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Spencer Trappist Ale

whops Jan 14, 2014 07:07 AM

Has anyone seen it for sale yet? If so please give location(s). Thanks.

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  1. m
    mkfisher RE: whops Jan 14, 2014 07:16 AM

    I heard you won't see it until Wednesday (tomorrow) at the earliest. They bottled a ton of the stuff, so expect to see it at any store with a decent selection.

    14 Replies
    1. re: mkfisher
      kdemayo RE: mkfisher Jan 14, 2014 07:33 AM

      I am so excited about this. That article in the Globe was so interesting. I hope to check the place out (if possible) next time I'm heading towards I84 to visit family in CT. Which stores in Camberville do you think would have a good chance of carrying it? Maybe the Wine and Cheese Cask? I'll call them tomorrow. I looked on the distributors website last week but didn't see much. Here is the article in case anyone missed it. :)


      1. re: kdemayo
        emannths RE: kdemayo Jan 14, 2014 07:42 AM

        They're not open to the public for the time being, with no mention that that might change.

        I'd check Liquor World in Porter Sq and Downtown Wine & Spirits in Davis first, if they're convenient.

        Btw, reportedly the price will be about $18 for 4x11.2oz, which is about the same as the imported Trappists.

        1. re: emannths
          LStaff RE: emannths Jan 15, 2014 06:40 AM

          Will be interesting to see how they do at that price point. Like all new to Boston area beer, it will sell well initially, then collect dust for a while until it sells after everyone gets their ticks in. Can't see too many repeat buyers at that pricepoint.

          1. re: LStaff
            emannths RE: LStaff Jan 15, 2014 07:22 AM

            I'm surprised they didn't debut with 750s at $10ish instead of $18ish 4pks. Same price per ounce, less sticker shock, similar to other domestic 750s.

            It will be truly amazing if they wind up selling their eventual 40,000 bbl capacity at $18/4pk, even with nationwide distribution.

            1. re: emannths
              hyde RE: emannths Jan 21, 2014 06:30 AM

              I was sure they would go 750ml route to start. Market as a specialty item, like champagne, and have people shrug " 10 bucks? ill try it. Support the local thing"

              18 for four beers means trying it once. One can find dogfish head 90 minute four packs for under 10 occasionally, and regularly 2 for 20. Im not saying they are similar beers but that they realized their target was not buying at 11.99 or so

              1. re: hyde
                emannths RE: hyde Jan 21, 2014 07:10 AM

                Ommegang and Allagash 4pks are also $10-12. I can't imagine many people will spending 50% more on this more often than "once."

                1. re: emannths
                  yarm RE: emannths Jan 21, 2014 06:42 PM

                  Ommegang 4 packs can range from $12-20 depending on what beer. Some of the Allagash 4 packs exceed $10-12.

                  1. re: yarm
                    emannths RE: yarm Jan 22, 2014 06:40 AM

                    I guess it depends on the store, but Ball Sq Fine Wines has Allagash Tripel (the priciest Allagash 4pk) at $11.79.

                    Yes, 3 Philosophers approaches $20. But that's a 9.7% abv "quad" with a splash of Kriek. Hennepin, the BPA, or the Abbey ale would be more appropriate comparisons, and are about $12/4. (As an aside, before the label redesign and their marketing push for super-premium status, Ommegang beers were as much as 20% cheaper--I bought a lot more Hennepin back then)

                    At $17/4pk, you're paying about a 50% premium for the "Trappist" name. Is there any other ~6.5% domestic pale Belgian 4pk that exceeds $12 (aged and brett/wild yeast excepted, of course)? I honestly can't think of anything.

                    1. re: emannths
                      yarm RE: emannths Jan 22, 2014 04:07 PM

                      It's less per ounce than Idle Hands or many of the Enlightenment Ales (all three brewed here in Massachusetts). No one gives a hard time to the $10 750mL bottles concept for some reason.

                      The older Trappist breweries have already made up their start up costs along time ago.

                      1. re: yarm
                        emannths RE: yarm Jan 23, 2014 07:18 AM

                        There are plenty of bad deals in beer out there. 750s and small brewers both count. But Spencer is shares neither the packaging nor the brewhouse size.

