This is the final installment of our 3 part Reader's Survey results post. For part 1, click here. For part 2, click here.
What do you think we as a beer community could do better?
I thought it best to share (well, almost) all the comments, and I'll weight in (in italics) where appropriate.
The continued expansion of beer / dinner pairings. This is a welcome (and delicious) trend.
Making craft beer more accessible to newbies. Maybe.
This is something we aimed for early on, but maybe we've gotten away from it? We hope that events like Tailgate for Nothing - which I'm sure they can be intimidating from the outside looking in - can help. We also hope you'll remember that many of us at HBG started with very little knowledge of this stuff, and that the learning curve isn't as steep as it might look from the outside. Visit your local pubs, taste beer, and the rest will come pretty naturally.
Get more good beer at the local sports locales (Lucas Oil, Victory, Conseco). Conseco Fieldhouse is probably the biggest offender.
Tell the coasts to fuck off -- we've got plenty of good stuff being made right in Indiana (and the midwest) and it's way fresher. BUY LOCAL.
I'm not sure we need to tell the coasts to fuck off, but I'll agree with you on buying local. Our focus has become very much set on Indiana beer in the past year - the beer is as good here as anywhere.
More Meetups, moving the Summer beerfest up to late May or early June, supporting business by drinking even more craft beer, and better selections in grocery stores.
Nothing. I think the Indiana beer community is evolving at a nice pace. I await many more years of great times and great tastes!
Good suggestion, I'll see what I can do.
It's growing and very exciting for beer in Indiana right now. I would like to see both the summer microbrewers festival change locations or drastically cut back the number of tickets. I would gladly pay more to be around less drunken frat d-bags.
While I understand the sentiment, I'm not sure I agree with the method. Making what many consider to be Indiana's best beer event more expensive is not going to grow the audience. And beer shouldn't be about exclusivity anyway. Have a conversation with a drunken frat d-bag, maybe he's just lonely.
More places listed on the Roundup!
Believe me - that's not one we have any control over.
It would be nice for more local brewers to make bolder beers.
Drink more beer! Some sort of French Mike beer bicycle ride would be teh awesomez (le awesome?).
There are rumors of a beer/art/bike ride. More later.
Getting new beer from around the country is great, but even better is sharing with other like minded people. Getting more tastings together between friends always is a great way to try new beer and have a good time.
Have more bars with a focus on Indiana beers!
Educate your friends and neighbors about craft beer in a positive and responsible manner.
Strive to make it easier to produce great beer and get it to customers. End prohibition (Sunday carry-out sales for all). Drink even more locally!
More recognition of other Indiana beers by other states.
More tastings and get-togethers. Beer Sales on Sunday!
I'm very satisfied with the beer community in Indiana. The one thing I would like to see would be a greater number of beer gatherings, such as the TGFN's or events at Sun King. I understand that may be difficult from a logistics standpoint, but they are awesome events. Additionally, I think it would be cool to occasionally just arrange random things, like a simple blast for a meet and greet at Brugge or something like that, just to create more opportunities to meet more craft beer enthusiasts.
Not necessarily as a beer community, but I would love for local breweries and beer bars to update their tap menus more regularly (or at all). Having lived in Philadelphia, where you could easily find an updated tap list for most beer bars that is updated everyday, I feel that Indianapolis lacks in this. I believe that bars and breweries would notice a dramatic increase if they marketed via their websites and via social media.
Some places, such as Tomlinson and Sun King, do a pretty good (often fantastic) job of this, while others, such as Shallo's, Brugge, Chumley's, Broad Ripple Brewing, Barley Island BR, etc etc would earn a lot more business from me if I could look at a taplist updated daily or at least every other day that told me that they had a gem on tape that I should seek out!
Not to go on and on about it, but an extremely important aspect of this is that if a business is going to start, they need to keep it going or it will be a waste from the beginning. Look at Toronado San Francisco's tap list on their website as an example, which has been updated twice in four years. Very disappointing. This is an age where people depend on this information and those who do it will thrive, and those who don't will not.
I think Craft Breweries and Bars often fail to see (or just chose to overlook) that their best chance of success is an informed audience. We've tried to help get that information out. It has gotten better. But there's a ton of room for improvement.
Don't kick me & my crew out of the 5th Annual party at 11 pm after all other attendees are long gone.
I'm not sure who you are, but I'm betting you were drunk enough already.
Some of us need to stop being snobby assholes about beer. I love craft beer, I preach it to non craft friends. But, I don't force it upon them. I see too much of that in our community, it makes us look bad.
I'd like a TRULY good beer bar.
Continue the spreading the word about the great craft beer in Indiana. We are a great beer state and need to share our beer with the rest of the country.
Review more beers!
Three things: Sunday, Sunday, Sunday
Promote more Indy area beers - it seems like your relationship with Sun King (as great as they are) keeps you from doing events with others. Maybe those others aren't as diligent about supporting the site and community?
I don't believe that our relationship with Sun King prohibits us from working with others, but the relationship is very very good and comes naturally. Our relationship with others is very good as well, but it's a lot more work.
The support we see is hit and miss, but that could be as much our fault as anyone else's. I will say that we're open, excited and happy to work with anyone, but we're also busy people, and convenience is a large part of how and why our events happen where and when they do.
I'd love to see beer snobbery end. To continue to see this cool craft beer thing keep going, we need more members of our beer community. So many of us already in the scene have forgotten what got us here, and can be overly condescending to newbies who are curious about it. We've forgotten the joy of a session beer, longing only for the next shock me, shock me with that massive abv and insane hop profile beer. I believe there's a time and place for (almost) every beer, and by recognizing that, I hope we can all help bring more people to the community, and truly begin to have a beer culture that can rival Madison, Portland, Cali, Denver (ok, that's a stretch).
