Looking for the original Bar Towel blog? You can find it at www.thebartowel.com.

We have a trivia question in order to register to prevent bots. If you have any issues with answering, contact us at cass@bartowel.com for help.

Introducing Light Mode! If you would like a Bar Towel social experience that isn't the traditional blue, you can now select Light Mode. Go to the User Control Panel and then Board Preferences, and select "Day Drinking" (Light Mode) from the My Board Style drop-down menu. You can always switch back to "Night Drinking" (Dark Mode). Enjoy!

Collective Arts

Discuss anything and everything about craft brewers from Ontario here.

Moderators: Craig, Cass

matt7215
Beer Superstar
Posts: 3047
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:18 am

Post by matt7215 »

S. St. Jeb wrote: Wed Jul 19, 2023 8:25 pm One in Ottawa too.

https://www.canadianbeernews.com/2023/0 ... n-station/

I don't think this could have been done a few years ago. How have the rules changed....or did I just not know.
these locations are most likely licensed as bars selling beer to go with food

User avatar
Napalm Frog
Posts: 224
Joined: Mon May 04, 2015 10:01 am
Location: Toronto

Post by Napalm Frog »

With them not brewing small batches at the Dundas St W location here in Toronto, I think the focus of the brewery has changed. They were always focussing on expansion. Do we have any update on what came of the the NYC Brooklyn location?

matt7215
Beer Superstar
Posts: 3047
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:18 am

Post by matt7215 »

Napalm Frog wrote: Thu Jul 20, 2023 1:05 pm With them not brewing small batches at the Dundas St W location here in Toronto, I think the focus of the brewery has changed. They were always focussing on expansion. Do we have any update on what came of the the NYC Brooklyn location?
dead

User avatar
Cass
Beer Superstar
Posts: 3855
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 8:00 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Post by Cass »

From a CA newsletter:
The past 6 months of our Union Station Pop-Up have been absolutely amazing, but alas, all good things must come to an end. December 7th will mark our final day of operation in the space.
I didn't mind the pop-up space and they had some decent $5 happy hour specials. A bit pricy the rest of the time though. Was a reasonable alternative in Union to WVRST.

HeadyestTopper
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:20 am

Post by HeadyestTopper »

A re-focus on quality may do them some good.....

anthony9
Posts: 117
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2022 9:00 pm

Post by anthony9 »

They seem to be feeling out the market. Clearly the small batch didn't work so well for them, but also they got into another issue with their Steamwhistle thing.

I went to the brewery on a nice summer weekend and it was pretty sparsely attended.

Their origin of darkness seems to be a hit, though. Seems like seasonal releases are pretty popular. I think Bellwoods is the benchmark for seasonal/yearly release strategy done well.

I also think Sonnen Hill's strategy of higher volume, crowd-pleasing cans alongside more expensive bottles is one that seems like it makes sense.

User avatar
Tapsucker
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1919
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 6:21 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by Tapsucker »

HeadyestTopper wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:54 am A re-focus on quality may do them some good.....
I think you are on to something. For a while now I've thought they should regroup to some of their core product, get it right and throw in some rotational seasonals and maybe the occasional collab. Every time I go to the LCBO I feel they have some other new novelty on offer. Maybe there was a time for that, but I think the consumer, including me, has moved on from focus grouping dodgy sours and and extremes. Especially for a producer needing some volume.

I think GLB might have nailed the balance here. They may have the best model of doing the basics right and then adding some interest.
Brands are for cattle.
Fans are cash cows.
The herd will consume until consumed.

User avatar
Tapsucker
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1919
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 6:21 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by Tapsucker »

Tapsucker wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 5:32 pm
HeadyestTopper wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:54 am A re-focus on quality may do them some good.....
I think you are on to something. For a while now I've thought they should regroup to some of their core product, get it right and throw in some rotational seasonals and maybe the occasional collab. Every time I go to the LCBO I feel they have some other new novelty on offer. Maybe there was a time for that, but I think the consumer, including me, has moved on from focus grouping dodgy sours and and extremes. Especially for a producer needing some volume.

I think GLB might have nailed the balance here. They may have the best model of doing the basics right and then adding some interest.
Actually, some further thoughts...

Ransack and Life In the Clouds are great beers, but they have been wildly inconsistent for some time now, both in quality and availability. It seems that a brewery that wants to operate at scale should really pay attention to their good core products like this.

Again, I'll point to GLB for getting this right. Also Muskoka. Nobody seems to mention Mad Tom anymore, yet it remains a solidly good beer and they also shepherd their other core offerings with care. I think there are some lessons for Collective to learn here.
Brands are for cattle.
Fans are cash cows.
The herd will consume until consumed.

seangm
Bar Fly
Posts: 610
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:44 pm

Post by seangm »

Tapsucker wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 9:21 pm
Tapsucker wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 5:32 pm
HeadyestTopper wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:54 am A re-focus on quality may do them some good.....
I think you are on to something. For a while now I've thought they should regroup to some of their core product, get it right and throw in some rotational seasonals and maybe the occasional collab. Every time I go to the LCBO I feel they have some other new novelty on offer. Maybe there was a time for that, but I think the consumer, including me, has moved on from focus grouping dodgy sours and and extremes. Especially for a producer needing some volume.

I think GLB might have nailed the balance here. They may have the best model of doing the basics right and then adding some interest.
Actually, some further thoughts...

Ransack and Life In the Clouds are great beers, but they have been wildly inconsistent for some time now, both in quality and availability. It seems that a brewery that wants to operate at scale should really pay attention to their good core products like this.

