Tree House Brewing Company (April 2018)

Discussion in 'New England' started by NiceBeerCans, Apr 1, 2018.

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  1. Pigman420

    Pigman420 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Connecticut

    this whole thing about sap is hilarious.

    - why call the beer "sap" if your'e going to admit in the essay you write about it that the beer has absolutely nothing to do with sap at all? maybe its because the beer originally was much more piney, and at that point, the name was appropriate? seems a lot more likely than just giving it the random name "sap" for no reason at all...

    - they've gotten enough complaints that they actually include an explanation as to why the beer has changed in their little essay

    - its just a crazy coincidence that one of their least hyped beers, but one of my personal favorites, is the one that changed the most due to these "refined processes" and is now very similar in flavor and hype to the rest of their line up. if they are refining these processes across the board, why havent we seen such a significant change in other beers?

    does any one really buy this story?

    pigman out
    #281 Pigman420, Apr 12, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
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  2. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (1,988) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    All I know is it doesn't utilize grapes.
  3. beardfacejesus

    beardfacejesus Initiate (102) Apr 30, 2016 Massachusetts

    I don't know much at all about the brewing process, so I don't want to say Nate's not being honest about the freshness/selection of hops playing as big of a role in the change of the flavor of the beer.
    That being said, Sap was the first TH beer I ever had, back from the red barn days. I know my palate then was completely different from how it is now, but I remember that beer having a MUCH more pronounced pine flavor to it. Even after it started being canned and having sticker labels, and now with it having its own proper can, it's pretty obvious that piney flavor profile has taken a backseat to the citrus,
    Summary: Do I buy the story? Yeah...I think I do. :stuck_out_tongue:
  4. GabrielEVH

    GabrielEVH Initiate (144) Mar 24, 2016 Massachusetts

    I buy it. I wouldn't mind having a version where some Chinook is used in the boil though or maybe a bit of dry hopping with Cascade. I like both the old and new versions, preference changes with my mood.

    Also, went yesterday for the first time in months. Both Julius (mango bomb IMO) and East Hill (big flavor for the ABV) are drinking great.
  5. agreenman19

    agreenman19 Poo-Bah (1,796) Apr 10, 2011 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    oh man, a twofer!
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  6. DigitalNate

    DigitalNate Initiate (104) Dec 20, 2010 Massachusetts

    There's a bunch of Chinook in the boil.
    sulldaddy, jmerizio, state08 and 9 others like this.
  7. JLK7299

    JLK7299 Meyvn (1,093) Apr 21, 2016 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Who is going to listen to someone at karma level initiate
    Cmike1992, Lupin, jlordi12 and 22 others like this.
  8. Pigman420

    Pigman420 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Connecticut

    I'm sure freshness and selection has a big impact. I doubt it can totally change a beer. I dont think the beer is bad or anything. I enjoyed both versions . I just dont understand at all the idea behind totally changing it and keeping the same name, can. Etc. Its pretty much universally agreed upon that Sap used to be super piney. That's why it had the name SAP. It's also pretty much universally agreed that sap has a much more loyal following now that it's been "refined" . Well. Good for them. That's all well. I just dont see there other beers being changed that drastically by "refinement" So I think it's a real stretch to say that these huge changes to sap are just "refinement" and not a conscious choice to make a huge change so it would appeal more to their core-base. Also. If the idea behind the beer was not to be a pine centric beer, Why name it sap to begin with? Do they have any other beers that have purposely misleading names ? Do those beers have earlier versions where the names make perfect sense? The whole thing is stupid. They should just stop messing around and offer an actual explanation, because the one they've given so far is pretty laughable. I'd honestly love to hear a legitimate explanation for this.
    #288 Pigman420, Apr 12, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  9. HazeForDaze

    HazeForDaze Initiate (27) Apr 2, 2018 New Hampshire

    Dont even know why they waste their time with that old time country buffet ish. keep it straight galaxy citra that brings that juice. ALl about that dry hop anyway.

    Sap was the first treehouse beer I had and I thought it was decent, and then i realized the straight jamba juice they were stowing inside beer cans. lol ill drink em for breakfast.
  10. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (142) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    It was explained that the hop profile (the type and presumably, quantity, of the hops) in brewing has remained constant but the quality and taste of the raw hops has changed. What more of an explanation are you looking for?
    Not sure if you have noticed but the quality and juiciness of this year's Citra crop is much more pungent and flavorful than last year's. It's really quite simple.
  11. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (7,430) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Society Trader

    What year was Sap super piney? I was admittedly late to the party compared to many of you, but the first time I ever had Sap (and I had multiple cans) was July 2016, and it was never super piney to me. There were very mild hints of pine in the aroma, and even less so in the taste, but that's about it.

