Thoughts on Spencer Trappist Ale?

Discussion in 'New England' started by markdrinksbeer, Jan 23, 2014.

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  1. markdrinksbeer

    markdrinksbeer Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2013 Massachusetts

    People in Belgium can walk up to St. Sixtus (or whatever its called) and get a case of the Westy Blonde for $46.00 american. I sure as hell would not walk to St. Josephs Abbey and spend $20.00 for 4 beers of spencer Ale.
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  2. mmcgrath

    mmcgrath Initiate (162) Mar 3, 2003 Massachusetts

    on the flip side, what church-based businesses are known to be funded by private equity? i'm pretty sure i've never been offered the opportunity to invest in jesus and get a financial return. but maybe i'm out of the loop...
  3. kinopio

    kinopio Aspirant (274) Apr 30, 2009 Massachusetts

    Right. Does the fact that the guys making the beer are wearing robes make the beer taste better? Obviously not. The Trappist thing is basically a gimmick, and paying extra for a gimmick isn't something I'm interested in doing.
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  4. BrianTheBrewer30

    BrianTheBrewer30 Aspirant (221) Nov 17, 2009 Massachusetts

    I bought a 4 pack. I thought the beer was good. I wont buy it again though. Not a huge Trappist fan. The price is also killer.
  5. Horbar

    Horbar Zealot (508) Feb 24, 2012 Rhode Island

    Nice beer, terrible value. Let them pay their own tithe, not me.
  6. brikelly

    brikelly Aspirant (231) Apr 11, 2010 Massachusetts

    Someone gave me a bottle today, just had it.

    Perfectly fine and nice.

    And I certainly won't be paying for any of my own. Sorry to the poor people being helped by the brewery, shit needs to be wowzer-level before I start dropping that kind of money on 4 packs.
  7. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    I thought it was mediocre at best. I'll try another bottle in a few months though to see if there is any improvement
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  8. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    hmmm, maybe, I guess it depends on wether you think of yeast as just an ingredient or an intergral aspect in the execution of brewing. And this is where most belgian and hefeweizens made in the US fall short for me - knowing how to ellicit balanced profiles from those types of yeasts takes experience and finesse.
  9. pjl44

    pjl44 Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2008 Massachusetts

    Even if any part of that is true, as a consumer I file it under "not my problem."
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  10. pjl44

    pjl44 Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2008 Massachusetts

    For a Belgian pale? No.
  11. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (952) Mar 17, 2009 Washington

    I don't understand why they need to pay back their debt so quickly. It's not like they have anything else to do.
    Gunboat82 likes this.
  12. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,473) Dec 2, 2009 New York

    or there's the jack's abby model: price low/reasonable, make great beer, get huge reputation, sell tons of beer.
    NAPO, jbart, mschofield and 3 others like this.
  13. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,473) Dec 2, 2009 New York

    in belgium* maybe. and the reputation would have to be high. and there would need to be some cozy stories about it and famous beer writers backing it up.
  14. Danjal

    Danjal Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2014 Massachusetts

    Its a very nice beer, but, I agree, a bit pricey for a start up. Luckily, my local joint lets you buy it by the bottle
  15. drocpsu

    drocpsu Initiate (184) Dec 25, 2006 New Hampshire

    White Birch did, if I remember correctly. I remember them being pretty expensive when they fist came out. More than I typically wanted to pay for a bomber. They were really hyped up a lot at first, then the reviews of the quality being very inconsistent came out. A couple years later, it seemed that their prices dropped by a buck or two, making them a much more reasonable (and realistic) price.
  16. mschofield

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

    if I drank this blind I'd swear it was a dunkleweizen
  17. a74gent

    a74gent Aspirant (295) Mar 16, 2010 Massachusetts

    I'm looking for my "used to be that way" button as I think about $8 pint bottles of BA Framinghammer and $10 variants and the beers like Smoked Lawson's Collab and Almond Joy that were forgettable to say the least IMO.
  18. Davl22

    Davl22 Aspirant (279) Sep 27, 2011 New Hampshire

    Beat me to it
  19. Horbar

    Horbar Zealot (508) Feb 24, 2012 Rhode Island

    ??? Really, you pick out the special beers to show a poor price point, but forgot to mention the $9.99 sixer of Hop Union. A great value, IMO.
    IcemanCometh and LiquidCourage like this.
  20. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,473) Dec 2, 2009 New York

    You just complained about $8 barrel aged barleywine (scotch ale = old ale = barleywine) in 2014.
  21. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,213) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    True, but there are still head-scratchers sometimes - i.e. Pro Am pils was $5 per half liter bottle. I've never otherwise heard of a straight pils at 0.29 - 0.30 per ounce. That being said, they said their new "Sunny Ridge" pilsner coming out this week is going into 6 packs. So if that one is priced more like their flagships, all is forgiven on the pils front for me.
  22. Sesmu

    Sesmu Aspirant (211) Feb 28, 2007 Massachusetts

    ...and going back to Spencer Trappist Ale. I liked it a lot. I think it lived up to the hype. Its price is a different matter, but taste-wise it's really good.
  23. shameus

    shameus Initiate (89) Dec 23, 2013 Massachusetts

    The first time that I had Spencer, I bought a 4 pack to split with my dad. 90% of the time he drinks Boston Lager or one of the Sam Seasonal's, and he really liked the Spencer until he heard the price for a 4 pack of smaller-than-12oz bottles. I'd think that it might help if they got it down to $11-$12 per 4 pack to get the sales from folks like my dad, who will usually drop that much on a 6'er of macro craft. I think that they might have a tough time moving the volume that they have talked about getting to otherwise. Also, at $3 per bottle, I'd probably keep a few around at all times.

