old faithful wrote:I don't see Sleeman as trying to be something it isn't. Its Cream Ale has always tasted the same as today (if anything it is better now than it was 15 years ago). The ads have changed a bit but not the beers. Sleeman has introduced a variety of beer styles. The flavour profile appeals to a lot of people who will never appreciate more characterful beer, but also to many who do. There are many ways I think to participate in the beer market, quality can exist on different parts of the taste spectrum. Sleeman offers more taste than Labatt or Molson, its beers are not comparable at all in my view. Maybe some of the people who like Sleeman will graduate to yet more assertive beers. That is good and here again Sleeman is a bridge and a positive force. For those who don't want more taste, they will stay with Sleeman/Creemore and be happy. And maybe that basic micro lager Josh mentions satisfies that need. A good example in the dark ale area is Upper Canada's. It is not complex but is a good beer with a defined brown malt taste, much more so than, say the Rickards beers (which I don't like very much myself, to me they taste kind of ersatz whereas Upper Canada tastes real). That doesn't mean the brewers who focus on rich beers of high quality (malty, hoppy, fruity, etc.) don't have a place, they do because they can exploit the niche that exists, maybe they can grab some of those Sleeman-ites, maybe grab some wine share, maybe even grow in a big way, I don't rule it out (and wish all those players well). Look if I had my choice real ale would be in every bar. But I don't see how a Sleeman affects any of this, to me they are only a positive force.
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