Spaten Oktoberfest: have they killed it?

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

  1. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Poo-Bah (2,523) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
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    I have been able to score quote a bit of Spaten this year. Still hate the green bottles but it's tasting as good as I remember...I still prefer HB but this will do in a pinch
     
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  2. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Double checking those dates?
    Not exactly an apples to apples choice, and I like HB Fest, but I miss the Spaten Märzen goodness
     
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  3. Victory_Sabre1973

    Victory_Sabre1973 Poo-Bah (3,136) Sep 15, 2015 Minnesota
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    I checked last night at work. We have 3 six packs left of it. The best by date is January of 23', so it probably is older stock, or even last year's.
     
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  4. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,996) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
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    You’ll know it’s this year’s because the code will start with “FU”.
     
  5. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,727) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    Reading between the lines...... (or quote marks) :rolling_eyes:
     
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  6. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Poo-Bah (5,560) Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire
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    Still in Maastricht.... train to München tomorrow.....

    Prosit!
     
  7. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Don't forget that Wurst stand! :wink:
     
  8. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Poo-Bah (5,560) Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire
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    Just to the left as facing the HP tent, correct?
     
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  9. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    You got it. :wink:

    At least I hope you do! Have to wonder if it's still there.
     
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  10. BubbiesR

    BubbiesR Initiate (20) Sep 19, 2022

    Our local grocery store in Central Ohio is stocked with it. The supply stays because I think I’m the only one in town that drinks it.
     
  11. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Been my cry -- check dates!
     
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  12. grantcty

    grantcty Initiate (151) Feb 17, 2008 Minnesota
    Trader

    I managed to find 5/23 six packs here in the Twin Cities at one spot thus far--but not my usual store for Spaten (Total Wine). The other spots I've visited had lots of 9/22 (Total Wine)

    I was in Madison, WI and Onalaska (La Crosse), WI on Friday. Didn't find it at the spots visited in Madison (Steve's Junction Road, Woodman's Gammon Road and Total Wine).

    I also stopped in to the Onalaska, WI Woodman's and no luck there either.

    There was a big empty spot in the cooler at both of the Woodman's where the Ur-Märzen should've been. Nothing was sitting out with the other Oktoberfest displays either.

    Feeling lucky I was able to find some of this season's batch.
     
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  13. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    I keep hoping the SE Wisconsin distros haven't written off the season like my local one did, and still put the Märzen on shelves when they can get it from the importer.

    That said, my brother reported none at the Kenosha Woodman's today.

    Who knows anymore. Been drinking the Spaten every season for about 30 years now and I'm pretty disappointed.
     
  14. jkrich

    jkrich Meyvn (1,437) Nov 1, 2001 Florida
    Society

    The distribution of Spaten in general seems very odd. Several years ago, I could always grab a six-pack of Spaten Helles (premium), but for the last couple of years, Spaten has disappeared. This year we have had more Oktoberfest choices than in the past, but no Spaten. Despite the green bottles, I have always enjoyed Spaten beer. I fondly recall drinking cans of Spaten in a train station in Munich back in 1994 thinking where to go next. Well, if Spaten had cans back in the stone age, we can't they have them now in the USA?
     
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  15. grantcty

    grantcty Initiate (151) Feb 17, 2008 Minnesota
    Trader

    It really makes you wonder what the management at the brewery in Munich is doing--or what kind of direction they're getting from the higher ups. If they really did want to sell the brands, one could rationally assume that they would want to have their collective shit together.
     
  16. bonsainut

    bonsainut Initiate (40) Oct 23, 2014 North Carolina

    My assumption is that the problem isn't with production - they obviously have plenty of Spaten at the Oktoberfest. Also, now that I am Linked In buddies with the Germany country director and the Spaten brewery manager, I can see all their posts, and they are all talking about great production runs and having fun at Oktoberfest (since there has been a two year hiatus). I think the issue is with Import Brands... and their inability to get product out to distributors.

    FWIW I AM seeing product availability in some retailers scattered around the country. For example Bevmo (148 stores west coast) has it. Giant Food stores (190 stores in central east coast) has it. Total Wine does not.
     
  17. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    While I agree with everything in your assessment, especially about Import Brands, don't forget that Spaten exports a different beer to the U.S. than they serve at the Fest.

    But maybe this is another clue -- is the Märzen on the way out? Maybe we'll see Spaten Festbier from now on?

    Be interesting to see if your connections mention anything about brewing for export.
     
  18. bonsainut

    bonsainut Initiate (40) Oct 23, 2014 North Carolina

    Just going to say, if they kill the product, I am going to start home-brewing.
     
  19. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    I like Paulaner & H-P well enough, but they're not the same. :confused:
     
  20. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,320) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I read this while eating a scrambled egg and German sausage sandwich. I made a small little mess, involuntarily, just short of my plate. All's AOK now.....I'm a Spaten fan going way back.
     
