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AC Golden Ctayt

Discussion in 'US - Mountain' started by Domingo, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. joshclauss

    joshclauss Savant (305) Colorado Oct 31, 2010

    Once again, I feel like I have failed for not writing a dissertation on the economics of the craft beer market.

    Everyone makes a good point, but I'd also offer this - let's all be mindful that the craft beer scene, especially the limited-quantity beers that we all seek out, was not nearly as diverse, available, and appealing to as large of an audience ten or even five years ago. Our curiosity and willingness to pay a higher price has allowed this experimentation and expansion to occur, and at an alarming pace. It has also increased our knowledge as consumers, and made the market sharper in response to inferior product. Look at Crooked Stave. Chad's business would not have been possible without this entire idea becoming an actual market reality. He makes beer that, by definition, is purely experimental, and people line up around the block to "overpay" to support the vision. There was reluctance to partake the first time around in the society, although I don't hear too many people complaining about the availability of Crooked Stave now. Everyone benefits on the coattails of the support the first Reserve Society members gave, and that makes the market better for me and everyone else here. I think it would be interesting to go back in time and look at the level of reluctance of BA's to pay $15 for a bottle of beer when the first domestic breweries began experimenting with more expensive ingredients and processes, which now has become our baseline metric to use against brewers charging more.

    I don't have a direct opinion formed yet one way or another on the AC Golden project, although the beer I've had has been mostly representative of what I'd expect from a new craft outfit - some that worked great, others that fell short - which makes it the most successful of these ventures that I've come across (and I remember Coors trying a bunch of other approaches before this one that were not). And that, in and of itself, is a fascinating development in the world of beer.

    Maybe I should get back to my job, although this is fun...
  2. Prospero

    Prospero Advocate (610) Colorado Jul 27, 2010

    Well society's tastes have changed and sours weren't the same quality 10-15 years ago as they are today. I'd say there's a lot more time and quality control involved now.
  3. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Champion (875) Colorado May 19, 2005

    ACG has the backing (in facilities at the very least) of Coors. Crooked Stave had the backing of...not Coors. I understand expensive ingredients (or the expensive process of getting certain ingredients, or brewing processes) reflects in the price of experimental beers, e.g. Crooked Stave. This price is needed to cover costs. While ACG brewers work hard and make some good beers, they don't need to charge the consumer to cover their expense. Since these are self-proclaimed small batches, the cost is limited--from seemingly unlimited coffers of Coors.

    But it goes further than just covering cost. The price tag on this stout is double those of CS 750s when they came out. I see no justification for this price, the more I think about it. The ACG sours were good, but as ABastard stated, they aren't Cantillon in flavor, size, or financial backing.

    This may sound strange, but I have nothing against ACG and the beers they produce. Their marketing strategy is what alienates me from their products. I'm a torn man :eek:
  4. joshclauss

    joshclauss Savant (305) Colorado Oct 31, 2010

    Right, I realize AC Golden is a bit of a different animal, but it's also the first project of its kind from the Big Two where the beer actually makes it harder to completely abstain. More than that, I was trying to give a narrow additional perspective about what it means for the market when this kind of pricing appears, while also agreeing that we should all vote with our dollars. Anyway, there's tons going on right now and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
  5. Ctayt is good. $25 good? Debate-able. But would anyone question the integrity of the offering if the label said, "Suds Factory Beerworks" instead of AC Golden and it tasted just the same? Some of this is perceived concern for not wanting to support 'the big guy'. Understandable to a degree. Some of it may be founded in realistic issues about profit margins. I can dig that too.

    If it's not as good as another $25 stout, consumers won't buy it (again). If ACG wants to make an overpriced one-off and people buy it up, (f em but) more power to them. But if they want to remain competitive in flavor AND in value, then they'll probably (hopefully) bring the price down on future releases while maintaining production quality. I wouldn't snub my nose at a business who wants to make a profit on a product simply because they've got a wealthy older brother backing them any moreso than I would at a business going it alone.

