The Five Things I Hate About Craft Beer

They say you always hurt the ones you love, and I have decided to take my pissy mood out on my beloved craft beer.

Here are the five things I hate about craft beer, in no particular order. 

1. The Calories.  I love flavorful beers, but it seems the tastier the brew, the more calories it’s packing.  I’m sorry, craft beer, but that just sucks.  It’s hard enough to keep a beer belly at bay drinking Michelob Ultra 64 – forget about Imperial IPA’s and stouts.  I work out regularly and take pretty good care of myself, but I think I’d be ripped like Gerard Butler in 300 if it weren’t for the damn beer.  Instead I look like Gerard Butler in Barbados.

2. Muddy Head.  I’m past the point in my life where I get smashed – I have too many responsibilities to put myself out of the game.  But that doesn’t mean drinking even moderately doesn’t take a toll.  I hate that “muddy headed” feeling I get the morning after enjoying a couple of craft beers.  I drink plenty of water and pace myself, but my 40-year-old frame still feels it the next day.  What the hell, craft beer?  Can’t I just enjoy your company without repercussions?!

3. The Panic of “Missing Out” on an Ungettable.  I’m tortured by beer releases.  Part of it is this damn blog – I feel like I need to try the latest-and-greatest so I can share it here.  The other part of it is my obsessive and competitive nature.  I always want to “win” and get my hands on the stuff that’s playing hard-to-get.  I try to resist the hype, but I often find myself cruising the beer stores looking for treasures, afraid that someone else will get all the good stuff if I don’t check the shelves regularly.  Thanks for the OCD flare up, craft beer.

4. The empties.  My recycling is picked up twice a month, and I manage to produce plenty of empties between pickups.  I am overwhelmed by a mix of grief and pride as I drag the can to the curb.  I think about how much money I spent on all that beer that is now gone, which makes me uptight  – it’s a little shocking to see it all in one place.  But I also feel like I might impress the squat Latin guy who is dumping my empties into the truck.  Este tío tiene un gusto impresionante en la cerveza y, probablemente, tiene un pene muy grande.

5. Homebrewing.  There, I said it.  I suck at homebrewing and don’t have the time (or probably the will) to do it right.  I have currently have two carboys full of shame that have been sitting in my bathtub for months now, waiting to be bottled.  I don’t even know if they’re still good – I’m afraid to look at them.  Anyway, my inability to stick with homebrewing brings some of my many faults into sharp relief.  That’s just plain annoying – thanks for making me feel like a schlub, homebrewing.

So there you have it, the five things that get under my skin when it comes to craft beer.  Do any of these bug you as well?




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Categories: Beer, Lifestyle


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

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63 Comments on “The Five Things I Hate About Craft Beer”

  1. October 18, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Oh the perils of being a craft beer lover!!!

    • October 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

      Yes, it quite the cross we bear! 🙂

      • John King
        October 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

        I see what you did there.

    • October 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

      It also goes to show you that white people can complain about anything!

  2. October 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Mine is probably the price. You don’t make a lot in my business, so when I find myself thinking of ways to save money, beer is something that always comes up.

    • October 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

      Yeah, the cost is crazy. At first I didn’t pay any attention to it, but over time I realized that moderation would save me a mint, so I’ve paced myself a bit.

  3. Michael
    October 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    The ungettables, definitely. I spend more sometimes on the shipping than on the beer.
    We have only one decent local store and the way Georgia works, if the distributor doesn’t
    carry it tough luck. So I order from a couple huge online, usually Northeast, stores.

    • October 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

      I’ve drawn the line at online ordering. I figure there are enough good beers available in NJ (we do pretty well) that I’m not going to pay crazy prices on eBay or on shipping.

      Plus, I can always whine to the brewers to get free stuff. 🙂

  4. Evan
    October 18, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    I strongly agree with #2

    • October 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

      Makes me nuts that I can feel the difference between a night when I have a nice bomber of beer over a period of two hours and one that I drink just water. Seriously, WTF?!

  5. Michael
    October 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    When you’ve tried every beer that the locals carry and you plan to try every beer made in the USA before you die, what’s an old man to do but pay shipping. Cheaper than travel.

    • October 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

      That’s true. I’m just a little cheap. 😉

  6. John King
    October 18, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    #1. I run a lot so I’m not worried, but I could only imagine the shape if I didn’t drink beer….but life wouldn’t be as fun.
    #2. I agree. I was stupid and before we had dinner Friday I had a Uinta Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin (shared with wife, Oskar Blues Ten Fidy). At dinner, I had a Founders Old Curmudgeon and a Breakfast Stout. Then we stopped by a beer bar and I got an Olde School Barleywine and a 120 Minute IPA. Needless to say, I don’t remember purchasing a bag of those stupid chip mix things you enjoy.
    3. I get over it.
    4. I use them all for homebrew…which I’m decent at….suck on that Jim.

