Spaten Oktoberfest: have they killed it?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by bonsainut, Sep 18, 2022.

  1. bonsainut

    bonsainut Initiate (40) Oct 23, 2014 North Carolina

    Last two years I've been able to get this product in my market starting in late July, lasting through late October/November.

    Here we are in 2022, and no product availability. I've had 8 cases on order at my local Total Wine, and the distributor hasn't gotten any product. They aren't showing Spaten Oktoberfest available ANYWHERE in the state of North Carolina.

    Anyone have the inside scoop?
     
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  2. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,657) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    This is being discussed in various threads, and the speculation is rampant. However, many areas are reporting stock bottled in May of this year, and kegged Ur Märzen seems even more available (reported at a couple spots near me, though I've seen no bottles).

    So yes, I hope there's someone out there with true insight, but so far there's been no real info coming forth.
     
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  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,751) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Below is something I posted a number of days ago:

    I was at my local Retail Beer Distributor and noticed they had two cases of Spaten Oktoberfest. Those beers had a best by date of 10.2022. :grimacing:

    Warning: If you see Spaten at your beer retailers watch the dates.

    Prost!
     
  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,751) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Something I have wondered about, since Spaten is an AB InBev owned brewery, are there any BAs who avoid buying Spaten Oktoberfest beers because of this ownership issue?

    Cheers!
     
  5. DCH

    DCH Disciple (310) Jun 12, 2013 New York

    I love this beer, I just avoid because of the green bottles that they still prefer to use. This beer in cans would be a fridge staple.
     
  6. keithmurray

    keithmurray Poo-Bah (1,793) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut
    Society

    Came here to repeat this sentiment. There's no good reason why breweries should be using green bottles. I feel like buying Spaten while its in green bottles is a roll of the dice. Brown bottles or even cans would be an automatic purchase every fall because its such a perfect take on the style.
     
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,751) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Yeah, I too am not a fan of the marketing stuff about green bottles. Perhaps just switch to brown bottles; they sell beer in brown bottles for German (European) customers:

    [​IMG]

    Prost!
     
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,751) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    It is the marketing people who make this happen.

    Cheers!

    P.S. On a somewhat related note this past weekend I purchased a six-pack of Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest beers and I appreciated that those were in brown bottles.
     
  9. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,657) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    Buy in, or from, the case. The beer is too good not to make the (minimal) effort. I've been doing it for over 30 years with little regret.
     
    #9 steveh, Sep 18, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2022
  10. billandsuz

    billandsuz Zealot (511) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    Yes and no.
    I avoid Spaten because I can find very good local. That was not always the case, especially with lagers.

    The fact that Spaten is ABI certainly does not help to persuade me.

    Also, Leffe.

    Cheers
     
  11. billandsuz

    billandsuz Zealot (511) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    Beer bottles in Germany are reused and then recycled. People return the bottles to get their deposit, and then they are washed and reused, until they are crushed and recycled. So brown is a standard, non negotiable.

    The bottles are generic, with all breweries sharing standard formats.
    The ubiquitous wite rings are due to the fact they go through the line numerous times.

    Tangent end.

    Cheers
     
  12. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,657) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    I've kept close tabs on Spaten's beers since the AB-InBev procurement and I can't say I've seen (tasted?) any quality diminishment -- as I have with Goose Island. Albeit, I think Goose is closer to AB and Spaten closer to InBev.

    That said, my studies are probably more objective than knee-jerk reactions to seeing AB-InBev on a label. :wink:
     
    #12 steveh, Sep 18, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2022
  13. DCH

    DCH Disciple (310) Jun 12, 2013 New York

    The half liter can format would be ideal for me. Other German breweries (Paulaner, Hacker Pschorr, Weihenstephaner) have moved some of their product over to this format, it’s sad to see AB InBev/Spaten being late to the game on this (I’m hoping HB does this too with something other than the “session lager”). If not the cans, at least move it to the brown bottles!
     
  14. DCH

    DCH Disciple (310) Jun 12, 2013 New York

    Funny enough is that we can’t even get this beer over here - their fest bier is not sold in the US, only the marzen style is.
     
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  15. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,698) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society Trader

    I haven't seen Spaten Oktoberfest at any of the stores near me and Total Wine lists it as "out of stock " on their website for my general area. Last year it was everywhere.
     
  16. moodenba

    moodenba Defender (614) Feb 2, 2015 New York

    I know ABInbev has some clout over their suppliers (including bottle manufacturers). But still, it might be possible that energy shortages or other supply chain issues has reduced the throw-away bottle availability. Maybe they aren't providing their specialties in export markets in order to assure the continuing availability of their year round products..
     
  17. bonsainut

    bonsainut Initiate (40) Oct 23, 2014 North Carolina

    You may laugh, but last year in December I called three distributors in North Carolina until I found one that had Spaten Oktoberfest. The one that covered Charlotte and the second that covered Hickory considered it a seasonal and didn't pay it much attention. The one that covered Durham tried to keep it in stock year round because he said "it's a good seller for us".

