Otter Creek Retires Backseat Berner; Hello, Berner IPA

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by woodychandler, Mar 17, 2018.

  1. woodychandler

    woodychandler Poo-Bah (10,126) Apr 9, 2004 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    From their Facebook page/feed:
    Meet Berner IPA.

    This brand new beer has a large wheat addition that makes it hazy and creamy with loads of tropical fruit notes from Galaxy, Citra, Simcoe and Cascade hops.

    We ditched the backseat, took control of the wheel, and drove this new IPA straight down to juice town. Coming soon.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,254) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    "This brand new beer has a large wheat addition that makes it hazy and creamy with loads of tropical fruit notes from Galaxy, Citra, Simcoe and Cascade hops."

    Another distributed Juicy Pale Ale (JPA) on the market? This should be interesting.

    Cheers!
     
  3. Gajo74

    Gajo74 Poo-Bah (2,294) Sep 14, 2014 New York
    Society Trader

    Backseat Berner retired? Say it ain’t so! I love that beer!
     
  4. DEdesings57

    DEdesings57 Zealot (544) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey
    Trader

    Who w
    Thank the haze crave
     
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  5. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,254) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    You meant haze craze!?!:wink:

    Cheers!
     
  6. OrangeMen

    OrangeMen Disciple (310) Jan 26, 2014 New York

    Why does every brewery now think that if their IPA isn't in 16 oz cans that it doesn't taste good?
     
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  7. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt Disciple (328) Jan 27, 2014 New Hampshire

    Because a ton of consumers do.
     
    keilerdunkel, SunDevilBeer and zid like this.
  8. Giantspace

    Giantspace Crusader (740) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Berner is a good beer. It had lots of haze to it, will this really make it better?

    I'm over the haze shit.

    Enjoy
     
    Troutbeerbum and SammyJaxxxx like this.
  9. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast Devotee (413) Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

    This post is awesome. Tröegs took their Perpetual IPA and is now canning it in 16 ounce cans and selling it in 4 packs to keep up with the fad. The only problem is, it's no different than it was before. Same beer.
     
    HorseheadsHophead likes this.
  10. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (185) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    Oh come on,man! Backseat Burner has been a standard in my fridge. Sorry, but this really sucks. Otter Creek will always have my business, but I think this is a really shitty trade off to keep the millennial hipster haze crowd happy.
     
  11. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (1,754) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    Well, I for one am I excited. I'm really loving Head Charge, and I love wheat and that hop bill. I'll be sure to pick this up!
     
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  12. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (185) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    Just curious, how much did you pay for head charge per can?
    I tried one,$4.75/can in Maine. Wasn’t overly impressed. The reason I paid that ridiculous price: Everything Otter Creek does is good. I’m sticking to my New Years resolution of not spending four bucks for a beer unless it comes from VT, (although this might be a CT beer?)

    I still don’t see why they have to retire one beer for another....
     
  13. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (1,754) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    It was $15.49 for the four-pack, so approximately $3.87 per can. A little pricey, but not terrible, compared to some NEIPA four packs.

    It sounds more like an update than a full retirement, although I'll grant that I don't know the hop bill of the original Backseat Berner. It's kind of like Stone with Ruination 2.0 replacing the original Ruination. I guess it is sad for those who love the original. :frowning2:
     
    Troutbeerbum likes this.
  14. Jaycase

    Jaycase Meyvn (1,306) Jan 13, 2007 Illinois
    Trader

    I don't want to imagine driving down the road, taking a wrong turn and then pulling into juice town.
     
    gardenstatepkwy likes this.
  15. Giantspace

    Giantspace Crusader (740) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Is it priced the same as a 6 pack?

    Enjoy
     
  16. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (350) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    Probably some silly reason like not wanting to go out of business.
     
    TheWolf likes this.
  17. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (185) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    Keeping a popular beer on shelves would put them out of business?
     
  18. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (350) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    Otter Creek knows the sales numbers and this is their decision, so I'm guessing it may not be as popular as you think.
     
    dr_ewvetere likes this.
  19. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (185) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    All good points, but it’s pretty sad that somehow “hazier” means better.
     
  20. ESHBG

    ESHBG Aspirant (243) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    This beer moved off of the shelves around me regularly. Only OC knows the real reasons but...a part of me thinks that this type of thing is just shortsighted business moves to reel in the flash in the pan customers who always want something new. It works well for a brief moment and then dies quickly when they are off to the next new thing.

