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RIP, Mothership Wit

Yesterday’s news, I guess, but I only saw this morning, courtesy of Twitter, that New Belgium is discontinuing Mothership Wit.

New Belgium discontinues Mothership Wit

(If you can’t see the image it says, “Based on declining sales, and making room in the portfolio for new beer, Mothership Wit is getting shelved.”)

In contrast, Blue Moon Belgian White and Shock Top Belgian White continue to outperform almost everything else in the MillerCoors and A-B InBev portfolios respectively. According to Symphony IRI, Blue Moon White climbed into the Top 15 brands in 2011, selling $88 million in supermarkets (by comparison, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale sold $52 million, Samuel Adams Boston Lager $47 million and New Belgium Fat Tire $33 million).

Blue Moon White was one of only two brands (Michelob Ultra was the other) in the top 15 to increase supermarket sales in 2011.

4 Responses to RIP, Mothership Wit

  1. Bill March 7, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    No one has to brew one of everything, though I suppose it’s weird that a company focused on Belgian-type brews won’t be brewing a basic wit given the current popularity of the style. But if it doesn’t sell and they could devote resources to other things, no worries. I’m a fan of their Abbey dubbel.

    I like that the larger US “craft” brewers aren’t carbon copies of one another — that Sierra Nevada’s flagship is a different style than New Belgium’s, which is different from Boston Beer’s, which is different from Stone’s, which is different from Bell’s. That their seasonals and specialties are generally different, as well.

  2. Ven March 7, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    This will suck this summer. Wits are beers I want to have more than one of, so they need to be a reasonable price. M’ship was. Blue Moon is, but I don’t like it as much. Too many other brewers charge extra – I’m not sure why.

  3. Jon Jefferson March 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    I begin to wonder if this may be a trend. This isn’t the first time I have heard a larger brewery looking to move away from a classic beer style in favor of the more trendy. This may not be what they are doing but it is a feeling I am getting.

    Even Brooklyn Brewery (in an interview for Brew Your Own with Garrett Oliver) mentioned that they are looking to pursue more varied styles.

    The question this makes me ask, is this a pursuit of being unique by becoming the same as everyone else?

  4. Steve March 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    ““Based on declining sales, and making room in the portfolio for new beer…”

    My first thought was, “Making room for new beer? Doesn’t NB already have a large portfolio?”

    Based on a quick look at their web site, 23 different beers — including special releases, yes, but only counting one seasonal (and weeding out the Mothership that’s still listed). That’s a heckuva lotta styles to try to market all the time. I guess something had to go — it’s the Craft Brewery layoff system.

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