This one might be the exact definition of bittersweet.
Mother’s Brewing Co. on Friday hosted a farewell celebration for its Towhead blonde ale, one of the three year-round originals introduced when businessman Jeff Schrag launched the company in 2011.
In a blog post last month, titled “Good Night, Sweet Prince and Flights of Angels Sing Thee to Thy Rest,” company officials cited changing consumer tastes.
“We brew beers we want to drink. But beer is a conversation. We’re not the only ones drinking our labor of love. And if we’re not listening to the beer drinkers out in the world, then we’re doing it wrong,” the March 26 blog post reads. “Sometimes those beer lovers speak quite clearly. Even if what they say is not what you want to hear. As a brewery, if you’re not changing, then you’re not growing. So we made the tough call to cease production on Towhead to make room in our production for new beers.”
With Lil’ Helper and Three Blind Mice, Towhead eight years ago helped catapult Mother’s into the Springfield craft beer scene to become the dominant player it is today. Mother’s recently ranked No. 1 on Springfield Business Journal’s inaugural list of the area’s largest breweries, with 11,712 barrels produced in 2018.
I have a distinct memory of Mother’s opening in May 2011 at the former Butternut bread bakery that’s now so well known in downtown Springfield.
Then a young reporter — less than a year into the job — I penned a blog about the experience, when I called Towhead “my personal favorite.” The light golden blonde ale was available in samples with other selections in small plastic beer glasses. It’s one of those highly sensory memories, as I can recall the sweat on the glass, the foam and the smells.
I remember feeling at the time that Springfield really had something good in Mother’s. And the company has since proven itself.
Along with Springfield Brewing Co. before it, Mother’s helped to inspire what’s becoming a booming local industry with the likes of White River Brewing Co., Tie & Timber Beer Co., 4 by 4 Brewing Co. LLC, Lost Signal Brewing Co., Great Escape Beer Works LLC and Show-Me Brewing. And more are on the way, as Hold Fast Brewing is planning a summer launch at a former fire station downtown.
Cheers, Towhead, for the memories.
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