What Bugs You About the World of Craft Beer and Small Batch Whiskey?

Don and I love craft beer and whiskey, enough to prattle on about it here every day.  But there are some things that get our respective goats when it comes to being beer and whiskey enthusiasts.

For instance, it makes me crazy to go to the beer store only to hear about the awesome limited release I just missed out on.  Or when a beer I’m really excited to try spectacularly fails to live up to expectations (looking at you, Rasputin).  Or when I’m cornered by an “expert” at a party who’s never heard of Dogfish Head.  I could go on and on.  And I will, but not here.

You see, Don and I are planning on recording a “Bitch Session” podcast this weekend.  The plan is to drink “Bitch” titled beers (Bitches Brew, Raging Bitch, Bitch Creek ESB) and use it as an opportunity to bitch about the world of special beverages.  And maybe the world of blogging too, but that depends on how may beers we get into us while the microphones are hot. 🙂

We’d also love to hear from you.  What gets you in a froth when it comes to being a beer and/or whiskey aficionado?  Maybe it’s when people call you an aficionado.

Anyway, let us know below and maybe we’ll grab a few of your responses and include them into the podcast.  That way we can all bitch together!

So tell us, what bugs you about the world of craft beer and small batch whiskey?

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Categories: Beer, Whiskey


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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24 Comments on “What Bugs You About the World of Craft Beer and Small Batch Whiskey?”

  1. Don
    September 10, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    Here’s one thing about the world of Small batch whiskey…Its damn confusing. There have been distillery mergers, buy outs, contract distilling, on and on and on. Enough already! Can’t someone just make a whiskey and others drink the damn stuff? Blah blah bla blah! Enough already, I don’t really care that the 1989 vintage of Old Weller was from the famed Stitsel Weller distillery, and after that it is all Buffalo Trace. So what. Was it good? Did you enjoy it? Quit examining it down to the gnats eyebrow.

    Whew glad I got that off my chest. You should too…it’s cathartic!

  2. September 10, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    Yo B&W Bros!

    Let’s face it, what we’re really doing is drinking really good stuff, then talking/writing about it ad nauseum (or maybe that’s the effect of all that beer/booze!). Not a bad “hobby” if you ask me.

    So what’s there to really complain about? Hmmm…

    Do I mind being called an aficionado? I’m Italian, so I’m cool with that. It’s better than that “foodie” term. Seriously? Foodie? They couldn’t come up with anything better? I’m a bit of a food/beverage snob. Nothing to be ashamed of as long as I’m not a jackass about it.

    I’m totally with you when it comes to the availability of the specialty stuff. It took forever to find the Saison du BUFFs, and the Life and Limb/Limb and Life was impossible to find. Same goes for many of the whiskies that I read about. Where do I get it? I’m convinced that the really good stuff never leaves Kentucky/Scotland/Ireland/Japan etc..

    That’s all for now… looking forward to your podcast!


    • September 10, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

      I think the booze equivalent of “foodie” is “alcoholic.” 😉

      • September 10, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

        Touche! 😛

  3. Paulette
    September 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    I’m just going to rant in general about things I don’t like. Here goes…
    I dislike when my friends who know nothing about beer call me a snob. Maybe, maybe not. Just because I like good beer and seek it out doesn’t make me think I’m better than you. Just because I know what I like doesn’t make me a snob. Just because I enjoy trying new beer and don’t drink the same old crappy beer I’ve been drinking since before I knew there was a whole other world of brews out there, doesn’t make me a snob. I’ve been known to order a PBR on hot day when I want something light and almost water-like, and yes I enjoy it for what it is. (Cheap mass produced beer that isn’t half bad, in my opinion.)
    Also, I dislike when someone calls a beer awful or nasty and constantly bash it just because they don’t like the style of beer. I like to try every beer at the table when out with friends. I appreciate a good beer even if it’s an IPA (which is not a style I enjoy). i.e. I consider Lauganitas a very solid brewer and recommend it regularly to people who like hoppy beers, I personally have never had a Lauganitas I can’t live without but recognize they make a good product.
    I also have issue with the “beer” magazines. We subscribe to 4 or 5 of them and we make lists of places featured in said magazines that we want to visit in different states when on vacations. This past trip to NYC was a complete letdown! We hit up several “top” bars, pubs, ale houses, etc. to try local brews only to find that they almost specifically carried beers from CA or mass produced beers. If I wanted those beers I would have stayed home and hit up the Bev Mo or our local watering holes. We have a limited selection of east coast beers here on the west coast. So, hey east coasters, why don’t you try serving your own beer out there so when we come visit we can try it out? All I learned on my trip to NY this time was that CA beers must be superior due to the popularity of them, everyone seems to be serving them.
    Also, why is it so difficult to find beer in NY? I spent a week hitting up liquor stores and the like looking for a bottle of Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Ops, only to be sadly disappointed! So our last 3 vacations which centered around trying out local brews have been such disappointment I may give up seeking good brews from other states.
    There it is my “bitch session”
    Thank you Don & Jim!