                        750s have a different price structure than 4pks, 6pks, 12pks, 1/6bbl, etc. Comparing the per-ounce price of a 750 to a 4pk just tells you that 750s are a bad deal and tells little about the particular beer.

                        Idle Hands, Enlightenment, and similar breweries are also much smaller than Spencer. Idle Hands' production was in the hundreds of barrels in 2013. Enlightenment produced less than one hundred. Even at 10% of full capacity, Spencer will be making more than ten times as much beer in 2014.

                        Regardless, Idle Hands' Triplication is $9/750mL at Ball Sq Fine Wines (not known for bargain-basement prices--Spencer is $18.79 there). So even with the handicaps of a smaller brewery, an overpriced format, *and* a higher ABV, their beer is *still* cheaper than this beer from Spencer (the Triplication works out to be $15.90/4pk-equivalent)!

                        1. re: yarm
                          mkfisher RE: yarm Jan 23, 2014 08:09 AM

                          As far as I know, the only Enlightenment over $10 is the bier de champagne which is a tremendously expensive style to produce. Belgian versions run over $40 for 750ml. All of the other beers are $8 or $9 for 750ml (I paid $8 for the farmhouse IPA at Pemberton Farms last week).

                  2. re: hyde
                    jgg13 RE: hyde Jan 21, 2014 09:39 AM

                    Not to mention, I just noticed today that this is a patersbier. I try to not expect higher beer to be high ABV and vice versa but this does seem like even less of a deal now that I know that.

                2. re: LStaff
                  jgg13 RE: LStaff Jan 16, 2014 06:20 AM

                  Yeah, more power to them but that's up around the pricing territory of BCS and it's ilk in terms of domestic beer. If it's as good as the imported Trappists (and it has an advantage due to locality) that'll help but I'm skeptical on that front.

              2. re: kdemayo
                mkfisher RE: kdemayo Jan 14, 2014 08:59 AM

                I'm fairly certain the River St. Whole Foods is going to carry it. Like I said, it's going to be widely available.

            2. w
              wandergirl RE: whops Jan 14, 2014 07:38 PM

              Redstone Liquors in Stoneham said on their Facebook page that "it should be in late this week or early next."

              1. s
                Snarf RE: whops Jan 15, 2014 03:34 PM

                Definitely worth looking for. The test batches were very good.

                1. b
                  bear RE: whops Jan 15, 2014 04:20 PM

                  Here's a link to a fun segment on pbs:


                  1. Unfoodie RE: whops Jan 16, 2014 07:37 AM

                    I don't have my hopes up considering they were trained and setup by Chimay, the most commercial of all Trappist breweries, although it is the only monastic brewery with an actual monk brewer.

                    17 Replies
                    1. re: Unfoodie
                      yarm RE: Unfoodie Jan 16, 2014 09:12 PM

                      From what I read, they consulted greatly with Dan from Pretty Things.

                      The reviews tonight that I read from two people I follow on the Untappd beer app spoke favorably of it (both had connections at beer stores who got "advance samples").


                      1. re: yarm
                        mkfisher RE: yarm Jan 17, 2014 06:19 AM

                        It has 3.6 stars across 15 reviews on Untappd.

                        1. re: yarm
                          Unfoodie RE: yarm Jan 17, 2014 10:28 AM

                          Pretty Things is not a brewery. The last brewery Dann ran was Haverhill with a 20bbl system some 7-8yrs ago. One of their brewers interned with Dann to learn the brewing process but they were completely setup and (mostly) trained by Chimay.

                          People are going to love it because of its prominence of being the first U.S. Trappist beer no matter what it tastes like.

                          1. re: Unfoodie
                            mkfisher RE: Unfoodie Jan 17, 2014 10:54 AM

                            I'd maybe modify that second paragraph to say that people are going to buy it because of its prominence of being the first U.S. Trappist beer no matter what it tastes like. That can only last so long, though. At some point, the product has to match the price. If I can buy Rochefort 6 for $0.50-$1.00 per bottle more, why exactly am I getting more than one 4 pack of Spencer?

                            1. re: Unfoodie
                              LStaff RE: Unfoodie Jan 17, 2014 11:33 AM

                              >Pretty Things is not a brewery. The last brewery Dann ran was Haverhill with a 20bbl system some 7-8yrs ago.

                              What does that have to with anything - or being trained by Chimay "the most commercialized of all trappist breweries" for that matter? You may not prefer Chimay over other trappist brewers, but technically they make great beer.

                              And from my understanding Dann Paquette - who is currently brewing Pretty Things beer himself at a real brewery (50bbl system I believe) - he just doesn't own it, just like he didn't own haverhill/the tap - helped with the recipe formulation. One of the few brewers in the area imo that really understands the yeast profile of styles like this.

                              1. re: LStaff
                                Unfoodie RE: LStaff Jan 18, 2014 09:44 AM

                                I was pointing out that he doesn't have recent experience RUNNING a brewery, I never said anything about owning one. Running a brewery is much different then owning a lable.

                                1. re: Unfoodie
                                  LStaff RE: Unfoodie Jan 20, 2014 06:46 AM

                                  Are you implying that Dann hasn't brewed PT beer in a while then? I still dont see your point.

                                  1. re: LStaff
                                    Unfoodie RE: LStaff Jan 20, 2014 09:24 PM

                                    You're helpless.

                                    1. re: Unfoodie
                                      stiv99 RE: Unfoodie Jan 21, 2014 06:06 AM

                                      Unfoodie - Are you saying that Dann doesn't brew the PT beers? If not, then I have no idea what your complaint is.

                                      1. re: stiv99
                                        LStaff RE: stiv99 Jan 21, 2014 07:13 AM

                                        He does brew the beer (himself and his wife) at a brewery (Buzzard's Bay) where he has complete control over his product. But I don't see how this relates to Spencer if he did or if he didn't.

                                        1. re: LStaff
                                          stiv99 RE: LStaff Jan 21, 2014 08:29 AM

                                          I do know that Dann and Martha brew the beers themselves. I was not sure if Unfoodie was uninformed or just trying to grind an axe really hard.

                                          I can't imagine why Unfoodie thinks that the Paquettes don't have recent experience running a brewery - what else would one call what they do?

                                          1. re: stiv99
                                            mkfisher RE: stiv99 Jan 21, 2014 08:46 AM

                                            This conversation is great. Unfoodie's point is that Dann and Martha don't actually own any of the brewery infrastructure. Yes, they have a label. Yes, they brew beer. No, they don't actually own any of the property/plant/equipment. That's the distinction. Not sure why this is so complicated.

                                            In terms of how this effects the monks in Spencer, I have no clue.

                                      2. re: Unfoodie
                                        LStaff RE: Unfoodie Jan 21, 2014 07:08 AM

                                        Just trying to understand why you are discounting Dann Paquette's experience -current or otherwise, and what effect you think partnering with Pretty Things and Chimay will have on the quality of the beer brewed by Spencer trappists. I don't see that any of these things are a predictor of Spencer breweries success or would hinder the quality of the beer produced. I thought I was being polite about it, but please excuse me if I wasn't

                                2. re: Unfoodie
                                  yarm RE: Unfoodie Jan 17, 2014 03:48 PM

                                  "The monks had help in developing their recipe. One of the monks brewed with Dann Paquette and Martha Holley-Paquette of Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project for two years. Two of them traveled to Belgium. Harpoon's Dan Kenary had early input into the project."

                                  According to: http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...

                                  And according to the Pretty Things year wrap up:
                                  "In the past few years Dann has been instrumental in guiding a Trappist Monastery in Massachusetts towards building North America’s first certified Trappist brewery. Dann and Martha educated the monks on brewing and beer, and provided practical training for one of the monks who assisted on Pretty Things brew days."


                                  1. re: yarm
                                    Unfoodie RE: yarm Jan 18, 2014 10:03 AM

                                    I read the article too but thanks for the refresher. Great PR read.

                                    Trappist beer importers have been talking about this brewery for 2+ years and they all comment on the monetary relationship with Chimay. Chimay expanded too quickly and flooded the U.S. with beer and marketing campaigns that have alienated them from their humble monastic roots and sales have dropped as a result. Being in bed with a declining brand might not workout in Spencer's favor.

                                    1. re: Unfoodie
                                      yarm RE: Unfoodie Jan 18, 2014 11:50 AM

                                      Another reasons for the decline probably include better domestic options. There was a time when Belgian beer was one of the best choices (with Canada's Unibroue jumping in on that) for reliable beer.

                                      Any link to an article describing Chimay's declining sales? Couldn't find one with my first few attempts on Google. I haven't heard anyone else speak negatively about the brand.

                                      1. re: yarm
                                        Unfoodie RE: yarm Jan 18, 2014 01:14 PM

                                        Trappist Ales like Orval and Rochefort are very hard to replicate (see Goose Island's attempt at replicating beer from them) unlike Chimay and therefore have staying power. You are correct that domesticly brewed Belgian styles have taken a large share of the once monopolized market.

                                        Speaking negatively about Trappist beers is sacrilegious (har har)! Talk to importers or distributors and they will tell you that it's not flying off the shelves the way it once was.

                                        On a side note: Unibroue is owned by Sapporo and I always get a chuckle when I see it in bars and stores who refuse to carry Goose Island and Crispin cider because they're owned by mega breweries.

                            2. w
                              whops RE: whops Jan 16, 2014 07:55 AM

                              Blanchards in Allston says they will have it next Tuesday.

                              1. Gio RE: whops Jan 16, 2014 12:12 PM

                                Kappy's in Malden on Main St. says they'll have it on Monday 20 Jan.

                                1. m
                                  mwk RE: whops Jan 17, 2014 06:48 AM

                                  Bin Ends in Braintree and Needham will carry it starting this coming Tuesday.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mwk
                                    yarm RE: mwk Jan 17, 2014 03:50 PM

                                    Sounds about right. The bar I work at in Harvard Square is receiving our first shipment on Tuesday. Everyone else I know who got it earlier (2 of my Untappd beer app buddies) has been associated with liquor stores and got advanced pre-sale samples.


                                  2. Beachowolfe RE: whops Jan 18, 2014 02:03 PM

                                    Will somebody drink the stuff and fuckin report back already!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Beachowolfe
                                      lc02139 RE: Beachowolfe Jan 18, 2014 05:12 PM

                                      Well you can't drink what you can't get, looks like it will be Monday or Tuesday unless you were lucky enough to get a preview sample, so just hold your horses.

                                      1. re: Beachowolfe
                                        yarm RE: Beachowolfe Jan 18, 2014 07:25 PM

                                        Early reviews and ratings on the Untappd beer app. Two of my friends are of the 16 that have tried it -- those two gave it 4.5/5 star ratings. Then again, there is often a 1/2 star rating bias for things that are more rare or unique.

                                      2. yarm RE: whops Jan 21, 2014 06:43 PM

                                        Ball Square Fine Wines in Somerville has 4 packs of it, plus you can buy a single of it instead of the whole pack. I'll crack open my one bottle later tonight!


                                        1. w
                                          whops RE: whops Jan 22, 2014 04:04 AM

                                          Retailer did not have it out, but when I asked he said he had it. He would not sell me more than one fourpak for $18.99

                                          Opens with a bright clean taste, then a shot of skunk before a pleasant finish.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: whops
                                            Beachowolfe RE: whops Jan 22, 2014 12:12 PM

                                            by "skunk" what exactly do you mean? Like, lightstruck Heineken or brett funkiness?

                                            1. re: whops
                                              yarm RE: whops Jan 22, 2014 03:58 PM

                                              My tasting notes were "Floral and fruity aroma. Funky honey and white grape sip. Sour yeasty, coriander swallow."


                                            2. p
                                              Parsnipity RE: whops Jan 22, 2014 11:00 AM

                                              Liquor World in Porter Square did not have it and had not heard of it as of Monday. We were there in the evening though, so perhaps the daytime staff would be more helpful.

                                              With all the price whining, ahem, discussion, just think of the $6 or 7 per pint you'd pay for any decent beer at a bar. Given that arithmetic, anything up to $28 per 4 pack is okay by me. Factor in the savings on a babysitter by drinking it at home and it's a steal.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: Parsnipity
                                                mkfisher RE: Parsnipity Jan 22, 2014 11:09 AM

                                                Totally understand your math... My math is slightly different. I can get Rochefort 6 or 8 for $5.50-$6 per bottle. Those are both world class trappist beers. If Spencer is going for $4.50 per bottle, would you rather pay the $1 extra for Rochefort? I suspect my answer will be yes. I can see how others disagree.

                                                1. re: Parsnipity
                                                  valcfield RE: Parsnipity Jan 22, 2014 11:14 AM

                                                  agreed... especially now that it's out, it would be nice to have a lot less speculation on it's price 'regardless of whether or not we like drinking it' and at least a lot more of a 'based on how much i like it, how does it stack up compared to other beers that cost the same'...

                                                  but also, yes, i think if you looked at any of our idiosyncratic spending preferences you'd find plenty of ways any of us spend that are far less 'reasonable' than the pricing of this beer, whether it's a comparison of home vs. restaurant spending, or just what you're willing to spend for the marginal gains of a more high end product (coffee/cheese/jerky/donuts whatever), this pricing hardly seems unreasonable. it's just a subjective matter about whether you are ok that this is a category you spend on, and if you like it as much as the similarly-priced alternatives.

                                                  1. re: Parsnipity
                                                    rknrll RE: Parsnipity Jan 22, 2014 11:49 AM

                                                    If you want to pick it up at Liquor World, they tweeted that they got it yesterday before 10am. $17.80.

                                                  2. viperlush RE: whops Jan 23, 2014 02:39 PM

                                                    Tupelo is serving it.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: viperlush
                                                      yarm RE: viperlush Jan 23, 2014 03:42 PM

                                                      I know that JM Curley's in Downtown Crossing has it and Russell House Tavern has it on order (should be here soon).

                                                    2. c
                                                      CportJ RE: whops Jan 23, 2014 03:19 PM

                                                      I saw it at the liquor store inside the Star Market on Western Ave. in Allston for around $20 a 4-pack (and I think that was supposedly a sale price). I decided to hold off until I hear how good it is.

                                                      1. j
                                                        johncb RE: whops Jan 23, 2014 05:00 PM

                                                        16.50 at Bin Ends Needham

                                                        1. c
                                                          ColoradoXJ13 RE: whops Jan 24, 2014 05:50 AM

                                                          $18.99 at Blanchard's in JP, picked up a 4 pack out of curiosity, I don't tend to like Belgian/Trappist style beers but I wanted to try this. I do think that $19 for a 4 pack is a little outrageous, I don't plan on buying it again unless it is amazing. I'm not against paying a lot to try a new beer (still have a few Westvleteren XII's sitting in my cellar) but I can't see them being all that successful at that pricepoint, when one can buy excellent 12-packs of american made microbrews for $12-15.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: ColoradoXJ13
                                                            stiv99 RE: ColoradoXJ13 Jan 24, 2014 07:50 AM

                                                            Picked up a four pack last night and drank a bottle.

                                                            The beer poured bright orangey yellow. Clarity was bright but not brilliant. Big white frothy head which settled and disappeared a bit faster than I would have liked. Huge tropical fruit nose with some spicy phenols mixed in as well. The beer is fairly light bodied, soft in the mouth. Lots of fruity esters in flavor and substantial pale malt sweetness, and some candi sugar sweetness as well.. The spicy phenols are a little more forward here than in the nose. Notes of grain, citrus and grass in the background. Finish is a little sticky, enough bitterness to just balance the lingering sugar flavors.

                                                            Overall a very nice beer, very quaffable and something I would drink often except that this beer is badly overpriced at ~$18/4pack. I think that their sales will suffer consideably at this pricepoint and that whomever is marketing this beer needs to figure out if they really think that the Trappist label is worth an extra $4+ per 4-pack.

                                                          2. m
                                                            mwk RE: whops Jan 27, 2014 09:50 AM

                                                            I bought a 4-pack at Bin Ends in Braintree ($16.50). We had some with dinner last night.

                                                            I really liked it a lot. The first thing I noticed about the taste was a strong spicy flavor, like cardamom or cinnamon. It's very smooth, and not bitter at all. It created a nice thick foamy head on the glass. I could certainly see throwing back a couple of them on a hot day.

                                                            Unfortunately, at that price it will probably be an occasional treat, but not a regular choice. It's just outrageously expensive. I like to support local purveyors and all, but I guess this will be the beer for the 1% to drink...

                                                            20 Replies
                                                            1. re: mwk
                                                              Gordough RE: mwk Jan 27, 2014 10:39 AM

                                                              $16.50 for 4 comes to just over $4 each. Funny how people don't bat an eye about paying $5-6 for a beer in a bar/restaurant but think a beer that costs $4 to enjoy at home is a "beer for the 1% to drink"

                                                              1. re: Gordough
                                                                emannths RE: Gordough Jan 27, 2014 11:12 AM

                                                                How many times can this silly comparison be raised in this one thread?

                                                                I can tell you that the service at my house stinks. The bathroom is dirty, plates are never cleared, and I just get blank stares when I ask about the day's specials. And that time I got food poisoning they made ME clean it up and didn't even comp the food.

                                                                1. re: emannths
                                                                  justbeingpolite RE: emannths Jan 27, 2014 11:46 AM

                                                                  DAMN!! You should give them a really, really bad write up on YELP.

                                                                  1. re: emannths
                                                                    Gordough RE: emannths Jan 27, 2014 02:25 PM

                                                                    That's too bad that your house is too dirty to enjoy a beer in. My point still stands that $4 a beer is hardly a "beer for the 1%" as stated above.

                                                                    1. re: Gordough
                                                                      Beachowolfe RE: Gordough Jan 27, 2014 08:54 PM

                                                                      Seriously... Jolly Pumpkin, Bruery, Cascade, RR and even DHF all have beers around or over 15 bucks for a 750ml. (Cascade being waaaaaaaaaay over that quite often).

                                                                      Fucking Orval singles are like $7 some places and Rocheforts are routinely around that too... That's $28 for a 4 pack.

                                                                      1. re: Beachowolfe
                                                                        emannths RE: Beachowolfe Jan 28, 2014 07:02 AM

                                                                        And all of the examples you listed are either higher ABV, aged in barrels, use bugs besides simple saccharomyces, or some combination thereof. All of those are contributing factors to their higher prices. Also, 4pks have different pricing than 750s or singles--comparing them directly doesn't work unless you're making a point about packaging instead of beer. Same with comparing off-premises and on-premises prices

                                                                        (Also, you should buy Orval elsewhere. It's available in MA for under $6/bottle, and you can usually tack on a 10-15% discount if you buy 6-12 bottles. That makes it more like $20/4pk.)

                                                                        Look, no one is saying that there aren't beers that are similarly or more expensive. But nearly without fail, those beers have some mitigating factor that explains why they're priced higher than something like Ommegang BPA 4pks: abv, aging, importation, bottle size, nanobrewery, etc. Sorry, "Trappist" is simply a brand and has nothing to do with the beer or the cost it takes to produce.

                                                                        Spencer is selling a domestic, 6.5% Belgian blonde brewed in a 40,000bbl/yr brewery. They're selling 4pks for $17-19. There is simply no apples-to-apples comparison of a domestic Belgian-style 4pk sold for a similar price.

                                                                        If Spencer needs to sell this stuff at this price, they made a major blunder (IMO) by not launching $10 750s instead of the 4pks. That would give them the same price per ounce, and it would be with about a dollar of similar domestic beers (e.g. Allagash and Ommegang comps are about $9/750). They're only shooting to sell 4,000bbl this year, which I think would be doable even with the smaller package.

                                                                        To reiterate: there's nothing wrong with expensive beer. But the expectation is that the extra dollars buy you something more than branding. That's not the case with this beer, and I think *that's* the origin of the 1% comment. "99%ers" still buy expensive things (cars and houses aren't exclusive to 1%ers), but they take note of value. At least that's how I understand the notion.

                                                                        1. re: emannths
                                                                          yarm RE: emannths Jan 28, 2014 05:52 PM

                                                                          Keep in mind that with Trappists, it's not about greed. One of the tenets of Trappists is that "The economic purpose of the brewery must be directed toward assistance and not toward financial profit." The extra money (beyond what it costs to run the monastery) the goes to charity.

                                                                          The price of Ommegang is not comparable to the price of Trappist beer. One is a commercial entity striving for profit and the other is raising money to keep the order alive such that it can do good deeds and to fund the good deeds.

                                                                          "Trappist" is not simply a brand, and the price has more to do than with just the cost it takes to produce. Feel free to read what it means to be a Trappist brewer:

                                                                  2. re: Gordough
                                                                    LStaff RE: Gordough Jan 27, 2014 12:42 PM

                                                                    This beer is more likely to be in the $9 - 12 range at a bar.

                                                                    1. re: LStaff
                                                                      MC Slim JB RE: LStaff Feb 5, 2014 10:52 AM

                                                                      Confirmed: I had one for $9 at Row 43. Liked it.

                                                                      Value is in the eye of the beholder. Many factors might justify the premium on Spencer in a buyer's mind: wanting to buy local, supporting charity, getting bragging rights on having tasted an American novelty before your beer-geek friends, thinking the packaging is cool, having an OCD-driven quest to try every single beer brewed in MA, etc,


                                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                        CportJ RE: MC Slim JB Feb 5, 2014 12:45 PM

                                                                        I feel good about the relative bargain price I paid at Bee's Knees for 4 then.

                                                                        I liked it and so did all of my Super Bowl guests. Not my favorite beer of its type of all time, but I buy a lot of other local beers of various styles for which that is true as well.

                                                                    2. re: Gordough
                                                                      mwk RE: Gordough Jan 27, 2014 01:30 PM

                                                                      If I'm paying $4 each at the store, it will be at LEAST twice that much at a bar. So yes, I think an $8 beer is pricey.

                                                                      1. re: mwk
                                                                        Beachowolfe RE: mwk Jan 27, 2014 08:55 PM

                                                                        Probably $16 at JM Curley!

                                                                        1. re: Beachowolfe
                                                                          Beachowolfe RE: Beachowolfe Feb 9, 2014 04:56 PM

                                                                          confirmed $13 bucks at JM Curley... the ripping off of all nut swinging hipsters continues. lol.

                                                                    3. re: mwk
                                                                      jgg13 RE: mwk Jan 28, 2014 05:33 PM

                                                                      I'm torn on this price debate. On one hand I loathe people who bitch about beer pricing, the beer community spent years trying to get respect on par with wine and part of that involves not being priced like a 40oz of malt liquor. I rarely consider price in my beer purchases, at least not beyond a true price/performance instead of a max price kind of thing. I routinely purchase beers which are more expensive than this, and that's from liquor stores, not even including bar upcharges.

                                                                      That said, I don't think this beer is a great value. I thought it was quite good, and somewhat unique (there aren't many patersbier-esque beers on the market). OTOH I didn't like it more than other things which cost me a lot less. As emmannths says in a post on this subthread, most of the examples people are raising have a lot of other things going on which contribute to price.

                                                                      If the pricing structure stays the same, would I buy it again at this price? I'm sure I will at some point. However I won't be going out of my way to do so either, which is indeed the case of a bunch of beers at or above that price point. I don't view it as some "beer for the 1%" case, just not enjoyable enough for me to warrant paying a premium pricepoint.

                                                                      1. re: jgg13
                                                                        soylent_greens RE: jgg13 Feb 5, 2014 11:06 AM

                                                                        Brewers use commodity ingredients in a process that pretty much produces the same product time after time. How does marking up their goods to wine standards earn respect?

                                                                        1. re: soylent_greens
                                                                          jgg13 RE: soylent_greens Feb 5, 2014 11:18 AM

                                                                          I'm not suggesting that Bud should all of a sudden sell for $20 a bottle. I am suggesting that beer geeks had been clamoring for a long time that higher end craft beers should be viewed as being on par with wine. When things are viewed as being a quality product, prices go up.

                                                                          You can't have it both ways. People bitch that things like KtG, DL, etc end up on eBay for hundreds of dollars - well, that's what happens when high end craft beer is viewed as an actual premium product w/ a limited supply.

