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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No, Not Another Lime Beer!

First it looked like it was going to be the summer of new Wheat beers. Keith's White, Brick Waterloo Wheat Ale, Amsterdam Oranje Wit, Cannery Apricot Wheat Ale and more, all joined the already regular wheat beers in circulation that have come to be popular during the summer months. It seemed like all the big breweries, and some smaller ones, were whipping up batches and introducing them for the first time, competing with each other on who could get theirs released the quickest, regardless of the taste. It felt like there was a new press release every week signalling the birth of a new wheat beer to a brewery's portfolio.

Then all of a sudden the lime based beers started popping in thanks to the introduction of Bud Light Lime to Canadian soil. The beer was so hyped up (don't know why - well I do, pure marketing genius to a group of people willing to believe anything) that it has, and continues to, sell extremely well. It seems other Canadian breweries witnessed the madness and decided to stake a small claim of the lime pie themselves and we are now seeing an increasing number of these beers from coast-to-coast involving big national breweries, regional breweries and even small craft breweries.

Just yesterday the Brick Brewing Company, sans' founder Jim Brickman, released their version with their Red Baron Lime. "Red Baron Lime’s taste has benefited from consumer feedback on other lime competitors and from Brick Brewing’s rich, 25-year craft brewing tradition," was one of the key points highlighted. "Ontario has a pent up lust for lime and we're going to make sure no one is disappointed this Labour Day weekend when they want to enjoy a refreshing new lime flavoured beer," said Sean Dennis, Marketing Director, Brick Brewing Company. Brick joins the already mentioned Bud Light Lime, Big Rock Light Lime Lager, Russell's Cactus Lime Lager, Moosehead Light Lime and others.

Now I'm all for experimentation, and it's always a pleasure seeing new beer styles or existing beer styles making comebacks, but come on Canadian brewers, you can do better than this! I was pouring beers for the Canadian Brewing Awards and the largest category happened to be the fruit and vegetable category with a bunch of lime one. It seems Canadian breweries enjoy producing fruit based beers. I agree that the beer landscape is improving and the small passionate craft breweries are starting to pump out some terrific, flavourful products, but I'm sick of the weekly news of new lime beers!

Thankfully Creemore's Kellerbier came along and showed us to keep believing in new beer releases that go against the mainstream marketing gimmick of the day.

**Stephen Beaumont, over at That's the Spirit, offers a DIY seminar on how to create your own lime beer. Good stuff!**

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