...it seems to be a bit of a sport amongst beer knurds to point the finger and call a brewery a sellout for making beer that sells.
"Gasp! Your brewery makes beer that the average beer drinker likes... that's so terrible!"
Yeah, right! Can you believe there's people that think like this? It is a craft brewer's responsibility to introduce people to a whole world of beer outside of their normal fizzy yellow industrial plonk. We take that reponsibility very seriously here at Half Pints which is why we took so long to design and brew our most drinkable beer ever.
Soon after we came out with our St. James Pale Ale - currently our best selling beer and the reason we can afford to do such ridiculous things like barrel aging beers for 6 months plus - there were some rumblings from them that we'd gone south like so many dodgy breweries and venture capital groups before us. I suppose if I'd never run a business or brewed for a living, I could point fingers, too.
Not so says I, and when we finally got the time this past summer we whipped out our stack of recipes and layed down multiple brews that the beer geeks (and we) love that we're so well known for. Humulus Ludicrous, Phil's Pils, Oktoberfest, Punk N' Fest, Sweet Nikki Brown, Bourbon Burlywine, and the 09 Burly, to boot. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it! And in that time, the St. James blew past our Stir Stick Stout in the number of total batches brewed so that by the year's end we will have brewed over 100 batches of it.
So the $ellout $tout has been a nose thumbing good time for us to brew which all started as a toungue in cheek joke I made back in late spring with Anthony.
Anthony - "Hey Dave, what will you do if the St. James becomes our bestselling beer and the knurds call you a sellout?"
Dave - "We'll brew a stupidly tasty stout and call it "The $ellout".
Then we got the call which became the seed:
"Hello, Half Pints."
"Barrels. Address. Go. Now"
The next day, we zipped over to Dino's Grocery and picked up a couple of giant Jaggery bells for adding to the $ellout $tout during fermentation, brewed the ridiculously malty brew, and about two weeks later, we moved the bulk of the fermented goodness into those barrels for aging.
From there on in, it's all over but the patience. The barrels leaked a bit, so we topped them up with the leftover $tout we'd reserved in kegs. The stuff from the kegs tasted yummy, so the barrels can only add more yumminess to the brew.
We thought that a beer this special needed a special label. I remember Darren Merinuk from my days at the Pyramid Cabaret. His show posters
are always so cool. I thought it'd be funny to have a punk themed label with an obviously sold out punk kid floating down a river of stout holding a fistfull of grain in one hand a fistfull of cash in the other. After some minor tweaks, Darren nailed it. The $ellout was complete.
In the next couple of weeks, we'll pull the $ellout from its whisky barrel slumber, blending it into a tank with the leftovers from the kegs, and fill the barrels up with another new beer that Chris is creating. It will be his first 100% Chris Young designed beer. I'm quite looking forward to tasting it.
January 16th, 2010 - you can come celebrate my 35th birthday with me in style at the brewery. You can see from the label that as a nod to our brewery's history, we'll be hand bottling this one in 660 ml bottles. Therefore, we will not be selling any of this beer at the liquor stores or vendors. As always, be here or be square.
So, I guess in a way we are $ellouts. Just not the kind the beer knurds expected. Not now, not ever.
Labels: Beer Release, Sellout Stout, St. James Pale