Unfortunate news from Asheville regarding Craggie Brewing Co.

Discussion in 'US - Southeast' started by goindownsouth, Oct 16, 2012.

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  1. goindownsouth

    goindownsouth Meyvn (1,042) Jun 21, 2002 New Jersey

    I heard this past weekend that Craggie Brewing Company, as it is formed right now, will soon cease functioning. The head brewer has joined up with Oskar Blues to work in their North Carolina facility, which is great news of course. But this means Craggie will be going in a new direction, it would appear.

    A shame. I know this place was a bit polarizing for some on here, but their vibe was stellar. Their Mango IPA was good and the Toubab Brew and Swannanoa Sunset were worth the trip. Never like seeing this. I am just glad Green Man and Wedge are still kicking it hard.

  2. pghlee

    pghlee Initiate (130) Feb 24, 2006 Georgia

  3. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    These things happen. Brewers move around. Craggie will persevere.
  4. commis

    commis Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2009 Massachusetts

    Long time coming. Craggie was the least impressive operation in a town oversaturated with breweries. Their line-up didn't help either, as every beer they offered was weird. Nothing solid and appealing to your average craft drinker. Mango in the IPA, chipotle on the porter, spruce tips, molasses and ginger in Antebellum...Gimicks all around. The Zwickle was half decent but named a gimmicky name after a gimmicky local band. The only well crafted, gimmick-free non-polarizing beer they brewed was Battery Hill Rye which they pulled off the market after a previous brewer screwed a batch of it up and sold it anyway. I won't knock a brewery for being creative, but don't put weird shit into every single beer you make. Focus on brewing quality staples first and if you feel that your IPA need mango aromas, choose the right hop.
    In Asheville, if you want to open a brewery and stay in business, you need to be better than at least one other brewer. We now have several new breweries opening up in the near future and chances are pretty good that at least a couple will fail to even make it as long as Craggie did...
    zappafrank and kkipple like this.
  5. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I think Wedge is the best place in Asheville, but that's me. Wish they'd ship to Greensboro, but they have no intention of spreading out a bit.
    NotACommunist likes this.
  6. fhyden

    fhyden Initiate (0) Sep 4, 2012 Florida

    I had a pretty dang good BA Barleywine there once. I was certainly impressed.
  7. kexp

    kexp Initiate (0) May 10, 2007 North Carolina

    As long as the brewing talent doesn't leave the area, then WNC will be just fine. Consider it evolution.
  8. Daktah

    Daktah Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Illinois

    Have to agree. I never made it to the tasting room but tried a few beers on tap and at festivals. Antebellum was interesting, but nothing I'd want to drink more than once. One or two standard offerings with broad appeal seems like a better way to build a brewery than a shotgun approach of unusual beers that will each, almost by design, appeal only to a small group of people.
  9. PDXHops

    PDXHops Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2008 South Carolina

    I'm not really familiar with Craggie (*only because they're never open when I'm in town and ready to drink), but why will they "cease functioning"? Head brewers have left breweries countless times. Are they so small that they don't really have an assistant brewer ready to take the reins right away?

    *Off-topic, but I assume there's some sort of local legal requirement that you can't be open until X o'clock if you serve dranks but no food or something like that?
  10. JebediahScooter

    JebediahScooter Initiate (0) Sep 5, 2010 Vermont

    So Peace Street Market in Raleigh got a bunch of Craggie growlers in a couple of years ago. They sat and sat and sat in the coolers until finally they moved them out of the coolers and on to shelves. So there are like 10-15 two or three year old Craggie growlers of Toubab Brewe and Antebellum sitting unrefrigerated on shelves at PSM. It's a bit surreal to be honest.

