Monday, January 5, 2009

Mulling maibock

Too soon to talk about spring beers?

Not if it’s a business decision, a brewery meeting topic.

We caught up to the folks at Cricket Hill Brewery on Monday, checking in to see what will follow their Paymaster Porter as the next seasonal. (FYI, Cricket Hill now bottles all their seasonals, putting them in 12-packs.)

Maybe maibock, says Rick Reed, but there are some points from the brewery’s distributors to consider before striking that mash.

Go west to Pennsylvania, and CH’s distributors there will make a funny face at the suggestion of pushing maibock; at the shore here in Jersey, the distributors are lukewarm to the idea, more concerned about summer beers than having spring brew on the shelf.

The best chance for Cricket Hill's reprising its maibock would come from a commitment from their northern distributor for 150 cases, which is possible. (FYI: Cricket Hill last brewed a maibock in 2007, and the beer, a helles, was among their offerings at the Guild festival on the battleship.)

Rick says the brewery will have a game plan nailed down by Friday. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Cricket Hill’s hitting the festival trail this month, Blue Point Brewery’s 5th Annual Cask Ale Festival on Jan. 24th. (Get details here.) Joining the Blue Point festival lineup comes as Cricket Hill cracks the Long Island market (Nassau and Suffolk counties).

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