Is The Quality Trajectory of Craft Beer Unrealistic?

I’ve heard this debate a bit recently but it really came to a head for me a few days ago when I was in my local craft beer purveyor…

As I do, I like to hang about at the shop and chat to the staff about what’s going on, what is coming up release wise and generally what has been going on in the Yarra Valley. I noticed a gentleman come in, have a browse at the shelves and then make a bee- line for the fridge. From the fridge he produced a six pack of Mountain Goat Summer Ale and a four pack of Fancy Pants. As he came up to the counter he started talking to one of the shop assistants about what he drinks and said something that rather shocked me: “I can’t afford craft beer this week so I’m just getting some Mountain Goat.”


An inferior product?


This shocked me for a few reasons but mainly that I consider Mountain Goat to be craft beer, and great craft beer at that. For it to be considered an ‘inferior’ product is sacrilege to me, Mountain Goat sits amongst the great Australian craft brewers at the moment and are producing some amazing brews that just keep getting better and more interesting.

The question I keep thinking about is this: Is the quality trajectory of craft beer going to become unrealistic? Is it already? Are consumers beginning to expect too much from their local craft brewer and wanting more out there and nebulous brews or is this beer snobbery? I’ve had some pretty funky beers in my time but have never thought for a second that Mountain Goat is a beer not worth my time, they have brewed just as many different, funky brews.

This raises another issue for me: Will craft beer as we know it be no longer recognisable in the future? It is either that or this will be the point at which craft beer plateaus and we have hit a saturation point where we can’t go anywhere else.

These points are still a long way off from coming to this level but it is something to think about.

Your Thoughts?


2 thoughts on “Is The Quality Trajectory of Craft Beer Unrealistic?

  1. Hi there,

    I am Gabi from Gladfield Malt, we make craft malt to supply the craft brewing industry in New Zealand and we are currently supplying Victoria state, Australia.

    I liked your blog about the unrealistic quality trajectory for the craft industry!

    One thing we know is that you need to be innovative/creative to survive on this industry. This is why a lot of our clients love Gladfield, because we are a medium maltings that only cater for the craft brewers. So we can come up with very original malts, witch help the brewer to be innovative/creative. I.e. Manuka Smoked Malts.

    In regards to Mountain Goat, they are the first in my mind to be innovative… great brewery and great brewers! Thanks for supporting them on your blog.

    They are a client of ours, they particularly like our Crystals.

    Dave Edney, the head brewer, call us one day to see if we could help him to develop an original Red IPA. He needed a malt that would give the beer a really nice red hue. We jumped to the opportunity! Shepherd’s Delight was born! We made a video blog about the experience by interviewing Dave and Doug for them to tell us how the process went.

    Here is the link for you to watch over a nice Mountain Goat beer!!

    Three Blokes talk about beer

    If you need anymore information about us please don’t hesitate to ask.

    I am planning on visiting our clients around 22nd of September in Melbourne, maybe we could have a beer together and talk about the future of the craft beer industry?

    I look forward hearing back from you.



    03 325 4447 / 027 392 7543 721 DUNSANDEL HORORATA ROAD, RD2, LEESTON, 7682, CANTERBURY, NEW ZEALAND


    • Hi Gabi,
      Would love to catch up for a beer and chat craft beer when you are in Melbourne.
      Will you be in town on the 22nd? Let me know when you’re available.

      David Spurling

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s