This is the end, beautiful friend. This is the end, my only friend, the end.
Cleveland, we knew this day would come, but knowing that fact in advance doesn't make it any less sad.
Great Lakes Brewing Company has brewed their last batches of Christmas Ale. This means whatever ends up on shelves and kegs in the coming weeks will be the last supplies of heavenly goodness available until next year, so stock up and stock heavily.
This Christmas Ale phenomenon has certainly achieved cult status, and handling it within our brewery is quite tough. Even the best planners recognize the challenge of one brand constituting 25% of an operation’s annual volume with an eight week availability — especially when combined with the limiting, yet important, factors of a freshness (expiration) date and the brewing of other brands. But our dedicated crew has grown quite adept at pulling it off, though the long hours have many of them looking forward to when they can catch a collective breath.
Last Tuesday we brewed the last batch of Christmas Ale, so if you visit our Ohio City neighborhood, you won’t be able to enjoy the wonderful cinnamon smells in the air until next year. The cellaring, bottling and kegging departments, however, are still pumping out the last batches of our festive brew, with the final cases and kegs being produced the very week of Christmas. Our crew will certainly light a candle!
With this brew’s cult following, it seems no one can ever get enough. With double-digit increases over last year’s production, our sales team and distributors have been diligently ensuring that everyone receives more than they did last year. Some have complained about the fact that we have been shipping Christmas Ale to other states. While this is true, 91% of total production remains in Ohio, so we believe we are fulfilling our commitments across the board.