    This may end up being better, who knows, but I have yet to see a reformulation that most people were happy about.
     
    Troutbeerbum likes this.
  21. ESHBG

    ESHBG Aspirant (243) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I have mixed feelings about this because sometimes one 16 oz. beer is just the right amount in a sitting for me, especially if the ABV is higher. But then the logical side of me says meh four beers when I used to get six and the price...
     
  22. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast Devotee (413) Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I think they still have both 12 oz cans and bottles. I think the 16 oz cans are a dollar or 2 cheaper per 4 pack. Don't quote me though.
     
    ESHBG likes this.
  23. Patches826

    Patches826 Meyvn (1,125) Aug 28, 2013 Massachusetts
    Society

    The NEIPA thing isn't going away. It might slow down, but it aint going away. For a brewery that both specializes in IPAs and is located in New England to NOT have ONE NEIPA going forward would be the truly shortsighted move.

    I think it's pretty obvious that OC is struggling a bit, anyway. Why else would they be dropping all of Mike Gerhart's recipes left and right? I understood when they removed his image from the labels and marketing materials, but now all the beers are changing too.

    Though, when I think about it, OC is essentially Long Trail's specialty line. Long Trail can (for the most part) be content taking the tenure model and parking the same beers next to Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada in every store. The OC brand, however, is supposed to compete with the ever-growing and changing specialty market that is currently dominated by IPAs. In other words, if OC doesn't stay relevant with beer geeks (and by proxy "juicebros") it's not fulfilling its very purpose.
     
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  24. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,254) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I won't argue the point of "sad" but it isn't just Otter Creek that is chasing the 'chrazies':
    • Sam Adams New England IPA
    • Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Things
    • New Belgium Juicy Haze IPA
    • etc.
    As to how many brands can a given brewery manage/maintain? Only that brewery can decide. At some point when you introduce new hoppy brands that means less sales of your heritage hoppy brands.

    Cheers!
     
  25. meefmoff

    meefmoff Devotee (427) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Trader

    I'm pretty sure Backseat Berner is itself only a couple of years old and was part of their aggressive rebranding that saw them ditch the majority of their original lineup in order to focus on IPAs and a new psychedelic/hippy sort marketing and packaging.

    Keeping up with current trends (especially hoppy trends) seems to be exactly what the new version of the brewery is all about.
     
    Troutbeerbum likes this.
  26. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (247) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    Great, let's have all medium sized breweries replace their main IPA with a NEIPA. Can't wait Finestkind NEIPA to put the new Smuttynose on the map.

    (That's a heavy dose of snark and sarcasm in case anyone missed it)
     
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  27. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (185) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    Very true, but I don’t see them removing a solid product from their line to chase the haze craze. This could be because of their size. If it were up to me,and it’s not, have dropped Daily Dose. If they mess with Free Flow, something is wrong.

    As far as big craft breweries producing Hazy NEIPAs, I get it. It’s a way to bring the style to national distribution. I think Sierra Nevada nailed it in their own way. If these beers don’t perform in a year or two, I would think it would be easier for large breweries to stop producing them than it would be for a smaller brewer to go back to a discontinued beer that they abandoned.
    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy SOME NEIPAs. Not every single brewery should produce them. I’ve said this multiple times, the market here in the Northeast is saturated with mediocre overpriced NEIPAS. It’s only a matter of time before the hype goes away through broader distribution, and eventually national distribution.
     
    #27 Troutbeerbum, Mar 18, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
    BeerWeThinks89 likes this.
  28. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (185) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    I’m pretty sure you’re right that Backseat Berner is only a couple years old. I’ve been buying it for about that long. We live in a disposable, next best thing culture unfortunately. Casting aside a good product in the early days of its existence is evidence of this in the beer world.
     
    meefmoff likes this.
  29. meefmoff

    meefmoff Devotee (427) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Trader

    Reading your other post I do agree with you that it seems a little strange (from the outside anyway) that they chose Berner to be the part of their lineup to sacrifice here.

    But apart from that I'm kind of surprised it took them this long to try and go full haze given the way they've tried to position themselves in the market.
     
    Troutbeerbum likes this.
  30. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (185) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    Yeah, the appearance of Backseat, (guess I can’t just call it Berner anymore) in the 4 pack 16 oz cans this summer as opposed to the glass 12/6 format should have been an indication of things to come.
     
  31. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,254) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Are people buying those beers or are they sitting on a shelf (or at the brewery) collecting dust?

    Cheers!
     