    *This is more of a jab at PSM than Craggie.
  11. VncentLIFE

    VncentLIFE Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2011 North Carolina

    Yo La Mango wasnt all that great. I was told such great things, but it was only saved in a flight by Brett Beer
  12. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Initiate (0) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

    French Broad and Greenman are pretty stellar too, no?
  13. commis

    commis Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2009 Massachusetts

    They were abiut to "cease functioning" regardless of whether or not they had a brewer. Nobody buys their beer and they went under. More than likely this is why the brewer left to work with OB.
  14. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Since I don't know much about this, but if a brewer leaves because no one buys his beer why would he be in demand? No one likes his stuff so another brewery hires him. He's known for making quirky brews that guys won't buy, so who's at fault? The owner for giving him creative control or the brewer for brewing what he wants as he knows the business is struggling. He should have settled on a few solid brews and done them well, then experiment. IMO Asheville is a cool bar town more so a great great beer town, but at the very least you need to be solid and have at least one brew better in style than the others.
    commis likes this.
  15. PDXHops

    PDXHops Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2008 South Carolina

    Ah. Thanks for the insight. I guess I can cross them off the old "to-do" list for now, unless some sort of reinvention comes about.
  16. commis

    commis Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2009 Massachusetts

    Yeah. I wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of some new investors coming around in the future, but don't hold your breath.
  17. whiskeytown

    whiskeytown Initiate (0) Jan 6, 2010 North Carolina

    Perhaps with Oskar Blues he will not be asked to do more than replicate the flagship OB recipes and perhaps some experimenting for the taproom. Which will be a tough task in itself, but far easier than having an entire company depend on your beers to differentiate themselves from the rest.
  18. kkipple

    kkipple Initiate (0) Jul 30, 2005 South Carolina

    Spot. On. I can't say I'm sad to see Craggie go. Look out for Wicked Weed, guys, they are going to blow you away.
  19. Beermeplease13

    Beermeplease13 Initiate (0) Feb 8, 2010 Illinois

    I actually have the opposite opinion of Craggie. They used to brew more common beers - pale ale, IPA, etc. I found those beers uninteresting and nothing that differentiated them in the Asheville market. Once they started experimenting and brewing more interesting beers, I would seek them out. I enjoy the Antebellum Ale and thought both the Yo La Mango IPA and the Burning Barrel porter were fantastic. I would much rather have those choices than another common IPA/pale ale personally.
    kp likes this.
  20. Barrelsnbeer

    Barrelsnbeer Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2012 North Carolina

    talk about polarizing, i LOVED the mango ipa. there no damn Reinheitsgebot in this country.the more weird shit the better imho. there are enough brewerys putting out traditional styles of beer. i got sick of seeing the same beers come in every week with new labels from some other brewery. there are 8million ipa's, heffe's, brown ales, pick a style it doesnt matter theres 1000 brewerys all making the same thing. ill miss craggie for sure
  21. NoMoreBeerBelly

    NoMoreBeerBelly Initiate (133) Dec 2, 2009 North Carolina

    I too liked the weird shit. Sure it wasn't mind blowing, but I had already had enough IPA/PA through the day I was ready to try different stuff. I really liked the Burning Barrel porter. Can't say I loved the Mango IPA but I thought it was interesting. Antebellum was enjoyable. Maybe the weird shit was what sold so that is what they brewed.
  22. hippityhophead24

    hippityhophead24 Initiate (0) Jul 26, 2011 Tennessee

    I'm pretty stoked about trying Wicked Weed. Have heard good things so far.
  23. caboose9

    caboose9 Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2006 Ohio

    whiskeytown posted: "Perhaps with Oskar Blues he will not be asked to do more than replicate the flagship OB recipes and perhaps some experimenting for the taproom."


    I suspect OB will send a qualified brewer from Colorado to NC to head up their Asheville production brewery. Dale runs a tight ship!

    Cheers, Roger
  24. unionturf

    unionturf Initiate (0) Sep 30, 2007 North Carolina

    Ass Clown Brewery in Cornelius is doing the same thing. I too like different beers and "strange" brews...but I think you need to put something "normal" in the line up, heck even if it's a guest tap. I have been there twice and took friends both times, after 1 round we were ready to go because every beer was too "unique". Their lineup now...

    Cinnamon Ancho tart,
    Buttered Pumpkin Amber,
    Smoked nitro sour stout,
    American Brown Ale,
    D.P. Brown Ale,
    Candy Pale
    cronimi likes this.
  25. caboose9

    caboose9 Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2006 Ohio

    What would you expect from the Ass Clown Brewery? Stupid name and stupid beers sounds about right.

