October 19, 2012

Hey Are We OK With This? | Chained Pumpkin Brings the Boys to the Yard

It's time for a new randomly re-occurring feature. "Hey Are We OK With This?"

First, it's time to get out the big paint brushes. I have feelings about out-of-state chain multi-multi-multi-tap operations. Skeptical ones. The Yard House is one of these places. It was recently bought by the Darden group--the people corporation that bring us Red Lobster and Olive Garden. I should say, that they are mostly not for me. A ton of people go to them. I tend to favor something smaller and local. Still, there are people that I know that work for these places. Good people. Smart people. Beer people.

Sebbie Buhler
I also seem to be in a minority when it comes to Rogue. I like 'em. They have a ton of homebrew cred thanks to their strong presence at the past few National Homebrewer Conferences. There is also the modest  talent of John Mayer. If you can get a few words out of this painfully shy man you'll find that he's a genuinely sweet man.

Chris Studach
I've been a longtime fan of the Pacman Yeast, Morimoto Soba, Shakespeare Stout, the Hazelnut Brown and the Chocolate Stout. If you want to further gauge my bias, I've met both Chris Studach and Sebbie Buhler a number of times.

Alan points out reports of distasteful labor practices. Most of the Facebook chatter in Arizona on Rogue centers around higher bottle prices. Some simply hate the Voodoo Maple Doughnut Bacon Ale. This is, perhaps, in part because it pretty much is what it says it is--a Voodoo Maple Doughnut Bacon Ale. Zach favors it, but go read the vitriol in some of the comments.

I don't know what I expected.
Well, what of these two things?

One hundred percent of the draft Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale allocations go to the Yardhouse.

Period. You won't find it anywhere else in Arizona.

Maybe you don't care about this particular brewery or that particular drinking establishment. It doesn't matter. You have to come to terms with the fact that this is the direction that the industry is headed.

Rogue is a big name brewery. Is it natural to assume that they might broker some deals with big name bar and restaurant concepts? Let's also be aware that there are other deals like this. Unadvertised ones. It's not only draft accounts. This type of "arrangement" is growing on the retail side, too. (I'm looking at you Bevmo. You're wrapped up in some brewery exclusives that give me cognitive dissonance.) Again, there are people I know working for these places. But I know just as many, if not more on the other side of that equation. Good people. Smart people. Beer people. All of 'em.

So I ask. These brewery to single big box exclusive arrangements?
Hey Are We OK With This?

I am not.

1 comment:

  1. It takes choice away. Typical marketing ploy used in many other inductries, but I had hoped it would not make it here. I am with you in that I do not agree and will speak with my wallet. Rogue does have the connection with the homebrewers and you would hope this would help to direct this, but I am sure the marketing person on the Yard House deal was celebrating the fact that they just sold an entire production run to one client.