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The return of Pete ("Wicked Ale") Slosberg - as a session beer "brewer"

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by jesskidden, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. There's a help wanted ad over on Pro-Brewer entitled "Beer Salesperson: Sweet (and bitter) Talker sought in the Bay Area" from a start-up that claims to be run by Slosberg, called "Mavericks" that will sell "a new line of full-flavored, full-bodied beers, all under 4% ABV...when it launches in the first quarter of 2013."

    Can't find any additional info on the 'net in the likely places (TTB, here on BA, etc) but given that they're talking about hitting the market within months, it's probably going to be a line of contract brews (as were the original Pete's beers, of course). Anybody in the Bay Area hear anything more?
    luwak likes this.
  2. Haven't heard anything but "Maverick's" is already a line of beers brewed by Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. so he's either partnering with them or I see trouble brewing. If it's contracted by someone else, I have a good idea who. Also, a brand doing sub-4% beers in Norcal is just dumb. I don't see it lasting long.
    Chaz likes this.
  3. Session beers are what BMC means to me.. I really dont understand why all the hubbub over this style of beers.
    Do we need more ?
    luwak likes this.
  4. StuartCarter

    StuartCarter Savant (495) Alabama Apr 25, 2006

    a sub 4% session beer is packed with flavour and you can drink 3 or 4 of them without getting sloppy drunk. They also pair very well with food.

    BMC is industrial swill designed to be consumed rapidly and mindlessly and pairs with everything because it has zero flavour. See the difference?
  5. Pretty sure there's a Half Moon connection. And if Stone can make Levitation work around San Diego, and Magnolia regularly sells well with their session beers, and 21st Amendment makes good sales with Bitter American...maybe not so dumb. Maybe it's a smart shot at part of the market that's seriously under-served, as Chris Lohring found out with the Notch brand in Boston. Time will tell.
    albertq17 likes this.
  6. steveh

    steveh Champion (970) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    This is what people are talking about when they might tell you that you don't understand a "style."
  7. youbrewidrink

    youbrewidrink Advocate (720) Vermont Apr 9, 2009 Beer Trader

    Session beers are the next big thing, that's right you read it here first!
    bozodogbreath likes this.
  8. I really hope so (along with an increase in cask offerings).... When I was recently over in the UK, I was amazed at the flavor some of the better breweries were getting in low alcohol beers. For example, Fyne Ales (Scotland) had a cask ale called Jarl that is very hoppy and tasty, yet only 3.8%. I know we are starting to see more of this in the US (e.g. daytime IPA, all day IPA, etc.), but it would be great if this became a big trend.
    lucas1801 likes this.
  9. cavedave

    cavedave Poobah (1,070) New York Mar 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    I think the time is right for brewers to embrace session beers. We have a local that went full bore on a large production facility of all session beers. They experiment with styles you wouldn't associate with low ABV too.
  10. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poobah (1,080) California Jan 31, 2005 Beer Trader

    I think it would be fine. Pete is a good guy. I have a buddy who worked with him, and spoke highly of him. I also got to drink with him at a Pete's event relaunching Pete's lager and he was a very nice guy who loved doing what he was doing, and not just the business side of things.

    As for sessionable beers, if they put out good tasting styles I'm 100% for it. I'd love to be able to go some place and have a few beers and still be able to drive. With the styles I like, I also have to be on watch of having no more than 2 in a few hours.
  11. herrburgess

    herrburgess Poobah (1,035) South Carolina Nov 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    If this is true, BA is likely the last place you're going to hear about it.
    steveh, bozodogbreath and beergurujr like this.
  12. When was that? Since Gambrinus dropped the brand in 2011? It is curious that his original brand is now defunct yet he's going with a new brand that seems to already be riding on his original rep.

