It's that time of year again, when I start fielding calls and emails about our Gratitude Barleywine, and when it will be released. We poured some Bourbon Barrel Aged Gratitude at our GOOD WOOD Fest last night, so I figure it's time to formally lay our what our plan is.
Since it's our 10th Anniversary, we're releasing TWO versions of Gratitude this time around:
- Gratitude that's been aging in Bourbon Barrels since March of 2014 (10th Anniversary Edition!)
- Regular old boring Gratitude Barleywine
So as we've said before, this beer isn't going away, but the elaborate paper overwrap is. It's just too much for us to pull off every year, and since we completed the ROY G. BIV spectrum with it, it seems like the right time to make that packaging change.
We'll be releasing BOTH of these beers in the standard 750ml bottles that we've been using for a couple years now, and we're currently expecting that to happen in (Update) MARCH 2015. Yes, we've done it with this very timing before, and yes, we're still calling it "2014 Gratitude" because that's when the beer was brewed... or in the case of the "regular" version, WILL be brewed, later this month.
There will be a small amount of draft packaged for each of these beers, mostly for the Hell With The Lid Off Barleywine Festival, and it will appear on our tap list for by-the-glass sales in our newly opened BREWPUB at some point, but I don't expect we will offer it in Growler form.
When we get closer to picking a release date, I'll post more details about what that will all look like. But plan on having some Gratitude to lighten up those long, cold, dark days of winter.
One last thing: Our very own Fat Gary (the guy, not the beer) has been squirreling away a bottle of Gratitude every year since we opened. While he certainly likes barleywine, he's thinking that there are probably people out there who would appreciate a full vertical more than he would. So he's decided to do something cool with it, with us... Auction it off, and donate all of the proceeds to a charity. I need to see how we can do this legally and legitimately, and once I do, I'll add that info to the bottle release announcement. So stay tuned for all of that stuff.
1/27/2015 Update: Looking like a release day will happen in March. More when we know it.
12/15/2014 Update: If you've been to our Gratitude Release Day before, you know we make EVERY POSSIBLE EFFORT to ensure that this all happens as fairly as humanly possible. So please don't ask me to reserve you some, to sell you some to pick up later, to ship you some (which we legally can't do), or try to convince me that your particular personal need for this beer is an extraordinary situation that I just HAVE to accommodate... because we won't do that. We CAN'T do that. Because playing favorites isn't fair, and...see the first sentence of this paragraph.
I hope you can understand this. I think it's always been pretty clear that if you'd like to get some Gratitude, your best bet it to come to the Brewery on the day we release it. Just like everyone else. And of course, I also hope you'll do just that!