Author Topic: Only Trappist Brewery in U.S. Closing  (Read 922 times)

Offline majorvices

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Re: Only Trappist Brewery in U.S. Closing
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2022, 08:41:18 pm »
People in the US aren't drinking Belgians any longer. You better have a hazy NEIPA or some (nasty) fruited sour in your beer lineup or it's going to be harder to succeed.
Spencer actually did have a NEIPA and at least one sour. They even had a pumpkin ale.

Well then maybe they deserved to fail.  ;)

Offline majorvices

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Re: Only Trappist Brewery in U.S. Closing
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2022, 08:42:06 pm »
People in the US aren't drinking Belgians any longer. You better have a hazy NEIPA or some (nasty) fruited sour in your beer lineup or it's going to be harder to succeed.
Spencer actually did have a NEIPA and at least one sour. They even had a pumpkin ale.
Yeah, but with the beer market being what it is right now, it makes me wonder if they should have focused on their niche a bit more. Their IPAs and pilsner are all decent beer, but if I'm getting an IPA it isn't going to be from Spencer. I don't know if they would have been able to survive in the current environment on a Belgian/Trappist beer lineup, but it was probably their best shot. That being said, I will miss their beer.

Great points

Offline fredthecat

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Re: Only Trappist Brewery in U.S. Closing
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2022, 08:46:35 pm »

This is just my opinion, and I’m certainly no Belgian expert.
 
I find some either too heavy, malty, unbalanced, too alcoholic, overly fruity or spicy, or just undrinkable in the sense that a few sips are more than enough.

Don’t mistake me, when done a certain way (that is, a way that I like), I find them super enjoyable.

From memory, Orval might be my favorite.  But I recently had a Rochefort 8 that I found incredibly underwhelming.

I guess this just speaks to my personal tastes and nothing else.

the alcohol monopoly here tends to let in only the big name belgians ie. trappists and celebrated non-trappists. sadly for some weird reason they have purged all unibroue products despite being made in canada.

so, thinking back, yes i recall some really syrupy and simply alcohol directly up front ones in the past. but re: rochefort 8. i actually had one the other night, and treated not like something special, but as a simple strong drink (its only $3.90 here) i found it was pleasant, hit some flavourful notes and went down.

i mostly find that heaviness is not such an issue with them, but sometimes overcarbonation can be.

re: belgian as a concept, i remember making a very simple all extract (LME+DME) beer with WLP500 and tettnang hops and it ended up being very memorable for just a simple, flavourful unpretentious 5% ABV beer

Offline pete b

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Re: Only Trappist Brewery in U.S. Closing
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2022, 06:01:25 am »
People in the US aren't drinking Belgians any longer. You better have a hazy NEIPA or some (nasty) fruited sour in your beer lineup or it's going to be harder to succeed.
Spencer actually did have a NEIPA and at least one sour. They even had a pumpkin ale.
Yeah, but with the beer market being what it is right now, it makes me wonder if they should have focused on their niche a bit more. Their IPAs and pilsner are all decent beer, but if I'm getting an IPA it isn't going to be from Spencer. I don't know if they would have been able to survive in the current environment on a Belgian/Trappist beer lineup, but it was probably their best shot. That being said, I will miss their beer.
I have had similar thoughts. Even though they make some very good beer I found that they never seemed to find their “voice”. Their first release was their “patersbier”, what gets called a Belgian single. It’s excellent, and different, and would have been a great beer as part of their lineup, in fact I enjoyed a couple on my deck yesterday afternoon. I thought it was a weird choice as the first release, especially since it took a year for a second release. It wasn’t an expected Trappist offering, and it was more sessionable yet they originally charged I think $15.99 for a 4 pack of 11.2 oz bottles, which they eventually reduced the price of. I always thought they would have been better off establishing their excellence in Trappist/Belgians then adding more popular styles seasonally.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Only Trappist Brewery in U.S. Closing
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2022, 06:50:16 am »
Just to point out again American tastes have changed drastically over the last 10 years or so. If your business brand says you sell Belgian beers it might not garner the type of attraction that this once had 10 years ago, regardless if you throw in a few gimmicks to appease the masses. I say this as a brewer who started up a craft brewery whose focus was initially on Belgian ales and German Ales and lagers. We had to change that model to achieve growth in the market. Luckily we started out small and were able to do that.

I'm not a fan of NEIPA though I will drink them from time to time (but I refuse to drink sours). As a commercial brewer I have basically been forced into completely changing the way I think about brewing (old dog learning new tricks) since I have decided to stay in this business. That means focusing on hazy and sour beers. Thankfully some of you out there still enjoy lagers. lol

Offline Megary

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Re: Only Trappist Brewery in U.S. Closing
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2022, 07:06:18 am »

This is just my opinion, and I’m certainly no Belgian expert.
 
I find some either too heavy, malty, unbalanced, too alcoholic, overly fruity or spicy, or just undrinkable in the sense that a few sips are more than enough.

Don’t mistake me, when done a certain way (that is, a way that I like), I find them super enjoyable.

From memory, Orval might be my favorite.  But I recently had a Rochefort 8 that I found incredibly underwhelming.

I guess this just speaks to my personal tastes and nothing else.

the alcohol monopoly here tends to let in only the big name belgians ie. trappists and celebrated non-trappists. sadly for some weird reason they have purged all unibroue products despite being made in canada.

so, thinking back, yes i recall some really syrupy and simply alcohol directly up front ones in the past. but re: rochefort 8. i actually had one the other night, and treated not like something special, but as a simple strong drink (its only $3.90 here) i found it was pleasant, hit some flavourful notes and went down.

i mostly find that heaviness is not such an issue with them, but sometimes overcarbonation can be.

re: belgian as a concept, i remember making a very simple all extract (LME+DME) beer with WLP500 and tettnang hops and it ended up being very memorable for just a simple, flavourful unpretentious 5% ABV beer

I suppose I went into that Rochefort 8 with unrealistic expectations, expecting something magical, and I just didn't get it.  So that's on me.