We're reaching a point where we'll have as many breweries as some of those cities, let's hope they're all successful. Community starts with breweries - when the general public sees that these places aren't just for beer snobs, the whole community will come around.
I am noticing a creeping up of prices across the board. I get it with the hop shortage of a couple years ago and the reduction of barley, because of corn, but now I just feel like it is going up, to go up. I think Indianabeer.com had a little blurb about it a couple of weeks ago. $12 growlers at Bier, expensive pints at Tomlinson, $12 4 packs of Sun King...it just adds up to me selecting other non Indiana options. I can get Founders, Sierra Nevada, Bells and a host of others for a buck or two cheaper a six pack. That does only add up to a couple bucks a week, but it could be $15 a month, which equates out to almost $200 a year.
Growler sales aren't an option for everyone, but there's definitely value to be found in the city. It's all a matter of knowing when to shop. Look for more on this topic from us shortly (paging Mr. Corr..)
Try to not be so snobbish as some beer geeks can become. Also just because I beer isn’t super rare doesn’t mean that it isn’t good I think too many people get on hype wagons and forget about great simply beers that are available locally.
Are we guilty of this? I hope not. We're trying.
Need a laid-back beer lounge that only sells craft brews, ciders, meads, and maybe some wines. Eclectic, funky, non-smoking, comfy couches and chairs. Check out Fermentation Lounge in Tallahassee, FL.
I'd check out the new - now non-smoking - Rich O's space in New Albany, IN. And let's hope that places like that become more common.
Buy more Indiana beer and do our best to push it on our friends and family. If a local liquor doesn't carry X Indiana brewery, suggest that they get some everytime you go in, a similar approach can be used with your favorite watering hole. In the end, Indiana beer won't expand anymore until we provide the demand for it.
Continue with social/community events for us craft beer lovers. It's a lot of fun and important for growing the influence of craft beer vs. the inbev/millercoors marketing machines.
Hold more educational events that focus on ingredients of a beer or how it’s made. As we have seen with the “Brew Masters” TV show; I think knowing more about the ingredients and where there from creates more excitement for beer. At least I enjoy knowing these sort of things.
Rod is working on a very detailed "how beer is made" post. You can also learn a lot about beer on brewery tours like those given at Sun King (again with the Sun King, I know...)
Buy more beer.
Getting all the little guys' names out there that have a quality product. It would be cool to have an iPhone app (or even website) where you could put in beer styles (or for avg people some basic descriptors of hop vs malt etc), put in your location (or use GPS), and see what is actually on tap nearby. If that can't happen, even having an easy to use way to see what's on tap where.....without reading thru tweets, facebook, indianabeer.com, etc.
What if there was a Random Beer Roundup on some website? Pipe dreams, I know.
We have a handful of good beer bars in Indy, but we lack a world-class beer bar.
Not over hype limited/rare beers.
Keep spreading the word about good beer. The best way to keep craft beer growing in Indiana is to keep introducing craft beers to local bars and restaurants.
I think it is imperative that we get beer bars to get with the times and let people know what they have on tap, what specials they are running and what events are coming up. The weekly round-ups do a good job, but all to often I am finding out about things after they happen, or somethings been on tap that I could have been enjoying for week or two before I get in to see. The worst offenders, Scotty's Brewhouse, Beer Sellar, McNivens and Barley Island. We need to get these fools on board with at least weekly updates if not daily. Also, fuck facebook, it's too cluttered, and there's always a 70% chance of having to deal with some person from high school that you never wanted to talk to popping up in the bottom right. Twitter updates are a much easier means, for establishments and beer geeks. I guess what I am saying is, HBG is really doing a great job, but these places need to help... WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE!!
This is a reoccuring theme, isn't it?
It would be nice if places with rotating taps would be more current on their websites and even in store with their selections.
Relax the geekiness and arrogance by nerds who don't know how to relax and drink good beer. It's not that deep.
Went to AZ recently and noticed how much cheaper beer was there than here in IN. Is there anything we can do about this? Is it taxes?
Maybe someone can leave a comment?
I think you all are a great resource and I have enjoyed meeting several of you at various Midwestern beer events. Cheers!
Cheers to you as well.
Make the seasonal brews more easily accessible beyond dragging growlers to the brewery to get a try (maybe share some between breweries or tap rooms).
I think the price of packaging and distribution has a large part in this, but I also think you'll see more seasonal Indiana beer on shelves this year. Cross your fingers.
Drink More Beer!
More 6 pack interviews. i enjoy reading them on HBG. Have a guest HBG of the month to join your round table reviews. Provide a beer trading forum for locals (not sure if this is legal).
The 6 Pack Interview are the easiest thing on this site to write - we just email off questions and wait for responses. We've just sort of gotten away from it.
We'll be doing more Indiana Brewing Guide stuff this year, hopefully that can wet your whistle.
I've read quite a bit about the pints for prostate campaign and i'd like to see HBG use their networking and influence to perhaps coordinate a pub crawl at a various beer bars to raise awareness, raise funds and perhaps make it an annual event.
Promote more of beers from around the state and less homer love for Indy.
We're definitely guilty of this, and hopefully we can put together a plan to fix that. Stay tuned.
A resource that provides pint specials at reviewed establishments or those listed on your "where to drink" page would be lovely.
It would, wouldn't it?
Thanks to everyone for your comments - we hope that the involved parties (in many cases, us) use them to make Indiana a better, easier place to drink good beer. We'll continue trying if you'll continue drinking.