Hello esteemed readers and wall pissers, welcome to 2011. Exciting news for those down under. Sierra Nevada, the iconic brewery which is often stated to have started the craft beer revolution will now be legitimately imported by Phoenix Beers via refrigerated container.
Previously “grey imports” of the signature Pale Ale (SNPA for those with the lingo) have been smuggled in through Europe with a product landing in Australia that was well past its best and generally in pretty shit condition. This dodgy conduct with grey imports has caused a bit of a stir with the US based brewers over the past 12 months. I have not commented on the issue here at PIUTW as I couldn’t be bothered. Anyhow Phoenix Beer has stepped up and will have SN beers available through it’s online International Beer Shop.
With it’s elevated status in contemporary beer culture, there is great demand in Australia for Sierra Nevada products hence the ‘healthy’ grey market which has cropped up. Legit imported Sierra Nevada will be the freshest available and will note Phoenix as the importer on the label. Grey or dodgy imports will have other importers on the label and other suspicious acts such as the best before dates removed.
While this may not be of interest to a number of US and UK based readers it’s important for us down under as our geographical isolation often leaves us with only our local craft beer scene when it comes to quality. To be honest our local craft beers are good but are way overpriced due to our heft excise laws.
BTW SNPA will be retailing for $25 a six pack, so do the maths and work out how much mark up is on the beer. I recall paying $8 for a six pack when in New York in 2009.
For a more comprehensive and serious account of this exciting news, pop over and visit the good folk at Australian Brews News who I blatently stole this story from.