    I do believe the beer is aged for 13 months, so the return for them, while appreciable, might not be quite what some think, despite having unlimited coffers of support (it should still be 'ok' for a business to turn a profit, right? Even an 'offshoot'?). Frankly, I dig the idea that (another) 'local' brewery can produce a quality imperial stout.

    I'm not going to hate the big boy simply for being big, but if they can't offer value and flavor with comps in the market, I won't buy it again. Thankfully we all have a choice in the matter...and we're all free to buy from the myriad of locals and ignore ACG if we don't want to pony up. I'm sure they'll be fine in the end. But if you make a quality product at a price worth buying it for, then that's kind of the crux of the free market, no?

    As a guy with a vested (family) interest in craft beer, the 'taste and quality' of a beer don't change because of the label/name. See any BCBS/GI/ABinbev thread for reference.
  6. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Champion (875) Colorado May 19, 2005

    All good points. I don't/won't support the big boys not b/c they are big. They have every right to make a profit. I'm not saying they should be punished.

    What 'grinds my gears' is that for years BMC pulled the wool over peoples' eyes, made crappy "beer", thwarted smaller breweries trying to make it somewhat-medium-sized, and muscled retailers for shelf space.

    Of course, with this particular beer, they can do whatever they want with it. Their history taints their current aspirations :confused:
  7. spoony

    spoony Savant (470) Colorado Aug 1, 2012

    /Begin devil's advocate here:

    1. Almost everyone here is assuming that because MillerCoors has deep pockets, this beer was cheaper from a materials standpoint, but this beer is not made with the same ingredients or on the same equipment or by the same brewers (mostly) or in the same way as the Silver Bullet. Thus, I'm not so sure that this beer is as cheap to brew as everybody on here suggests. Sure, MillerCoors has a bankroll from sales of the Silver Bullet that other brewers don't have, but that doesn't make this beer any cheaper to make. It merely means that MillerCoors can cover the costs to brew this beer in a way that a small start-up could not. Which suggest that MillerCoors is merely pricing this beer at what it perceives to be market rates, regardless of costs, which leads me to...

    2. Even if MillerCoors was making a huge margin on this beer, doesn't good, American capitalism dictate that AC Golden price their beers as high as the market will allow?

    /End devil's advocate (return to socialist Spoony)

    I think "prestige" pricing blows. The lack of prestige pricing is one of my favorite things about beer...you can get the best beer in the world for way less than supply/demand economics would suggest.
    ucsbmullet likes this.
  8. FarmerTed

    FarmerTed Savant (265) Colorado May 31, 2011

    The price of the sours wasn't so crazy to me, since like you said, they only had a couple barrels of each, and only sold them at one location. But, I've seen the ctayr at several local liquor stores, so they must have made a reasonable quantity. 25 bucks is a lot, so it's an easy pass for me. Oh, and I also hate the unpronounceable fucking name, so that puts in on the blacklist for me as well.
    joshclauss likes this.
  9. Tolann

    Tolann Savant (350) Colorado Jul 9, 2007

    It's not hard to pronounce. You just need your secret decoder ring to figure out this name. IIRC, this is using the letters from the Russian alphabet. Since there isn't a clear translation of the word 'stout' in Russian, they just used Russian characters to spell 'stout'. So S=C, t=t, o=a, u=y, t=t.

    "drink your Ovaltine"
    b0rderman and vurt like this.
  10. SalukiAlum

    SalukiAlum Savant (480) Colorado Dec 19, 2010

    There is no right or wrong here, we all have our own opinions on the matter and of course 'we are all right' :) Personally it's a BMC beer and $25 for a bottle, odds are about 95% that I wont be purchasing a bottle with all the other things on shelves at my local liquor store. Would I like to have a 2-4 oz. pour from someone else's bottle, shit yeah but not thinking I'll pull the trigger on this one.
  11. ArrogantB

    ArrogantB Advocate (700) Colorado Jun 9, 2006

    Even though this does not use the same ingredients you better believe that MillerCoors gets hops and barley at cheaper prices than craft brewers due to their purchasing power. Think Wal-Mart.