Your homebrewed version sounds exactly like the type of Belgian style that I would enjoy.  I'll have to give it a shot someday.

Offline narvin

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Re: Only Trappist Brewery in U.S. Closing
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2022, 07:19:38 am »
The 8 isn't bad but I personally find it to be the dryest and most alcoholic tasting of the bunch.  6 is smoother and 10 has that over the top Belgian Strong Dark flavor that I love.

Offline MDixon

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Re: Only Trappist Brewery in U.S. Closing
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2022, 08:36:08 am »
Their beer was lost in a sea of choices in most stores. Take NC for example, we have 350 breweries. Spencer's price point was higher than others for styles you can typically find somewhere else for less. Having to rely on widespread distribution to be successful isn't sustainable. The key to success for most today are local sales driving revenue.
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!

Offline pete b

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Re: Only Trappist Brewery in U.S. Closing
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2022, 08:53:03 am »
Their beer was lost in a sea of choices in most stores. Take NC for example, we have 350 breweries. Spencer's price point was higher than others for styles you can typically find somewhere else for less. Having to rely on widespread distribution to be successful isn't sustainable. The key to success for most today are local sales driving revenue.
Yes, that's another thing, they should have been huge in the local market here but really weren't. I know that they didn't want to be having crowds in the monastic enclosure but it would have been cool if they had set up a destinantion tap house on the outskirts of their property, which is beautiful and accesible from the Boston area and 20 minutes from Worcester. I think that would have brought in a lot of revenue and boosted the brand.
It's too bad, the whole idea of the brewery was that it could sustain the monestary, which is down to about 50 monks, many elderly. They invested in a very high tech brewery which could be run very effeciently.
I also I am sure that the monks will miss the beer they were allowed to have with their Sunday dinner.
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: Only Trappist Brewery in U.S. Closing
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2022, 09:12:40 am »
Their first release was their “patersbier” It wasn’t an expected Trappist offering, and it was more sessionable yet they originally charged I think $15.99 for a 4 pack of 11.2 oz bottles, which they eventually reduced the price of. I always thought they would have been better off establishing their excellence in Trappist/Belgians then adding more popular styles seasonally.

branding is such a silly thing. lol patersbier - some flavourful pale base malt (vienna, english or belgian pale varieties, pilsner) to ~1.045 gravity, 30 IBU of noble hops. yeast. but $15.99 because its "Belgian/Trappist". give me a break. belgian  "beer" being unpopular again could be the best thing for the use of belgian yeasts. there is no reason a patersbier should be any different in price than a basic craft lager.

( I refuse to drink sours).

i can slip beers like flemish red ale, gueuze, etc every now and then if i don't find their price ludicrous. but the kettle-soured NA craft beers are severely underwhelming. i never, ever buy them and i did give them a shot over the past 2 years. very, very lame.
was listening to a recent ron pattinson interview on the history of berliner weisse, and he explains that brett was basically equally as important in good berliner weisse up until the fall of the berlin wall and the buying out of the good former berliner weisse breweries. replacing true mixed fermentation with pasteurized lacto ferment and pure cerevisiae fermentation at a 50/50 ratio. very interesting to hear that this led to the common NA craft interpretation of berliner weisse, which is often enough just kettle-soured wheat beer with fruit thrown in. sad.

 
The 8 isn't bad but I personally find it to be the dryest and most alcoholic tasting of the bunch.  6 is smoother and 10 has that over the top Belgian Strong Dark flavor that I love.

yup, i found it just a decent quaffer. a hard to believe, but extant rumour is that rochefort uses the same base beer but just adds higher amounts of candi syrup/sugar to 8 and 10 than 6. (tbh i never had 6 ever). disclaimer: rochefort is probably my least favourite bel/ned trappist, but i like all of them greatly.


Having to rely on widespread distribution to be successful isn't sustainable. The key to success for most today are local sales driving revenue.

hehe, noted.

Offline majorvices

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Offline tommymorris

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Only Trappist Brewery in U.S. Closing
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2022, 04:27:59 pm »
Which points out once again that brewing is first and foremost a business.
Not at my house! ;)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2022, 04:36:55 pm by tommymorris »

Offline tommymorris

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Re: Only Trappist Brewery in U.S. Closing
« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2022, 04:39:09 pm »
Their beer was lost in a sea of choices in most stores. Take NC for example, we have 350 breweries. Spencer's price point was higher than others for styles you can typically find somewhere else for less. Having to rely on widespread distribution to be successful isn't sustainable. The key to success for most today are local sales driving revenue.
I am a lapsed Catholic. Sometimes after mass they would sell stuff to raise money. They should sold their beer after mass as you walked out. They would have made stacks of cash!

Offline MDixon

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Re: Only Trappist Brewery in U.S. Closing
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2022, 06:43:24 am »
They didn't want to open a tasting room and allow outsiders in according to the article. Almost every brewery in the US has a taproom today. That's probably a major reason they didn't make it, that and trying to distribute too far and wide.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Only Trappist Brewery in U.S. Closing
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2022, 06:55:28 am »
They didn't want to open a tasting room and allow outsiders in according to the article. Almost every brewery in the US has a taproom today. That's probably a major reason they didn't make it, that and trying to distribute too far and wide.

When they first launched we had their beer everywhere in Alabama. First time I had it was at a brewfest in Birmingham (AL). They definitely started strong with the distributor game.