Exhibit 'A' Brewing Company

Discussion in 'New England' started by GabrielEVH, Oct 3, 2016.

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  1. trsC

    trsC Initiate (74) May 5, 2013 Spain

    You're hearing, yes, just not sure you doing much beyond that. Think a bit, and maybe you'll see some potential points of comparison between wine production, distribution, and sales with that of beer. Or maybe not.

    As someone as already pointed out with the example you yourself introduced, Trillium does in fact NOT price out their distributed points of sale. First time in your life, I suppose.

    Please, just gather all this together: a brewery that distributes WILL NOT sell their beer for less than what you see in stores FOR THEIR beer. If you compare your local brewpub's pint of a beer that does not get distributed with that of a beer that does, yes, I'm sure your brewpub's beer will be cheaper. No one is arguing that the costs are lower in that case. But, shockingly, there is more to the situation that just cost in the case of a brewery setting prices.


    Case A: Brewery distributes. Brewery also sells beer via a distributor. End result: price at brewery will be "suspiciously" similar at both liquor store and brewery. Why? Brewery does not want to make it so liquor stores stop selling their beer because liquor store is being undersold by the supplier. Brewery decides to sell to liquor store for far less margin so that brewery doesn't have to employ more people to sell beer on site or, perhaps, location precludes people from getting beer or, maybe, they're trying to sell beer to people who don't just buy at breweries. (note: this will probably require selling more beer because, yes, the beer sold at the liquor store brings the brewery less money per liter...)

    Case B:Brewery doesn't distribute. Brewery does math and finds best price to sell beer at. People buy it. Enough? Continued business! Not enough? Out of business!

    And yes, if you sold your cucumbers to a grocery store, I guarantee they would demand a price lower than what the average cucumber price would be at the farmers' market. Maybe someone can get a price check on cucumbers.
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  2. GabrielEVH

    GabrielEVH Initiate (144) Mar 24, 2016 Massachusetts

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  3. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,646) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    After sifting through pages of price discussion, I have a question...one which may have been answered above by @krantul and @konabrewer.

    Is the Koelsch a true Koelsch? Has anyone with Koelsch/subtle German style experience drank this beer yet? I'm very curious to try it, but I'm also hesitant to try a new breweries' attempt at a Pilsner/Koelsch/Helles...etc. I've been burned MANY MANY times.

    The IPA certainly looks delicious, and very "New England-style"-esque.

    I'd also like to add that Pemberton Farms in Cambridge have Exhibit A in stock. Which is why I was asking the questions above. I wanted to give them a shot last week, but the combination of having just dropped ~$40ish on Bourbon County beers, and not knowing anything about Exhibit A, stopped me from giving their beers a whirl.

    Hopefully this week!
  4. tfaosd

    tfaosd Initiate (48) Jun 4, 2010 Massachusetts

    Here's to swimmin' with bow-legged women!
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  5. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (364) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    I don't have enough experience with Koelsch to really say for sure but at a minimum it's not an obviously Americanized version. I.e. it hasn't been hopped to death, despite the presence of Mandarina Bavaria. The one Koelsch I have had a decent amount of over the years is BBC Gold Spike. I'd say that Goody Two Shoes is pretty much along those lines and if anything a little better.
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  6. DeweyCheatem-n-Howe

    DeweyCheatem-n-Howe Disciple (318) May 23, 2015 Massachusetts

    Don't sleep on their Hair Raiser DIPA. That stuff is really, really good.

    HuskyHawk, dental, konabrewer and 4 others like this.
  7. jlordi12

    jlordi12 Devotee (471) Jun 8, 2011 Massachusetts

    These guys reviews are better than Trillium when they came out. I haven't had anything but they must make some fabulous beers
  8. cmurphycode

    cmurphycode Initiate (41) Oct 3, 2010 Massachusetts

    Looks like that one used to be Demo Tape Seven. I liked cats meow better, but some of my friends had the opposite thought. I'm definitely interested to see this batch!
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  9. GabrielEVH

    GabrielEVH Initiate (144) Mar 24, 2016 Massachusetts

    I've had both the Demo Tape Seven and Hair Raiser. I noticed minimal change from the demo version to the final, IMO.
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  10. JonnyJuicebox

    JonnyJuicebox Initiate (155) Jun 3, 2015 Massachusetts

    Yeah, Hair Raiser is legit. It's very reminiscent of a Treehouse style IPA. Very soft, a little mint. To me it actually tasted like Swish.
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  11. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,646) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    The last time I had Gold Spike I think it may have been on cask, and I didn't care for it. I don't remember much else, although I'm sure I've had it a few times over the years.

