#FlagshipFebruary and now #FlagshipMarch

The Flagship February logo

Since it is already March, I apologize for having missed the boat on this one, but #FlagshipFebruary has been trending on social media for a bit now. At KCBeerBlog, we are just going to pretend it’s still February for the next five minutes of your reading pleasure. Alternatively, we could just start up our own #FlaghshipMarch celebration.

Flagship February was a movement started by Stephen Beaumont, a Canadian beer writer. Beaumont has written several books on beer, is involved in drink tourism, and has his own website. He noticed that as craft beer drinkers have grown in number and s̶n̶o̶o̶t̶i̶e̶n̶e̶s̶s̶, I mean sophistication and palate sensitivity, the “flagship” beers are getting lost in the shuffle.

Writing this has gotten me thinking and reminiscing about the good ‘ole days, and not the Zima good ‘ole days. It is actually pretty rare, not quite giant Indonesian bee rare, but rare nonetheless, to see multiple “flagship” beers on draft. How often do you see a bar with more than one of these masterpieces on draft: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Fat Tire, Boston Lager, Shiner Bock, or Anchor Steam? Boulevard Wheat is obviously on draft everywhere in the city, but even Pale Ale on draft is not as common as it once was, unless you are at the Boulevard Grill.

According to the IRI Worldwide, sales of most “flagship” beers are decreasing. Fat Tire was down 17.5%, Boston Lager 13.7%, and Sierra Nevada Pale 5.5% in the last year. This is sad, but not surprising given today’s hyper-local beer scene. So with the demise of Saison-Brett, perhaps we’ve gone too far and it is time to get back to the glory days. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Here is the official Flagship February webpage.

And a good write up by the Chicago Tribune.

The drinksbusiness.com site has a good summary of this phenomenon as well.

Brett A. Myces

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