    As a side note, I'm sort of curious as to whether the monks are able to avoid the usual taxes/fees as a religious organization, or if the brewery is separate from that.
    #63 shameus, Feb 6, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  24. LiquidCourage

    LiquidCourage Initiate (168) Nov 1, 2012 Rhode Island

    Yankee Spirits or Gasbarro in Attleboro get any of this? I'm curious to try one.
  25. jamis

    jamis Initiate (157) Nov 30, 2008 Massachusetts

    I enjoyed the Spencer Ale very much. Though I agree that the price point makes it prohibitive for regular drinking.

    I probably wouldn't keep it 'on hand' until it reached $10-12/4 pack, but I will pick it up every once in a while when I'm in the mood for a lighter Belgian style.
  26. youbrewidrink

    youbrewidrink Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2009 Vermont

    It's a bit pricey but I did obtain a few four packs, headed to the cellar for many years of aging.
  27. jlordi12

    jlordi12 Devotee (469) Jun 8, 2011 Massachusetts

    Why are you aging them?
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  28. benbking

    benbking Aspirant (211) Dec 11, 2009 Rhode Island

    They'll actually be much cheaper with inflation.
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  29. jlordi12

    jlordi12 Devotee (469) Jun 8, 2011 Massachusetts

    Haha , the other possibility is at 18$/4 pack they'll be collectors items in a few years.
  30. Robtobfest

    Robtobfest Disciple (325) Oct 21, 2009 Connecticut

    this is a 6.5 percent beer that drinks like in nine percent. Personally thought it was okay but not too well crafted
  31. Archemedies

    Archemedies Initiate (0) Dec 8, 2011 Massachusetts

    It's pretty good, but not worth the price of a four pack. If you can find a store that will sell them by singles I would recommend getting a bottle to try.
  32. nootch23

    nootch23 Aspirant (211) Mar 29, 2012 Massachusetts

    I think I fall in line with the majority of the people who have responded to this thread with thinking it was just a middle of the road beer that was too expensive to purchase again. Glad I tried it though.

    Are they going to be brewing other beers in the future or just stick with the Spencer Ale?
  33. JakerLou

    JakerLou Meyvn (1,133) Jan 6, 2013 New Hampshire

    I read somewhere they've agreed to only brew this one beer for the next five years.
  34. KevTurnersBootburn

    KevTurnersBootburn Initiate (71) Jan 19, 2014 Massachusetts

    Finally had this over the weekend and also fall into the "liked it but will never buy it again at the price" camp. Based on the number of unopened cases I saw when I got it I don't think I am alone. I'd probably buy this during the summer a few times if it was 14 dollars a 6 pack but I can't figure out who they think is going to continue to pay current 4 pack prices.
  35. Janeinma

    Janeinma Devotee (457) May 24, 2009 Massachusetts

    these are shelf turds in two of my local stores already. I think the point of brutal awakening may be closer than they think.
  36. Andrew041180

    Andrew041180 Defender (651) Mar 15, 2013 Massachusetts

    I really liked it! Granted my exposure to this type of beer is pretty limited, but I thought it was great. I had it at a restaurant and at $8/bottle it wasn't too far out of line with the other available beers - in which case I thought the value was good. Sitting on a shelf at the prices listed above? Sorry, 16 oz cans of Heady cost less (or they used to, not sure with the latest change in distro). I'll save the money for my next trip to Vermont.
  37. markdrinksbeer

    markdrinksbeer Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2013 Massachusetts

    Local here has several cases sitting on the floor. After the initial interest, I just don't see that 18 dollar price tag beckoning many beer drinkers. They need to seriously cut that price by at least 5 dollars for me to consider buying again.
    jlordi12 likes this.
  38. markdrinksbeer

    markdrinksbeer Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2013 Massachusetts

    I pretty much stop by the same places each week and it looks like the volume is still pretty high with regards to what is still sitting on the shelves. At one place it can be found in three different locations in the store (cooler, on the shelf, and its own mound of cases between a cooler and a shelf. I am guessing that those people who say its not priced too high aren't buying it either.
    Rekrule likes this.
  39. TheGator321

    TheGator321 Initiate (0) May 29, 2013 Connecticut

    world class Belgian blonde.
    never buy again due to the price.
  40. TheGator321

    TheGator321 Initiate (0) May 29, 2013 Connecticut

    maybe once.
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