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tofuburrito Jul 21, 2009 11:09 AM

Any thoughts on Pyramid brewing?
I’m not sure why but in the past I haven’t been open to trying their lineup. Perhaps it’s because their flagship beer is a hefeweizen, which is my least favorite style, and I don’t think theirs actually fits in the hefeweizen guidelines.
I’ve also had their summer beer (I think it’s called Curveball) and it’s fine for what it is.
But recently my local supermarket has had their Thunderhead IPA on sale so I’ve picked up a couple of six packs and I have to say it’s a very enjoyable IPA. It’s not a wow beer or a total hop bomb but it’s very well balanced and you definitely get an enjoyable hit of Pacific Northwest hops.
When I’m weighing $6.99 for Thunderhead vs. $9.99 for others that I like I’ve been very content with the Thunderhead.

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  1. MOREKASHA RE: tofuburrito Jul 21, 2009 12:07 PM

    They used to be a real nice brewery. However, in recent years they've gone Macro lite....Hence the Hefe as their flagship. Their Pale ale as a beautiful beer. To my taste it rivalled Sienna Pale. But alas, it's no more. Anyway, they don't really export to the east Coast and now we have lots of good local beers, so they're not needed here.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MOREKASHA
      The Professor RE: MOREKASHA Jul 21, 2009 04:02 PM

      They probably just wised up and are concentrating on brewing what they know can sell and what the majority of beer drinkers still want. They are likely looking to reach a wider audience, which makes very good business sense.

      You are absolutely right though...their Pale Ale _was_ exceptionally good.

      1. re: MOREKASHA
        Jim Dorsch RE: MOREKASHA Jul 21, 2009 05:02 PM

        I wouldn't be surprised if we started to see more Pyramid in the east, since Magic Hat bought them.

        1. re: Jim Dorsch
          Insidious Rex RE: Jim Dorsch Jul 22, 2009 10:40 AM

          Yeah I picked up a six of their wheat about a month ago all the way out here in Maryland so they arent hard to find. But I much prefer them fresh on tap. Went to one of their brewpubs in Sacramento last year and was quite impressed with their quality. Makes the bottled versions seem mediocre in comparison for some reason.

          1. re: Insidious Rex
            Jim Dorsch RE: Insidious Rex Jul 22, 2009 11:10 AM

            For a long time, Pyramid would send beer to various places around the country, but AFAIK they didn't have any feet on the street to support them. I used to occasionally buy a Pyramid beer into the store where I buy the beer, but they would usually be out of date (with the exception of Snowcap). I don't believe the freshness problem occurs anymore, and I know the Magic Hat reps are starting to work the Pyramid brands, too, so I expect we'll see those brands around more often in these far-off markets, and they will be in good condition. In fact, I wonder if they won't start brewing Pyramid beers in the east; it certainly makes sense for both logistics and freshness. But I have no idea if they intend to work Pyramid hard in the east or concentrate on the west coast.

      2. h
        homebrewster RE: tofuburrito Jul 24, 2009 10:22 AM

        Pyramid's Apricot Ale is one of the few non-lambic fruit beers that I like. Their Snowcap is also quite good. That said, if I'm going to shell out seven bucks for a sixxer, there's a few other brands that I'm going to look for first, like Deschutes, Laughing Dog, or Sierra Nevada.

        1. b
          bulavinaka RE: tofuburrito Jul 25, 2009 11:16 AM

          I never tried a Pyramid brew that I didn't at least like. Costco often sells Pyramid in mixed cases - if I remember correctly, it works out to less than $6/6pak.

          1. k
            Kenji RE: tofuburrito Jul 25, 2009 01:41 PM

            In the 90s I used to enjoy Pyramid's unusually dark pale ale, and their Sphinx Stout. They also had a good Best Brown Ale. However, when I last had regular access to the Pyramid brews, they seemed to be phasing these beers out in favor of less malty, hoppy products.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Kenji
              The Professor RE: Kenji Jul 25, 2009 06:29 PM

              How dark is "unusually dark"? An authentic pale ale can be as dark as a deep copper color and certainly still rightfully be called a 'pale ale'.

              In any case...it's been a while since I;ve had any of their brews. I will have to try and revisit them to see where they've landed.

              1. re: The Professor
                Kenji RE: The Professor Jul 28, 2009 10:29 AM

                Yeah, I know that about authentic pale ales. That's why I said the Pyramid brew was "unusually dark" for the style rather than, say, "inappropriately dark." The Pyramid PA had a reddish color to it, so that it was very dark in comparison to, say, SNPA, or just about any of the US micro pale ales I was regularly encountering at the time (early-to-mid-90s).

            2. alanbarnes RE: tofuburrito Jul 25, 2009 06:44 PM

              I don't mind Pyramid. They have a brewpub a short walk from my office, so you'll find me having a pint there on occasion. It's reasonably good craft beer, but with a macro focus. Nothing fussy, nothing experimental, nothing too challenging. Nothing wrong with that. It is what it is.

              1. j
                jpc8015 RE: tofuburrito Jul 28, 2009 10:39 PM

                The Pyramid Snowcap is still one of my favorite beers. It is really the only one of their line up that I willsearch out.

                3 Replies
                1. re: jpc8015
                  Jim Dorsch RE: jpc8015 Jul 29, 2009 05:46 AM

                  Agreed, Snowcap is a great one. Used to be, anyhow; haven't had it in a few years.

                  1. re: Jim Dorsch
                    MOREKASHA RE: Jim Dorsch Jul 29, 2009 06:12 AM

                    Yeah, Snowcap came up during a session the other night. We were drinking some rare (for NYC) Left Coast brews, Sockeye, Nisiki(?), Rogue Red and Snow Cap came up. It's a wonder why Pyramid doesn't distribute it widely or even promote it. The halo effect can not be denied or ignored. Otherwise, no Camaro, no Corvette etc...I think they lost their enthusiasm.

                    1. re: MOREKASHA
                      Jim Dorsch RE: MOREKASHA Jul 29, 2009 06:20 AM

                      Let's see if new ownership puts some zing back into Pyramid. Ironically, the CEO in charge of Magic Hat and Pyramid once held that position at Pyramid.

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