There is quite a lot of ‘beer coveting’ that goes on in today’s modern era of limited release, one-off, über-specialty, craft beers. Depending on who you ask, this phenomenon is either a great thing that promotes rabid craft-brew devotion and gives ADHD-suffering beer geeks something to constantly look forward to, or, it drives up the cost of beer, leads to “over-hype” and inevitable disappointment from unrealistic expectations, potentially turning off better-beer converts and disgruntling once hardcore devotees. We tend to side with the first camp, believing that these special releases create a deeper level of ‘fandom’ and appreciation among those who seek out these limited release beers. Perhaps more powerfully, it presents an opportunity for brewery press via word-of-(foaming-at-the-) mouth, which is extremely valuable in an industry that, for the most part, does not advertise. As far as catering to the ADHD crowd, what’s wrong with that? Many better beer drinkers intentionally seek out the next beer—they have their favorites, but remain open to exploration at all times. This key part of the craft-brew movement is an expected counterpoint to the lack of uniqueness that dominated the American beer market for so long (and still does, really… we’re still only 5% of the market when you look at craft brewed beers). So we say go for it! Revel in the drive to try everything and anything out there—including limited release beers. These beers all serve as a tangible reminder of how far craft beer has come. Twenty five years ago if you tried to tell someone that you were eagerly awaiting the release of a limited release beer, they’d probably tell you that if it’s only made once a year, it probably ain’t that good. Some drinkers of fizzy yellow lager may still be of the same opinion.
A handful of breweries take the limited release concept to another level, creating the beer equivalent of a serial novel. A small, barely 3-year old brewing outfit called “The Bruery”, whose name is a clever but sometimes confusing combination of ‘brewery’ and founder Patrick Rue’s last name, is in the midst of a similarly ambitious vertical release. Modeled after the verses of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’—they’re now up to verse four, meaning the 2011 release is “4 Calling Birds.” The beer is brewed in limited quantities in Orange County, California, which despite being in a state known for its brewing prowess, was a beer wasteland producing pathetically limited quantities of beer. The Bruery is helping change that—and their rise to fame in such a short span of time has been nothing short of dazzling.
Each beer in their Twelve Days of Christmas series is made only once, and was designed to be enjoyed now, or, if you can wait, alongside the other 11 in the series, which will wrap up in 2019. So, you know it’s going to age well.
Looks like we have the makings of a holiday tradition here; as with the previous two years’ worth of installment in the series, Rare Beer Club members are getting this beer at least a few weeks before the general public gets their filthy, greedy mitts on it—which is a pretty sweet deal for those of us who do covet beer.
For more information about The Bruery, check out their website at www.thebruery.com
or dial them up at 714-996-MALT.