Monday, January 25, 2010

Changes at Clipper City

There are changes afoot at Clipper City Brewing Company in Maryland. Considering that Clipper City's Heavy Seas beers are among my favorites, I've been remiss in mentioning the changes here. There has been some misinformation floating around, but Managing Partner Hugh Sisson posted all the correct details on his blog today. The changes are focused mainly on branding, although a few beers will be going on hiatus. In part, Hugh writes:
With this in mind, we are making big changes here at Clipper City Brewing Co. Effective February 1, “Oxford Organic Ales” will go on hiatus, and “Clipper City” as a brand will cease to exist.

The current economic environment has not been kind to “organics”. We just weren’t getting the traction we need to sustain our organic portfolio. While we still believe in the category and sincerely hope to re-enter this area down the road, we need to focus our efforts in other areas.

The beers that have been heretofore marketed under the “Clipper City” name will continue to be made – after all, they are all GABF medal winners and damn good beers! But the packaging will now show a different name with “Heavy Seas” as the brand.

So what happens now? “Heavy Seas” beers will now come in three “fleets”. The former “Clipper City” products, as well as any new offerings in the 4 to 5% alcohol range, will now be sold as the “Clipper Fleet” of Heavy Seas. Our 7 to 8% products – Loose Cannon et al – will now be sold as the “Pyrate Fleet” of Heavy Seas. And our bigger, more experimental offerings (usually higher than 8%) will now be exclusively in 22 ounce bottles as the “Mutiny Fleet.”

So there you have it. This is bold move for the brewery, but one that I think makes a lot of sense. I wish them well and look forward to continuing to enjoy Clipper City, er, Heavy Seas beer, no matter what the labels look like.

See Hugh's entire post here.


  1. I think it's good sign. To be honest, I sometimes see the Heavy Seas line as a separate entity entirely. I look forward to see more from them.

  2. More info, including some new label artwork here:


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