Again, I'll point to GLB for getting this right. Also Muskoka. Nobody seems to mention Mad Tom anymore, yet it remains a solidly good beer and they also shepherd their other core offerings with care. I think there are some lessons for Collective to learn here.
I agree with pretty much everything you've said here. I can say I've shifted away from trying most experimental beers unless I'm very certain it's going to be a success; I've been burned on too many $5-6 cans of weird or gross experiments to keep trying them. And same goes for CA's core beers- it's frustrating because they can be excellent one batch or meh the next. I don't like not knowing what I'm getting when buying a core beer, whether it's endless tweaking with the recipe or simple quality control issues.

GLB are absolutely one of my favourites for the reasons you've mentioned, they've struck a great balance between their core offerings and seasonals while remaining pretty consistent.

GtownRandy
Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:17 am

Post by GtownRandy »

Ransack used to be my go-to IPA. Now I rarely buy it except to re-try it to see if it’s as good as it used to be. It never is.

I even had a saying “you can’t go wrong with a Ransack”

User avatar
Cass
Beer Superstar
Posts: 3855
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 8:00 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Post by Cass »

seangm wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 11:53 am
Tapsucker wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 9:21 pm
Tapsucker wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 5:32 pm
I think you are on to something. For a while now I've thought they should regroup to some of their core product, get it right and throw in some rotational seasonals and maybe the occasional collab. Every time I go to the LCBO I feel they have some other new novelty on offer. Maybe there was a time for that, but I think the consumer, including me, has moved on from focus grouping dodgy sours and and extremes. Especially for a producer needing some volume.

I think GLB might have nailed the balance here. They may have the best model of doing the basics right and then adding some interest.
Actually, some further thoughts...

Ransack and Life In the Clouds are great beers, but they have been wildly inconsistent for some time now, both in quality and availability. It seems that a brewery that wants to operate at scale should really pay attention to their good core products like this.

Again, I'll point to GLB for getting this right. Also Muskoka. Nobody seems to mention Mad Tom anymore, yet it remains a solidly good beer and they also shepherd their other core offerings with care. I think there are some lessons for Collective to learn here.
I agree with pretty much everything you've said here. I can say I've shifted away from trying most experimental beers unless I'm very certain it's going to be a success; I've been burned on too many $5-6 cans of weird or gross experiments to keep trying them. And same goes for CA's core beers- it's frustrating because they can be excellent one batch or meh the next. I don't like not knowing what I'm getting when buying a core beer, whether it's endless tweaking with the recipe or simple quality control issues.

GLB are absolutely one of my favourites for the reasons you've mentioned, they've struck a great balance between their core offerings and seasonals while remaining pretty consistent.
I've been thinking recently that craft breweries who are looking to weather this storm should focus on a "premium value" product (so, good and not crazy expensive) and minimize out there beers & experiments.

The breweries mentioned here - GLB, Muskoka - I've been finding myself drinking consistently through the pandemic to today - well made, reasonably priced & consistent. And I think they're well positioned to see this through.

User avatar
Craig
Seasoned Drinker
Posts: 1950
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:23 am

Post by Craig »

GLB are truly unrivaled at their price point in Ontario. Canuck at 3.15 and their rotating IPAs at like 3.60 are like a buck cheaper than their competition. Pompous Ass is under 3 bucks!

I will say though, Collective Lager has become a bit of a staple for me. It's consistent, well-priced and pretty good. I was getting Side Launch lagers more just because they were always so fresh, but my local stopped carrying them for some reason.

HeadyestTopper
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:20 am

Post by HeadyestTopper »

Tapsucker wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 9:21 pm
Tapsucker wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 5:32 pm
HeadyestTopper wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:54 am A re-focus on quality may do them some good.....
I think you are on to something. For a while now I've thought they should regroup to some of their core product, get it right and throw in some rotational seasonals and maybe the occasional collab. Every time I go to the LCBO I feel they have some other new novelty on offer. Maybe there was a time for that, but I think the consumer, including me, has moved on from focus grouping dodgy sours and and extremes. Especially for a producer needing some volume.

I think GLB might have nailed the balance here. They may have the best model of doing the basics right and then adding some interest.
Actually, some further thoughts...

Ransack and Life In the Clouds are great beers, but they have been wildly inconsistent for some time now, both in quality and availability. It seems that a brewery that wants to operate at scale should really pay attention to their good core products like this.

Again, I'll point to GLB for getting this right. Also Muskoka. Nobody seems to mention Mad Tom anymore, yet it remains a solidly good beer and they also shepherd their other core offerings with care. I think there are some lessons for Collective to learn here.

I couldn't agree with this more!!! Especially with Life in the Clouds, a couple of them I've had lately were just.......off.

Re-group is a good word. Focus on core quality and bring back Surround Sound!!!!!!

seangm
Bar Fly
Posts: 610
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:44 pm

Post by seangm »

Craig wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 4:35 pm GLB are truly unrivaled at their price point in Ontario. Canuck at 3.15 and their rotating IPAs at like 3.60 are like a buck cheaper than their competition. Pompous Ass is under 3 bucks!

I will say though, Collective Lager has become a bit of a staple for me. It's consistent, well-priced and pretty good. I was getting Side Launch lagers more just because they were always so fresh, but my local stopped carrying them for some reason.
Even better if you commit to a case Canuck and Pompous are $2.50/can. Essentially unbeatable.

sofakingdrunk
Bar Fly
Posts: 929
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:55 am
Location: Guelph

Post by sofakingdrunk »

HeadyestTopper wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:54 am A re-focus on quality may do them some good.....
Drinking a Ransack right now, for the first time in probably oh close to a year….and it’s not great.

Post Reply