New in the Area Part II

Reads 4845 • Replies 61 • Started Saturday, December 10, 2011 1:48:35 PM CT

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beernbourbon
beers 1617 º 17:49 Fri 1/6/2012

Interesting points. I am going to drink Perennial 10:1 because it just tastes better to me. Some of the breweries being discussed are making beer for the masses and therefore their beers are far less adventurous and far less flavorful (Or as I call it, Craft-Beer-Light). Other breweries are marketing to a smaller market of people that fancy themselves connoisseurs. As someone that pretends to be in the later group, I’m buying Perennial all day long cause I’m tired of malty, bready, IPA. I think the intentions of the breweries being discussed are quite different making this all a moot point. I rarely drink beer en mass anymore, so the few I have may as well satisfy my desire for creativity and intensity. Just one man’s opinion.

 
vyvvy
beers 7359 º places 26 º 21:15 Fri 1/6/2012

Originally posted by phaleslu


Well, we’re just going to have to settle this...IN THE OCTAGON!



phalesu - Why does ever discussion we have have to end in violence, geez!

I certainly wouldn’t use the term "ripoff" since that implies that these folks are being malicious and just taking advantage of folks. The prices of both are a bit high for me to consider having on a regular basis for sure though.

Cory - thanks for the post. Had a good feeling you might have seen this and replied & was looking forward to what you had to say. While the prices area a bit high for me to buy much, many are one-and-done for me, it is great to see that the quality is so high. But with the quantity that is produced if enough people do that they probably still wouldn’t last on the shelves too long.

Oddly enough, a post came up on STL Hops today, what timing, eh?

 
Terminus
beers 3773 º places 391 º 00:10 Sun 1/8/2012

Ok im going to give my 2 cents on this one.....



Some of you may remember me (Vyvvy knows me well) i used to live in St Louis about 2 yrs ago for 4 years. I watched the city go through a beer revolution since 2006, which was quite a sight to see! It seems to be a "Beer War" going on in St Louis with the strongest survivors going on to do bigger and better things. In my opinion, there are only 3 GREAT breweries in STL-Schalfly, Perennial, and Urban Chestnut. The others have fallen to the wayside. Of those three, Schalfly has been there the longest and seems to know the market very well. UC is now bottling, which gives life to a real german-style brewery in St Louis to a bigger population (those that dont travel enough to go the actual brewery). Urban Chestnut is by far, the best belgian-style brewery in the city. Cory, thanks for your input and I understand that your beers are expensive in packaging and recipe however, only a select part of the St Louis population is worthy and/or able to afford these kinds of beers. Its not promising to hear that many of your first-batch beers are still on the shelves in a few select beer stores around town. People probably see the price and will not buy it at that price hence why its still on the shelves. Its sad, but true reality.

 
phaleslu
beers 11564 º places 626 º 16:27 Sun 1/8/2012

Originally posted by Terminus
Ok im going to give my 2 cents on this one.....



Some of you may remember me (Vyvvy knows me well) i used to live in St Louis about 2 yrs ago for 4 years. I watched the city go through a beer revolution since 2006, which was quite a sight to see! It seems to be a "Beer War" going on in St Louis with the strongest survivors going on to do bigger and better things. In my opinion, there are only 3 GREAT breweries in STL-Schalfly, Perennial, and Urban Chestnut. The others have fallen to the wayside. Of those three, Schalfly has been there the longest and seems to know the market very well. UC is now bottling, which gives life to a real german-style brewery in St Louis to a bigger population (those that dont travel enough to go the actual brewery). Urban Chestnut is by far, the best belgian-style brewery in the city. Cory, thanks for your input and I understand that your beers are expensive in packaging and recipe however, only a select part of the St Louis population is worthy and/or able to afford these kinds of beers. Its not promising to hear that many of your first-batch beers are still on the shelves in a few select beer stores around town. People probably see the price and will not buy it at that price hence why its still on the shelves. Its sad, but true reality.


A few issues with this:

-UCBC has been open about a year, just under. Perennial has been open a few months. Can they already be considered "great"?

-There are a lot of new (1 year or less) breweries in the area. Some of these could wind up being "great", like 2nd Shift and The Civil Life, both of which make great beer across the board.

-What makes UCBC "Belgian style"?

-Just because some Perennial beers are still on shelves doesn’t mean they’ll continue to sit or that sales haven’t been good. Most have been out a matter of weeks.

-Which breweries have "fallen to the wayside"? I think this argument could only be made for a couple; O’Fallon has undergone an ownership transition and is just getting back into the swing of things. Buffalo has been stagnant as it remains up for sale. Morgan Street, Trailhead, and a couple others have been stable, if unexciting. Many others are (more quietly than Perennial and UCBC) going about their business, making new stuff, and doing very well.

 
Terminus
beers 3773 º places 391 º 00:19 Mon 1/9/2012

Ofallon, Buffalo, morgan street, trailhead (who has never been good), kirkwood station, Square one have all fallen thanks to lack of quality control, poor business practice or just pure economics of making beer sub-par compared to the 3 "great" breweries i refered to in my above post.



