How DO You Release the Best Beer in America?

Back in December, The Portsmouth Brewery’s Kate the Great Russian Imperial Stout was named Best Beer in America (and Second Best on Planet Earth) by Beer Advocate Magazine. Since then, you couldn’t have found a bottle of the stuff anywhere for less than $100 (the going rate on eBay).

To try and combat the craziness (or maybe make it worse), the company has decided to announce the exact date and even time when the next batch will be released – Tuesday, June 24th at 2:27pm EST at the brewery gift shop in Portsmouth, NH. The only problem (what a tough problem to have, too) is the brewery only has 10 barrels to go around. According to the Portsmouth Brewery President Peter Egelston,

Five of those will be put on tap at the brewpub on the aforementioned date. Two will be racked off into half barrels and squirreled away in an undisclosed location for some future festive occasion. And three will be put into 22-ounce bottles, to be sold in our retail shoppe. That’s forty-five cases, or five hundred and forty bottles.

So they’re wondering how best to sell off the 45 cases so it’s fair for everyone. Here are the options being considered:

Option One: Let ‘er rip. Make Milton Friedman proud – don’t place any limits at all. Greed is good. Put all forty-five cases in the store on the first day and let the free market reign.
Option Two: Make this a regulated market, but don’t overdo it. Maximum purchase of six bottles per person per day till the beer is all gone, even if it runs out on the very first day.
Option Three: A little more regulation, please. Put ten cases in the store on each of the first two days, then five a day thereafter. Limit purchases to six bottles apiece, or the equivalent of two growlers.
Option Four: The Famous Diner Pie Policy. Two Bottles Per Person Per Day, and don’t think you can get your friends to sneak in and buy more pie – I mean beer – on your behalf. We know who you are and you’ll never get away with it.

So there you have it. Readers are encouraged to email the brewery with your choice – Option One, Two, Three or Four. They plan to tally the votes and go with the popular choice. Click here for the Kate The Great profile on BeerAdvocate.

And, whatever the ultimate choice, I’ll see you in Portsmouth on the 24th!

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  1. I’ll be there if I can! 🙂 If you’re going and other beer bloggers from New England end up stopping by, maybe we can all head next down to the Brewery proper for a pint!

  2. I meant next door, by the way. 😉

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