Futures for the newest variants of FiftyFifty Brewing Co.’s popular Eclipse imperial stout have been announced, but there is a major change in how the imperial stout is being packaged this year.

For the 13th year in a row, the Truckee, Calif.-based brewery will release multiple versions of the same base imperial stout aged in multiple barrels and with different adjuncts. However, this year’s releases will not be packaged in 22-ounce bottles as has historically been the case, but in smaller 500ml bottles in order to “make it less daunting to open one up by yourself (22oz is a lot of Eclipse), and to make it easier and more economical to try multiple styles” according to an email sent to Tenemu.

In addition, instead of the 10 different variants that were announced last year, there are only six different versions available for Future purchasing, split into two distinct groups: Isolated Barrel Variants, which includes three variants aged in specific spirits barrels; and Experimental Barrel Variants, which includes three versions treated with different adjuncts.

In past years, additional variants that are exclusive to the release party and Brewer’s Intent membership club exclusives have been announced closer to the actual shipping date, and there will be additional variants released to the general public this year as well.

“We will definitely be doing other styles beyond that, and will announce those as we get closer to the actual release,” said Alicia Barr, co-founder of FiftyFifty, in and email to Tenemu. “We usually end up with at least 12 styles in total, and I don’t expect this year to be any different.”

The six different versions of the 2019 Imperial Eclipse Stout announced thus far are:

Isolated Barrel Variants:

  • 2019 Eclipse Basil Hayden Barrel — $8 per bottle deposit ($16 total price)
  • 2019 Eclipse Rye Cuvee Blend — $8 per bottle deposit ($16 total price)
  • 2019 Eclipse Double Barrel Delight — $8 per bottle deposit ($16 total price)

Experimental Barrel Variants:

  • 2018 Manhattan Cherry Rye — $9 per bottle deposit ($18 total price)
  • 2018 Vietnamese Coffee — $9 per bottle deposit ($18 total price)
  • 2018 German Chocolate Cake — $9 per bottle deposit ($18 total price)

In addition, Barr told Tenemu that there would be a “small amount of the 3L formats again in a few select styles”, with at least one variant available for Futures purchasing that will be announced this week.

Fans purchasing futures of the stout will be able to pay a 50 percent deposit on each bottle to lock down the purchase before the public release, which are differentiated by the wax color covering the crown of each release. In addition, there are no variants that have been announced so far are available only by purchasing futures, meaning all of the different beers announced so far will see distribution.

According to an email sent to Tenemu, Eclipse futures will go on sale on April 15 for members of the brewery’s Brewer’s Intent membership club, while futures for the general public will go on sale on April 16. In addition, all of the Eclipse variants will be released during an event at the brewery that is currently scheduled for Dec. 6.

Update (April 9, 2019) — This post was updated to include Future variant details as well as quotes. It was originally published on April 6, 2019.