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Discussion in 'Beer News' started by BeerBuckeye, Apr 16, 2012.
I doubt doubling the amount of bcbs produced will make it possible to fill shelves year round
Gee, what are people gonna use as "beer trade currency" now?
I don't see this actually happening, if anything it will be released multiple times a year. But to be a year round beer, being aged in bourbon barrels, is quite the task.
Hoppin Frog does it with BA Boris, so it can be done, the power of AB financial backing may also bring down the cost a bit without sacrificing quality. At least that is the hope.
BA Boris is not year-round in most markets. For example, in NJ and FL, it sells out.
5X more, and continuous production.
That will create year-round availability eventually, once people stop buying every 4-pack in sight, and realize they can get it whenever they run out.
BA Boris is almost year-round in DC. It does have some lulls in availability.
BCBS and all non Belgian yeast fermented beers are or will soon be brewed at other ABI breweries. 312, Nut Brown Ale, Honkers and the IPA are being brewed at either Redhook in NH, at a AB brewery and possibly Widmer. For 2013 BCBS is possibly going to be brewed at the AB St. Louis brewery where is room for upwards of 5000 Bourbon barrels. The Fulton street brewery will be essentially for the Big Belgian Ales, one offs and sour projects.
This information was relayed to me at the GABF by AB personnel/management and former GI employees. Any and or all of this information should be considered as conjecture versus actual fact. Time will tell.
I for one, welcome our contract brewing overlords.
Growing up in StL, I have taken the AB tour a time or two. The idea of 5000 barrels of BCBS makes me want to do it again.
I also have heard from a number of GI brewers that the Fulton and Wood brewery would eventually become an all-brett brewery, so I am not surprised. "Soon" is certainly subjective though.
My initial thought was, "How many empty bourbon barrels are there available at any given time?"
I see it as Zombie Dust being year round. I can't always find it
My rule is that I won't purchase it, but if offered some I won't refuse it, just to be friendly.
IIRC Laffler told me that 80% of all the bourbon barrels that leave Heaven Hill go to Goose. So they would need to source them from another distillery to increase production, but with some good blending I doubt that the end product would be effected much.
Sounds kinda crazy considering the volume and brands that Heaven Hill does. I'd bet that the majority of their barrels are still going to Scotland.
Which is why AB and it's deep pockets can probably pull this off. I'm sure there's a finite number of barrels available every year, demand will make prices probably go up, other brewers may not be able to buy a many barrels as they want. Imagine GI producing vast quantities of BCS year round, while Founders scraps for barrels to make KBS which from my information was/is slated for a production increase. Should be interesting, the brew master at Foothills told me barrels can be used twice, and he sometimes has to blend barrels to keep it consistent.
Large scale always = decline in quality. Not to mention that other craft brewers will suffer, as mentioned above. This is not a good thing for craft beer.
maybe price will drop a little.
I wonder if barrels can be re infused? Take one that's been used twice, refill to some minor degree, rotating it to keep the wood to bourbon contact, dump and reuse it adding the beer.
I wouldn't count on that, if demand goes up prices on barrels will most certainly go up as well. AB can take a little hit, and maybe keep prices the same, Founders might have to raise KBS to BCS prices. Speculation, but it would seem reasonable.
So far we've seen an increase across all GI products and the quality hasn't suffered one bit. The "always =" is a pretty ridiculous statement.
Dare I dream..?
Drink a GI IPA and tell me that...
I'm glad your own opinion regarding one of their beers is enough to constitute a hard fact (Large scale always = decline in quality) regarding every single one of their beers declining with a larger scale brewing.
How do you feel about this year's Juliet, Lolita, Madame Rose, BCBS, Marisol, Sofie, Matilda, Pere Jacques, Pepe Nero? They've been able to brew those on a much larger scale because they aren't brewing 312 or Nut Brown at their brewery anymore.
Seriously??? What an awful, ignorant post.
GI IPA is one of the worst IPA's I think Ive ever had, but how in the world does that translate to the rest of their world class beers???
Their IPA isnt even brewed anywhere close to where they brew the rest of their world class brews(completely different building with different people running it)
Comparing acorns to Godiva.
Every single person or company in the world, OBVIOUSLY, has one or two things that are their weak points. Thats just life.
If every single product GI put out was as good as BCBS, John Hall would be the president of the United States right now.
This ROCKS if the beer is still the same as it has been in the past...... dark, lush and magnificent!
Ok...I concede Large scale darn near all the time = decrease in quality.
A lot. Bourbon-barrel aged beer consumption by volume is not going to surpass bourbon consumption by volume any time soon. Actually, that would be impossible, if only using first-round barrels, and if you consider using second, third, etc. barrels, this would lower the demand, too. (Fortunately!)
Typically a distillery is dumping 400-600 barrels everyday of the of year except holidays. The really big guys up to a 1000 a day. There is always a great factoid for Kentucky. There are upwards of 27 million Bourbon Barrels 'in process' at any given time in KY. If someone can fact check me please correct the number. "Shitload" is not a better answer...
The correct number is "fuck ton."
Both of you are close but not exact... actual amount is a "metric shit ton".
This statement still leaves itself subject to scrutiny. Every successful and growing craft beer producer is operating at a much larger scale (and relative to AB growth.....exponentially larger) than it was when it started. Look at the growth of outfits like Sierra Nevada (huge and now building out East), Lagunitas (setting up new operations in Chicago), Green Flash (looking to building out East), etc.
Heck.....even good old Boston Lager still tastes....well......Good! And BBC sure has gone large scale since Jim Koch started in his kitchen.
Point is; all these operations are operating at a much larger scale, relative to when the founders started. And they are all big players in the growth of craft beer....and brew really good craft beer. Decreases in quality can be controlled, despite a growth in "scale".....as long as it remains a part of the business plan and a priority.
Try these beers again, but this time, don't drink them with a straw.
Excellent point, not so much as I would notice a difference int the beers you quoted as staying the same, but that you pointed out that 312 and Nut Brown have been outsourced. IMHO those beers should have been dropped entirely, and take IPA with them, they are all of a lesser quality, frankly they are run of the mill.
The fact that Budweiser has chosen to focus on the rest of the portfolio should be cause for optimism.
Run of the mill? Perhaps. But these have been gateway beers that got many a "Joe-Sixpack" into craft beer. Likewise; these beers (and Honkers) are what have been paying the bills at GI for a long time, perhaps giving them more liberty to delve into the specialty beers that are held in such high regard. No?
In addition, IPA may not have the depth and balance of Founders Centennial or the hop character of a FW....but they did get a gold at GABF for it......which is worth something.
Lastly; I love having these GI options available in my market (Chicago @ 7.99-8.99ish) as an occasional choice vs most other craft priced $9.99-10.99 when it comes to lawn-mowing or quaffing.
All that said....I do respect your opinion.
You have some great points. In retrospect I was being a little broad in my statement. I guess that in other industries once products become produced in large scale quality control can become difficult. (I'm sure the orginal McDonald's cheeseburger were fantastic) I hope this is not the case for GI barrel aged beers. I will admit that I am not overjoyed that AB/InBev owns GI. Sorry a little of my own spite slipped out there.
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