Oskar Blues Hits a Low Note

Well now they’ve gone and made me really mad!  As many of you are aware Oskar Blues made an announcement that they were pulling out of Idaho in order to make their brew more available in larger markets.  Sheesh, just expand already!  You can read all about the announcement here.

When I wrote that other post I did so lamenting the fact that Oskar Blues was leaving, but knowing all the while that my beer guy had a plan to continue to get Oskar Blues cans on the rack.  So while I was sad, I was also glad I had such a great beer guy.

See his plan all along was to go to Spokane, WA, where he regularly does business to bring new and wonderful things into the Treasure Valley, and pick up cases of Oskar Blues cans and bring them back for sale here in Idaho.  It is a little prestidigitation, but if it brings great beer to Boise I’m in.  Problem was Oskar Blues had thought of this scenario, and pulled an end run to my beer guy’s end run…

My beer guy got in touch with his folks up there in Spokane and low an behold he was told he wouldn’t be able to buy any Oskar Blues products!  What?!  His money was no good?  He was black balled, kicked out of the club, what happened?  Corporate shenanigans is what happened!

See when Oskar Blues pulls out of a state they mean business!  They told their distributors not to sell to any other distributors in the State of Idaho.  So not only did they leave, but they took their ball too.  I am angry and hurt by this action.  It is one thing to leave, but it is another thing entirely to leave and blow up the bridges behind you.  I’m so angered by this I’m not sure I would actually buy Oskar Blues beer if the opportunity presented itself.  I know its good stuff, and I really enjoyed having it when it was available, but this course of action has really left a sour taste in my mouth…and not the good kind of brett sour.

So here I sit, no Oskar Blues and I feel really mad about it.  How would you feel if this happened to you?  I know certain breweries have stopped making certain brews, but what if they pulled out of your state and you could no longer get them?  Would you be mad?  Or would you just move on and hope they came back some day?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments…



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18 Comments on “Oskar Blues Hits a Low Note”

  1. July 19, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    That’s terrible Don. I will support you by not buying ANY Oskar Blues products until such time as the amount of Dale’s Pale Ale and Old Chub in my beer fridge is sufficiently depleted that I risk having to go without these delicious nectars.

    • Don
      July 19, 2010 at 11:51 am #

      Wow. thanks Jim. Your support moves me.

  2. July 19, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    I think I would just move on – I love me some Oscar Blues (and here in DC we don’t have a supply problem), but there is so much good craft beer out there, hopefully the bitter taste from this episode will be replaced with something far more pleasingly bitter you discover elsewhere.

    • Don
      July 19, 2010 at 11:57 am #

      Probably good advice Bob. I’ll do my best. Maybe there is some other awesome brewery that brews in cans that will come her and stay until they get too big too…

  3. Clyde
    July 19, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Just come on down here to Colorado and do a bootleg run. It’s 8 hours each way. But you can visit the source in Lyons. And they make great burgers too!

    • July 19, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

      Smokey and the Bandit style – I love it!!

    • Don
      July 19, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

      Great suggestion Clyde! Jim, you up for a road trip when you come out? …..

      • July 19, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

        First you say you wouldn’t buy their stuff, and now you want to spend 16 hours in the car to get some?

        Besides, I can just stop off on the way home from work and pick up whatever I like… 🙂

        • Don
          July 19, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

          See how you are?…

  4. Marvin
    July 19, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    I hate to see something like this happen, but business is business and they went where the money is. IMO though, if they had a better distributor that would actually push something other than the big domestic crap they carry, it might have been a larger market for them. Look to the distributor not the brewery for the growth or lack there of as they can be made or broken by the 3 tier system. Plus I personally know the brewers love Boise, every time they were here all they could do is talk about what an awesome town it is and how proud they were to be in this market. In the end though, it’s all about numbers.

    • Don
      July 19, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

      Well Marvin, I hope you never pull out of Boise! If it is the distributors, I don’t understand why they wouldn’t allow retailers that were willing to put in the legwork buy from other markets and bring it in. How is it that a distributor in Boise can control what is purchased and sold in another state? I think in the end there is more to this picture and that Oskar Blues the brewery had a hand in this decision. They may like Boise, and certainly Boise helped put them on the map, I just think it is bad juju to treat us this way.

      • July 19, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

        I don’t really understand the principle behind this decision. It smells of a less than free market. In reality, what do they care that another distributor buys stuff off another distributor? It seems to me that this helps lay the ground work for their future growth. No entiendo.

  5. Chris
    July 21, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    I feel your pain Don. The thing that makes it especially painful, is that Dales Pale Ale is a great beer for the Idaho outdoors. A great beer in a can that is easy to take campig, hiking, and is a fantastic beer. I really resent the fact that they’re pulling out of Idaho, when I think a lot of fans in Idaho have really promoted their beers.

    It sounded like they’re a victim of their success. I just wish they could expand to meet increased demand, rather than pull out of smaller markets to meet demand.

    Now pardon me while I go sit in a corner and weep.

    • Don
      July 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

      Agreed! I find it a bad business decision to pull out of makets that helped to establish your brand in the first place. I feel so used…

      • July 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

        I know there’s a “you should be used to guys pulling out on you” joke here somewhere…

        • Don
          July 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

          I’m not even going to dignify that with a repl…Oops.

  6. Steve
    July 26, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    Haha! Touche to Jim’s comment. On another note Don, have you tried Red Hook 8-4-1 Limited Edition Beer? You should give it a try! Its a bit pricey – around 8 dollars here in Washignton for a 22 oz bottle.

    • Don
      July 26, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

      I haven’t tried that yet Steve. I’ll search it out. Thanks

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