    If a consumer wants pine, Tree House is the last brewery they should pursue it from--it's the complete antithesis to their entire being. There are legions of West Coast IPAs on shelves that deliver all the pine and grapefruit rind you could want. Although, I will say, OG Bright had a decent amount of pine in it for a Tree House brew--though that's not a surprise, due to its more traditional approach.
    avas likes this.
  12. colby600

    colby600 Zealot (544) Mar 24, 2015 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    My first Sap was early May of '15 and it took me by surprise as it was a pine bomb and so different than others I had tried from TH.
  13. Pigman420

    Pigman420 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Connecticut

    So why haven't their other beers that use citra seen such a drastic change?

    There's dozens of posts in this thread and past threads all discuss how sap used to be much more pine forward. Personally I think it's silly for you to imply they can or should only brew one type of beer. But I do think it's that attitude from many fanboys that lead to the massive "refinement" of sap to begin with. It was always the least hyped beer until recently because it did not appeal to the julius/haze/green crowd .

    They are entitled to brew whatever they want . I just take offense to the fact that when I had sap in Monson, it was very piney. When I went to Charlton for the first time I spent a good amount of money on Sap since the allotments were higher. Obviously, I was hoping to get the same beer I got last time. I didn't. And the changes weren't advertised or listed or anything. That's pretty lame. At least give people a heads up if you are changing things that much.
  14. JayKoz

    JayKoz Initiate (102) Jun 20, 2014 Connecticut

    We want Pigman Out.. literally, please.
  15. Pigman420

    Pigman420 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Connecticut

    Yeah man. Im a real prick. I expect to get a somewhat similar beer from a highly renowned brewery when I buy it two different times, and there is no advertised changes. What the hell am I thinking ?
  16. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (7,430) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Society Trader

    It's not an implication, it's a fact that all their hazy gold-orange-amber beers all lean distinctly, and heavily, New England...I mean by definition, come on.

    Just a reminder, that Sap I was referring to was from Monson. If this is some kind of "newly emerging development," it's two years old by this point. But I have a feeling you don't drink very many truly piney brews, which is fine, whatever. Whatever if you do...just seems like your baseline is warped.

    Fat Head's is a local mainstay for me and a major national award winner. They excel at the West Coast style. I've never had anything by Tree House that was even a tenth as piney as even the most pedestrian hoppy ale by Fat Head's.
  17. agreenman19

    agreenman19 Poo-Bah (1,796) Apr 10, 2011 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    What's the psychological term for inadvertently forming opinions based what others say? Some sort of bias or something, who knows, not my department. Definitely not explaining that correctly, but this is basically the beer scene in a nutshell.

    Brewer tells you it tastes like OJ, you're (probably) gonna taste OJ. Hype is a very real flavor and I'm sure plenty of people are tasting pine in Sap because its name is Sap and there's a fuckin' pine tree on the label.

    For myself, I definitely agree Sap has changed and it's much more fruity now. I *think* it was more piney/resiny/grassy/bitter back then, but I also have no problem admitting I was probably suckered into tasting pine based on the label, color (green at the time), and day I visited Tree House (late December 2015 with snow on the ground, my first sip was with my buddies on a pallet out back while waiting for growlers and delivery pizza. Good times, and I might be a little sorry about consuming on the premises).

    Also got no problem admitting my palate was baby smooth and still developing, so I am prepared to throw that garbage opinion in the trash where it belongs. More than likely, it was a departure from typical Tree House beers, so people didn't know what to think, and if it's not juicy, it's piney.

    That said, I do tend to get an herbal, vaguely methol-like flavor from Chinook. Wouldn't describe it as "piney", but I think there's a fine line.
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  18. Pigman420

    Pigman420 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Connecticut

    Thats great. Except no one is discussing fat heads. Were discussing what sap used to taste like vs what it tastes like now. Anyone else's piney beers are irrelevant to the conversation. Whether sap is 1/10 as piney as fat heads doesnt matter . The argument is that it used to be piney. And now its not. Were only comparing it to its former self. And its not like I'm the only one pointing that out. Enough people pointed it out for the brewery to attempt to give an explanation about it in their description of the beer.
  19. Jesse14

    Jesse14 Initiate (193) Jul 21, 2011 Massachusetts

    There is a hop supplier "Hop Head Farms" that sells chinook hops that are unlike anyone else selling them that I have come across. I'm not saying that is their source but I'm certain that the hop source makes a huge difference. The supplier I mentioned has a strain that is much fruitier and with little pine quality.

