Sierra Nevada Teams with Germany’s Bitburger Brewery on 2019 Oktoberfest Beer

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, May 8, 2019.

  1. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,851) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    @FBarber

    Lying might be an explanation that would fit except for the fact that there are other ways or replications demonstrating the same or similar effects in other, more controlled/different circumstances and/or using different methodological controls. In most of those lying in such a way would not be a viable explanation.
     
    #81 drtth, May 12, 2019
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  2. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,154) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    This is some of the most exciting beer news I've heard lately.
     
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  3. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (974) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Picked some canned Maibock up this past weekend. Canned in February, not too bad. Tastes fantastic though, which is all that matters.

    One of only two Maibocks on my shelves...
     
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  4. captaincoffee

    captaincoffee Meyvn (1,422) Jul 10, 2011 Virginia

    As will all posts, it is just my opinion. Weihenstephaner is one of the great old-world breweries and brews some true classics. Bitburger makes a so-so pilsner. I would have rather heard they were doing this year's collab with Schneider & Sohn, Andechs, Heller-Trum, Augustiner, etc.
    So, it isn't so much the actual beer, but wondering what the brewery brings to the table.
     
  5. captaincoffee

    captaincoffee Meyvn (1,422) Jul 10, 2011 Virginia

    I assume that's tongue-in-cheek, but when I think of a collab, I always wonder what special characteristic the brewery will bring to the table. I'm having a hard time envisioning it in this case. I assume they aren't going to teach SN how to properly lager a beer, and Bitburger isn't known for making any Oktoberfest beers that I'm aware of...although to be fair, on the dozen or so trips I've taken to Germany I'm usually in Bavaria and not near Bitburg. If they are working with the Craftwerks arm of Bitburger, that might be worse considering I haven't heard anything positive there either. Hopefully, I'm wrong and it's great.
     
  6. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (243) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    With most collaborations - do you really think the resulting beer is the perfect manifestation of each brewery's history and skill? I don't think so, especially since the Weihenstephaner collab was sweeter than anything I've had from them. I think collabs are number one a marketing stunt (especially for local NEIPA maskups, those are throwaway beers) but the early SN Oktoberfest collabs were really nice. I attribute that to SN's professionalism.
     
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  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,005) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    The one thing that Bitburger "brings to the table" is a broader name recognition. More beer consumers recognize the name of Bitburger than Schneider & Sohn, Andechs, Heller-Trum, Augustiner. Do you think this 'strategy' of using a more well known German brewery will increase sales of this year's beer? Do you think it is a higher priority for Sierra Nevada to increase beer sales or to collaborate with a brewery like Augustiner?

    Cheers!
     
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  8. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (974) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Do you mean more well known in the US, Germany, or both?

    Because I can't imagine most casual beer fans in the US have heard of Bitburger.
     
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,005) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I would be willing to bet that more American beer consumers know of the name Bitburger than know the name Augustiner (or Schneider & Sohn, Andechs, Heller-Trum).

    Cheers!
     
  10. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (974) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    This is true, but if they were just going for name recognition I would think breweries like Spaten, Paulaner, Hacker Pschorr, or Hofbrau might be even more recognizable.

    And of course breweries like Beck's and Warsteiner possibly even more so.
     
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,005) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Whoa!:astonished:

    Can you imagine the negative comments if Sierra Nevada brewed this beer with a mega-brewery (e.g., AB InBev)?:grimacing:

    Cheers!
     
  12. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (974) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Ha, oh yeah. I forgot having it be family owned is a part of the equation as well.
     
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  13. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,750) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Well that does seem to be nebulous since as someone pointed out, Weihenstephan is not family owned ...
     
  14. Mark-Leggett

    Mark-Leggett Champion (826) Jul 30, 2014 Missouri
    Society

    Woo hoo, this is one of my favorite oktoberfest beers every year
     
  15. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,204) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Neither is Paulaner/Hacker-Pschorr, but I guess we're just picking nits now -- they, along with Spaten, still make terrific Oktoberfest beers.

    In fact, 2 of the mega-brewery offspring partnered for a well-received Okto a couple years ago, didn't seem to cause any exploding heads at the time.
     
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  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,005) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    My recollection of the past collaboratively brewed SN Oktoberfest beers:
    • 2018 - Weihenstephaner
    • 2017 - Brauhaus Miltenberger
    • 2016 - Mahr's
    • 2015 - Riegele
    Yup, no mega-breweries in that list.

    Cheers!
     
  17. stevepat

    stevepat Zealot (589) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Trader

    I believe they mentioned a proprietary hop blend from bitburger as well as a house yeast. Both of those seem like special and unique characteristics that bitburger brings to the table.
    My instinct is that the hop/yeast combo produces a unique octoberfest flavor that someone in the Grossman family really really really appreciates. I've never seen them before on my shelves but I will certainly be giving this collaboration a try.
     
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  18. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,204) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Except, Bitburger doesn't make an Oktoberfest (they aren't even located in Oktoberfest country). Sure, trained palates can make informed decisions, but the skepticism of others is understandable (especially if you've ever tried Beck's Oktoberfest! :grin:).
    Them whom? You've never seen Bitburger? I'd imagine it's readily available in California, but I don't live there, so who knows?
     
    #98 steveh, May 13, 2019
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  19. JimKal

    JimKal Devotee (477) Jul 31, 2011 North Carolina

    Now that was funny. Thanks for sharing. One of the things he said struck home for me. He said we first taste with our eyes. I know that is true for me when I am trying a beer. How that beer looks in the glass really sets the mood for me.
     
    #99 JimKal, May 13, 2019
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  20. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,851) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Since you enjoyed that, here's something bit different that you may enjoy.