    Some (but not very much) info via Facebook. Apparently Pete Slosberg "likes" Maverick's Beer (or is it vice versa? I don't "know" Facebook and it only confuses me over there).
  13. jageraholic

    jageraholic Advocate (500) Massachusetts Sep 16, 2009 Beer Trader

    I think session beers would need to be cheaper to really make it mainstream and for me to buy them regularly. Part of the justification for cost of a lot of craft beers is more ingredients are put into them which is giving more flavor and bringing the alcohol content higher.
    beergurujr likes this.
  14. I would love to start regularly seeing session ale casks everywhere, but that is probably a pipe dream.

    As for session beers... I'm skeptical of them ever working as a "thing". I feel like I see Notch on draft a lot less than when it first came out two years ago, and beers like Levitation seem to sell more for being a known brand like Stone than any concept of being low in ABV.
    ShogoKawada and LostTraveler like this.
  15. They have been threatening to be the next big thing for at least 5 years now and despite a certain percentage of beer geeks and beer writers hoping for it to happen still aren't getting any real traction. And they won't until prices align with the average craft consumers expectations.
  16. youbrewidrink

    youbrewidrink Advocate (720) Vermont Apr 9, 2009 Beer Trader

    A few brewers in Vermont will be pushing more seesion beers as warm weather approaches this year. Who knows maybe that's the way to up market share from BMC.
  17. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Savant (460) New Mexico Jan 13, 2006

    Ingredients are not that big a cost. Even for me as a homebrewer the cost difference between 10 gallons of 6% ABV beer and a 9% ABV hoppy beer is just a few dollars. Commercial brewers get much better savings on ingredients, their big costs are equipment, packaging, labor, rent and utilities.
  18. jageraholic

    jageraholic Advocate (500) Massachusetts Sep 16, 2009 Beer Trader

    I noticed the cost between higher alcohol beers and lower percentages to be like $20 at homebrew supply stores like northernbrewer, but that's for kits and not necessarily for individual ingredients so your probably right.

    In my own mind, I justify the cost of the higher ABV beers since its like getting 2 beers in 1 if I have a 10% beer, so I dont mind paying $10 to $12 on a six pack. I don't think I could justify paying the same price on a 4% beer.
  19. Chaz

    Chaz Poobah (1,090) Minnesota Feb 3, 2002 Beer Trader

    I'm reading the tea leaves here, and see about a half-dozen SKUs forthcoming.

    I predict dust and feather-dusters -- unfortunately, there's no "French Maid" in the cards...
    2beerdogs likes this.
  20. Ranbot

    Ranbot Advocate (620) Pennsylvania Nov 27, 2006 Verified

    21st Ammendment Bitter American (4.2 ABV) regularly visits my fridge. I'd love to have a few more similar options.
    digita7693 likes this.
  21. And this is precisely how 99% of the beer world probably looks at it, which is one of the reasons why 4% beers will struggle at $10/6-pack. As much as craft beer geeks like to think that people are drinking purely for the taste of it, the fact is, most people still drink beer to get drunk.
  22. Shouldn't, for accuracy's sake, you read spent grain and whole flowers out of the hopjack?

    If it even gets that far...I guess being a chocolatier wasn't as much fun as a being "brewer". I wonder if he tried to buy back his now-defunct brand/brewery name from Gambrinus? Or are they asking too much, considering they probably took a bath on that deal.

    But "French Maid" is a good name for a beer (Maverick sounds like a Marlboro-clone, Chinese-made cigarette, even though he's obviously taking the sub-title of his book for inspiration on the brand name).

    (Aside: Man, I screwed up by mentioning one of BA's favorite buzz words "s*ssion beer" in this thread. :eek: Once posted, any such thread always takes the hard left turn into that debate. Good thing he's not canning these beers, or else we'd get the BPAophobes posting, too.)
    rmalinowski4 and drabmuh like this.
  23. Ranbot

    Ranbot Advocate (620) Pennsylvania Nov 27, 2006 Verified

    That's because for commercial brewing operations the raw material costs for beer is almost insignificant compared to costs related to shipping, distribution, production time, storage, taxes, bottling/canning, employee salaries, brewery building lease/mortgage, utility bills, etc. If a commercial beer tastes is good, that's all that should matter.