    I have it on good authority that the Kölsch (Goody Two Shoes) was brewed to style...:wink:... I look forward to drinking it!

    Damn, the Hair Raiser does look good. Swung by the liquor store yesterday and picked up The Cats Meow and Goody Two Shoes. I was torn between The Cats Meow and Hair Raiser (or both, but I have enough beer at the moment).

    I'll grab Hair Raiser next time as this appears to now be a regular offering at one of my locals.
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  12. nolanz14

    nolanz14 Aspirant (213) Aug 31, 2009 Massachusetts

    Where abouts? I was thinking of stopping by after work tomorrow but it's a bit of a hike.
  13. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,646) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Pemberton Farms in Cambridge.
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  14. mgp

    mgp Initiate (98) Jan 30, 2010 Massachusetts

    I've had the Kolsch, Cat's Meow, Porter (formerly demo tape 5), and the Double IPA (demo tape 7), and was really impressed with all of them. I'm thrilled that they are now distributing a bit... and interested to see how hard it is to come by once the hype catches up.
  15. mrz200

    mrz200 Initiate (131) Jul 11, 2013 Massachusetts

    had first taste at the Julio's Mass beer tasting in November. knew the background and "hype" going in and it met high expectations. I think it was the brewer that was pouring samples at Julio's, super nice guy.

    don't mean to re-beat the diacetyl horse, but my impression on the 10/26 Cat's Meow cans was that there was a slick feeling & buttery tasting finish to it. Nose, mouthfeel, taste were fantastic: I loved this beer from the samples and most of the can. I drink alot of locally-brewed IPA's, like most folks do, and I've never noticed diacetyl - even on specific Capt's Daughter batches that this forum swears it was riddled with - so this was my first experience with that taste.

    Reading knoabrewers comments here, I'm definitely more inclined to try Cats Meow again. I loved the Pale Ale with oats, and even Cat's Meow. It's obvious this is the start of a kick ass brewery.
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  16. frekky

    frekky Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2015 Massachusetts

    Don't sleep on the Galaxy Dry Hopped Kettle Sour either! Leitmotif # 2 i think it is...(demo tape kettle sour was #1) very enjoyable, if you are into that sort of thing.
  17. meefmoff

    meefmoff Devotee (475) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    Picked up the Kolsch tonite and I think it's pretty great. I can't really comment on its authenticity since I don't really have any experience with European versions, but I think it's safe to say it isn't an Americanized hop forward version.

    It's very cracker-y, with a little lemon, and drinks super smooth. Not too much carb either - you could pound this like a glass of milk if you wished. For a quick point of reference I really liked Smuttynose's and Sierra Nevada's Kolsch and really didn't like Newburyport's version. Definitely looking forward to checking out the brewery next time I head out to Framingham.

    Also, thanks to @AlcahueteJ for the heads up on Pemberton Farms. I don't live far from there but had never been because I absolutely hate driving in that area. What a great little place, both selection and price wise (plus assorted other good stuff like cookies!).
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  18. mrz200

    mrz200 Initiate (131) Jul 11, 2013 Massachusetts

    Down the Road's Kolsch was kick ass
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  19. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy Zealot (594) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island

    Just had a 12/5 can and think I know what you are talking about. Don't believe it is diacetyl though, I am also sensitive to some stone fruit flavors where it is perceived as slick and buttery to my taste buds. Cat's meow may just fall in my "blind spot" and I'll have to try their other options - I already have a Leitmotif to try and won't hesitate to pick up a Hair Raiser...
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  20. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,646) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I also liked Sierra Nevada's, although I didn't think it was particularly true-to-style from my memory, but still enjoyable. Sierra Nevada puts American "twists" on beers, but they do it in a more subtle way than most US breweries. And it works. Agreed on Newburyport's...it was riddled with diacetyl, at least the can I had. Might have been the most diacteyl I've ever perceived in a beer.