  21. tolar111

    tolar111 Meyvn (1,133) Aug 17, 2008 New York
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    I was in a bar Saturday night and had Spaten Okto on draft and I will probably be going to an Oktober Fest this Saturday at a bar that always has Spaten on draft. My beverage center has had most of the usual Oktober fest beers but has not had Spaten Okto in bottles.
     
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  22. bonsainut

    bonsainut Initiate (40) Oct 23, 2014 North Carolina

    [QUOTE="tolar111, post: 7615489, member: 243069"My beverage center has had most of the usual Oktober fest beers but has not had Spaten Okto in bottles.[/QUOTE]

    I just checked, and my favorite Oktoberfest in Huntington Beach, CA, is still serving Spaten Oktoberfest on tap:

    Old World Oktoberfest

    Is it the märzen? I assume so... at least that's what it tasted like to me the last time I had it.
     
  23. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    It's been mentioned previously, but it does look like kegs got in country. There was a spot nearby me* that I heard had it a few weeks back -- and yeah, Märzen.

    *Aaand... just found another spot advertising on draft -- and they usually offer crowlers & growlers! Forming a plan...
     
  24. tolar111

    tolar111 Meyvn (1,133) Aug 17, 2008 New York
    Society Trader

    I just checked with the bar hosting the Oktoberfest in Albany. The bartender said Spaten Oktoberfest will definitely be on tap. He went on to say that the bar, Wolff's Biergarten which normally has Spaten Oktoberfest on tap year-round couldn't get it for a few weeks this summer due to supply chain issues and increased shipping costs.
     
  25. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,816) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    Ignorance can be bliss when it comes to keg age. Maybe it will pay to follow your earlier advice but it's much harder to do with kegs. :wink: But even if you find out it's an old keg when you're there, I think you'll probably order it anyway over anything else. There are times when I go out for a specific beer... and even if I think it might be in bad shape, I get it anyway. I'm there to drink the beer regardless. Good luck.
     
  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,821) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    When it comes to imported kegged beer, Dirty Harry says:

    [​IMG]
     
  27. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    My plan is to ask questions, try a glass, then order the crowler.

    But this place has a good, long rep for beer knowledge and handling.

    Also, Algauer and Bell's are on tap... so there are options. :wink:
     
  28. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,816) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    ... or two.
     
  29. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Budget, man -- budget. :wink:
     
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  30. bonsainut

    bonsainut Initiate (40) Oct 23, 2014 North Carolina

    ...not to add fuel to the fire, but I just dropped into a Lowes Food store (approx 100 stores) which has a beer aisle second only to Total Wine in my market.

    Noticeably absent was Spaten... both Regular lager and Oktoberfest (big empty holes on the shelf with price tags present)...

    ...and Franziskaner weissbier.

    I suppose I could try a more aggressive tack and contact Lowes Food with photos of their empty shelves, and ask how air sales are going...
     
  31. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    @bonsainut -- back in the early Okto season the beer guy at my local said he hadn't seen Spaten drops of any kind in a long time -- and Optimator is sold out at his store.

    Really sounds like there's trouble getting it into the country -- whatever sign that might light up.
     
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  32. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Poo-Bah (2,523) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
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    My bottles have 01.23 on them....not sure when they were bottled but they seem fresh and carbonated to me? That being said... they are now gone and I can't find anymore dangit
     
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  33. grantcty

    grantcty Initiate (151) Feb 17, 2008 Minnesota
    Trader

    They were bottled sometime in January, 2022. Spaten bottles have a best-by date of a year from bottling.
     
  34. augustgarage

    augustgarage Poo-Bah (2,368) May 20, 2007 California
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    Only 2 out of about 20 BevMos in a 30 mile radius show it in stock now.
     
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  35. keithmurray

    keithmurray Poo-Bah (1,802) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut
    Society

    Tell him to have Spaten stop using green bottles. And tell him they need to start canning the narzen (I guess that'll be for next season).
     
  36. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    What @grantcty said -- and others have been finding May bottlings, which is typical for what's usually sent over for the season.

    But I'd still take January bottling at this point!
     
  37. bonsainut

    bonsainut Initiate (40) Oct 23, 2014 North Carolina

    FWIW, I just tried to call Import Brands Alliance. Their customer service number has "gone digital". That is corporate speak for "we don't offer customer service any longer".

    They directed me to the same online black hole that A/B directed me to. Fill out all the forms you want... just don't expect a response from the company.

    At some point this is starting to get funny. Incompetence great enough to make you weep.
     
  38. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    I think Jess alluded to this merry-go-round above.

    I got on that chat system a few weeks ago and they referred me to the local distro... who never responded to my email. :confused:
     
    #158 steveh, Sep 28, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2022
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  39. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Poo-Bah (2,523) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
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    So around 9 months old then....they taste fine to me biut that's a bit disheartening.... That being said, it's the only German option local to me
     
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  40. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,684) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    Why is it disheartening? If it tastes good, it tastes good!

    Or are you lamenting that you haven't seen new stock? I know the feeling. :confused:
     
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