    • September 10, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

      Wow! That’s the spirit, Paulette! I guess you needed a post like this.

      I agree with everything you said, and you also reminded me of another peeve of mine: beer rating sites and folks who take them seriously.

      You’ll certainly be quoted in the podcast!

      • Paulette
        September 10, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

        I had no idea until I got started… I think I got a little out of hand!

        As for beer rating sites: Just because you read about a beer doesn’t make it better or worse, nor does it make you more knowledgable about said beer. I say try it and give it a fair shake before you write it off or rave about it, everyone feels differently about certain flavors and stlyes.

        • September 10, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

          I just dislike the hype that can get generated by said sites. Once a beer hits critical mass (good or bad) it seems objectivity flies out the window. Too much “me too.”

    • September 11, 2010 at 11:49 am #


      Brooklyn Black Ops is a beer that is produced in EXTREMELY small batches. You complaining about not being able to buy it would be like me complaining that I cannot but Pliny The Younger on some random weekend.

      As far as your complaints about East Coast bars, there are quite a few flaws. First, it’s a bad thing for our favorite bars to offer beer from all over the country? We should only enjoy “our” beers? East Coast drinkers are more interested in trying all of the good beer which is why there is beer on tap from all over. In no way does that mean that West Coast beers are “superior”. All that means is that West Coast drinkers are snobby and go on message boards making broad statements and lumping beers/breweries/bars into two giant groups. You know who does that? Big Macro companies. May I ask what bars you went to that did not have an adequate supply of local beers?


      My rant is against the “snobbery” that we start to see leaked into the micro world. We can see it all over Paulette’s post.

      • September 11, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

        I think your assessment of Paulette’s POV is a bit over the top. Maybe (like me) you’ve had a bit too much coffee this morning. 🙂

        I’ve never considered Paulette to be a beer snob, actually she seems to be the opposite – someone who loves great beer and tries not to rub it in peoples faces.

        I think she has a valid gripe that she goes to NYC and all the “good” bars that folks recommend are full of west coast beers. Of course they are, as that’s what makes them special to folks out east – west coast beers are hard to get and so the best bars are the ones that offer them. I can see why it’d be a letdown from someone out west to walk into a place so far from home and see it dominated by familiar tap handles.

        But generally I agree that beer travels easier from west to east, and it’s taken time (and will continue to) for east coast beers to gain footing out west.

        Anyway, we’re all beer fans here and there was a bit of a tone (unintended or not) in your reply to her. Let’s all play nice.

      • September 16, 2010 at 2:14 pm #


        My message was meant to have a tone. It is obviously hard to judge a person’s attitude but when I see the sentence “I learned on my trip to NY this time was that CA beers must be superior” from Paulette it is one of my pet peeves. She mentions snobs as one of her own pet peeves but feels it necessary to lump all of the breweries into two groups and proclaim one superior to the other (which to me is the definition of a snob). While this is foolish in her own right, her criteria for this (East Coast bars serve West Coast beers) is even more foolish.

        I understand the need to keep the boards civil, which is why I gave her a chance to explain herself. I have yet to go to any of the acclaimed NYC beer bars that do not have an adequate, if not great selection of local beers.

        • September 16, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

          I actually took her proclamation that “CA beers must be superior” to be more of a show of frustration about not being able to find a bar that featured and celebrated local beers than an actual opinion. It sounds like she was ready to dig into all the East Coast beers she’d read about, but all the beer mag recommended bars were full of West Coast stuff. I really didn’t read it as a dis of East Coast beer. But that’s just me.

