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Aug 11, 2007 07:03 PM

Micro On Campus

I was just drinking a 750ml of Wailing Wench brewed by Middle Ages Brewing Company from Syracuse, New York (home of the Orangemen!) I recall from my college days in Philadelphia (during the infancy micro [circa 1990]) that most kids drank macro but that a select few (of us) were also drinking things like Dock Street Amber, Boston Lager, and some imports such as Franziskaner Weissbier and Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter.
With so many micros coming to prominence during the 1990s, could a few from the collegiate community PLEASE tell me whether a few college "keggers" include an occassional micro?



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  1. Absolutely. Sierra Nevada is sort of a macro-micro and sells well in kegs in college areas, as do Sam Adams, Red Hook and Yuengling. Stella Artois has also gotten very popular. Few of the true micros are available in kegs, but bottled micros sell very well in populous college towns.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mojoeater

      I've never noticed a paucity of microbrew kegs. In fact, the smaller the brewery, the more likely they don't bottle (although most do bottle these days).

      For many years breweries such as Hale's and Widmer were draft-only.

      1. re: Jim Dorsch

        I meant widely available around college campus. Harris Teeter/Kroger/Safeway don't often have a big selection of smaller micros by the keg, but do have them in bottles.

    2. "the infancy micro [circa 1990]"

      Infancy? I'd say the craft beer era was in it's adolescence by the 90's, it's infancy was clearly in the mid-70's-80's. By then, Anchor was bottling and shipping out of state (NJ and MA were the first distance markets, IIRC), the first micros , like New Albion and Cartwright, had opened and brewpubs had been legalized (on a state-by-state basis) and were popping up as well. The first contract-brewed craft beers (pre-dating Koch's Sam Adams) were out, notably New Amsterdam.

      In addition, some of the remaining regional brewers were reviving older brands or experimenting with non-"American light lager" styles- Ortlieb (a couple of ales, a stout), Falstaff (a third Ballantine ale, "Brewers Gold Ale" and a porter from Narragansett), Hudepohl came out with the all-malt Christian Morlein line, Schmidt's had a number of ales (Tiger Head, 20th Century, McSorley's) and an Octoberfest, bocks and cream ales were becoming more prevalent again, etc.

      Don't recall the exact chronology, but by the 80's, Newman's in Albany, Catamount in Vt., Chesbay in VA, Smith and Riley in Arkansas, Manhattan and New Amsterdam in NYC, Stoudt's in PA, etc., were brewing east of the Rockies (in some cases, had come and gone) and the Colorado, PNW and Calif. scenes (all of which were ahead of the East) were in bloom.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JessKidden

        I don't disagree with anything that you've stated. The culture has changed dramatically was my real point. American micro has (since then) reached beyond those of us who were simply curious at that time. IIRC in a typical bar with wide selection in the late 80s to early 90s you could get macro, Sam, and many decent imports. I'd say by the mid 90s you started to see micro (along with Belgian [BIG TIME]) hit the mainstream and now we have solid micro selection in our supermarkets and new brewpubs are opening all of the time.

        1. re: Chinon00

          I agree.
          The real explosion of micros started in the mid 90's and continues today. My local supermarket here in beer wasteland Florida has a larger craft and import section than macro.
          Gotta love it!!!

      2. When I was in college in DC 1994-1997 we would get good kegs when we had the money, which was not so often. The kep selection was generally limited but we would occasionally get Pete's Wicked Winter Brew, Sierra nevada or a keg of Sams and we were sitting pretty. Most of the time it would be keystone light or some other garbage like that.

        I used to have a backpack filled with a sixer of my choice that I would drink when i was at those events. It was in those days that Bread and Circus(now whoel foods) in Georgetown had a fantastic selection and the guy heading the dept taught me alot about beer. In those days the beers I would drink were Hop Ottin IPA, Maudite, La Fin du Monde, Tuppers Hop Pocket and various Belgians.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MVNYC

          I just graduated from the University of Georgia in May so hopefully I can add something from the perspective you were searching for.

          Most, unfortunately, still drink BMC. Not only in kegs, but pretty much that's all they drink. Lots of keggers actually do worse and go with Natural Light or Keystone (gross). Though craft beer has been/is making a strong comeback, from what I've see, we (college craft beer consumers) only make up a small percentage of the market. Luckily though, those who do not drink BMC seem to be passionate enough about drinking quality, and not worrying about paying a little extra for it, that our purchasing power still seems to encourage the local package stores to keep up a great selection, allowing for those who want the good stuff, the ability to actually get it.

          In Athens, we are fortunate to have Terrapin, Sweetwater, and Atlanta Brewing Co close and available so I have started to see more and more people drinking these, at least on occasion. I can only hope that after having a really good brew like these, they choose not to go back to Bud and find some better beer. Hopefully this will lead to some better kegs at the many parties we have here.