Photo: Brian Stechschulte
In a surprising display of humility Pyramid Breweries said they “Hefe’d Up” at a press conference yesterday at the Berkeley brewery. The playful innuendo refers to the company’s decision to drop the word “Haywire” from their flagship Hefeweizen brand. The term was tacked onto the repackaged beer in 2009, one year after being acquired by Magic Hat Brewing, to distinguish it from competition and draw a new audience.
Reverting back to the straightforward Hefeweizen moniker was a decision due in large part to negative customer feedback and a slump in sales. According to brand manager Ryan Daley, the company is “returning to its roots. Moving away from the tradition that made us great was a mistake.” Sale of the beer, especially in the Southern California has been soft. “Our consumers connected with our Pacific Northwest heritage and tradition and after the changes viewed us differently”
Pyramid has spent the last two months engaging beer drinkers in major markets and received both good and bad feedback about their entire beer lineup. A full redesign of all their packaging is in the works and should appear in stores later this year. Unfortunately, no examples were presented.
As for the beer itself, don’t expect a big shakeup in Pyramid’s selection just yet. They’ll be concentrating on core products with the same recipes, but head brewer Simon Pesch did allude to some future experiments. New seasonal releases are being considered, they plan on expanding draft only selections and may even produce a Hefeweizen variety pack.
In the end Daley said, “Our consumers are at the heart of everything we do and we intend on listening moving forward.”