  4. September 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Here’s one. When respectable breweries release an obviously sink-worthy beer. The latest I’ve had is Bridgeport Brewing’s Stumptown Tart. The only thing tart about it was the pin-up girl on the label and the only thing raspberry about it was the pink champagne color. The nose was weak and the taste was even weaker. It was basically pink seltzer.

    I understand that as a brewery there must be huge pressure to move every last drop of product you make. That’s how you make money and stay in business. But when that product so obviously won’t meet customers’ expectations and will negatively alter customers’ perceptions the brewery, don’t take the beer to market, please. You’re doing a disservice to your customers and to your brand.

    • September 10, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

      Good observation Chad. I’ve had beers before and thought “maybe they just didn’t taste it before it shipped” but I know it’s pressure to recoup the investment in the grain bill. It short sighted but I think it does happen.

    • September 10, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

      Pink seltzer water… reminds me of Leinenkugel’s Berry Wheat. Awful.

  5. Marvin
    September 10, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    My biggest peeve, is going into a brewpub and asking my server/bartender to tell me about the beer. I have yet to go someplace where the answer wasn’t just a casual shrug followed by, “I don’t know, I’m not the brewer.” It irritates me more than anything, and I rarely go back after that. These people should take the time to learn and those signing the paychecks should take pride in what they do and make sure these people know what they are serving.

    TBH though, I get irritated when I do out anywhere and the server cannot tell me anything about the beers on tap that they are selling. You are salespeople selling a product, LEARN YOUR JOB! this includes the so-called beer meccas here in Boise. There’s only one place I can go and I know the staff knows what they are talking about and that’s Brewforia. Otherwise anyplace else it seems like they are just winging it hoping I won’t ask more questions.

    Oh, and the other peeve is Distributor reps selling the beer giving out false information, whether it’s about the brewery, the process or the beer itself. Half the time when dealing with these guys you just want them to shut up so you can order it yourself without all the hyperbole attached with dealing with them. Anyways I could go on a tangent…:D But, I’ll leave it at that.

    • September 10, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

      Sometimes you can know too much, Marvin. I learned this years ago with cars. I always knew more than the sales guys in the showroom. I think its that way in any occupation where folks come and go. It’s rare to find anyone with actual knowledge anywhere, nevermind a bar.

      • Marvin
        September 10, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

        I know I am a geek and have taken the time to research beer. I do not expect them to know everything, but to at least make an effort. I guess that’s a better way to put it.

        • September 10, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

          I got where you were coming from Marvin. It sucks when people who could be turning people on to the wonders of good beer can’t be bothered to even try.

  6. September 10, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    I dislike lectures (advertised as a family-friendly brewery tour) where the speaker tells crude jokes, asks you to look through windows at brewing equipment, and serves you mediocre beer. Show me the stuff, up close, and insist that the tour guide actually knows something about the brewing process.

    I dislike ethnic restaurants that insist on serving crap beer, since it is from the same country of origin as the food. Work on your food/beer pairings!

    I dislike breweries and distilleries that place a higher priority on the almighty dollar than on their craft. You end up producing an inferior product.

    I dislike publicity stunts and competitions for the most beer. Just brew the damn beer. Focus on overall quality rather than the competition. You’ve got the cart before the horse.

    • September 10, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

      I love the foreign restaurant peeve, Tex. I never thought of that but it’s true, unless you’re going to a brat haus.

      • September 10, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

        Mexican food really comes to mind. IPA pairs well with spicy food. What do they have? Tecate and Corona. If we’re lucky, we can get a Dos Equis Amber or a Negra Modelo. Asian food is usually worse… Sapporo? Tsing Tao? Barf.

    • Alex
      September 10, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

      So very, very true.


  1. We Had a Bitch Session! « Beer & Whiskey Brothers - September 21, 2010

    […] of craft beer and small batch whiskey.  Some of our blog readers get into the act as well, sharing what bugs them about being a fan of finely crafted beverages.  You’ll also hear Don’s misguided (in my opinion) rant about jazz, which is classic, for […]

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