Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Lion is about to pull the trigger

After a lot of internal debate at The Lion, it appears that they will be setting out a craft-type line of beers under the wonderful old Stegmaier name (and why not; that's what they've been doing their most interesting beers under for the past five years). Here's a taste of what's coming from Brewing Supervisor (and craft beer-loving guy) Darel Matthews:

Steg IPA (internal code name: The Reaper) is resting comfortably in Tank 25. 400 lbs of hops finished out at 17 Plato [I'm assuming that this is an OG reading] and 105.9 IBUs (this will drop during fermentation, should wind up around 75-85 IBUs in finished beer). The basic recipe is light crystal, Munich and wheat malt, with bittering from Galena and Centennial, and a MASSIVE late-hop addition courtesy of Cascade and Nugget. This was by far the largest hop bill we've ever had for one recipe - and it was for a small batch of "only" 200 barrels. It was awesome...leaving work today, the entire Valley smelled like hops!

There has been some debate about releasing the IPA and the new Steg Pale Ale at the same time. Our intention was to formulate both beers to complement one another - IPA is a big beer for dedicated hopheads, and if your feeble palate can't handle the IPA, we crafted the new Pale Ale as a true session beer, between 4-5% ABV, but with a very clean, hop-centric character that allows you to enjoy 5 or 6 crisp, hoppy beers and still make it to work the next day. I followed your Session Beer Project closely last year, and I love it - too bad it took us a year to pull the trigger!
Can't wait to taste that Pale. Now...can we get some Liebotschaner?

27 comments:

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

Ring-a-ding-ding, do the Stegmaier thing!

Chris said...

Looking forward to these new Steg offerings. Hope they make out here in Northcentral PA. Things are looking up, however...Founder's have found their way here!

Darel Matthews said...
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Anonymous said...
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Lew Bryson said...
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THOMAS 'Tom' CIZAUSKAS said...

Yes! to Gold-medal winning Liebotschaner Cream Ale

Anonymous said...
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Darel Matthews said...

Guys, I can assure you local presence is one of our marketing team's MAIN foci. We are pushing so hard that a lot of our "pushees" are literally getting pissed off at us.

I've been screaming about the Lieb thing...I get the same answer every time, and it's always "yes"...but as Lew is well aware, the trigger is just not being pulled right now.

Thank you all very much for your support of the home team. There would be no Lion Brewery if it weren't for the backing of individuals like yourselves.

Lew Bryson said...

That's what we wanna hear, Darel. Just be aware...we're gonna push you that hard, too, because we want Lieb and Stock!
Good luck with the local focus: Wyoming Valley folk, (you especially, Bil): stay on them!

JB said...

Yes, thanks Darel, as much as we appreciate your brewery, beer, heritage and hard work we also appreciate you showing up on these forums and hearing us out. I'll always drink Lion beer and keep working to turn my friends on to it, I've been pretty successful thus far!

Ivan said...

Just saw the first Steg in NYC last night (Fairway in Harlem). Now I have try it.

Anonymous said...

Damn- i live in CT and make runs to PA every few months for Lion beers. It's surprising to learn that the local market doesn't pay more attention to them. Can't wait for those new beers.

Richard said...

Darel, I thought Wegmans has been a champion of PA craft beers in PA Wegman stores. I know I have not seen any Stegmaier or Lion products in the Downingtown store. Are they available in the Wyoming Valley Wegmans?

Stegmaier Gold was my go-to-beer at Penn State back in the 60's.

Marc said...

Anyone notice they were drinking Lion Head beer on The Office last night? Maybe a little unintentional marketing?

Anonymous said...

They frequently drink lionshead on the office, and i've seen steg 150 as well.

I had a lionshead the other day and really enjoyed it, great lawnmower beer and great price.

Anonymous said...

Make a decent product and price it reasonably and it should sell. I bought cases of Lions Brewery Hill IPA for a long time in the day. Personally noticing the prices of micro cases and bar tapped beer inch up has gotten me into homebrewing and I predict more people doing it. It ain't that hard, it's just beer.
Glass bar sizing also to me is a sign of greed. When is the last time you ordered a DIPA and got it in a pint glass? Kinda sick of going to a bar and seeing just 7,8, or 10 oz servings for some beers that really don't warrant it.

