Someone just rang me with a query about a press release (which, as far as I can tell, is reprinted verbatim here), asking for my opinions.
The answer I gave pretty much could be applied to any brewery whose products come onto this market from somewhere else, so I might as well rehash them here:
The caution I would apply is that Beer-Geek Chatter® is often inversely important to actual economic importance. Most of the hype for a "new-to-the-market" brewery's stuff is for stuff that won Great American Beer Festival medals or other accolades such as a high BeerRater.com scores, but are limited distribution and limited production (typically "extreme" beers). The geeks will pounce on the stuff, wax esoteric, and two months later move right back to pining for New Belgium Fat Tire, Russian River Pliny the Elder, or New Glarus Belgian Red--whatever they can't get easily here. A "new" brewery will most likely ship out their flagship standards while keeping the more esoteric products back in their home turf to satiate their most loyal enthusiasts, and the standard pale ales, IPAs, stouts, and lagers, good as they may be, will simply get lost in the cluster of mania at better beer bars and stores and be competing with the likes of Boulder, Leininkugel, Pyramid, and even the locals like Flying Dog, Evolution, and Dogfish Head for shelf and tap space--often losing in the process (just try to part a DFH loyalist from his 60-Minute Ale).
I love the open market and the relative ability to find most of the stuff I want, and even a diversity of stuff I didn't know I wanted until I tried it. It's still an embarrassment of riches. But I'm content with what I can find here. I long ago lost the desire to keep notching the bedpost, as it were. I wish 'em luck, I'm certainly going to sample them when I get the chance, but likely to change my world view of beer? Hardly.
Thanksgiving Day Range Trip
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