    Crunchy and Freshness

    Basically, it seems that all our senses contribute to our perception of flavors.
     
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  21. stevepat

    stevepat Zealot (589) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Trader

    Yes, Bitburger is who I've never seen but I don't go to the bigger chain stores for beer and none of the smaller shops that I frequent have any focus on european imports outside of some of the mixed/wild fermentation folks.

    And knowing nothing about the brewery or it's products I only hoped to answer captaincoffee's question of what bitburger brings to the table. Seems to me that a unique hop blend and a house yeast that is presumably quite old are the things this brewery really brings to this brew. Knowing that bitburger doesn't even normally make an oktoberfest makes me all the more interested since it seems they went to some pains to emphasize the use of bitburger's proprietary hops blend which I take to mean that it will impart a distinct flavor to the beer (I had been assuming the distinct flavor of bitburger oktoberfest, but I guess not)
     
  22. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Initiate (45) Mar 16, 2018 District of Columbia

    Speaking of Bitburger, has anyone found it harder to find more relatively fresh cans? Their other brands such as Köstritzer can't be found in my neighborhood in the four-pack tallboy format either. On the other hand, I find plenty of six-packs, but I don't know how fresh these are.
     
  23. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,750) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    I was referring just to who SN has partnered with for these collaborations. But I do love both of those breweries various Oktoberfest biers.
     
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  24. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,282) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    It's possible that that was a thought... but SN doesn't seem to package the beer with this in mind. I bet some folks on this site could even accidentally pick up a 2018 bottle if they weren't looking carefully enough:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  25. deanzaZZR

    deanzaZZR Initiate (120) Jan 8, 2015 California

    Bitburger has been in TJs out here for years.
     
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  26. stevepat

    stevepat Zealot (589) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Trader

    we don't have a trader joes where I live. The biggest beer stores are bevmo and safeway. It wouldn't surprise me if bitburger were available in both
     
  27. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Poo-Bah (2,086) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
    Society Trader

    I'm still holding out hope that one of these years it will be Hofbrau or Andechs.....
     
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  28. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (974) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    After last year I personally don't care who they partner with.

    While last year's was my "favorite" collaboration it still wasn't one of my favorites of the season. The imports always win out for me, including Weihenstephan's own Festbier. Their Festbier is usually in the top three for me almost every year out of some 30+ different brands I try.

    Also, it's not like they created a pale Oktoberfest last year either, which is what Weihenstephan produces. So it doesn't really appear that the brewery chosen is really having any tangible impact on the beer itself.

    Probably the only brewery I'd like to see them collaborate with would be Schlenkerla to create a smoked Oktoberfest. I think that would be interesting. But Rauchbiers are so polarizing I can't imagine them doing this for one of their seasonals.
     
  29. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,204) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I think you ought to acquaint yourself with the brewery product before the Okto collab comes out -- then again, it may skew your opinion.
     
  30. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,204) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Well, HB already partnered for a collaboration a couple years ago... with Leinenkugel! So I have to wonder if SN could talk them into it.
     
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  31. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (974) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    A Vienna Lager? Does Hofbrau even make a Vienna?
     
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  32. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,204) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Leinenkugel called it a Märzen, but if you read my review I didn't think it was close to a Festbier or Amber Märzen at all. That said, when I added the beer in 2017 I'm sure I added it as the brewery categorized it -- someone else must have made the alteration.
     
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  33. captaincoffee

    captaincoffee Meyvn (1,422) Jul 10, 2011 Virginia

    Possibly. Before Weihenstephaner, they did their oktoberfest collab with Brauhaus Faust, and before that it was with Mahrs Bräu. I guess that made me think they were looking at the brewer and not just trying to find a more well-known name.
    Maybe previous sales didn't meet their target and that prompted them to go in this direction. Or maybe they are serious on their website when they say "Bitburger Brewery uses an exclusive mix of hops toward its famous pilsner—a classified blend never shared outside its walls. Until now." Hard to say.
     
  34. captaincoffee

    captaincoffee Meyvn (1,422) Jul 10, 2011 Virginia

    I guess I'm saying that the collabs that do excite me are the ones that manifest each brewery's skill. I agree that most collabs are more of a marketing thing.
     
  35. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,750) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Interesting - they seem to have standardized their packaging. The prior collaborations all had unique color schemes
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I wonder who suggested that change .... It really should be a märzen if only because Leinies categorized it as that. I did enjoy that beer a lot more than I expected ...
     
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  36. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (974) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Based on @zid ’s post I quoted above the label alone doesn’t imply to me that they’re collaborating due to the name recognition.

    The collaborating brewery’s label is quite small in comparison to Sierra Nevada’s.
     
  37. jeebeel

    jeebeel Initiate (171) Jun 17, 2003 Texas

    Maybe one of their marketing people noticed that these labels have the colors of the state flag of Bavaria (and the style of one of its flag variants), even if this year's collaborator brewery if the first one who is not from Bavaria.
     
  38. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Poo-Bah (2,086) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
    Society Trader

    The Weihenstephan is one of my favorites too... that and Hofbrau. Problem is I have to drive two hours one way to get these. The Sierra Nevada collaboration beer is on the shelves at Kroger....
     
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  39. Lowridenn

    Lowridenn Initiate (19) Sep 15, 2017 North Carolina

    So finally got over to the mills river brewery today to try this year’s Oktoberfest after the springtoberfest event from saturday. It definitely looks darker than last year. It seems a tad maltier but not at all heavy. Will need to have a few this fall (late summer?) to make a final determination. It did make me excited for football
     
  40. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,005) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Did you perceive a notable caramel flavor?

    Cheers!
     
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