Sad News for Steve: Another Nut Brown Bites The Dust

As consumer tastes continue to change, even well regarded beers like this are stuggling to survive.

My poor buddy Steve’s world is crumbling around him.  He loves him some nutty session beers, and the industry is moving on without him. The first blow was the hardest for him, when Troegs announced it was stopping production of its Rugged Trail Ale, Steve’s favorite beer on the planet.

Today’s news that Goose Island has stopped bottling their Nut Brown Ale probably stings a little less for him (we don’t see a lot of their stuff here in NJ) but it should have him equally if not more deeply concerned.

You see, Goose Island has been brewing their Nut Brown Ale for ages, and it’s a highly regarded beer.  Unfortunately, consumers are gravitating towards higher ABV and more complex offerings, which has diminished the business case for beers like this one to the point of near extinction.  I say near extinction because Goose Island will continue to brew and serve the beer at their brewpubs, but I’m not sure how often Steve gets out to Chicago.

As the industry continues to grow, it continues to change as well, and this seems like a harbinger of things to come.  Gentle beers are finding it increasingly difficult to find a home in taps and on shelves across America.  I have to admit, I am part of the problem, as I love big, bold and weird beers.  But for guys and gals like Steve who enjoy well crafted and easy drinking brews, their world of choices just got a little smaller and will probably continue to shrink.

Hang in there Steve.  There are still plenty of choices left, but you might want to start learning to love IPAs…

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Categories: Beer


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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4 Comments on “Sad News for Steve: Another Nut Brown Bites The Dust”

  1. steve
    April 9, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Thanks as always for depressing news on a Friday. Though I had yet to try their beer it was on my radar. Thankfully I recently discoverd the Mega Buy Rite Liquor Store in Jersey City which is fully stocked with a several other highly regarded browns, including Avery, which was usually ranked near the top of the list. That and the fact that Sammy Smith’s Nut Brown will never go away will at least tide me over.

    • April 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

      Ha ha. I was thinking about the whole “bad news on a Friday” thing when I posted it, Steve, but didn’t realize I was 2 for 2! Glad you’ve found some stuff you like, but I’m shocked you have to go to Jersey City to get it.

      • steve
        April 9, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

        well i can still find stuff by me, I was more excited than anything else about this new place.. they even have all the different types of Abida(sp?) the N’Oleans beer that I know you are fond of

        on an unrelated note.. Magic Hat Spring Seasonal, believe it’s called Vinyl Lager, is pretty much swill in a pretty bottle. Not even close to being a true lager but more like a pale ale that wants to be a fruity type beer with a dash of bitterness at the end. A real mess.

  2. April 9, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    I have to be honest when I say I won’t miss it. Most of their normal line up is not that appealing to me. Their reserve stuff is simply astounding. However, it’s sad to see a beer being taken away. I’m of the opinion that we (the US) are still somewhat uncomfortable with just drinking beer. The trend to high abv is the worrying part. Yet, the industry will balance out before too long (I think). Session beers will enjoy a rebirth once we all sit back and really get used to good beer again. Sorry for your losses, Steve. This is a more thorough take on what I mean about us as drinkers.

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