This column is dedicated to things The Professor discovers along the way to researching other things related to beer. It will appear randomly, depending upon when material presents itself.
Slo Brewing: you may remember quite a while ago this was distributed throughout the U.S. One of the major styles disributed at the time was Blueberry Ale. What you may not have know it that it was contract brewed by August Schell, also out of New Ulm. It also seems to have a connection with Downtown Brewing: a small chain of brew based pubs in California.
Perhaps our California-based writer, Mr. Becham might enlighten us regarding the confusion here?
If you spend time on the net researching this you’ll find it quite confusing. Apparently Schell was contracted to brew Slo which has somehow, sort of, yet sort of not, morphed into Downtown. The Slo brand hasn’t been seen on the east coast for quite some time. Mr. Carman, one of our writers, informs us he has one of the Blueberry Ale bottles in his collection and remembers it being good, but not outstanding by any means. Here’s a quote he sent The Professor…
“Somewhat unremarkable base with a decent amount of blueberry juice or extract. Compliments must be paid since blueberry is one of the harder fruits to keep in the bottle until it’s poured. But the base could have been more substantial, and less of a slightly fizzy blueberry quaffe. No hops, but few expected, blueberry being the focus.”
Apparently Schell does other contract brewing, as other breweries do or have done in the past, including (But by no means limited to…) F.X. Matt, St. Croix Brewing Co., Shipyard (which has also had their beer contacted brewed in the past) and Lion. This doesn’t even cover the major brewers who sometimes brew under labels under than their own as if they were micro-brewers or brewpubs packaging their own product. There will be more on contract brewing in the next post.