Bear Republic to pull out of MA due to drought conditions

Discussion in 'New England' started by ClockworkOrange, Nov 5, 2014.

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  1. ClockworkOrange

    ClockworkOrange Poo-Bah (2,247) Feb 19, 2006 Pennsylvania

    November 4, 2014 1:43 pm Published by Bear Republic

    As all the major networks have reported, California is starting on its 4th consecutive year of drought, the effects of which have been devastating on the economy and like us, small manufacturers. Even though the two wells that Bear Republic funded for the city are in place, we’ve yet to receive any additional water because of the drought’s effect on the City’s overall water availability. I don’t expect this condition to improve much throughout 2015, which is why I’ve made this decision. Bear Republic will continue to ship ordered product to Atlantic Imports through the end of the year, but no orders will be filled after December 31, 2014.

    The demand for our brand continues to grow and continuing to cut back wholesaler orders made no sense. Due to the limited water over the last 18 months Bear Republic has already pulled out of 19 territories just to keep the rest of our wholesale channels supplied. Though painful for everyone involved, the option to withdraw from Massachusetts provides Bear Republic breathing room to stabilize our 2015 production and address the long-term impact of California’s dwindling water supply.

    The decision did not come easy and was made with a clear understanding of the impact it would have on the market. Our hope is that the water supply issues will be resolved at the earliest opportunity and with the markets patience and support, we will return to Massachusetts.

    With a heavy heart,

    Richard R. Norgrove
    President & CEO
    Bear Republic Brewing Co.
  2. Rekrule

    Rekrule Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Good. Take those dusty bottles off the shelves. Replace them with other dusty bottles from breweries that should pull out of MA as well.
  3. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,652) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    You are shopping at the wrong places if there is dust the bottles ... they will be missed. I have had access to fresh Racer 5 in my town of Winthrop for a good while I'll make sure to tell my local packy to find some other true west coast brewery to replace that spot.

    Curious ... what other breweries would you love to see pull out of MA? ;-)
  4. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,652) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Was told this last month at GABF ... sucks but understandable.
    ClockworkOrange likes this.
  5. Rekrule

    Rekrule Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    I shop all over. I can't possibly be picking the wrong place every single time. There is enough old Bear Republic on the shelves in MA that I would put it head to head with almost any other brewery. I shop at some of the best bottle shops in the state and other very respectable ones as well. I'm glad you've found fresh racer 5 but that store is an anomaly.

    I'd love to get rid of all Port bottles, Coranado, Anderson Valley, Butternuts, Steam City, Gritty McDuff, Green Flash, Laughing dog, Hoppin Frog, Mad river, Moylans, Rock Art......I can keep going. There is a ton of beer, some good most awful that cloggs up the shelves here.
    jmu500, blckout20, AlcahueteJ and 6 others like this.
  6. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    There are plenty of good beer stores that take care of the beer quality and have good turnover. Be an informed shopper.
  7. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    Gritty's is from Maine. Do you look at dates on beer?
  8. Rekrule

    Rekrule Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Ignore that there is a widespread issue if you would like to. That's your choice. I'm a very informed shopper. I can point you to more than a dozen shops with good turnover and fresh beer where Bear Rublic isn't moving at all.
    commis and backbaybrewer like this.
  9. Rekrule

    Rekrule Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    It's mediocre beer for the most part that almost no one would miss. It doesn't need to be here. I'm not buying any of this old beer. I check dates. They might trick some poor person here and there but most people aren't touching it. Maybe you can buy the year old gritty SOB bottles sitting around for me?
    #9 Rekrule, Nov 5, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
    backbaybrewer likes this.
  10. nolanz14

    nolanz14 Initiate (196) Aug 31, 2009 Massachusetts

    I agree and see the same usual suspects (most you listed) collecting dust/old dates on just about every packie I'm in. Although fresh Racer 5 on tap has always been damn delicious.
    Rekrule likes this.
  11. ommegoodness

    ommegoodness Initiate (0) Apr 21, 2010 Massachusetts

    Although I do like Bear Republic beers and I have been grateful to have a Racer 5 option at more than one bar or restaurant around New England, I agree that it is very difficult to find it fresh in packaged form around here, and I doubt I will miss it too much. I also would not miss any of the above products (nor Baxter, nor Foolproof), and certainly see a great deal of them at your typical local packie - I don't know their freshness because I would not buy them regardless of when they were bottled. I do wonder if their prevalence (and lack of any other distinguishing feature) is related in any way to that infamous pay to play discussion that is still simmering.
    Rekrule likes this.
  12. HighLowJack