    We have a brewery NE of Columbus, OH, called the Hoof Hearted (say it fast 3 times) Brewery and one in Wooster, OH, called the JAFB (Just Another F'ing Brewery)!

  26. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Can't wait for OB to be in NC, their BA Old Chub was pretty damn good. They'll definitely push the locals to get better especially on the Hoppy end. NC makes great stouts and porters, weak with IPA's, this is going to change I hope.
    beerFool28607 likes this.
  27. Barrelsnbeer

    Barrelsnbeer Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2012 North Carolina

    my love for the mango came specifically from the fact i just spent three weeks tasting ipas that really all tasted the same, i understand the hop and malt variations differ but it just seemed like every new brewery in the country tries to reproduce beers that work really well from other breweries, which is cool and understandable from a business standpoint but after so many west coast ipas, dipas, barrel aged ipas, the flavor profiles all started to become stale to me, then poof out of nowhere we score a 5gal of yola mango and my faith in the creative side of the industry is restored. it had just enough mango to not over power but took that basic ipa flavor profile and just put it in a different light. honestly ipas taste amazing, as do mangoes, and i come from school of thought that if it promises to taste good go for it. that combo was a no brainer to me, pure win.
  28. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (9,627) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    I picked up the Antebellum when they first got it in...and moved out of Raleigh over a year ago - it was interesting. Also, there was a place in Asheville (an ice cream shop) that made a great antebellum ale ice cream.
  29. yeahitsRUST

    yeahitsRUST Initiate (0) Jul 30, 2011 North Carolina

    Like many have said. Craggie was never my favorite but I did enjoy their brews for a change of pace from time to time.
  30. Daktah

    Daktah Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Illinois

    Definitely hope you're right. Asheville's IPA offerings do seem thin - I always like Shiva for the citrus profile and I remember liking the Wedge IPA, but nothing else really hits the mark.
  31. Barrelsnbeer

    Barrelsnbeer Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2012 North Carolina

    OB coming to NC is very true, the state made generous concessions to pull in Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues, and New Belgium. From what i know by 2014 they should all be up and running if not a little sooner
  32. Handle

    Handle Initiate (0) Mar 16, 2009 North Carolina

    Is anyone doubting that they're coming? :stuck_out_tongue:
    whiskeytown likes this.
  33. winbassett

    winbassett Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2010 North Carolina

    OB = brewing Dale's by end of 2012 | SN = brewing in 2014 | NB = brewing in 2015
    zencigar and Barrelsnbeer like this.
  34. Barrelsnbeer

    Barrelsnbeer Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2012 North Carolina

    thanks ive just been hearing 2014 as the year they should all be up and going
  35. caboose9

    caboose9 Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2006 Ohio

    winbassett posted, "Oakar Blues = brewing Dale's by end of 2012."

    Wow, that's only 45 business days and 65 total days (69 days including T'day, X'mas eve. & day, & New Year's eve)! At one point I'd heard February but, of course, timing changes as things progress a little faster or a little slower than scheduled. On the other hand, "brewing by the end of 2012" might mean no packaging &/or distribution until mid January 2013.

    They must have most of the construction completed, all or most county, state, & federal paperwork in hand, need to complete & test the brew house, and pass their city or county occupancy permit requirements.

    It should be worth the wait, Roger

    P.S. Before I left Cortez, CO, for Marietta, OH, on May 18, there were rumors of Breckenridge B.C. looking for an eastern location. Any rumors circulating about that possibility?
  36. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Initiate (0) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

    I didn't try a ton out there, but French Broad had a bangin' IPA.
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  37. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I agree, I had a French Broad IPA and Barleys with my pizza.
    FATC1TY likes this.
  38. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Initiate (0) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

    Exactly my same experience. I killed a Firewater IPA from Catawba in the parking lot near Bruisin' Ales, and then went over to Barleys and had a nice pie with a French Broad IPA.. It was nice..

    Other great "base" beer... Greenman's Porter.. Yes sir.
  39. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    French Broad kinda reminded me of Hop Devil more or less
  40. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Initiate (0) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

    Seen those but haven't been to either. How are their beers?
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