We had our employee meeting this morning where Owner Joe told us the story of the first batch of Christmas Ale. At the time there were about a third of the employees we have now and our "offices", (one table in a dark room at the top of a ramp with a flickering neon light), were located where we now keep our merchandise. There is also no temperature control up there, so thoughts of warming beers were swirling as the Kentucky weather was throwing us bitter temps in the wrong month.
Owner Robin made Joe up a test batch that came in at about 5% ABV. Owner Ben says Joe's immediate reaction was that "there ain't enough alcohol in this!" The goal here was for it to heat up those cold bones, which is how we ended up with this Winter Warmer style. Upon the next batch at 9%, we were ready to can it up and ship it out, after many deliberations as to how to get a label on it quick enough to be out before Christmas.
We made 200 cases that year, a 30 barrel batch, and they were all gone within what seemed like minutes. There are some good stories about the folks who were working the canning line at the time. You know, getting all warmed up during their shift.
That same beer is still here today, though refined and after a few years even nostalgic. It's Kentucky Christmas in an aluminum vessel. It's your secret hideaway when family gatherings are getting to be too much, your late night football beer when its snowing, and something you can age and bring out in July for that yummy Christmas feeling.
Merry Christmas Season, ya'll!
P.S. It's available now.