    Personally, I like having the option of a beer I enjoy drinking that I don't have worry about the negative aspects of alcohol (like dehydration, potential drunk driving, higher calories, hangover, etc.)
    therealbeerfly, steveh and jesskidden like this.
  24. Chaz

    Chaz Poobah (1,090) Minnesota Feb 3, 2002 Beer Trader

    Well, seeing as how I already mixed at least two metaphors... :eek:
    Doubtful! I always thought of the Pete's Wicked line as being one that could last and last, but things change. No doubt he couldn't afford to buy it back now -- much less that he would want to. Much better ROI with respect to establishing a new venture at this point.
    Yes on both counts, and I'm reminded to register my brand name ideas before giving them away for free. o_O
  25. I really hope that's true. Long have I wished for a brewery that does sub 5% brews exclusively. It'd be awesome!
  26. I hadn't had this brew myself until New year's Eve. I loved it and agree that it would be awesome to see similar options.
  27. LostTraveler

    LostTraveler Savant (395) Maine Oct 28, 2011

    I dont drink it to get drunk, I drink it to get awesome-er
    2beerdogs likes this.
  28. Having a malt-forward session beer or two in a line of other brews makes sense. But I don't see the majority of craft beer drinkers latching on to an entire brewery whose concept is low ABV offerings. Right off the bat, a low ABV brewery would not offer Imperial IPAs, Imperial stouts and most Belgian styles.

    People like high ABV craft beers, just look at the disproportionate amount of high ABV beers on the top 100 list.

    If anything it would make more sense to offer craft "near beers" for people who want the taste of beer but little to no alcohol at all. Most of those offerings are just terrible.
  29. We have tripled our draft handles since 18 months ago.
  30. I would love to struggle through another year with a 50% volume increase.
    MAbeerNE1 and therealbeerfly like this.
  31. There was one notable attempt at a "craft near beer" back in the late '80's, called Firestone Non-Alcoholic from Firestone Fletcher Brewing Co. in Southern California. See- Time for a Non-Alcoholic Brew? It lasted less than 3 years. (The co-owner, Brooks Firestone, is father and father-in-law, respectively, of the founders of Firestone-Walker.)
  32. Interesting. Is that state/region wide? Because in the Boston area I'm seeing it less than I used to. Perhaps it is a coincidence, but when I'm out for the night I often look to alternate between stronger and lighter beers, so I tend to take notice of low ABV stuff on tap.
  33. http://www.notchbrewing.com/
  34. steveh

    steveh Champion (970) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    What a concept, eh?
  35. Came right off my Boston wholesaler's distribution report, so within 128. Are we everywhere? Certainly not, but it's been growth I've been really happy with. Somebody is drinking session beer, as much as some here would like to think otherwise.
  36. I obviously don't know the ins and outs of your business, but it's hard to separate out a new brewery's natural growth from the bigger question of sales of a session beer. I like your beer and what you do, but we all know that beer geeks will try anything once. And when I start seeing bottles collecting dust, it certainly gives me the impression that things aren't quite moving to capacity...
  37. steveh

    steveh Champion (970) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Maybe, but you should have made a friend with Tickers -- think of how many they can mark off in an hour or two! :D
  38. Bad ass! They are right aroudn the corner from me too...I don't recall seeing them on the shelf in RI. Thanks!
  39. as far as i'm aware (and according to seekabrew), there is exactly zero distribution in Rhode Island - and in fact, exactly zero distribution anywhere except Mass. however, they appear to be growing (see up thread), so maybe sometime soon, and i would imagine if you live in Rhode Island and like beer, you probably make it to Mass once in a while... I don't have a hard time finding their stuff.
  40. I usually hit Yankee in Attleboro on the regular, but I don't think its there either. Although, I am in Boston more frequently these days, I will have to find a bottle shop in that area that's got it.