Michigan-based Bell's Oberon Craft Beer has caught on as a signifier of spring, so much so they had caution tape "do not open until march 23rd," on the Oberon tap at M-Brew in Ferndale. Felix explains:
"It's got a lot of that summer flavor, it's got some of that orange zest, it's got a lot of that nice tasting going on, their yeasting process is really good with it. Their recipe comes out really well and you ever eat something that reminds you of a spring food? well this reminds you of spring beer. It reminds you that it's warmer weather and summer dresses are on their way," said M-Brew Manager Felix Teichman.
In other words, Oberon release day is a thing now, in that buzz feed way that things become, ya know things. M-Brew had a customer asking for it just after opening at 7 a.m.
When did Oberon become a thing? You said about five or six years ago, how did that happen?
"From what I remember about five or six years ago when Summer Shandy really took off and started getting really popular. That's a great beer, but Oberon being a Michigan Craft Beer definitely took off locally and it's becoming such a sensation, it's becoming a national and international sensation," said Teichman.
If nothing else, Oberon exists at the perfect nexus of taste, clever marketing, limited supply, and seasonal demand. On this first day the tap flows, Felix says the happy hour crowd will turn out just to have that first taste of spring.
"Many phone calls already about people getting excited for after work, come in, get some growlers to go, take it home and relax around a bonfire maybe at night if it's a little chillier, but get ready for the summer," said Teichman.
Then Labor Day will be here before you know it.