    That is why I am surprised that it doesn't appear to be in stock ANYWHERE. I'll try calling around tomorrow.
     
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  18. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,657) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    Same here in the Chicago area, on all points.
     
  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,751) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I just chose that bottle to show that in non-US markets Spaten does provide beer in brown bottles.

    Cheers!
     
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  20. DCH

    DCH Disciple (310) Jun 12, 2013 New York

    Gotcha, I think they do this with their other styles too, non us is brown bottles and us is green bottles.
     
  21. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (3,054) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    I avoid everything AB-InBev owns.
     
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  22. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,657) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    U.S. Franziskaner is bottled in brown. Go figure.
     
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  23. AlfromPA

    AlfromPA Initiate (75) Dec 9, 2021 Pennsylvania

    Marketing people evidently believe that green bottles somehow denote a "higher class" "gourmet" beer, consequences be damned. Perhaps that is because Heineken has always been in green bottles, and for years it was the leading import in the US (and was more expensive than domestics). David Casinelli, a marketing guru hired by Dick Yuengling in the 80s to revamp the image of the beer, urged that the then-new Traditional Lager be put in green bottles--saying something to the effect that now it's packaging indicates a "Cadillac" of beers. See the video on the Yuengling website. Lord Chestefield Ale is also in green bottles, no doubt for the same reason.
     
  24. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,751) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I am a fan of Lord Chesterfield, I buy those beers in cans.

    Cheers!
     
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  25. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,531) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Well, no. Green glass was long the traditional package for ales in the US, dating back to the pre-Pro era. In some cases, they were even referred to as "green ale bottles".

    Yuengling bottled Chesterfield Ale in green deposit bottles from the start in the mid-1930s but (below, right) they did use brown glass for quarts and, in the 1980s, brown deposit export bottles (I suspect with so few brewers still using them, the green long necks were difficult for a small brewer like Yuengling to get back routinely and so they used the same bottle they used for Yuengling beer when they ran out).
    [​IMG]

    Chesterfield also came in that classic throw-away "Mod" bottles (like Neuweiler, Old Tankard, Red Cap above) for a few years, using this label:
    [​IMG]

    But, as @steveh noted above - there's nothing wrong with green glass bottles when the beer has not been exposed to light.
     
  26. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,657) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    I still wish we could get some direct insight from someone at the brewery.
     
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  27. budsNpils

    budsNpils Disciple (391) Aug 6, 2021 Texas
    Trader

    I try my best to stay away from AB InBev owned breweries.
     
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  28. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,999) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Just to tie in with your last remark- this weekend I picked up what I thought was this year's Spaten Oktoberfest but turned out to be last year's. It was from a new display at the store so chances are that it came from the distributor recently. So, in sealed cases all that time.

    Any issues with the beer are a sort of flat, washed out quality, and not even remotely light struck (skunked). Thankfully :wink:
     
  29. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,531) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    When you talked to the AB rep via their "Chat" option the other day, did they say anything at all about the difficulty of finding it other than recommending you contact your local AB distributor?

    Maybe everybody should Chat with AB's rep and they might start having a better excuse than blaming their independent wholesalers (not that that might not be the explanation) of course, the default these days is "Pandemic".
     
  30. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,657) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    Nope. :confused:

    And I heard nothing from the distro after I emailed them.

    @ChicagoJ
     
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  31. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Crusader (748) Mar 28, 2009 California

    Spartan did a collab Oktoberfest with Golden Road. Talk about a trade down.
     
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  32. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Crusader (748) Mar 28, 2009 California

    I meant Spatan. Phone autocorrect.
     
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  33. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,531) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Gettin' closer. Keep tryin'...:wink:
     
  34. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Crusader (748) Mar 28, 2009 California

    doh.
     
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  35. crazyspicychef

    crazyspicychef Devotee (451) Sep 27, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Still tastes fine to me!
     
  36. cdtommie

    cdtommie Initiate (114) May 24, 2005 Connecticut

    Available in Connecticut in Danbury area, even in Stop and Shop, 5/23 expiration date and still in 12oz (ie not 11.2oz) bottles like the other German imports.
     
  37. alucard6679

    alucard6679 Aspirant (252) Jul 29, 2012 Arizona

    There seems to be a general shortage of Spaten in my area. I keep on trying to order the lager and optimator, but we get very little. Franziskaner is the only one that I can consistently keep on the shelf.
     
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  38. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,657) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    Do you sell a lot of Franziskaner?
     
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  39. alucard6679

    alucard6679 Aspirant (252) Jul 29, 2012 Arizona

    It’s our best selling hefe, at least as far as packs go. We actually go through a lot of the Ayinger singles
     
  40. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,657) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    Interesting -- I see a lot of Franziskaner 12-packs at stores around here, but I never see anyone buying it.

    It was a favorite a while back -- I need to revisit for my own interest.

    Funny thing is, it seems like the 12-packs have different dating codes than the Spaten 12-packs -- or am I seeing very old stock?
     
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