    Yep, it's a nice place. I also picked up different vintages of Bourbon County's there, plus a 2016 Barleywine a few weeks ago. It's not my first stop, because I have a good rapport with another store in Somerville, but I've popped in a few times if they have something I want, and can't get elsewhere. I started following them on Twitter recently as well. They're about a half mile away from me, so it's convenient too.

    As far as the Exhibit A Kölsch, I thought it was a real nice drinker. Clean, easy to drink, and it had that grape/white wine note in the finish that I've found in other Kölsch's I've enjoyed. Absolutely not an India Pale Kölsch, not even close.

    I wish there was more discussion around this beer, it's quite unique to have a beer in this style locally. And at 4.5% ABV, in a style meant to be consumed in large quantities, it truly is the epitome of beer.

    I also had the 12/5 version, but I was at a Christmas party, and I think I had another beer or two before it. I wasn't really paying too much attention to it. I remember it being good, somewhat juicy with a bitter finish. Perhaps somewhere in between Trillium-level juicy, and say West Coast IPA bitter, leaning more towards juicy. I want to have it >1 week old to see how it rounds out. I don't want to give too much of an opinion quite yet, not until I've sat down and paid more attention to the beer.

    Regardless, I see myself picking up the Kölsch more often than any of their other beers (although I am curious about Hair Raiser too).
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  21. jbertsch

    jbertsch Poo-Bah (1,524) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    I thought it seemed nicely accurate as well, but that was only a hunch, because as you say, it’s unique to have traditional kolsch available so I didn’t know for sure that I’ve tasted traditional kolsch. I’ve long been on the lookout for a benchmark kolsch so that I could have a baseline experience with it beyond just reading BJCP style guidelines of what it’s supposed to taste like. Yes, I’ve had American made kolsh’s before but they always seem too Americanized. Harpoon claims their summer ale is a kolsch, but I didn’t care for it and I didn’t want to write off the style just because I didn’t like Harpoon’s version. So outside of drinking fresh tap pours in Cologne, I assumed the closest I can could get is something like Reissdorf, but every Resissdorf bottle I see looks ancient.

    So yeah it’s nice to have the Exhibit A option available and I also like that they serve it in a traditional stange glass in their taproom.
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  22. SunDevilBeer

    SunDevilBeer Defender (660) May 9, 2003 Massachusetts

    I had the Exhibit A Kolsch over the weekend and enjoyed it. As to its authenticity, I can't claim to be an expert but I thought it was very clean & had nice balance.

    As for a benchmark style @jbertsch Reissdorf Kolsch seems to be available at a few places around town on draft & many package stores. My German neighbor from Koln believes it to be a hallmark, though freshness can be an issue as with most imports.
  23. jbertsch

    jbertsch Poo-Bah (1,524) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    Good to know regarding your neighbor. I don’t recall seeing it on tap but I don’t get out much. I think if I could at least find bottles cold, I’d try it regardless of age but they're always warm and dusty.
  24. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,646) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I'm also far from an expert on the style, but I feel I've hung around the Germany forum long enough to have a ball park idea of what it should taste like. Based on that, I've never found Reissdorf to my liking, it's always tasted off, to the point where at times I regretted buying the draft. Also in the bottle I've had no luck.

    I find it in/around Boston quite often on tap, and I've given up on trying it. What's your experience with Reissdorf?

    You could try Fruh as well. I think last year I saw new Fruh bottles that had just arrived at my local store, and they were incredible. It fit the description and was one of the most refreshing and drinkable beers I've ever had. I believe there's dates on them, but I forget in which format. I haven't picked up bottles since then though, I think the same bottles have been there all year.

    From memory, I think those who have been to Cologne have said Reissdorf/Gaffel/Fruh, if fresh, should give someone a good idea of what a proper Kölsch tastes like.

    I also enjoyed this beer from Freigeist but it's unfiltered, so it's technically not a Kölsch. It also was quite refreshing, but I remember it maybe having more of a lemony/grassy note to it, which may be atypical for the style.
  25. DarthCerevisiae

    DarthCerevisiae Initiate (48) Jan 13, 2016 Massachusetts

    If you want to get nitpicky, it's not a true Kolsch unless it's actually from Koln. Kinda like lambic or Champagne. That's why I appreciate when producers note their beers as "kolsch-style" ie Big Sprang.

