Monday, January 17

My Beef with Release Parties

Every year, our favorite new and old breweries usually release some new beers. Perhaps special seasonal beers make up most of them, and that is what we beer geeks like. We always want to try the latest and greatest. Not even 5 years ago did so many breweries and pubs release special series imperials and seasonal beers. Look at how long it took Widmer Brewing in Portland to start releasing their Brothers Reserve series beers (Which since the 25th Anniversary Double Alt, I have one of each in the cellar for a vertical at a later time). Craft Brewers started to realize that this was a huge market. Craft beer advocates have their regulars, but they want to venture out beyond the tall grass every once in a while, and climb the snow covered mountain. This inspires much more competition and creativity which really incorporates the best of both worlds. That being the brewers being able to express their skills and creativity much more, thus creating much better beers for the consumer.

I have no beef at all with new releases. I always try a couple of new beers at least each and every week. But I have a complaint.

I don't know if is just me, but as I recall, when a brewery or pub created a brand new beer, they had a release party for it. A party celebrating the release of a new beer! "NEW"! Now it seems every time the same beer gets released annually..  there is a party for it! Why? It's not new anymore, and I don't remember breweries and pubs ever doing this. Is it because of a trend? Is it to stir up the hype machine more so they reach out and snag greater sales volume from other bottles on the shelves? I just don't get it. I can understand a nice special tapping when it's ready to go..  but organizing a release party for an old beer seems like an oxymoron to me. It's been released before.


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