Christmas Ale Price Climbs a Buck

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The most wonderful time of the year is upon us again: The Great Lakes Brewing Company has unleashed its 2011 batch of Christmas Ale.

The festivities kicked-off with a tapping party on Tuesday at the Ohio City brewery — the only place you can find the stuff till October 31, when area bars and retail stores are permitted to join in the bonanza.

When the sweet nectar calls your name this week, better pack an extra buck or two: The price for six bottles of God’s favorite beverage rose a dollar to $11.99 this year. Each pint at the brewery will set you back $5.

“It’s an expensive beer to make,” says Great Lakes spokeswoman Lauren Boveington. “We spend almost $400,000 on honey alone — on a beer that’s only available for eight weeks.”

On the plus side, Great Lakes has done its part to ensure its magic elixir lasts till Christmas: Production is up from 250 batches to 290 this year.

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