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Friday, October 14, 2011

Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout

I must say that I have enjoyed the hype surrounding the release of Founders Brewing Company's Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS).  The brewery did a masterful job of creating a buzz in the craft beer world and then producing just enough to have fans calling for more and, of course, complaining.  The brewery's CEO even got in on action by posting a very sincere explanation of how they produce their Backstage Series beer, of which CBS is a part, and the beer distributing business.  The explanation, posted on the brewery's website, just added to the demand for CBS.  Well done Founders!

The controversial CBS
Allow me to address the complaints.  First, people were complaining about the low availability.  I have no problem with that--this is the whole idea of a limited release beer.  Only those who were really into the craft beer scene were likely to get a bottle.  The owner of my favorite beer store told me he would hold a bottle for me, because I'm a regular customer.  I also happened to find another bottle in a different store just sitting there waiting for someone to recognize its value, and willing to pay the steep price.

Which brings me to the second complaint: price gouging.  I admit that the two bottles I was able to find varied in price from $20 to $26.  Most stores probably only got 6-12 bottles to sell.  Why not jack up the price if it will still sell?  On the other hand, I feel cheated by the place selling CBS for 6 bucks more than what I found elsewhere.  If I were running the store, I would keep the price low with the expectation that beers like CBS will keep customers coming to my store rather than somewhere else.  It is these weekly (or more often) purchases that make a profit for a store.

The important question is:  Is the beer worth the price?  Probably not.  I haven't tried CBS yet and likely will wait a few years for a special occasion.   But in terms of hype and adding to my beer bottle collection, I'm very happy to have two bottles and to be able to talk about it.



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