    • October 18, 2011 at 1:16 pm #


    • October 18, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

      John, if you didn’t run like you did you would probably look like me. And since I don’t home brew (and only give John my empties every now and then), I know what you mean about the recycling folks having equal parts admiration and pity for me.

      • October 18, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

        Yeah, and since we’re a non-deposit state, it ALL winds up on the curb!

      • John King
        October 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm #


        • October 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm #


        • October 19, 2011 at 8:20 am #

          Exactly Jim. And John is jealous of my beard.

  7. October 18, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    You either need to accept 1 and 2 or find another hobbie. I’m learning to get over #3, but it’s hard and I never turn down the opportunity to by a rare beer even when I decided that I didn’t need it. If you would address #5, #4 would take care of itself.

    • October 18, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

      I’ve been drinking lots of stuff in cans lately (I’ll always go for the canned option) so #5 and #4 don’t mesh as neatly as you might think.

      And I think I have addressed #5 – admitting you have a problem is the first step to forgiving yourself and sweeping it under the rug. 🙂

  8. October 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    The husband told me he has stopped drinking beer because it makes him feel too bloated. Granted, he is at least ten years older than you but it is enough that he is making a permanent switch to red wine – which I hate.

    • October 18, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

      Boo! Be fat and happy I say!!

  9. Fred Colby
    October 18, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    Ok Jim now I want the list of how many things YOU LOVE ABOUT CRAFT BEER
    you know you should always make a Pro vs Cons list I bet the pros win LOL

    • October 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

      You can read the other 924 posts on the site for that, Fred!

  10. Peter
    October 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    #3, definitely. I’m over it now, having a kid suck my bank account dry instead took care of that, but yeah, I was plagued with guilt and remorse every time I passed by a Nogne/Mikkeller/Dogfish/something-or-other release…especially around this time of year.

    • October 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

      You’re right about that – this seems to be “panic season” for the new releases.

      Which reminds me–I need to track down some Mad Elf before it’s all gone…

      …breathe deeply….

  11. Chris
    October 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Beer is like the black hole of money for me…so much money spent on craft beer. So, I started homebrewing in an attempt to save money (once you get over equipment costs, it’s a lot cheaper to make beer than it is to buy beer). Unfortunately, now I just drink more beer and spend even more money.

    • October 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

      I did the same thing with homebrewing, except instead of sticking with it, i just spent $$$ on the gear and then never recouped my investment!

  12. October 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    #1 and #3 bother me, especially #1. I try to cut back, but then there’s a text message from the neighbors or The Alemonger, and restraint goes into the recycle bin. Perhaps I should get a treadmill!

    • October 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

      Yeah, a treadmill or just choose AT&T as your wireless carrier. That way, the opportunity to bad will have passed by long before you receive a text or voicemail. 🙂

  13. October 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    Start getting better at #5 and that will help take care of #4. You will basically start recycling in-house. Getting better at #5 you can start making those ungettables yourself and you could even design a low cal beer you’d like. But you’re probably right, what fun is it drinking a low cal beer if there’s no flavor?

    I don’t think your full carboys are bad. Most homebrewers feel that the longer they stay in fermentation, the better the flavor. I’ve made some bad brews and I’ve made some awesome brews that put any other beers to shame (imo). It’s those awesome ones that keep ya going.

    Unfortunately I think #2 is just the price you have to pay for the hobby.

    I hate the way people look (and what presumably they think of me) when I tell them how much I love craft beers. They automatically assume I’m a huge beer snob and that I think they’re schmucks for drinking a Budweiser or Coors. The fact is I love a cold PBR on a hot summer day and if you prefer can of Bud to a bottle of two hearted then so be it. I don’t think any less of them.

    • October 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

      I love the IDEA of homebrewing, but the PRACTICE of it is where I fall off. I’ve learned it takes an obsessive dedication to make a go of it, and I barely have time to cut my grass, much less brew or (worse yet) bottle my beer!

  14. October 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    I hate people who still walk into my Tap Room and say, “do you have Bud Lite?”
    Other than that, I hate breweries who get too big for their britches and stop distributing in the own BackYards….yeah. it’s nearly impossible to get a freaking Canadian Breakfast Stout around here.
    great post boys as usual

    • October 18, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

      Thanks, Wench!

      Do you have Bud Light?

      • October 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm #


        • October 18, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

          That’s probably really good advice… 🙂

    • John King
      October 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

      i agree with the too big for their britches comment.

      • October 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

        Hell, #1 almost makes ME too big for my britches (literally).

        • October 19, 2011 at 8:22 am #

          Yes, but slightly plump and enjoying a fresh IPA or a great impy stout or scotch ale is way better than a bit thinner and drinking Mich Ultra.