    @SunDevilBeer @jbertsch it actually has pretty good turnover time. It just started coming in tall boy cans within the past 6 months, check those bad boys out. In terms of draft, The Independent and Sweet Cheeks usually always has it on.
  26. SunDevilBeer

    SunDevilBeer Defender (660) May 9, 2003 Massachusetts

    An upscale steakhouse near me in Burlington (Bancroft) usually has it on tap & it tastes great. The drafts I've had @ Magoun's have been sub-par, perhaps due to age (of the keg itself & perhaps how long it sits?).

    Only gotten bottles a few times - once was fine, the other I got that same "off" dirty taste.

    Wouldn't mind having a consistent local brewery like Exhibit A continue to put out a good Kolsch-style offering, authentic or not.
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  27. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (227) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    My wife picked me up 3 4 packs of Exhibit A at the Craft Beer Cellar a week or so back. She bought it along with a bunch of Trillium as well. Drinking these beers side by side with Trillium I am really impressed so far with Cat's Meow and Hair Raiser, I'm looking forward to the Leitmotif in my fridge. I had heard of Demo Tape but hadn't really known much about this brewery. For me I would buy this beer again at the price point. Its totally worth it to me. The price question is really simple, if they maintain consistency and people like their beer then the price is correct. As for should it be cheaper at the brewery due to no distribution costs? That's absolute crap. Breweries are a business. Profit is how they grow their business. NightShift is a great example of using their profits to expand and make more of the beer we love.

    Bottom line the cost of the beer should be judged by the person buying the beer and whether the value is justifiable. It doesn't really matter how much it cost to make the beer or ancillary costs. Supply and demand dictate price, the cost of goods dictates whether the brewery will make a profit or not.
  28. GabrielEVH

    GabrielEVH Initiate (144) Mar 24, 2016 Massachusetts

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  29. Jonathan-Dixon

    Jonathan-Dixon Initiate (41) Apr 10, 2016 Maine

    Went to the tap room last week 12/8. Picked up cats meow and Hair Raiser. Cat was 12/5 canned, Hair was 11/25. Cat was a basic mosaic, citra ipa, but great overall (maybe just a hair boozy) 4.25. Got more nose than taste. Maybe a little slickness or watery separation. Hair Raiser was not great imo, rather bland tasting and quite boozy. Tap room was fine, a little industrial. When I got a growler the dudes screwed up swapping the emptied keg and seemed a little flustered. Nice enough dudes though.
  30. DeweyCheatem-n-Howe

    DeweyCheatem-n-Howe Disciple (318) May 23, 2015 Massachusetts

    Instructions unclear, bought more beer.
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  31. mschofield

    mschofield Meyvn (1,375) Oct 16, 2002 Massachusetts

    I don't want to hijack, but since Kolsch has been such a topic, at least on Verizon On Demand, there is an episode of Anthony Bourdain (yeah he's a jerk) Parts Unknown where he goes to Cologne, and as a bonus the last 5-10 minutes are in Dusseldorf. I've already watched it once, and it's worth it for the beer hall scenes, the bar food etc.. even if you hate the guy (I'm fairly ambivalent about him)
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  32. Eze23

    Eze23 Initiate (38) Jan 7, 2017 Massachusetts

    Stopped at the brewery last Wednesday with a buddy to test out some samplers in the draft room. Neat little place with a very industrial-feel ( vaportight "jelly jar" light fixtures and stainless finishes). Tried almost everything on the menu. Absolutely loved the Cats Meow and Briefcase Porter.. So tasty. Didn't notice any of the issues other were experiencing, but my palate might not be that refined. Got to talk to the owner for a bit, super nice guy. Staff very friendly and engaging. I live about 10 mins from here, so I plan on stopping frequently. Left with a nice buzz and a few 4-packs of the Exhibit "A" product. Looking forward to more.
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  33. TheMattJones88

    TheMattJones88 Initiate (160) Sep 12, 2009 Massachusetts

    I absolutely adore Hair Raiser, and since my office and practice space are within a 15 minute drive I think I'll be getting a lot more.
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  34. nolanz14

    nolanz14 Aspirant (213) Aug 31, 2009 Massachusetts

    I had both Cats Meow and Had Raiser last night. Cat was decent but the hops seemed muted and nothing popped. Hair Raiser was a bit boozy, super sweet and left a bad after taste. At $20 per four I won't be buying anymore of that one.
  35. Hiwattowner

