Well, this is shocking news to me. And sad as well. Artisan Ales was the subject of a couple pieces that I wrote in the past including a fun ride-along, day in the life of a sales rep.
Aside from those fond memories, we are left with more of a hole in the craft beer landscape now. The one vital and extremely hard link in the chain is getting the beer to consumers. You can self-distribute but that takes resources in equipment and people. With LA being so spread out and hard to navigate in a timely manner, we need more independent (call them boutique) distributors not less. Where Craftsman and Noble Ale Works go from here will be important in the near future as is the distribution fate of Oregon breweries Logsdon and Double Mountain.
I do not know the reasons why Artisan Ales closed up shop and to me that is water under the bridge because the long term implications are bigger because what we need are two types of distributors for two sizes of breweries in Los Angeles that most need help.
1) for the small breweries that are wanting to create a wider footprint
2) for the medium/small breweries that are getting into packaging
We need steps up, so that a brewery can grow in a logical and linear way. Maybe we will get that needed infrastructure in the wake of this.
There is usually fanfare when a brewery signs up with a distributor. What there normally isn’t is a party with that distributor featuring the other beers in the portfolio!
But that is what MacLeod’s Ales is doing with Artisan Ales. In their words, “We will be showcasing some of the other wonderful breweries they represent, right here in our tasting room! Besides our own cask ale, we will be featuring beers from:
Craftsman Brewing Co.
Noble Ale Works [something special just for this event!]
Telegraph Brewing Co.
Kinetic Brewing Company
TAPS Fish House & Brewery
Longsdon Farmhouse Ales
With all that beer it is great that a food truck (Tacos Chihuahua) will parked outside.
$35 advance purchase, $40 at the door On May 10th (aka Mother’s Day)
On occasion, I also write for the great BeerPaperLA. Yes, it is on actual paper! (online too, yes)
And this month, I have a small piece and a larger one tucked into the pages. I give a quick shout out to my friends at Pacific Plate Brewing in Monrovia in one and go on a ride-along with a craft beer rep from Artisan Ales in another. Let me know what you think and if you have ideas for what I should write about next.
You can find it in better beer stops around the L.A. area!
Uncommon Brewers is a community-oriented organic microbrewery based in Santa Cruz. Incorporating traditional Belgian brewing techniques, cutting-edge innovation from the modern West Coast, and grounded in the principles of sustainability voiced by the Slow Food Movement, Uncommon Brewer’s goal is to make uncommon beers for uncommon people.
Their beers include:
Golden State Ale – a golden ale made with poppy seeds
Baltic Porter – brewed with anise
Siamese Twin – a Belgian double made with coriander, kaffir lime & lemongrass