  32. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (185) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    Sitting on a shelf or they show up once, and never return.
    A perfect example is from Long Trail themselves. Two summers ago, they introduced “Space Juice”. I never bought it because I figured it was another medium/ large size brewery making an attempt to replicate what a few small brewers do really well.It very well could be a great beer, I don’t know.I’m guessing a lot of other craft drinkers felt the same. When it came out, it was everywhere, including displays at the end of the aisles at grocery stores. The last time I honestly remember seeing it was at a discount beer store last fall. I don’t have facts or figures, but it doesn’t take much to figure out it probably wasn’t selling. My local source for Backseat Burner however is usually out of Otter Creek mix packs or down to the last six pack of either Backseat or Free Flow. Sound decision to follow a trend?

    I should add, this isn’t just unique to Long Trail, it’s medium and small NEIPAS alike. Most sell when they are new, but then they sit. It’s the $4 plus price tag. I said in another thread SN and SA had it right. They are producing a very good representation of the style at a very affordable price. I think they’ll do just fine on mass appeal. In my non expert opinion, I think the winners out of the haze race are going to be the heavyweights and the small self distributing/ brewery only folks.
     
    #32 Troutbeerbum, Mar 18, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
    BeerWeThinks89 likes this.
  33. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Crusader (797) Aug 10, 2012 District of Columbia

    huh?
     
    HorseheadsHophead likes this.
  34. dr_ewvetere

    dr_ewvetere Initiate (57) Sep 26, 2013 Vermont
    Industry

    We made an aggressive move to retool the brand in 2015 with Backseat Berner and Over Easy, adding two hoppy beers to replace the legacy brands, which were steadily declining in sales.

    Before that, we had introduced Kind Ryed, Citra Mantra, Fresh Slice and Overgrown in 2014. Fast-forward to 2017 and it was time to switch up those seasonal releases with some fresh offerings. That's where Orange Dream, Drip Drop and Oktoberfest come into play.

    For obvious reasons we updated our marketing materials and labels, but the plan to move away from that look has been in place for a while now. We treat each brand (Long Trail and Otter) as its own individual entity with their own identities, and their own set of drinker.

    On the Otter side of things, we've made it our goal to keep the portfolio simple and tight.
     
  35. SunDevilBeer

    SunDevilBeer Defender (634) May 9, 2003 Massachusetts

    There’s a wide perception that 4 X 16 packs of IPA are a “premium” offering. In fact in MA the distributors are advising breweries to package this way ONLY.
     
    meefmoff and Troutbeerbum like this.
  36. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (185) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    I went in search of some Backseat after work tonight to get what’s left before it’s gone. All of the remaining six packs were dated October of 2017. That’s nearly six months old. How do they expect to move a “juicy IPA” which are notoriously subject to freshness scrutiny, when a popular beer they are replacing sits for months in a grocery store back room or a distributors warehouse?

    I’m also curious if we see a price increase. One of the best things Otter Creek has going for them is a really good product,at a really good price. Again, I’m a loyal Otter Creek drinker, and I’ll continue to be. Sad to see a good beer go, but it is what it is. They aren’t in business to keep me happy,and I get it. I just hope we don’t see ever increasing prices come out of the recent changes.
     
    #36 Troutbeerbum, Mar 21, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
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  37. Giantspace

    Giantspace Crusader (740) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania




    Orange dream is horrible. I bought two mix 12 packs and can't give the orange dream away. I have brought a few to different get togethers and the beer is sitting in the back of fridges Now.

    The rye was great as was overgrown.

    Drip drop is ok but sly fox makes a much nicer coffee Porter.

    I like a lot of your beers but some are just not good. As long as I can still pay sub $30 a case I will keep trying your beers.

    The old black IPA was awesome

    Enjoy
     
  38. Ranbot

    Ranbot Champion (892) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I'll be glad for that change. I was long time fan of Otter Creek but the hippy pot-head branding was a turn-off for me. I also didn't feel like the hop-centric portfolio was significantly different from many other beers on the market, so without realizing it I just drifted away from OC. I can't remember the last time I bought any OC beers.

    I'll cast a worthless vote for bringing back the traveling otter mascot, in a more modern re-vamped way of course. And while I'm making silly requests I'd like to taste Stovepipe Porter and Vermont Lager again too. :slight_smile:
     
    #38 Ranbot, Mar 22, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
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  39. CNoj012

    CNoj012 Meyvn (1,466) Dec 7, 2014 New York
    Society Trader

    I bet you're fun at get togethers :rolling_eyes: