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Old 10-04-2012, 10:06 PM   #1
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Default Friendly Commercial Brewers vs. Not-So-Friendly

I've had opportunities to tour both Odell in Ft. Collins, CO and Boulevard in Kansas City in the past couple of months and really enjoyed both of them. My brother, who is not a huge beer drinker, came on the Odell's tour and really liked their Levity Amber Ale. I figured I would try to clone it and see if I could also get him into brewing with me.

I emailed Odell asking for help with the recipe and they took 3 weeks to get back to me, and then told me that it has "Caramalt, Honey and Pale malt. And some of the hops we use are: Centennial and Mt. Hood." They said they couldn't give me the full recipe for "obvious reasons." Their website isn't much help, either.

Compare that to Boulevard. They have a beer that I'm trying to clone where they've given me the grain bill with percentages, varieties, times and quantities for the hops, the yeast strain, OG and FG targets, and fermentation temps and schedule. I bet I've emailed one of their brewers 6-7 times and he's always written me back within the same day, and with a detailed answer to my question.

So, which of these breweries do you think I'm more likely to support with my commercial beer dollars? The one that treats me like I'm some kind of competitor (for "obvious reasons"), or the one that treats me like us brewers are all on the same team? I will say that I think Odell's beers are generally more interesting than Boulevard's mainline offerings, but I'm willing to pay more for Boulevard's Smokestack Series beers instead of Odell's now that I know which brewery is more supportive of brewers like me.

Has anyone else been snubbed by a brewery like this before? Seems like it would turn people off to their beers more than anything.

/rant

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Old 10-04-2012, 10:18 PM   #2
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A guy I worked with years ago was from another state and he shared a Stoudt's Scotch Ale with me. It was something I really enjoyed but couldn't get here. So I emailed the brewery praising the beer, saying I can't get it where I live and wanting any tips for brewing something similar. I didn't even flat out ask for a recipe, just advice. I never heard anything back.

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Old 10-04-2012, 10:30 PM   #3
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So you want a brewery to give you the exact recipe of their beer, and you're angry if they don't?

I'd probably send you about the same email if I was them. That's silly to just expect the recipe from them, what kind of entitlement do you feel you deserve?

I'm a huge 3 Floyd's fan, if I emailed them and they acted like Odell, I'd be like..well I tried...but why would they give away their recipe?

Hell, they gave you some of the details, do you want full blown step by step instructions?

Sorry, used to work in retail, and self entitled customers are the most annoying thing in the world.

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Old 10-04-2012, 10:37 PM   #4
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Im 10 days out from asking a large west coast brewery for details on a recipe, they are not distributed in my state or many of the bordering states. I was very polite, and even included "I respect your right to refuse this request", and no BS I do, intellectual property is something I respect. I did not ask them for a specific recipe, just an idea as to how to get close. If after a month they don't give me any response, I'll poo poo their name on the internet and really restrict my purchasing of their beer. Although I love the beer in question so much, I cant cut them off completely.

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Old 10-04-2012, 10:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalmer9 View Post
So you want a brewery to give you the exact recipe of their beer, and you're angry if they don't?

I'd probably send you about the same email if I was them. That's silly to just expect the recipe from them, what kind of entitlement do you feel you deserve?

I'm a huge 3 Floyd's fan, if I emailed them and they acted like Odell, I'd be like..well I tried...but why would they give away their recipe?

Hell, they gave you some of the details, do you want full blown step by step instructions?

Sorry, used to work in retail, and self entitled customers are the most annoying thing in the world.

3Floyds is my favorite brewery(if I was forced to pick one) and I cannot imagine how that email would be received. They are easily the most snobby and self entitled brewery I have ever experienced, and Ive been to a bunch. I could see them banning you for even suggesting they share information with you. The only reason I have spent 1000's of dollars buying their beer is because it's so damn good.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalmer9
what kind of entitlement do you feel you deserve?.
There's a difference between a-hole entitled customers and good customers that send polite requests. Replying is up to the brewery, but supporting home brewers tend to get better results. It's also unlikely that anyone will "steal" the recipe or the business.

They don't have to give out that info - especially if they feel their beer is a unique snowflake. However, I'd rather give my money to the breweries who are friendly and responsive like Fullers, wychwood, lagunitas, Firestone walker, etc. who support the home brewing community.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:24 PM   #7
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So you want a brewery to give you the exact recipe of their beer, and you're angry if they don't?
A list of ingredients doesn't mean much.

Water profile, yeast management, fermentation temperature, filtering, etc. are all more important than x% 2-row, y% crystal, etc.

Vinnie from Russian River sends out his Pliny recipe to anyone who asks, and I've not had a homebrewed version that tastes like the commercial.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:33 PM   #8
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So you want a brewery to give you the exact recipe of their beer, and you're angry if they don't?
Nope. Not my point at all. The guys at Blvd were friendly and approachable, so I'll buy their beer because I feel more good will toward them.

The guys at Odell were unresponsive and then not at all interested in helping me to make something similar to their beer. As we all know, there are hundreds of variables that go into any beer, so it's not like I would have made the exact beer anyway.

All I know is that they could have been cool about it and I would have been thrilled to be a loyal customer of theirs. Instead, they were not at all interested in helping me out as a member of the brewing community and that makes me feel like it will be a long time before I buy any of their products.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:39 PM   #9
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Speaking of friendly CO breweries better than Odells...

http://averybrewing.com/brewery/recipes-for-homebrewers/?verified=true

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Old 10-04-2012, 11:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpertskir
Speaking of friendly CO breweries better than Odells...

http://averybrewing.com/brewery/recipes-for-homebrewers/?verified=true

So much more respect for Avery now!
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