Frequently Asked Questions

You may find this hard to believe, but I don't have a product list for every liquor store in the world, or even in North America. Nor do I know where you can buy all of the T-shirts and pint glasses and neon signs that the breweries sell. Nor does my local liquor store stock every beer ever brewed. Nor do I have a direct line to the brewers, management, and public relations people at every brewery. But I can point you in the right direction if you're asking one of these questions:


How To Contact A Particular Brewery

  1. I do not represent nor work for any breweries, so I will not forward your messages to breweries, and I will not respond to you to let you know that I will not forward your messages.
  2. The Regional Brewery Guides contain addresses, phone numbers, and even email addresses for virtually every brewery in the world. If you have something to say to a brewery, find the link on the left side of the page, look up their address, and contact them directly.

Brewery Services Symbols

Throughout the 22-or-so years that Beer Me! has been on the Net, there has been some mild controversy over my classification of the various breweries. For example, Sierra Nevada brews some half-million barrels of beer every year, so they're a "Regional Brewery". But they have an on-site restaurant and pub, so they're a "Brewpub".

After lots of consideration, I've decided that those arbitrary distinctions don't matter. What does matter are the "services" you can expect when you visit the brewery. To that end, I'm now including these new icons with each brewery's listing:

  • Bar/Tasting RoomBar/Tasting Room
  • Beer GardenBeer Garden
  • RestaurantRestaurant
  • Retail ItemsRetail Items (Shirts, hats, glassware, etc.)
  • Hotel RoomsHotel Rooms
  • Beer To Go (Off-License)Beer To Go (Off-License sales, home delivery)
  • ToursTours
  • InternetInternet Access Available
  • Not Open to the PublicNot Open to the Public(as far as I know)

I'm hoping this information makes the site more useful and less confusing. We'll see.


How To Find A Particular Beer

This is how I do it:

  1. If you've had the beer before, go back to the place you had it and ask them where they got it.
  2. Call or visit every last liquor store, supermarket, and seller of beer in your local area and ask if they carry the beer you're after. If they don't, ask them to order you a case.
  3. Call every last beer distributor you can find in your local Yellow Pages, and ask them if they carry the beer you're after. If they do, they'll be able to tell you where you can buy it. If they don't, ask them to start carrying it.
  4. If the beer is an import, contact the importer and ask them if they have any distributors in your area.
  5. Contact the brewery directly and ask them if they have any distributors in your area.
  6. Learn how to brew your own so you'll never be in this position again.

How To Find A Particular Brewery's Merchandise

  1. Contact that brewery's local distributor. Distributors often have shirts, point-of-sale materials, signs, and the like, although they're not always willing to part with them. (Note: If they're not in the phone book, I won't be able to help you either, so don't even ask.)
  2. Contact the brewery directly and ask them if they do mail-orders. Most do.

How To Get Me To Try A Beer That's Not On The List

  1. Do not expect me to rush right out and buy every beer you recommend. If it's available at the liquor stores in and around Omaha, Nebraska, chances are I've already had it. If it's not available at those liquor stores, I can't very well rush right out and buy it.
  2. Buy one bottle of each beer that you want me to try. Be sure these beers are not already on my Beer List.
  3. Pack them so well that even the Post Office won't be able to break them. (Note: The Post Office won't knowingly ship beer.)
  4. Send me email telling me what you're planning to send, and I'll respond with an address to send it to.

Definitions of Brewery Types

[Edit 2007-06-25: Last November, I dispensed with classifying breweries according to production. Instead, I indicate whether they're open to the public and what services they offer if they are. You can find more details at The 'Beer Me!' Blog.]

There are a number of terms used to describe the various breweries and their brewing capacities. One very common system is used by the Brewers Association...you can read about it at here.

My system is a little different, as it's geared toward Travelling Beer Lovers instead of statisticians. I classify breweries this way:

Brewpub: A place with a bar (and probably a kitchen) where you can sit down and drink beer brewed on the premises. (A Microbrewery with a small tasting room doesn't qualify as a Brewpub.)

Microbrewery: A brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels or hectolitres of beer annually and packages all of its beer for sale off the premises. If such a brewery has a bar (and probably a kitchen) where you can sit down and drink beer brewed on the premises, I've classified it as a Brewpub.

Regional Brewery: A brewery in the United States or Canada that produces between 15,000 and 1,000,000 barrels or hectolitres of beer annually and packages all of its beer for sale off the premises. If such a brewery has a bar (and probably a kitchen) where you can sit down and drink beer brewed on the premises, I've classified it as a Brewpub.

Brew-On-Premise: A brewery that provides the facilities for people to come in and brew their own beer. Some "BOPs" also brew their own beer for sale like a microbrewery, and some operate restaurants like brewpubs; if they do, I've classified them accordingly.

Large Brewery: A brewery that produces more than 1,000,000 barrels or hectolitres of beer annually.

Beer Marketing Company: A company that puts its own label on beer that is brewed for them by a Brewpub, Microbrewery, or Large Brewer. (Sometimes called a "contract brewer", but more correctly described as a "contract brewee".)


How to Find Out About a Piece of Brewery Memorabilia

To find out the history of a particular item of beer paraphernalia, or what that item might be worth, contact the American Breweriana Association at http://www.americanbreweriana.org.