So much has transpired around here since last post at Fiction Beer Company....the mind boggles. The Denver Brewery scene has exploded and become hyperlocal. That means that I have given up on going out of my way to try new breweries, as there are too many to try. I know this sounds ridiculous, but there have been more than a dozen, maybe two dozen new openings in the last 6 months in Denver alone. There are whole brewery districts that I haven't been to.
While this seems like a good problem to have, there are two major issues I see. One, even though I love beer, brewing, brewers, and breweries, I don't see a need to travel across town for a brewery anymore. I am one of their main customer types, and they are not drawing me out of my neighborhood. Two, from experience, some breweries are not brewing good beer, and others are not providing good experiences for "people like me".
I used to think that when you had a bad beer or bad experience at a new brewery, you should go back after a few months to give them another shot. I expected breweries to improve quality and figure out their service priorities. They often are so busy upon opening that their number one priority is to have enough beer to sell.
Lately, however, breweries that don't have many beers on tap, have bad beer, or crappy service are not getting a second chance with me. I neither have the time, nor do I need to leave my neighborhood to get fresh brewed beer, and I am more vocal about these experiences with others beer geeks....and word does get around. I have overheard conversations about certain breweries that mirror my own opinions....that can not be good for them.
So, with so many breweries, you'd think were at a saturation point, right? Nope, not yet. There are just as many breweries coming on line in the next few months as the last few. I am most excited by the breweries of professional brewers branching out on their own. Guys and girls from Dry Dock, Great Divide, Prost, and others are leaving their steady paychecks and hanging their own shingles in the next few months. I can't wait. I will be sad to start seeing some breweries go under, however, as you hate to see a homebrewer with a dream and their life savings invested go bust...but at the same time, I fear that is next year's trend.