    Hiwattowner Crusader (716) Feb 23, 2008 Massachusetts

    This batch of hair raiser looks different and has different flavor from last batch to the point of wondering whether hops or process changed. I thought last batch great. This is a different beer. Disappointment.
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  36. DeweyCheatem-n-Howe

    DeweyCheatem-n-Howe Disciple (318) May 23, 2015 Massachusetts

    Hmm... I got a 4-pack from CBC Thursday, haven't cracked one yet. Loved the first time I got it. I'm interested to see if it didn't translate into this batch.
  37. chrisfromboston

    chrisfromboston Initiate (118) Feb 20, 2009 Massachusetts

    Swung by the brewery last week but they hadn't canned Hair Raiser yet. Had a taste and it was great. Was stoked to pick up cans when they landed at a CBC near me a few days ago. Seems like a totally different beer as folks have mentioned above. Sweet, boozy, not hazy like any of the photos here or on Untappd from December. Definitely a disappointment! Hope it's just a batch variation.
  38. DeweyCheatem-n-Howe

    DeweyCheatem-n-Howe Disciple (318) May 23, 2015 Massachusetts

    Yeah, this run of cans seems off. Very sweet. Nothing like what I had the first time.
  39. konabrewer

    konabrewer Initiate (141) Jul 10, 2003 Massachusetts

    Thank you to everyone who has posted on here positive and negative. The reality is beer is both objective and subjective and certainly rarely perfect. I take great pride in what I do, and I accept your experiences with my beer as just that. I respect it, be assured. Just to clarify. as a small brand new brewery, you will absolutely experience some variations batch to batch. I work hard every single day to make sure our beers are something we are very proud of. If they aren't, they go down the drain. Fortunately, we have only had to dump a couple batches thus far. That being said, yes... I have made a couple minor changes (hop wise and process) to the latest Hair Raiser. The hop changes were a planned thing because certain varieties that I wanted in that particular beer from day one were not yet available to me. I have my Azacca and Equinox now, plus others. Process wise. Of course. Some processes stay the same, while other processes change from time to time. On the latest Hair Raiser, we had better than normal yeast flocculation earlier in the conditioning which left the beer much brighter after the serious amount of hops for dry hopping. Remember we are talking about a beer that has been brewed 3 times, so please bare with me. I assure you, Hair Raiser will be a beer you want to come back to. Crazy how so many people love this batch due to its balance and lack of milky haze. I like the softness of original demo tape seven which is where this beer is going.

    As a brewer of 20 years, I assure you, even the most consistent, automated breweries will have slight process changes hoping for improvements to products. Yes, we all strive for consistency but not at the detriment of improvement of flavor. At least for me. And I promise, all our beers will improve. Even the ones people love already. For our next batch of HR and possibly all our hop forward beers, I am changing up the process of how we introduce our hops in the beer in the cellar. Essentially recirculating the beer through the hops to maximize(maybe) hop oil extraction. This is pretty cool technique. I tried this process first in 2004 while Head Brewer at Offshore Ale. The beer was Hop Goddess. I really loved that beer. People were a little afraid of if at first because it was 'cloudy' really hoppy(not bitter) with a belgian yeast. It became the top seller that summer. Anyway, this is just another process (of many) that I will work with in order to make you the best beer possible.

    On a more important note. All are welcome to come to the brewery sometime to check us out for the first time or again and talk with me about your past experience. I see above a few of you had experiences that likely will make it so you don't try my beer again. That bums me out. Those of you here that know me, get that. Hate to consider that you had 1 beer from us that didn't quite work for you, and we lost you forever. We are small, new and passionate and also, I would like to think disserving of your next visit.
    See you at the brewery.

    Matthew Steinberg
    Co-Founder and Brewer
    Exhibit 'A' Brewing Co.
  40. Eze23

    Eze23 Initiate (38) Jan 7, 2017 Massachusetts

    One thing that nobody can say is that the owner doesn't care. This is the kind of passion I want to see out of a local brewery...
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