Tag Archives: new belgium

One Beer Article You Need To Read And Why, 12/8/16

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.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 6/8/16

The Wednesday Five Articles are here

The One Beer Article I Needed To Read And Why, 12/14/15-12/20/15

If you visit this blog often, especially in the last few weeks, you have seen posts about some changes to the posts and the schedule of posts I am planning for this space.  The reasons I want to make these changes are I am trying to make this site more thought-provoking and making myself do slightly different things in order to push my beer knowledge.  Also, I’m always looking to keep myself from getting bored by looking at beer and the industry that surrounds it.

As part of that, today is the first Sunday where there won’t be a Five Articles.  Instead, it will be a commentary or more in-depth look at the article that piqued my interest the most from the week.  In 500 words or so, I want to look at the story and explain why it interests me so much.

There were two articles that I was really interested in and read multiple times this week. One of which I won’t necessarily write about, but I will use the ideas expressed in it in a more conscious and mindful way as I taste beer.

The article I want to write about today is this one from The Coloradoan about New Belgium Brewing’s reported valuation and what it means.

We are in an important moment in the ongoing history of American Craft Beer.  The initial wave came and crested from the late-1970s to the mid-1990s.  From the wreckage of that initial bubble, the brewers most committed to quality and flavorful beer survived and newer brewers who learned from the mistakes of those before them, emerged.

One of those new and emerging brewers was New Belgium.  Since its founding in 1991, New Belgium has become one of the leading lights in the craft beer movement.  So much so that the Brewers Association has changed its definition of craft brewer to make sure New Belgium (and other similarly sized breweries) stay in the fold.

So, when the news New Belgium was requesting a valuation of the company’s total worth, many in the craft beer world were taken back.

Initial hot takes were that the company is looking to sell.  That may be true, but it isn’t necessarily what is happening.

The thing that interested me most about this article itself was how it framed New Belgium as a company in transition in an industry in transition.  Both the company and industry seem to be going through the same growing pains at the same time.  New Belgium is in the midst of a leadership transition and two major expansions at the same time the industry is exploding and being raided by big beer.

The other thing that interested me in the coverage of this story was the reaction to the story.   Maybe because this is only a valuation. Maybe the craft beer world is getting over its adolescent view of business.  However, the reaction was rather muted. Usually, craft beer people don’t think of craft as a business.  They think of it as some kind of calling to battle crappy beer. In his new book, The Beer Bible, Jeff Alworth describes it as pirates fighting against the evil big beer. On one hand, that romantic ideal is what makes craft beer so special.  On the other hand, it has little to do with the actual business of beer.

We will learn quickly how much the craft beer world has grown up when New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, or Boston Beer sells.  Either, social media will melt down or people will have really good discussions about what Craft Beer 3.0 will look like.

Five Articles You Need To Read And Why, 12/11/15

One of the things it took me a long time as a writer to get comfortable with was planning and outlining.  I grew up reading about Kerouac and the stream of conscious writers and thought that meant to just sit in front of a computer and let the muse loose.  At some point, I realized that that wasn’t what these writers were doing at all.  They always had a destination in mind and a path to get there.  However, they allowed the muse and their characters interrupt and take them down a different path that still lead to where they wanted to be.  I think it is the same in business and any endeavor.  You should have a path and a plan to get you to your final destination, but you have to allow the things to play out and change as the world sometimes dictates.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 5/21/15

There were almost too many links today to choose from. From a great video on Beer Geek TV about how the smaller craft breweries are beginning to get crowded out of shelf space to brewery news from Greenville/Spartanburg.  I decided to concentrate on a question I get a lot at the bar and news from Charlotte, Asheville, and around North Carolina.

I was one review short this week, so my goal next week is to get an extra review or some other type of post completed for Monday.