    HighLowJack Disciple (369) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts

    too bad Racer 5 is great
    breadwinner likes this.
  13. benbking

    benbking Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2009 Rhode Island

    Big fan of their Stout. I will miss it.
    markdrinksbeer and mpyoung215 like this.
  14. TheMagnanimous

    TheMagnanimous Initiate (0) Mar 16, 2011 Vermont

    Lived in MA for years, moved to Cali for years, then back to MA. Drank the crap out of Bear Republic in Cali, but in MA it's just not fresh. I'm not saying there's never a fresh keg of Racer 5 that someone gets, but as a rule it's not fresh.

    Huge fan of the brewery but agree with @Rekrule they won't be missed. Racer moves well at informed bottle shops, but they're still not getting it that fresh. Furthermore, the rest of their lineup sits on the shelf collecting dust even though they're all good beers.

    P.S. I saw some Port fresh hop IPA come in that was 3 weeks old but thats about as fresh as I've seen - their lineup of hoppy stuff is also great when fresh, but not available fresh in MA stores...
    Rekrule likes this.
  15. Andrew041180

    Andrew041180 Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2013 Massachusetts

    Huge Racer 5 fan, but I never buy it anymore. As @Rekrule mentions above it's dusty for me in West Roxbury as well. Combine that with the comparatively high price and it just doesn't really compete well. I'm not excited to see it go, but I won't miss it.
  16. Horbar

    Horbar Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2012 Rhode Island

    I'll miss the DIPA seasonals for sure. Bye Racerx.
    Justin42 likes this.
  17. jbertsch

    jbertsch Poo-Bah (1,518) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Sad. Very solid brewery. Although I didn’t buy bottles that often, I did enjoy them on draft. Place I used to frequent always had Racer 5 on tap and it never tasted old (probably because there were only a handful of taps). I’ll also miss Red Rocket just as much as Racer 5.

    I don't consider these guys "mediocre" at all. I'd be happy to dump 10 other breweries distro'd here to have BR stay. Hope they truly come back soon enough.
    breadwinner and Horbar like this.
  18. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,652) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    When it comes down to it you can only really blame the stores that order all of it thinking it will sell before dust accumulates on the bottles. The breweries and distributors are not clogging the shelves, no one is forcing these places to order every beer on the list ... the beer stores that over-order are to blame for making so many beer graveyards that we see today.
    bcoyle, braineater, jlordi12 and 3 others like this.
  19. Rekrule

    Rekrule Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    I can blame both. Not Bear Republic, but the others I mentioned aren't making beer that would make people want to buy it regularly and the stores are over ordering it. I wasn't bashing BR with my comment, they make some good beers. I'm just not sad to lose any brewery whose beer I only find out of date or caked in dust. I wish some MA breweies wouldn't distribute here either. MA is becoming a beer dumping ground on many levels.
    backbaybrewer and jlordi12 like this.
  20. HuskyHawk

    HuskyHawk Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2014 Massachusetts

    I haven't had a problem finding BR Racer 5 fresh enough. But most of the rest of the CA beers on your list are spot on. Firestone Walker is always old...don't want to lose them as they are great beers, but wish they were fresh. And I don't mean two weeks fresh, but hell, two months old maybe?
    Horbar likes this.
  21. TheMagnanimous

    TheMagnanimous Initiate (0) Mar 16, 2011 Vermont

    Too many retailers are afraid of customers asking "Why don't you carry X beer? the guy down the road has it" or being out of stock and losing a sale bc you didn't order enough. Let's be honest, a lot of bars have too many taps and not enough business to rotate their kegs quickly as well. Everyone wants to make a sale by having the best selection, rather than looking long term at building reputation on repeat customers because the beer is always fresh and tasting good.
  22. HuskyHawk

    HuskyHawk Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2014 Massachusetts

    Picked up a six of Racer 5 tonight. Enjoy by March 2015, so should be fine. The bombers of other BR were over a year old though.
  23. Mikecap