    You should probably just relax, do a little more research, or stop acting like they owe you anything.
  20. PeteKuncis

    PeteKuncis Initiate (48) Dec 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    Easy in & out tonight with a case of Julius and a case of Green. Would have liked to stay for a pint or two, but had to rush home for the hockey game. Go Bruins!
  21. Pigman420

    Pigman420 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Connecticut

    Anyone who produces any kind of good owes it to ALL their customers to give them as close to the same product as reasonably possible every time they purchase it, unless fluctuations or differences are made known in advance
  22. 7irondave

    7irondave Zealot (524) Jun 22, 2016 Massachusetts

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  23. Pigman420

    Pigman420 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Connecticut

    Get real. I take pride in my work and have a commitment to my customers . I have an obligation to meet their expectation that they will get the same food every time they come to eat. This pride in work and consistency is standard in pretty much every industry. Auto. Medical. Technology. Carpentry. Etc. You get the idea. It has nothing to do with entitlement and everything to do with setting an expectation and meeting it. Give me a break....its not like every brewery has this issue. How is the problem me, and not tree house ?
  24. ackwaves

    ackwaves Initiate (49) Oct 27, 2017 Massachusetts

    I was there around the same time and ordered the same. Did you see the folks with the foldable cart who bought 7 cases? Either a trader or one heck of a party this weekend. That's $700 worth of TH.

    Cracked a Julius and a Green from the new batch. Julius continues to trend up, tastes great and you could smell the open can from across the kitchen. The Green is the real treat - I'm somewhat skeptical of 'mouthfeel' (feels like beer!) but this one has it. Soft and fluffy, great depth in flavor and no heat. Last batch was solid but the alcohol was noticeable. I'm sure that'll mellow in time but this is great out of the gate.
  25. WolfsburgVW

    WolfsburgVW Disciple (302) May 21, 2013 Maine

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  26. 7irondave

    7irondave Zealot (524) Jun 22, 2016 Massachusetts

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  27. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (7,430) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Society Trader

    SUPER PINEY are your words, not mine. Sap was never SUPER PINEY.
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  28. 7irondave

    7irondave Zealot (524) Jun 22, 2016 Massachusetts

    Careful . . . he's sensitive :rolling_eyes:
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  29. ackwaves

    ackwaves Initiate (49) Oct 27, 2017 Massachusetts

    If Nate wants to get meta on us he'll drop a "Pigman out" on the bottom of the next Sap run.

    *Blobfish out*
  30. PeteKuncis

    PeteKuncis Initiate (48) Dec 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    Yup, I was the first (next?) in line as they were loading up. Had a front row seat.
  31. GabrielEVH

    GabrielEVH Initiate (144) Mar 24, 2016 Massachusetts

    Oh wow! And still so easy w/ the bite. Thanks for sharing those deets!
  32. wasatchback

    wasatchback Disciple (330) Jan 12, 2014 Bahamas

    I’m willing to bet hop selection has a much larger impact on these beers than anything else. Hops can change so dramatically depending on where and how they’re grown, seasonal weather, when they’re harvested, and how they’re processed... And that can be within a 50 miles radius not Yakima vs. Michigan. The Michigan Chinook is nothing to write home about, at least from what I’ve tried.

    I’m positive the hops that are left for homebrewers pale in comparison to the hops the guys with relatively large contracts and/or hyped up breweries are offered.

    There has been so much discussed about how Mosaic and Citra have changed dramatically over the last few years (and Amarillo before that) with now more growers and acreage. I bet there might be some process change to Sap but I definitely believe Nate when it comes down to hop selection over anything else.

    Simcoe forever was pine and cat piss, now its almost impossible to get that even for homebrew level hops.
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  33. MrEff

    MrEff Initiate (35) Mar 21, 2017 Massachusetts

    Nate has said over and over that they try to improve upon every batch, not make it exactly the same.
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  34. Shyla987

    Shyla987 Initiate (106) Jul 18, 2013 Connecticut

    Never has a post been more untruthful.

