The Brewski Report Reviews Bell’s Oberon Ale.
File Date: 7.30.10
File Name: Scent Of Sunny On Sale Now!
The Beer: Oberon Ale
Type: American Pale Wheat Ale
Stats: 5.8% ABV
Brewer: Bell’s Brewery Inc.
Web Site: www.bellsbeer.com
Country of Origin: MI, USA
Brewer Info: Bell’s Brewery, Inc. formerly Kalamazoo Brewing Company, founded by Larry Bell as a home-brewing supply shop in 1983, sold its first beer in 1985. Originally brewing in a 15-gallon soup kettle, the company has grown remarkably. Bell’s Brewery has grown from a tiny operation renting part of a former plumbing supply warehouse to a bustling, regional craft brewery. Although the “microbrewery” revolution began on the West Coast in the 1970s, the Midwest saw this brewing development much later. Bell’s Brewery stands as the oldest craft-brewer east of Boulder, Colorado. Originally self-distributed, Larry and crew brewed, bottled and delivered all of the beer to market for the company’s first four years. By 1989, Bell’s was shipping over 500 barrels annually and assigned its first wholesaler to further establish itself across the State of Michigan. After struggling several years to produce and sell robust, full-bodied ales against a tide of a mass-market domestic beer, Bell’s began to see the demand for craft beer grow dramatically. Bell’s soon ventured outside Michigan, continuing its solid growth and developing a reputation across the Midwest for the unique style and flavor of its Bell’s brands.
Brewer Brand Hype: An American wheat ale brewed with Saaz hops. Spicy and fruity, Oberon is the color and scent of a sunny afternoon.
Label: A short draft beer served at the bar. No labels.
The Brewski Review: I don’t really have much to say about Oberon Ale and it appears the brewer doesn’t either. Take a look at the Brewer Brand Hype noted above. ‘color and scent of a sunny afternoon’? Who wrote this uniquely undescriptive marketing tagline? Bell’s Brewery must have bartered some of their product with a local ad firm because they most certainly couldn’t have paid for this touchy, feely assembly of words. If this verbiage is printed somewhere on the label and I was fortunate enough to read it before purchasing, the limited sensitivity of my manliness would have prevented me from purchasing this beverage. The bottle would have slipped through my hand and exploded on the store floor while I stood, slackjawed and immobile at the mere thought of something so unnaturally beer-like. Who is the intended market for this brand: nuns and sweet old grandmothers between the ages of 60 and 80? Seriously, was there any vision here into gaining market share with this brand advertising? I’m just really at a loss on this. What does a sunny afternoon smell like? To me, the scent of a sunny afternoon smells like fresh cut grass in the spring, thick, muggy and humid air in the summer, a burning pile of leaves in the fall and crisp, burning notrils on a subzero and sunny winter day. What does the scent of a sunny day smell like to you? Most likely not like this beer. Oberon to drink was decent and drinkable but I guess I expected more than Bell’s was capable of delivering. Ultimately, I wouldn’t consider Oberon Ale a quintessential summertime beer if that’s what the ’scent of a sunny afternoon’ is supposed to convey.
Drinkability: Sure. Maybe.
Appearance: Clear and medium to dark golden color.
The Buds: Good. But I expected more.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.5 out of 5.