Last week it was 100 degrees in Pasadena and we had some folks over for beer and grilled sausage (a fine, fine combination if you ask me). Fresh on tap was a new beer that I did as almost a joke - a light lager. It clocked in at 4.5% ABV, which is a bit higher than Bud Light and Coors Light, but still lower than the best marketed beer of all time, Corona. The goal in brewing this beer was to make a something that suits the day-drinking days of summer, or as we call it in Southern California, every day. After just three weeks from the day it was brewed, the beer made its debut and the reaction from everyone who has tried it (including my beer-hating wife/business partner) has made me strongly consider making a light lager one of the initial Wild Parrot beers.
Macro-brewed light lagers are made with pretty marginal ingredients, with the purpose of creating something that is as inoffensive as possible while still containing enough alcohol to make it worthwhile. With six of the ten most popular beers in the country being light lagers, you can’t argue against that formula. Unfortunately, that formula doesn’t work for craft brewers because the other reason light lagers sell so well is because they are cheap. The revised formula that fits the financial realities of a small brewery is a lower alcohol lager that is made with the best ingredients and has a great flavor while having the “drinkability” that makes traditional light lagers appealing. All that at a price way higher than you will pay for a tall boy of Natty Light!
I don’t expect this to be a big seller, but rather a gateway beer for people who are comfortable drinking something like Bud Light (nearly $7 billion in sales last year) but are also interested in branching out. Most breweries have something like a blonde ale or hefeweizen to rope people in. Wild Parrot will have a light lager. Or maybe we will call it a blonde lager, which sounds sexier. Either way, it needs a catchy name. Flaming Tarantula Vomit Light?
Quick Update - The long and painful work on the financial documents for the business plan is nearing a conclusion! A draft is done and is being sent out for review. Our couch has turned up $1.35 in change, putting us at just under half a million bucks to our goal!