                                                                          1. re: jgg13
                                                                            soylent_greens RE: jgg13 Feb 5, 2014 02:41 PM

                                                                            As a long time craft beer drinker I don't want to pay more due to false scarcity and hype. I'm all for brewers charging more for a better product if the market will bear it. It gives them incentive to make better beer and the respect it garners. That said, there is generally not an actual limited supply of ingredients (like with wine) other than one they choose to perpetuate. The whole thing reeks of a market bubble to me.

                                                                            1. re: soylent_greens
                                                                              jgg13 RE: soylent_greens Feb 5, 2014 03:25 PM

                                                                              Well, as one example - anything barrel aged causes a non-artificial limited supply.

                                                                              And as for "I'm all for brewers charging more for a better product if the market will bear it", my greater point is that because of the enhanced image of beer, the market *will* bear it and thus the prices have gone up.

                                                                              1. re: jgg13
                                                                                soylent_greens RE: jgg13 Feb 5, 2014 03:46 PM

                                                                                Sure, but there are plenty of bourbon barrels to be had if they truly wanted to increase supply. I guess with more great beers available than ever, I can't really complain. Its just that sometimes in relation to the cost/non-scarcity of ingredients, I feel the whole industry is conspiring to gouge me.

                                                                                1. re: soylent_greens
                                                                                  jgg13 RE: soylent_greens Feb 5, 2014 03:48 PM

                                                                                  but where are you going to put those barrels? And how are you making money while your beer is sitting in them?

                                                                    4. g
                                                                      gltsoi RE: whops Jan 27, 2014 07:50 PM

                                                                      I saw it at the River St. Whole Foods in Cambridge today. $19

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: gltsoi
                                                                        Bob Dobalina RE: gltsoi Jan 28, 2014 02:43 AM

                                                                        If it is billing itself as the first Trappist ale outside the U.S., it should be compared to its brethren, price wise, no? By that logic, shouldn't it be no more than Chimay, for example, especially when you take the lack of import costs?

                                                                      2. l
                                                                        LStaff RE: whops Jan 29, 2014 05:58 AM

                                                                        Got a chance to try one last night - I thought it was ok at best. A little too phenolic for my tastes -which is typical for many belgian styles/weissebiers that US breweries make -and had a weird dryer sheet and dirt aroma. Don't think I would purchase again at even $2/bottle unless I heard they made some changes/improvements.

                                                                        1. b
                                                                          bear RE: whops Feb 5, 2014 08:55 AM

                                                                          Radioboston on WBUR had a fun segment at the monastery the other day.


                                                                          I still haven't tried it but will pick some up this weekend at D&L in Waltham for something like $17.49.

                                                                          1. gini RE: whops Feb 6, 2014 10:01 AM

                                                                            Bought a 4 pack at Woody's in Inman last week (for $16). It seems to be available everywhere! The beer is definitely not for me - a little too much skunk for my tastes - but it's good for the style.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: gini
                                                                              MC Slim JB RE: gini Feb 6, 2014 10:31 AM

                                                                              The one I had betrayed no hint of skunkiness. That sounds to me like a beer that was improperly stored or handled.


                                                                            2. yarm RE: whops Feb 6, 2014 06:34 PM

                                                                              If you want to try one at a bar, I highly recommend Stoddard's in Downtown Crossing. They're doing it for $7.50/bottle as opposed to the other two prices I've seen which were $12 & $14. The bar manager there explained that they were still making money on it -- albeit not to the same profit margin as their other beers -- but it was something they believed in, wanted to support, and make accessible even if it meant a lower margin. That puts the bottle as cheaper than Dogfish Head 90.


                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: yarm
                                                                                MC Slim JB RE: yarm Feb 6, 2014 06:45 PM

                                                                                Stoddard's will also have it on tap in a few days.


                                                                                1. re: yarm
                                                                                  LStaff RE: yarm Feb 7, 2014 06:17 AM

                                                                                  My understanding of this beer is that it is $79 for a case of 24 from the distributor. Making their cost $3.30 / bottle.

                                                                                2. m
                                                                                  meeps2002 RE: whops Feb 7, 2014 06:52 AM

                                                                                  Wine Emporium on Tremont is carrying the 4 packs

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: meeps2002
                                                                                    StriperGuy RE: meeps2002 Feb 7, 2014 07:02 AM

                                                                                    As is Gordon's in Waltham. $14 or so...

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