Perrin Brewing is stepping into Big Beer’s arena with the release of what might be craft beer’s first light lager…and the Comstock Park, Michigan-based brewery (now 100% owned by Oskar Blues) appears to be going ‘all in.’
And what’s surprising, is that Perrin’s announcement that they’d be craft-producing a new light lager line isn’t all the surprising…It’s not like Perrin has a huge CRAFT beer presence in Michigan.
What they did have when Oskar Blues bought them in 2015, was the ability to churn out 14,000 barrels of beer a year and a relatively faceless identity.
So why not give craft beer lite a try?
And in spite of them being part of Oskar Blues growing family of ‘craft beer’ properties (which now also includes Wasatch Brewery, Squatters Brewery Tampa Florida’s Cigar City), it’s not like Perrin Brewing EVER attracted the kind of attention or craft beer cred, that Oscar Blues has succeeded in generating over the years.
So what has Perrin got to lose releasing a lager more commonly associated with Big Beer conglomerates like AB InBev or MillerCoors?
Certainly not their craft beer cred.
And let’s not forget that Oskar Blues has evolved since their humble beginnings as a small brewpub in Lyons Colorado.
They’re a big-time brewing operation nowadays with a controlling stake in their company now held by Fireman Capital, a powerful equity provider based in Boston.
So why not Perrin Light Lager…just sayin.’
And equity funding can fuel substantial growth. In addition to their brewery in Longmont, Oscar Blues now has a second brewing hub in Brevard, NC and a third brewing in Austin, Texas wiyh its own year-round music venue.
Oskar Blues’ current holdings reportedly also includes “a chain of hamburger restaurants, a bicycle-fabrication company, a coffee roaster, a manufacturer of aluminum can “growler” containers, a NASCAR sponsorship.”
They’ve watched their production climb from roughly 86,000 barrels just before the Brevard brewery opened in 2012 to more than 200,000 barrels in 2016 and their international footprint is also growing,
So why not throw the dice and let one of their subsidiaries give craft beer lite a try? After all Oscar Blues made the right call when they became the first craft brewery in the country to turn to cans in 2002.
Described as crisp, clean, and CRAFT, Perrin Light Lager is available in 15-packs and on draft across Michigan and we’ll be interested to see if Perrin’s newest addition to the Oskar Blues empire catches fire.
And given how Oskar Blues rolls…and their past successes…it’s hard to entirely dismiss Perrin’s ‘craft beer lite’ play.