    I know this was a joke, and I laughed (out loud). But if TH ever gave attention to this person, I would...something...something...just, no.
  35. wasatchback

    wasatchback Disciple (330) Jan 12, 2014 Bahamas

    That is the definition of Budweiser right there... you should drink more of those. They’re exactly the same every time
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  36. cmoney13

    cmoney13 Initiate (133) Sep 9, 2017 Massachusetts

    I got a sap growler on my very first TH haul, whenever that was (about when they started canning). I definitely would not have called that batch SUPER piney. Super piney beers are old-school sierra nevada or bear republic beers (sidenote: racer 5 and hop rod rye was my fucking jam). This was never that. It was different than the rest, but let's be real.

    I am enjoying my 3rd sap of the evening (after an In Perp!), and as I said previously, this is perfect IPA territory for me. While it's definitely changed, and it isn't piney per se, it is still spicier and more bitter than all of TH's single IPAs. There is a bit of earthiness to it, and it's super grapefruity, and it leaves my mouth watering after each sip. I'd trade all of the haze and hurricane cans in my fridge for more sap.
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  37. Distraction

    Distraction Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2018 New Jersey

    Thinking about stopping by for my first time on my way home to New Jersey on Saturday. Is showing up at 11am highly preferable to showing up at, say, 12:30-1pm or is there going to be a similar wait no matter what?
  38. trsC

    trsC Initiate (66) May 5, 2013 Spain

    As you just said, there is a commitment to customerS -- not just one customer. I'm not sure Tree House would be where they are if they only made beers to please pigman. As Nate himself has said, ALL their beers have changed significantly over the years, due to quality and quantity of hops. He said that "Green" now is probably what Gggreennn would theoretically have been 2 years ago. Jesus, dude, you're buying artisanal beer, and I don't think they're going for budweiser consistency here.

    You're a chef, right 420? I don't know, imagine at your restaurant you make a tomato sauce but since it's a brand new place, barely any cash, you need to use supermarket canned tomatoes. Some guy with an internet account comes in and really likes that aluminum sweetness that comes with canned tomatoes. Buys your pasta pomodoro once or twice. Then he comes back 2 years later, sees the same item on your menu at your brand new location, 35x the size with a beautiful warehouse chic. He orders his pasta pomodoro and lo and behold it's different. Chef Pigman can now afford to make his sauce from scratch, uses the same marzano tomatoes but is sourcing them directly from Campania and gone is the metallic sugary sweetness that used to dominate the sauce and instead we get lovely acidity and even some bitterness to the sauce! Internet account guy is pissed, accuses Chef Pigman of selling out, ignoring his customers, and claims on that Chef Pigman's pasta pomodoro changed so significantly that we all deserve an explanation that suits our agendas.
  39. Pigman420

    Pigman420 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Connecticut

    you're knowledge of tomatoes is pretty nice! pretty ironic, my family is all from Campania, and I am a stickler on tomatoes...

    i understand your point and see what your're saying. to be honest, i would include something like this on my menu under the item.. "now made with imported tomatoes direct from campania" ..doesn't require anything more than that, in my mind. as i said, i don't think the new Sap is bad. my issue is more so with that there is no notice given to the customer, especially in this case where its commonly agreed that the change is pretty drastic. if they just said at the very beginning, "we got a new batch of chinook, the sap is going to be a lot different going foreward" ....there you go. no problem. I didn't find out until after i've bought 12 of them. so thats a bummer. obviously a "first world problem" or whatever you wanna call it....but theres no reason for it to be a problem at all, especially from a company with such an online presence and who communicates with their customers so much. if you want to prevent people from speculating, especially in this crowd/community, just make the information available in advance...pretty simple. or if youre aware there is going to be a large deviation form whats expected, maybe offer a sample? I just don't think its fair to customers. If it was even close to the same beer I probably would never have said anything. The difference is huge. If you have some amazing new hops or tomatoes youre using, why not brag about that? to me there is no reason not to share this info.

    now, when/if I go to tree house again, how do i know what to expect from any of their beers? I havent been in a few months. Even if I go and they have 3 or 4 beers , and i've had all of them, am I supposed to just buy everything blindly not knowing if a "new crop of hops" has totally changed every beer i am about to buy? I understand batch to batch a degree. professionals know how to work with variations in ingredients to get as much consistency as possible...but. I just think its poor treatment of the customer. its pretty much "You get what we give you" - and i know that works for a lot of people. I just dont think expecting to get pretty close to the same beer 2 different times is really that outrageous...
    #319 Pigman420, Apr 13, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  40. mattyg2k

    mattyg2k Initiate (68) May 5, 2017 Maine

    Nice to see this thread has returned to it's glory.

    From the Pine Tree State
    mattyg out
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