Pete, what happened?

Yesterday I made my roughly, biannual trek to return bottles at my local Consumer's Beverages (which unfortunately doesn't have taps and growlers).  It was a pretty successful haul as I netted $16.70 in return fees, or as I call it "free beer money".

I picked up a couple of seasonal six-packs and noticed I they had Pete's Wicked Ale on sale for $8 (or $9?) a six-pack, which is way too high until I saw the "Buy one, get one free" stickers on them.  Alright then, that's not a bad deal although it's only mere shell of it's once great glory…

I had Pete's the first time when visiting my friend Jack in San Francisco back in about 1988.  It still wasn't available in Illinois where I lived and the time or even nationally.  Jack had been raving to me for quite sometime about Pete's, thus when I came to visit we drank a lot of it…enough that the cops showed up the first I was there because we were being too loud out on the patio of his condo.  But that's another story for another time.  :)

Eventually Pete's did grow and was available nationally.  And it was great and wonderful stuff and I drank it often.  But like most beer I moved on to other things, but eventually came back to it.  But it was different now; the label had changed and it certainly didn't taste the same, i.e., it was very average.  Thus I stopped buying it.  I only bought it this time because it's still drinkable, but certainly not a premium beer anymore, but the price was right.

I've often wondered what happened, but had never looked into it until now.  And thanks to the internets, it didn't take long to find an answer.  Apparently Pete sold the business and lost all input to the company he founded.  I guess that's what happens you cash out.  I can't fault him for that as I'm sure he's living very comfortably and drinking lots of other good beers now.

Thus if you're looking for a drinkable, but rather ordinary beer, Pete's will do.  But if you ever had the original Pete's you'll find that this "Pete's" is a far cry from the delicious brew that it was.  And if you never had it?  Well, you missed a good one that's likely gone forever!

P.S. A picture has been taken, but it will likely be quite sometime before I work through the backlog.  Once I do that, it will also show up in my Beer collection.
November 28, 2009 @ 11:08 pm | Category:
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