Tuesday, September 1, 2009

More from Star Spangled Beer

The brewery profiles are pretty great. Here are excerpts from two. Both show the tremendous growth in craft beer over the last two decades, but one shows a virtually unchanged line of beers and the other a totally different line of beers. Across the breweries I know, the unchanged path is much rarer than a good measure of churn in product line.

Sierra Nevada
If there were medals given out for beer, Sierra Nevada would likely win for every category it entered.
1986 Production: 7,000 barrels
Beers: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Porter
Sierra Nevada Big Foot Barley Wine
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
Wikipedia lists Sierra Nevada's annual production now at about 700,000 barrels - a 100x increase in 20 years! Behind the contract-brewed Sam Adams brand, Sierra Nevada is the second largest craft brewing company in the US, and the sixth largest overall. Otherwise, their core beers are essentially unchanged.

(One of the other largely unchanged lineups is Anchor Steam, the oldest craft brewery by far.)

Widmer Brewing Company:
The Widmer brewery is located in a city that boasts more breweries (seven) than any other city in the United States. Four of the Portland breweries (Blitz-Weinhard, Portland [Mactarnihan's/Pyramid/Magic Hat], Columbia [Bridgeport] and Widmer) are located within a half mile of each other in the industrial northwest section of the city (the other three are brewpubs owned by Mike McMenamin.
Beers: Widmer Alt
Widmer Weizen
Widmer Oktoberfest
Widmer Fest
Widmer Maerzen
Widmer Bock
The Widmer lineup, by contrast, is totally different. The Craft Brewers Alliance, which holds both Redhook and Widmer, is the seventh largest brewer overall, sandwiched between Sierra Nevada and New Belgium/Fat Tire.

Full Sail didn't exist yet - or perhaps it was a gleam in somebody's eye.

Makes me miss Bert Grant's beers. '05 or '06 was the last time, I think, an Imperial Stout.

Here's Beth Harrington's half-hour OPB documentary, Beervana.

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