Friday, November 19, 2010

The Curse of Christmas Ale

In what could be called a cry for people to calm down about Christmas Ale, Great Lakes Brewing Co. posted an open letter about the availability of its legendary seasonal beverage on its website yesterday.

The brewery explained that a large capital investment at its Ohio City facility delayed production of this year's batch until September — about a month later than the usual start. This, in turn, has meant less six-packs on store shelves during the hype-heavy early weeks of the annual brew's release. And that has apparently made some of the natives grumpy.

Never fear, the brewery is cranking like mad and said in the letter, "We are now shipping more Christmas Ale each week than we normally ship of our popular Dortmunder Gold Lager in a month and a half."

You can read Great Lakes Brewing Co.'s politely worded statement about the matter here. But, if you ask us, they were being too nice. Here are some rules to live by in the face of our temporary Christmas Ale shortage.

1. There's no need to panic; you'll get some.
How Great Lakes worded that: "... due to the late start, we are releasing the beer in greater increments throughout the season instead of up front. If your distributor ran out of Christmas Ale before Thanksgiving last year, please know that the supply of this beer will continue into December."

2. Don't trash talk GLBC online.
How Great Lakes worded that: "We review and appreciate the many comments made throughout our social media outlets, including those from customers who own or manage retail outlets."

3. No, there is no conspiracy against you.
How Great Lakes worded that: "Our distributors work diligently to allocate this exclusive brew. With a limited supply, they understandably first sell to accounts — chains and independents alike — that feature our entire family of beers throughout the year."

4. Don't embarrass yourself.
How Great Lakes worded that: "Thank you again for your support of Great Lakes Brewing Company and our Christmas Ale, which we encourage all to enjoy responsibly."

10 comments:

Jim Kukral said...

One word: Scarcity.

GLBC knows how to create it. Kudos to them.

Anonymous said...

waaahhhh. when i was in ohio for a few days i had no problem finding it, in abundance.

Brian said...

Three words: Brew your own.
www.TheBottleHouseBrewiCompany.com

Anonymous said...

"Our distributors work diligently to allocate this exclusive brew. With a limited supply, they understandably first sell to accounts — chains and independents alike — that feature our entire family of beers throughout the year."

The distributors, do however, play favorites with chains. That's a known fact. Ask any independent store owner.

United Church of Christ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

That's fancy Lawyer talk for "Don't worry fools...You'll get your's!...Now go lay back down by your bowls!"

beerwinecavematt@yahoo.com said...

Matt at the Beer & Wine Cave in Toledo, OH has had no problem selling the Thirsty Dog Brewing Company, 12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale.

Greg said...

I am a GM of chain restaurant grill & bar and was NOT given any preferential treatment in getting Christmas Ale...in fact I was told I could only have 2 kegs of it while they shipped the local mom and pop bar 8! SO YOU ARE WRONG!

Anonymous said...

Greg... If that's true then tell me why this past week my allocation was reduced by 1/3 while the franchised location had an INCREASE.... The marketing group from my distributor promised specific case numbers to larger franchise operations while no one from there would commit any number to me.

Anonymous said...

To the idiot saying that is saying distributors give "preferential treatment." Of course they do. If a restaurant or bar sells more Great Lakes beer year round, they get more Christmas Ale. That only makes sense.

If a bar has one Great Lakes handle year round and then wants to add a second just for Christmas Ale...they'll have to wait in line behind the places that are loyal to Great Lakes year round. That doesn't make sense to you?