You can make the argument that since Perinneal has only been around a few months, that they cant be considered "great". However, to my understanding, the head brewer (Cory) came from Half Acre in Chicago, a very quality brewery with a fairly good amount of fanfare. He just didnt come from nowhere so to say. He has a leg up in the business.



the 2 beers i have had from 2nd Shift have been infected (diacytl).

 
jckp64
beers 356 º places 7 º 09:10 Mon 1/9/2012

What 2nd shift did you have that was infected? I’ve never had that problem with them before.

 
seymour
beers 2130 º places 50 º 10:08 Mon 1/9/2012

Terminus, I think it’s a bit unfair to dismiss so many of our local breweries, especially if you no longer live in St. Louis. Some of them have declined, but things change quickly and many have improved as well. As difficult/costly/competitive as it is to run a small brewery in this economy--even more so if it includes a restaurant--it’s a marvel we have as many as we do. I’m not making excuses for inferior beer, to the contrary, each month that a microbrewery stays open and makes payroll is proof that many customers are happily drinking their wares. Ferguson Brewery for instance, which no one has even mentioned, makes really solid (albeit not very imaginative) beer and food at very fair prices. Whenever I’m there, there is plenty of in-and-out traffic for growler refills, which says something. We don’t have to measure their success by bottle distribution or nebulous German/Belgian aesthetic. Another example is Kirkwood Station, which admittedly has gone through some really confusing naming/management changes, but has just finalized distribution and I think it’s time for everyone to give them another fair shake. I have been pleasantly surprised by the creativity of some of their recent recipes such as Black Rye IPA and Wet Hop Porter. I LOVE the high-art brewing philosophy of Urban Chestnut and Perennial and sincerely wish for great lasting success, but they aren’t the only worthwhile brewery models, obviously. Lastly: the accusation of a diacytl-infection accusation at 2nd Shift. I’m sure you know what you tasted, but like jckp64, I haven’t experienced nor heard anything like that either, so implying that 100% of their offerings are infected is borderline mean, in my opinion.

 
phaleslu
beers 11564 º places 626 º 10:28 Mon 1/9/2012

Originally posted by Terminus
Ofallon, Buffalo, morgan street, trailhead (who has never been good), kirkwood station, Square one have all fallen thanks to lack of quality control, poor business practice or just pure economics of making beer sub-par compared to the 3 "great" breweries i refered to in my above post.



You can make the argument that since Perinneal has only been around a few months, that they cant be considered "great". However, to my understanding, the head brewer (Cory) came from Half Acre in Chicago, a very quality brewery with a fairly good amount of fanfare. He just didnt come from nowhere so to say. He has a leg up in the business.



the 2 beers i have had from 2nd Shift have been infected (diacytl).


Cory is new as a commercial brewer; Phil Wymore headed up Half Acre and the barrel aging program at Goose Island before that.

O’Fallon hasn’t necessarily ’fallen off’ it just hasn’t done anything new. Like I said, there was the ownership change after some financial struggles. They debuted a few new beers that flopped last year and that hurt, then the sale, now they’re getting back up to speed. I won’t write them off.

Morgan Street is consistent and does a couple nice beers, but doesn’t seem to be shooting for the beer geek crowd.

Has Square One fallen off? They make some so-so beers, and a few good ones, and keep cranking out new ones.

I’ve never been a Highlands/Kirkwood Station fan. Never been to Trailhead. Buffalo is not doing much right now, but is looking for a buyer.

Like the last two defenders, I’ve had nothing but fantastic beer from 2nd Shift.

 
gregwilsonstl
beers 2865 º places 35 º 12:14 Mon 1/9/2012

This is great conversation, but I’m confused by one thing. Why is Perennial pricing things based off of what their expenses are? Shouldn’t prices be based off of what customers are willing to spend?



Further re: expenses. Variable costs are one thing. I get that ingredients can be expensive (especially if you get the right ones)....but are their fixed costs reasonable? Are they heavily leveraged? Is their owner paying himself like they are already established, and not a start up?



I don’t expect anyone to have these answers...but all I know is I want to try their beer...who knows, maybe it’s really relatively expensive and I still feel like I get my money’s worth.

 
jckp64
beers 356 º places 7 º 12:28 Mon 1/9/2012

So your saying they should sell their beers for $8 even though it cost them $9 to make? Sounds like a great business model.

Originally posted by gregwilsonstl
This is great conversation, but I’m confused by one thing. Why is Perennial pricing things based off of what their expenses are? Shouldn’t prices be based off of what customers are willing to spend?



Further re: expenses. Variable costs are one thing. I get that ingredients can be expensive (especially if you get the right ones)....but are their fixed costs reasonable? Are they heavily leveraged? Is their owner paying himself like they are already established, and not a start up?



I don’t expect anyone to have these answers...but all I know is I want to try their beer...who knows, maybe it’s really relatively expensive and I still feel like I get my money’s worth.