Sorry for the rant.

Jb said...

I disagree anon. I'm kind of sick of going to bars with 40 taps and only being able to get a pint! there may be 10 i want to try but I have to limit myself to 2 or 3 because they wont sell a smaller glass. I dont know how old you are but many of remember when they were standard, the pint glass is a relatively NEW intusion and essentially came out of greed (more beer/charge more).

I'm all for bring back the smaller glasses.

Lew Bryson said...

How about like they do at Swift Half: you get a choice. I like being able to get 8 oz. or 14 oz. Works well.

Anonymous said...

To JB: I'm in my fifties. I see your point and agree with Lou. But I also remember in the day of not having any problem with getting a smaller sized glass if you wanted. Especially for women. My beef is the pricing that goes with those sizes. I see them over priced for the size. Maybe that's just me.

Anonymous said...

Choice would be great, some places do it, provided it is not an absurd mark up on the small glass.

JB said...

Wow, sorry my last post was so full of typos. Yes, pricing is a problem and I really never know which glass I'm going to get, although I am often happy when i get a smaller glass for some of those big beers, there is always sticker shock. It still smarts paying 6 or 7 a glass, no matter what the beer or size is!

Rich ~~~~~~ said...

Ring a ding ding!! Can't wait for my Stegmaier thing!

Anonymous said...

I love the news, but Stegmaier availability in my part of SEPA is VERY low. I made a request to Wegmans several months ago for it in Downingtown, but the reply was: "we've had so few requests for this product that we do not plan to carry it. But, that could change, and I have shared your request with our buyer for future consideration."

So, contact the distributors and contact Wegmans.

SEAN B said...

I am a huge supporter of Lion Brewery. I enjoyed the Stegmaier 2XIPA that was brewed about five years ago. I've had the Steg Amber Lager and found it a well done session beer. I just hope these new beers make it down to the Philadelphia area. I already have to get a co-worker to pick-up cases of Gibbons returnables from Dickson City and run it down to Philly for my enjoyment.

jb said...

Sean B, sorry to tell you but those days are over, the Lion stopped producing returnables. Who knows if they'll keep the gibbons/bartels name alive, hopefully, maybe in cans from their new canning line?

Anonymous said...

To me this just more of the same from the Lion. They are always changing direction. Remember Steg 150 to Steg Amber lager now back to Steg 150. Remember Leibotchaner Cream Ale. It was supposed to be out in early 2009 I thought. I has been posted that Steg Porter may go away. Its probably their best beer and yet try and find more than a case or two at your local distributor. My distributor says that since the price went up a couple of years ago he hardly sells any these days. It used to be a big seller. The Lion should look at your poll. The porter and cream ale are the favorites. I may try some of their new beers but I 'll try and find some sixers in NJ rather than a case. Other than Gibbons and Gold Medal, I havent seen much in stock at the distributors I check in Lancaster, Berks and Chester Counties. I think if these beers are priced much more than Yuengling they will not last. Excuse my rant but that is my two cents.

Glann kernanahan said...

I think there is some wisdom in your rant anon.

First, agreed that the price increase has hurt steg porter. Dont forget, EVERYTHING went up at that time, given the costs of materials, gas, etc, so 14 bucks a case was probably unrealistic. But it's impossible to deny that doubling the price hurt sales... you just dont see it as much at distributors. Ironically, I think Lew was one calling for the Lion to RAISE their prices (if i've confused you with someone else, Lew, my apologies) to be more like every other craft brewery. Bad move. All it did was alienate the drinkers who loved the beer AND the price while slipping the beer into an anonymous hole.

Also agree about Liebotschaner. Look at Lew's poll-- as many people voting for a beer that HAS NOT BEEN AROUND in YEARS as there is for a pale ale of which there are thousands on the market, or the lager. that should tell you something.

I give the brewery credit for trying and changing but why become just like everyone else? I think they will be rewarded if they are patient with brands like steg porter and lieb.