"Beer for Pete's Sake" book

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Feb 15, 2013
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Go 97 miles and take a right...
I'm currently reading "Beer for Pete's Sake" by Pete Slosberg.

Saddened to discover Pete's was sold to the Gambrinus Company in 1998.

Interesting that Pete's never owned their own brewery. They used contract breweries to brew their beer. I know Jim Koch (Boston Beer Company) began the same way, but unlike Pete's, Boston Beer Company did begin brewing their own as time when on.

Apparently, Gambrinus killed off the Pete's brand. Wikipedia has "The Gambrinus Company, discontinued the Pete's Wicked Ale brand in 2011, sending letters to their distributors citing "rapidly declining sales volumes".

So, why did Pete sell to Gambrinus? An offer he could not refuse? Other?

"Rapidly declining sales volumes"? What, due to Gambrinus changing and killing the recipe?

Anyone with any info on this matter?


It ain't all burritos and strippers, my friend.
Aug 24, 2010
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I don't know the answer to your question, but I have a question for you. Does the book happen to have any recipes? I ask because legend has it that the (brown ale) recipe was different at each contract brewer and over time. Also, IIRC, there was at least one recipe that Pete's used to send to homebrewers who asked, and that it might not have really been what was being brewed, and/or wasn't much like the original recipe.


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Mar 20, 2013
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Palos Verdes Estates
I used to love Pete's Wicked Ale when there were few "craft beers" available at most bars and restaurants. I wonder if I would still like it today?


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Apr 29, 2013
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Wow this brings back some old memories :D
Coming from Ireland I spent the Summer of 1997 working on a student visa in Cape Cod.
I remember drinking several diffent types of Pete's beer including the Summer ale which was infused with Lemon juice/flavor I think.
There was also an October/Autum one that started to hit the stores just before I flew back home at the end of September.
The wicked was also quite tasty.
Here's that home brew recipe they used to share, you could just sub the extract with more 2-row I guess.
Looks like it would be an OK brew but only did a quick search without OG/FG IBU.

Ingredients: (5 gallons)
8 oz 2-row Malt
8 oz 60 Lovibond Crystal Malt
8 oz Special Roast Malt
4 oz Chocolate Malt
6.6 lbs Northwestern Gold Malt Extract (unhopped)
1.5 oz Brewer's Gold Pellets (bittering, 60 minute boil)
1 oz Brewer's Gold Pellets (last 10 minutes)
Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast
1/2 ounce Brewers Gold pellets (dry hopping)

Think it was somehere between 5 and 5.5% abv.