Pyramid is dropping the “Haywire” name from its flagship Hefeweizen. Ryan Daley, Pyramid brand manager said, “Moving away from the tradition that made us great was a mistake. When we changed our Pyramid Hefeweizen packaging and name, our consumers felt disconnected. Our beer no longer reflected our history.”
I attended an evening media gathering earlier this week to learn about some changes brewing at Pyramid. In addition to putting the Haywire moniker out to pasture, expect to see:
· Changes in packaging for all beers by end of year.
Pyramid isn't the only brewery making changes. Earlier this year, both Widmer Brothers and Redhook made branding and packaging changes in an attempt to get “back to basics” and reconnect with consumers. While I’ve been a big fan of Redhook’s use of striking colors and beautifully shaped bottles, I’ve been less impressed by Widmer’s drab cookie-cutter design. If you look at the entire Widmer lineup in a grocery cooler, the unified look instantly signals the Widmer brand. However, the similar colors used for some beers (Citra Summer Blonde and Drop Top, for example) make it difficult to quickly differentiate what’s what. Anyway, back to Pyramid…
Thomas Bleigh, Pyramid Portland Plant Manager & Head Brewer, then told us about the beer:
· The “Ignition" series of limited releases has been very successful.
o Outburst, an Imperial IPA (originally from Ignition), flew off the shelves leaving brewers scrambling to keep up with orders.
o Discord, a Cascadian Dark Ale, will be shipping in a few weeks.
· Expect more experimentation and innovation. 18 new beers are in the works for the next year. Not all of them will be broadly distributed and some will be taproom exclusives. This will give brewers the freedom to experiment, push the limits, and frankly—freedom to fail.
· Changes to seasonal brews.
· New variety packs.
· A possible Pyramid & Magic Hat collaboration brew.
They’ve even launched a barrel aging program. Most of these brews are limited in quantity and will be served at festivals. So it seems Pyramid is open to any and all possibilities—except sour beers. I had to ask.