    Mikecap Champion (801) May 18, 2012 Rhode Island

    Racer 5 was one of the first IPAs I truly loved. Can't always find it fresh, but I'll definitely miss seeing it on tap at some of my go-to places. I've never had a bad beer from these guys
    Shaymus likes this.
  24. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (552) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    Have to agree on Racer 5 kegs. A buddy of mine in NYC refers to it as the biggest letdown IPA on the market. It always seems like a great fallback and its usually a good price on draft (overpriced in bottles), but I can't remember the last time I had truly fresh keg. I've had it when fresh and it's great, but just too inconsistent on the east coast.
  25. markdrinksbeer

    markdrinksbeer Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2013 Massachusetts

    While I only recall having their stout and cafe racer 15, I will be sad to see this brewery pull out of Massachusetts.
  26. BostonBrewRu

    BostonBrewRu Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2014 Massachusetts

    Racer 5 was one of my favorites in California. Since moving to MA I've taken it out of my rotation. But it's sad to see a brewery have to pull out because of the weather. I wonder who's next.
    TheMagnanimous likes this.
  27. Shaymus

    Shaymus Disciple (353) May 16, 2009 Massachusetts

    Mine as well!... will miss it...have to agree with the freshness/dust comments on pretty much all the beers mentioned by @Rekrule...............perhaps a Swiiffer could help!
  28. cowbird

    cowbird Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts

    Love their IPAs!
    Hate their freshness dating system, or lack there of...
    And those damn 12 pack boxes were always such a tease, with no aparant date anywhere to be seen and thick tape sealing it closed...

    BR please come back soon with fresh beer this time, and make the brew date easy to find

    P.S. will they be taking their old IPAs when they leave, or do the bottle shops need to sell those off to craft newbies who dont know its perishable?
  29. Rekrule

    Rekrule Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    100% no. So guess what's going to be sitting there when they come back. I saw NEBCO Elm City Lager at a beer store not too long ago and still see wet willy in a lot of shops. Not distributing to the state doesn't make the shop owners any more willing to remove old things from the shelf. THey weren't ordering it anyways, I'd be surprised if most even know NEBCO or BR pulled out of here.
  30. Mullen2525

    Mullen2525 Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2012 Massachusetts

    Seems like a business that heavily relies on on water would be pulling the company out of California at this point.
    MattXT and BostonBrewRu like this.
  31. cowbird

    cowbird Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts

    good point...they should set up brewing ops where the water is pure and plentiful...Rocky Mountains?
  32. emannths

    emannths Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2007 Massachusetts

    BostonBrewRu likes this.
  33. Horbar

    Horbar Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2012 Rhode Island

    Could Bear Republic just use the water that Anderson Valley uses for our region and just cancel our Anderson alotment???
  34. Patches826

    Patches826 Meyvn (1,235) Aug 28, 2013 Massachusetts

    Was pleased to find all their stuff relatively fresh at Craft Beer Cellar earlier, so I bought one of everything to say goodbye.

    But yeah, the number of West Coast shelf turds around here is getting out of hand. Thank God, FSW is gonna start canning next year. That might boost sales and prolong freshness at least a teeny bit for them.
    HuskyHawk likes this.
  35. Rekrule

    Rekrule Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

  36. Genuine

    Genuine Devotee (442) May 7, 2009 Connecticut

    damn, I was upset when Great Divide pulled out of CT and I have a hard time finding it in MA. I love the shit out of some Racer 5 and would always get it when I went into the state. Sad to see them go!
  37. Auror

    Auror Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2010 Massachusetts

    Do cartwheels when FW stuff gets here less than 1.5 months old.
    Rekrule likes this.
  38. Rekrule

    Rekrule Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Hasn't happened yet. I actually will do cartwheels.
  39. Ennis

    Ennis Initiate (0) Mar 13, 2014 Massachusetts

    Racer 5 was my introduction to the "west coast" style of IPAs here in MA, and I will certainly miss their product. I picked up a six pack tonight to reminisce.
    Shaymus likes this.
  40. NAPO

    NAPO Initiate (197) Jan 7, 2014 Massachusetts

    Their best beer in my opinion is a brewery only sour named Tartare Rogue. The rest of the line up was ok. Its definitely not going to be missed from my part, but I really do hope the drought ends soon.
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