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Changes in 2012 Hopslam Release
To our Hopslam customers:
Recently, Bell’s issued a press release announcing “release dates” for our Hopslam Ale. Although posted in good faith, the Hopslam press release had some erroneous information. Because of the potential impact of our expansion-related construction & the holiday season on our brewing schedule, we had initially created a relatively conservative release program that focused on a set of specific roll-out dates. Fortunately, we haven’t experienced many of the timing conflicts that we had anticipated in the brewing schedule, and we’re reasonably close to matching the release calendar of prior years. Unfortunately, the newly updated & finalized roll-out timing wasn’t passed on to everyone during all the activity here at the brewery, and I only realized the error after we published the release dates from the previous plan.
There will be no hard and fast dates for the release of Hopslam in 2012, but rather, it will be released on a market by market basis as has been our policy in the past. Because this brand has gotten so large for us, and given the production time to make it, this year the total time of release will stretch over a two month period, meaning that some markets will have product well ahead of other markets. And, in fact, some retailers in a given market may receive product before other retailers. We are well aware of the “fairness” issues involved in this process of distribution. However, I believe that this will be our best option.
If we were to attempt to have Hopslam released on the same day for all of our customers, then we would have to require our wholesaler partners to inventory the beer, some for up to five weeks, before they could ship it to the retail market. I found this option unacceptable as I believe that Hopslam should be consumed as fresh as possible. While this option would be fairer to our wholesalers and retailers, it would mean sacrificing quality in the name of politics. And in the end, Bell’s tries to deliver quality.
All of our wholesalers will receive Hopslam this year. When they get it depends upon the size of their order, our availability and the individual trucking schedules for each wholesaler. Shipping is NOT based on favorability. We will do the best we can to satisfy everyone, all we ask is patience on your part while we brew, package and ship this wonderful ale, while in the meantime try to keep up with our other production. Currently we only have so much fermenter space for dry-hopped ales and we need to keep up our Two Hearted brewing. We are brewing over 5000 barrels of Hopslam this year and it takes us awhile to get all that brewing and dry-hopping done.
I apologize for the false information given out earlier. The breakdown in communication lies with me and I am solely responsible for the error. Hopslam will start shipping next week to some of our smaller wholesalers, and shipping will continue through January and February. Thank you for your consideration and understanding of this issue.
Larry J. Bell
Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
2012 Bell’s Hopslam release dates announced
NOTE: Please see letter above for important changes to Hopslam's release in 2012.
Many of you have asked on a variety of platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and via email) when Hopslam will be available. Until now, we could only say January, as important packaging and logistic issues were still being finalized.
Today, we have more details for you – actual release dates.
Please know that we have been working very hard for months to ensure this beer gets to as many of you, our fans, as soon as possible.
To make that happen, there were a number of important factors to consider. One is the dry hopping process, which like Two Hearted Ale, limits how much we can produce at one time. Another very important factor is the $52 million construction and expansion project that is ongoing here in Michigan.
Because of these and other factors, Hopslam will be available a little later than in the past.
Here are the release dates for Hopslam in 2012.
Hopslam on draft: Jan. 25
Hopslam in bottles: Feb. 8
We appreciate everyone’s continued support and patience as we transition into our new brewhouse and look forward to completing this project in 2012.
For more information on where Hopslam will be available in your area, please consult our Beer Finder and contact the distributor for your county. You can also contact your favorite bar, retailer or restaurant to inquire if and when they will have it as well.
Reminder: Holiday hours and New Year’s Eve shows at Bell’s Eccentric Café
We want to remind everyone that the Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo will be closing early on Dec. 24 at 5 p.m. The Café will also be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
Please also note that tours of our original brewery will not be offered Dec. 24 or Dec. 31. Free tours will return Jan. 7.
Plans to ring in the New Year?
You can catch Strange Arrangement of Chicago not once, but twice at the Cafe.
On Dec. 30, they will be joined by special guests The Coop. On New Year’s Eve, Strange Arrangement will be joined by The Twin Cats, who recently announced that they will be heading to the 2012 Super Bowl to serve as the house band for ESPN’s SportsNation.
Speaking of the new year, you can also purchase advance tickets for three other shows coming up in 2012:
• An evening with Dark Star Orchestra on Feb. 7
• An evening with Cornmeal on Feb. 10
• Conspirator on Feb. 19