Bavarian Barbarian – Our help…

26 August 2009

BavarianBarbarianLogoI’ve watched as Mike Hiller and his wife Kira have lived the “dream” of most beer lovers and all home brewers. Mike turned a hobby of home brewing into a full-time job and opened Bavarian Barbarian. This is no small feat and certainly one of personal and financial risk, but Mike followed what he loved and opened BB. Now word comes that despite his best efforts, despite wonderful bottle sales and despite overall sales being up, Bavarian Barbarian is struggling financially.

I write this in the present tense because we should be thinking that way. All too often we react late and we support something we love only after it is gone. There have been many casualties in this economy, and I write this in the name of Bavarian Barbarian NOT becoming another one of them.

As beer lovers we are a community and a community should support our friends and our beer family. As Mike & Kira continue to fight and struggle to keep BB alive, I simply ask that you, as beer lovers, join the fight with them. Please stop by and pick up some Bavarian Barbarian bottles or growlers, attend BB events, pick up some BB swag and do as I do right now and ask our local beer bars and mybeerbuzz members to seek out BB to run on tap. Cheers to Mike & Kira…fight the good fight.

10 comments (click to read or post):

Anonymous,  26 August, 2009 16:41  

I agree. As the craft beer movement is always looking for the latest and newest thing, especially if it comes from california or oregon or belgium people forget about the local breweries.

Kind of how people started drinking coors and bud in the 60's and 70's and we lost so many regional breweries: if it comes from colorado or st louis it must somehow be better or more exotic than what comes from our metro area. lame.

stingo 26 August, 2009 21:33  

Ok - I'll order some BB bottles, and/or a sixtel soon (if they're available.

Speaking of hard times, I believe the same is true of the General Lafayette Inn and Brewery. As has been already said - let's not forget the local/regional brewers who make this one of if not THE best beer area in country.

Josh 28 August, 2009 08:17  

not to seem callous, but rather to try to pinpoint the nature of the problem...did BB perhaps overextend themselves by starting a bottling line and distributing kegs regionally? Would they maybe have been better served to focus on the core, the brewpub? At this point, would some retraction help by freeing up assets to do just that? I'm not going to pretend to know their business, but maybe a back to basics approach at this point would help.

mybeerbuzz,  28 August, 2009 08:25  

Certainly only BB can answer that, but I believe the bottling was started in an attempt to improve the financial situation so I know the problems were not a result of that. It's a tough economy right now so I'm not sure if you can sit back and go back to basics....time will tell. As an aside it's not really a bottling "line", but more of a manual process and there currently isn;t a brewpub...just a tasting room.

tazio 28 August, 2009 08:47  

Sixtels are available: I get mine at T. Verrastro in West Hazleton.

I have had the pleasure of their Hammerin' Ale recently and can attest that it's excellent. Easy drinking and quite flavorful for a lighter amber beer.

I'll be honest with you: when I'm touring the cooler looking for a sixtel to try, I always see Hammerin' Ale but none of their others. I don't know what the deal is with that, but if their other brews were there, I'd not pass over them for something else. I can always ask and order which I should do, but in interest of time, I usually don't. Shame on me I guess.

I'll try to order a sixtel of the Weldspatter I.P.A. and see how that goes.

Try to support your local beers if possible. Who knows, they may become the next Dogfish Head.

Josh 28 August, 2009 08:54  

I'm sure that bottling was started in an attempt to increase revenue, but more is not always better. Sometimes more simply spreads assets around too thin and causes you to lose focus. That's why WNEP is no longer owned by the New York Times, and why Wegmans no longer has a chain of home improvement stores, etc etc etc.

Anonymous,  28 August, 2009 09:43  

Tazio-- put a little work in and you will be rewarded. Good distributors will get you what you want. Bad ones are lazy. I've managed to get Lion sixtels although I do have to work on it and the brewery has been helpful.

MyBB-- economy is bad but craft beer sales are up. The failure rate for breweries is high even in a good economy.

I am often discouraged at my local beer bars to find VERY few PA beers. these are multi-taps with 20+ taps and most are colorado, california and elsewhere. And my beer geek friends jump all over them. We have some great beers made here but they get overlooked which is a shame.

artbythelake 28 August, 2009 13:13  

Thanks for all the responses. I guess the bottom line for me isn't so much "why", but that we have a chance to support our local brewery. I like Mike, I like BB beers, and I want to be able to continue enjoying beer from our local brewery.

stingo 29 August, 2009 12:42  

@artbythelake - Agreed. Invariably, when a place goes under, you'll hear the phrase "I should've gone there more often." Well, this is an attempt to head such a situation off at the pass.

@Bavarian Barbarian - I'm not sure if you have a sampler case, but it might be a good idea to put one together. I, for one, would be all over it.

mybeerbuzz,  29 August, 2009 13:08  

Thank you...and no a note of good bews....Mike tells me he's brewing like crazy and that they have almost sold out all of their beers this week....Keep it up beer lovers!

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