Thursday, February 20, 2014

Storz Triumph Lager being pulled from store shelves (update with comments from Storz)

Did that get your attention, I am working on my sensational headline writing.

It has come to our attention that Storz has decided to pull Storz Triumph Lager from store shelves.  Here is the quote from their letters to retailers.

Thank you for being a vital partner in helping us relaunch Nebraska's beloved Storz beer.  The Storz brand may be 150 years old, but as a startup brewery we're learning and we've stumbled.  In an effort to meet demand, we pushed Triumph brewing process too quickly.  Right now we are unsatisfied with the flavor profile of our Triumph beer currently  in your business and in the market.  It simply doesn't meet the flavor profile we originally crafted.

When I first heard about this my reaction was ouch and I am not surprised.  That probably isn't fair though because I haven't tried it yet, but I have heard mixed results from people and see the ratings.  I also thought the whole roll out was more marketing than craft beer and a lot of beer drinkers can see through that.

After I chewed on this a bit I changed my tune though and I applaud them in this move.  It takes some serious you know what to pull a beer after all the marketing hype that has went on.  This tells me they want to get it right and maybe it isn't entirely about the money.

Time will certainly tell and I will be interested to see what the beer is like when it makes it's return in the spring, but I think Storz has shown something here.  I think they should be praised for this decision.  I think this should be a good lesson to the old and new breweries out there as well.

I look forward to trying the new Triumph when it returns and I know this will get me to try the other beers from Storz that are remaining in the market, Gold Crest Amber, Wood Duck Wheat, and Mugs Pale Ale.

What are your thoughts on this?  Was it the right decision?  Is it a good thing for Storz?  We would love to hear from you.

I asked Storz for a comment and they have provided the answers to my questions below.

Is the recipe going to change on Triumph?
No, the recipe will stay the same.  We are working on our processes with Triumph. As you know, many craft brewers avoid making lagers because of time and process issues. We want to make sure we produce a lager that you love and we love. This last batch did not cut it for us.
Do you have a rough deadline of when we will see it in the market?
We are hoping later this spring, but we won’t re-release Triumph until it is right. We are getting ready to taste a small batch using our revised process in a couple of weeks. If it’s right, we’ll begin production. If it’s not ready, we’ll keep working until we get it right.

Are there any plans to replace bottles already sold?
Most bottles and kegs already have been replaced. This is just one batch and it is a flavor profile issue. It is not bad beer, but we have inconsistencies in flavor. If you returned product from this batch to your retailer because of flavor, customers were reimbursed by the retailer, and we are making it right with the retailer through credit or re-stock with another Storz product. In fact, some retailers did not want us to take their Triumph because of the demand for it.

Any words for the craft beer drinkers out there?
First, what is happening with Triumph is not a reflection on our contract brewer or on different taste preferences and palates in the craft brew market. This is about our process in striving to be a consistent quality lager, and we are doing everything in our power to get it right. In the meantime, we hope people consider trying some of our other Storz products.


Thew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thew said...

That's a respectable move, but I have yet to enjoy any beer made by Blue Blood Brewing Co. — who, last I heard, produced Storz (please correct me if I'm wrong here) — and have wondered how its brewers could even put some of them on store shelves in the first place. Forgive the hyperbole, but Gold Crest Amber may be the worst beer I've ever tasted. And that's saying something.

Anonymous said...

I think that pulling the lager is a smart move. While flavor plays a part, great lagers often take at least 2x as long as ales to produce. It appears they may be making a move for craft beer, but the dollar sign still plays a role. We will truly know their motive if and when Triumph returns.

Anonymous said...

agree with the blue blood comment...maybe those cops should have opened a Dunkin' instead.

Anonymous said...

glad to hear as I loved the Triumph from the tap at the restaurant and was really disappointed with the 2-6 packs I finally found and purchased with the bitter finish, and thought I was done with Storz beers, just after I'd just totally fallen for them and was boasting about the great taste! I was totally bummed, but again joyful. Now how do I get my money back of coupons for free beers

Anonymous said...

I really want to like Blue Blood but I've had too many infected canned brews and can no longer justify their purchase.

This issue sounds very familiar from this brew house: no quality control.

Funkthulhu said...

Am I still too naive to think it should be the original recipe my Dad drank or it's not really Storz? Glad they're trying yo improve quality control but I don't know if it can help this beer. . .

Deborah Storz said...

From the very beginning, Tom Markel (no relation whatsoever to my great-grandfather, Gottlieb Storz, nor to any of the Storz family members who actually RAN the Storz Brewing Company)has all been about making the beer as cheaply as possible. One craft brewer that I know of turned him down because of that edict. The Storz family, proud of its long legacy of Nebraska craftsmanship, has been strongly opposed to Tom Markel's highjacking of the Storz family legacy.