and collaborations. One of my locals puts out an imperial stout every year. They take some of that stout and put it in a Buffalo Trace barrel. They take some more of that stout and put it in a bourbon barrel from a local distillery from down the road. That distillery? You buy a bottle of their booze and it has a plot marked on the bottle. You can go to their website, punch in the info, and they show you a google satellite shot of the field where the grain was grown to make that bottle.

That same distillery sends one of their bourbon barrels to a local coffee roaster. Coffee roaster uses the barrel to age some of their beans. Once they're done aging the beans, they send it down the street to the brewery to fill with stout. Now you have another variation. I don't have to wait on a 6 hour line to get a bottle. Now you've got 4 different variations on one imperial stout.

I've got another local place that does a once a year barrel release. They brew a beer with as much local grain as they can get, all local hops. This year's version was aged in a bourbon barrel from a different local distillery and peaches from a local farm were thrown in, too. I buy that bottle and I'm helping support three local businesses.

Between the local places and my brother's place, I'd say at least 75% of what's in my beer fridge at any moment most people have never heard of. The only things in there right now that anyone would be familiar with is some Cigar City stuff I have in there to celebrate on Sunday.
Couldn’t agree more. Traveling around New England I could stop at so many breweries but I’d rather spend my money in my state at this point. Don’t get me wrong when I’m passing Tree House I do a loop through the Parking lot. If there is no line I’ll run in. If there is a line I move on.

I promised myself I will never stand in line for a beer that isn’t brewed in my town again. I once waited in line outside for 2.5hrs on thanksgiving weekend at Maine Beer Company for a release of “Dinner”. I froze my ass off because I drove 2hrs north and it never dawned on me that there may be a line outside...

Your description of the bourbon barrel happens in my town as well. Coffee shop, small batch distillery, and two breweries working together. It’s great! I also love the local Small batch New England IPAs that no one ever hears of.

Cheers,
Paul
 

CigarStone

For once, knowledge is making me poor!
Joined
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Messages
4,476
Huge fan of Abyss and lucky me my company is based in Bend OR and get to go 2-3 times a year. Last time I was there I missed it at the brewery by a week and they were going to tap it next at the draft house. Just was there long enough to miss it twice.

@CigarStone BCBS is super available just about everywhere in Indy. If you need any let me know. I can grab you some.
Thanks brother! Maybe we could figure out a trade and meet half way? I'm shocked that Goose Island doesn't distribute in Ohio worth a crap. The only way I can get BCBS is at a limited release party once a year.
 
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