    Oh indeed. I don't fault any brewery for charging as much as they can based on the market, that is smart business. I do find some of the pricing insulting though and I scroll past. I really hope we are on the cusp of this bubble bursting so the only brewers left selling high priced bottles are the ones who really deserve it based on the quality of the product. Again, I have only tasted AC Golden beers once when they first debuted so I can't speak to the quality of these bottled beers.
    rsdaugherty and SalukiAlum like this.
  12. SalukiAlum

    SalukiAlum Savant (480) Colorado Dec 19, 2010

    Spot on ArrogantB, you know 'business'!!
  13. Jasonrm72

    Jasonrm72 Savant (390) Colorado Apr 29, 2012

    there is no question i would rather have a 4 pack od BCBS for the same $. No question or hesitation. I would also rather have Parabola for $15.
    But $/taste is a different conversation than "i like this beer".

    I like this beer. I would love to drink it all day evey day.
    BUT, there are several beers that I like more that cost the same or less.

    $ v. taste = OK

    Taste alone = great
  14. coreymcafee

    coreymcafee Savant (350) Colorado May 30, 2006

    I'm really glad that AC Golden priced these bottles at more of a market rate (or slightly above) than at a price that reflects their (perceived and rumored in this thread) much lower cost of production. I'd view that as one of the worst things that could happen in the craft market...large "crafty" brewers using their purchasing power and economies of scale to undercut the price of the little guys. In that sense, I say the higher the price, the better.

    As far as I'm concerned, the high price of Ctayt is a non-issue for me. It didn't stop me from buying a bottle and even if it had, big deal. Bottom line: if the beer is overpriced, it won't sell. Sure, it's still sitting on the shelves at a lot of places (only two weeks after the release, mind you) , but if it had sold out immediately, I'm sure the business folks at MC would've taken that to mean they priced it too low.

    Also, everything I said above doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I drank this beer and thought it was fan-f'ing-tastic.
    joshclauss likes this.
  15. FarmerTed

    FarmerTed Savant (265) Colorado May 31, 2011

    Ok, then I'll just have to say that the name is fucking ctupid.
  16. Exactly it was an enjoyable beer, there's just better cheaper alternatives. It's the same BA Old Rasputin and the Eclipse beers.
  17. dachp

    dachp Aficionado (205) Colorado Apr 17, 2010

  18. For anyone who was holding off on this one because of price, Grapevine Liquors in SE Denver (Monaco and Leetsdale) has it on sale this week for $17.99. The rack was full of them when I was in there. A whole of lot other goodies in the cooler as well.

    A real gem of a store.
    Domingo and SkeeterBoganski like this.
  19. vurt

    vurt Savant (495) Oregon Apr 11, 2004

    Seems odd that you included Uncle Jacob's Stout in there. It may be half the price, but the bottles are half the size. That's no saving at all, though it may well be a better beer.

  20. Uncle Jacob's was $10 last year, so less than half the price as of the last post in this thread.
  21. Domingo

    Domingo Champion (945) Colorado Apr 23, 2005

    This is still around in a few places...at least it was a few weeks ago. I still think it's one of the absolute best BA big stouts, too. I still think Parabola and Liquid Brain are probably my favorites but this one is on par with UJ and BCBS.
    hopfacebrew likes this.
  22. poonamibaxter

    poonamibaxter Savant (315) Colorado Jun 26, 2007

    I love Batch 1, batch 2 is just ok.
  23. mentor

    mentor Advocate (615) Colorado Aug 23, 2003

    I'm pretty sure they've dumped a number of barrels.

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