I was thinking about the Brooklyn Brewing Company this morning and how dismissive I am of their beers. I’ve had some good stuff from them (Local 1 comes to mind first) but when I’m buying beer, I immediately look away when I see their swoopy “B” logo. I respect what they do as a brewery and Garrett Oliver’s work both as a brewmaster and an advocate for craft beer, but when I’m spending my money, Brooklyn is typically a “no-go.” There’s just something about their beers that doesn’t grab me.
At the other end of the spectrum is Schlafly. I’ve loved everything I’ve had from them, and when I see their stuff it usually winds up in my cart. They are definitely one of my “go-to” breweries, and I feel like they brew their stuff just for me, as if they know what I love in a beer and they make sure to put it in every bottle.
Now a smart blogger wouldn’t burn bridges with breweries by saying they don’t enjoy their stuff, but there’s a couple of things to consider here. First and foremost, I’m not a smart blogger. If I was, this site would be all about celebrity nipple sips and Don and I would retire on the ads we sell. Secondly, just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean plenty of other folks don’t love it. That’s the great thing about craft beer – there’s a beer (or a dozen) to suit everyone’s taste. The other side of that coin is that not everything will appeal to everyone.
With all of that said, here are my “go-to” and “no-go” breweries off the top of my head at this particular moment.
You’ll see that certain great breweries didn’t make the “go-to” list, like Dogfish Head, The Bruery, and Russian River. This isn’t because they aren’t awesome, it’s just that I either can’t get their stuff (and how can you “go-to” something that you can’t actually go and get?) or that many of their beers are more complex and challenging than those brewed by the breweries above, and I consider them to be makers of “occasion” beers, not every day go-to breweries.
You may also be surprised to see Sierra Nevada on the list of “no-go” beers. I was surprised when i wrote it! But if I’m being honest, I tend to stay away from their stuff for reasons slightly out of my grasp. I think it might be that I consider them pioneers whose beers were a revelation 15 years ago, but are now kind of run-of-the-craft-mill. I’m not 100% sure, I just know I always pass them up even after having tried many of their offerings in the past.
Anyway, that’s my list. I bet some of my go-to’s are your no-go’s, and some of my no-go’s are beer you love. As I said, to each their own – that’s what makes the world of craft beer so wonderful.