Fans of Great Lakes Brewing Co.’s annual Christmas Ale won’t have to wait until December to buy the beer.
Great Lakes has announced that the annual release would be happening at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 21, a little more than two months before Christmas day and almost a month before last year’s release. The beer will be released first on draft at an event held at the Ohio City Brewpub in downtown Cleveland. On Oct. 27, Great Lakes will begin shipping six-packs of 12-ounce bottles, one-sixth-bbl kegs and one-half-bbl-kegs to its 14-state distribution network, while local fans will have a chance to begin filling growlers at the Cleveland brewpub. In addition to the growlers, locals can also pick up bottles at the brewpub beginning Oct. 25.
The 7.5 percent ABV beer is brewed with Mt. Hood hops, malts, barley, fresh cinnamon, honey and ginger. In addition to the beer itself, Great Lakes has also unveiled a new Christmas carton which features “hops and malt-inspired snowflakes, a customizable gift tag, and iconic Christmas Ale artwork,” according to a blog post on the brewery’s website.
Christmas Ale is a major seller for the Cleveland, Ohio- based brewery, despite the fact that it is only available eight weeks out of the year. Great Lakes has said that according to IRI research, Christmas Ale was the number one craft beer brand in total dollar sales in the Great Lakes region and the number nine craft brand in total dollar sales in the U.S. in the last 13 weeks of last year.
Great Lakes Brewing Co. was founded in 1988 by brothers Patrick and Daniel Conway in Cleveland’s historic Ohio City neighborhood. It now produces more than 125,000 barrels of beer annually.