This will be short and sweet today. I’m trying to get over a cold and I need to rest before I head to work.
A couple of days ago, I wrote that the legacy craft brewers needed to be more nimble in today’s marketplace. The newer smaller breweries can change direction and recipes at the drop of a hat and consumers are responding by expecting something new and different every week. So, yesterday, New Belgium announced its new beer lineup for 2017.
What the hell? I don’t mind that they got rid of Slow Ride, Shift, and Blue Paddle (which will be renamed). They were serviceable, but won’t be missed by anyone. They are coming out with a golden ale, sure. The brewery is also creating a series called Voodoo for all its really hoppy beers. Whatever.
It is the other two beers that give me pause: Citradelic Exotic Lime Ale and Tartastic Lemon Ginger Sour. Just soak that in. The Citradelic is a beer already in production so I guess this one adds lime to it. Because yeah. I don’t know what is worse, having a bunch of dudes sit around and come up with a name for a beer like Date Grape or having a committee of people sitting around coming up with a name for a beer as asinine as Tartastic.
I understand that fruit flavored beers are a growing segment of the beer industry. However, I can’t get over the feeling that they are gimmicks aimed at attracting people who don’t like beer. Gimmicks almost always collapse under their own weight. The people attracted to such beers aren’t long term consumers and they will eventually move on to another gimmick for another type of alcohol and all you’re left with is a bunch Tartastic Lemon Ginger Sour sitting on pallets in warehouses.
Legacy brewers: be nimble and more responsive to your consumers wants, but don’t forget who you are what you do. You make beer, not umbrella drinks.