  15. October 18, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    I have to strongly disagree with the calorie equals a beer belly. A craft beer a night can actually help reduce fat just like wine. You can’t make craft beer an excuse. Look a little closer at your fiber intake, fat intake, carb intake, and lack of protein intake and the picture becomes more clear. We as humans like to point the finger at something else when we really have three pointing right back at us.

    Now that my rant is over. I too cry about all my empties but for a different reason. For example, my 3 bottles of Stone 15th Anniversary. My first thought is “Baby Come Back”. An empty can of a limited brew is like youth, once it’s gone you never get it back. How my empty beer cans gently weep. I’ll be getting a shipment of Founders CBS. I’ll look at them in awe and say “I’ll never drink you” but the devil in me lies.

    Cheers to hoppy beers and hoppy beers!

    • October 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

      I think carb loading in the evening is about the worst thing you can do to create a beer belly, as your body turns all that sugar into fat because it knows you don’t need it for energy while you’re sleeping (hence the beer belly). A beer a day is okay, but timing matters. Same goes for chips, ice cream, whatever. But in this case I’m bitching about beer!

  16. October 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    I think at one point in time I’ve been frustrated by most of these

    • October 18, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

      Right now I’m frustrated by ALL of these!!

  17. October 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    I would substitute #5 for “Blogging about Beer.” My blog has been woefully neglected for months now, although I have been homebrewing up a storm in the same period. Now that I finally have some time, that needs to change!

    • October 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

      I guess we balance out the universe, Alex. You actually do something constructive while I whine about it.

      Sounds about right…

  18. October 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    I am interested in your two carboys of shame. How can I get over to your bathtub for a tasting? Cheers, dude.

    • October 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

      I’m not sure you want to taste what’s inside of them. Maybe I’ll do a post tomorrow on what’s happening in the tub and ask for input from all the brewer-nerds who read the site. They like to demonstrate what an idiot I am. I guess I make it easy!

  19. October 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    #1: Just wait until you hit your sixties and you’ll see how fast beer (and other carbs) can put on the weight. However, as long as you can burn off those extra calories–strenuous outdoor activities, treadmill, weight-lifting, etc.–a pint a day is actually good for you. And truth is that I’d rather drink water than Lite beer (yechhh!) Besides, beer can’t be any worse for you than soda and I see folks drinking quarts of that dreck every day.

    #2: Definitely and this is another reason that I like low abv beers (hint, alcohol does not equal flavor!)

    #3: Nah, I already know that I can’t taste every beer out there, so I go with what I can get and cajole my beer supplier to get in any newbies that sound promising.

    #4: One beer a day keeps them w/in reason, and when I drink growlers then they’re usually good for two days. (I use a vacuum pumped cork system meant for wine to store the last half of the bottle.)

    #5: I’ve got enough hobbies–right now I’ve got a garage full of old bee-keeping equipment I have to find a home for. (That’s another long story.)

  20. October 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    I feel great shame when taking out my recycling. Prideful shame.

    • October 18, 2011 at 7:08 pm #


  21. Kid Carboy Jr.
    October 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    That homebrewing entry was some depressing stuff, dude.

    • October 18, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

      Depressingly honest.

  22. October 18, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    Jim, You know session beer solves #1 and #2, and no one cares enough about session beer to have #3 become an issue. And if you are drinking session beer, you might as well get a tap in the garage, so #4 goes away too. And with a keg, #5 becomes a passing memory. Chris.

    • October 18, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

      Any session beer you care to recommend, Chris? 🙂

      • October 18, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

        Trying not to pimp, but failing!

        • October 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

          Well, you probably believe in what you brew. Nothing wrong with that !

  23. Tom
    October 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    While the ‘thrill of the hunt’ for special releases is very hard to overcome I suffer from the much more serious ailment of ‘the grass is greener on the other side of the fence,or country, for beers, festivals and releases that I can only read about!

    Please let me know if you know of anyone wanting to get rid of some seldom used brewing equipment!

  24. October 19, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    I say bottle the brew in the bath up. I brewed my first batch recently, and bottled it, it was surprisingly hard to foul up. Good thing is, leaving them in the carboys for a length of time is probably only doing your beer a favor. You can either spend $50 and two hours and bottle one of those things or live each day with a bath tub full of fail and a monkey on your back.

  25. October 19, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    Please tell me you have more than one bathtub.

  26. The Beer Viking
    October 21, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    I feel your pain on number 3, but number1 is all genetics!

    • October 21, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

      Spoken like a 25 year old… 🙂


  1. Home Brewing: What Lurks Behind the Shower Curtain of Shame? | Beer & Whiskey Brothers Blog - October 19, 2011

    […] I posted the five things I hate about craft beer, and number five on that list was homebrewing.  While I love the IDEA of homebrewing, I tend to […]

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