As those of you who’ve been following this blog & our newsletter know, the big question here at the Portsmouth Brewery is how are we going to divvy up our limited supply of Kate the Great Russian Imperial Stout, which is due to go on tap in a few weeks’ time? The rumor mill has been working overtime, with lots of conjecture, opinion and a few “facts” mixed in. Please consider this the definitive source of information and accept no substitutes.
Before we start, however, here’s some background: this past December, as he normally does, Tod put his imperial stout, dubbed Kate the Great, on tap. At roughly the same time the December issue of Beer Advocate Magazine appeared, naming Kate as the Best Beer in America (and Second Best on Planet Earth), a judgement based on the thousands of Beer Advocate reviews posted online over the previous year. Needless to say, the beer sold out very quickly, leaving folks clamoring for more, and asking when Kate would make her next appearance. Frankly, the whole experience was quite gratifying but a bit overwhelming. (Here’s Tod’s interview on New Hampshire Public Radio
.) In January, Tod & Tyler brewed the next batch, which they planned to put in tap sometime in late spring or early summer.
In response to many inquires, and just for the fun of it, we chose an utterly random date and time for Kate to make her reappearance – Tuesday, June 24, at 2:27 pm – and even placed a countdown clock on our website. Well, we really stepped in it this time. After receiving reports of bottles of Kate trading on e-Bay for silly prices, and hearing ominous warnings about lines of people pitching tents on our sidewalks on June 23, we realized that we’d need to establish some protocols. Given my reluctance to establish arbitrary limits, we asked our newsletter subscribers to help us find the most equitable way to distribute the very limited amount of this tasty libation. The four options that were voted on ranged from no limits, to moderate limits, to strict limits.
With several hundred votes submitted, the people have spoken, and they have chosen, by a significant plurality, Option Four – two bottles per person per day.
So, this is how it is going to work –
• This batch of Kate consists of approximately ten barrels. Five barrels will be transferred to a serving tank to be offered on draft; the remaining five will be bottled. That’s seventy-five cases, or nine hundred bottles.
• Kate the Great, both bottles and draft, will go on sale at 2:27 PM on Tuesday, June, 24th.
• Bottle purchases will be limited to two per person per day; Portsmouth Brewery Imperial Pint Club members will be allocated an additional two bottles – not an additional two per day, just an additional two.
• There will be no quota on cases offered for sale each day, as was originally suggested. In other words, if 450 people show up on Day One and each buys his/her alloted pair, the beer will be sold out on Day One.
• On June 24th, bottles will be sold downstairs in the Jimmy LaPanza Lounge, not in our retail store, due to space constraints. After the 24th, bottles will be sold in the store, during regular store hours. Bottles will not be available after ten PM, as per standard policy.
• The cost per bottle will be ten dollars, same as before, NOT twenty as has been rumored.
We are not going to offer Kate in growlers. Instead, we have upped the amount to be bottled from forty-five to seventy-five cases. This was a difficult decision, but at the end of the day, we decided the 22-ounce bottle is a better, more stable package, and that the inevitable spillage that happens when filling growlers is not worth it.
So there you have it. We’re looking forward to hoisting a glass of Kate with you on the 24th!