Random beer fact of the day

Great Lakes Brewing in Cleveland makes more than 25,000 barrels of Christmas Ale every year.

Sierra Nevada Brewing didn’t produce that much of all its beers until the company has been in business more than 10 years. GLBC will celebrate 25 years of brewing next year, but 25,000 barrels still seems like a lot.

13 Responses to Random beer fact of the day

  1. AndyH October 25, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    Your link is invalid, I think it is supposed to go here.

    Cheers,
    -Andy

    Note: Fixed now and thanks to Andy.

  2. Bill October 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    OK, I’ll bite! For comparison, how many barrels of all their beers did Great Lakes produce at THEIR 10 year mark?

    (And do you mean it took Sierra Nevada more than ten years to sell their 25,000th barrel of beer, or that it took them that long to produce 25,000 barrels annually?)

  3. Stan Hieronymus October 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Bill – To pass 25,000 annually. It may take a day or two to answer the GLBC question. I think I know the box where those numbers are . . .

  4. steve October 26, 2012 at 5:11 am #

    is it not just sloppy reporting and they actually mean kegs?

  5. Steve October 26, 2012 at 5:49 am #

    To add to the questions; does this also include the beer for their pub in Cleveland? Great Lakes has a bit of an advantage over many other micros in that they have a pub also.

    And yeah, I know SN does too, but didn’t Great Lakes start as a pub and spin off a larger brewery, much like Goose Island did? I can see this skewing stats.

  6. Paul October 26, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    It does seem like a lot but–at least a few years ago–they had no problem selling it. Grocery stores in Cleveland couldn’t keep it on the shelves.

  7. Stan Hieronymus October 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Steve – I’m pretty sure that is barrels (because it is a measure, since as Paul points out they sell the heck out of six packs) and the total is just another measure of a) interest in holiday beers and b) the penetration of “craft” beers.

    Bill – will dig those numbers up over the weekend.

  8. Bill October 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    No worries. I was figuring someone from the Brewers Association would have chimed in by now, unless they didn’t put out those press releases ranking craft breweries by barrels sold 14-15 years ago.

  9. Steve October 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    Heh — It’s confusing, I know — but there are a couple of Steve’s posting here (yes, it’s the Tao of Steve in action).

    To be clear, I asked about the pub, lower-case steve commented on kegs over barrels.

    Carry on — I honestly can’t believe GL out-brews or out-sells SN, but who knows? I’ve never had the GL holiday beer, maybe I ought to? But I certainly like Celebration!

  10. Stan Hieronymus October 26, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    Steve (H), latest to comment -

    I wanted to make a point about volumes these days. Comparing GLBC’s holiday beer to the size of all Sierra Nevada sales 10 years in (and a little more than 20 years ago).

    Sierra Nevada Celebration still easily outsells GLBC. The amount they can brew is limited because of a variety of factors (plus Torpedo has taken off some pressure from IPA lovers), but it is still a lot more than 25,000 barrels.

  11. Steve October 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    “I wanted to make a point about volumes these days.”

    Yeah, understood. Pretty good harbinger for the micro-brewing industry, I’d think.

    Guess I will have to try that GL holiday beer this year.

  12. Stan Hieronymus October 28, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    Bill – Great Lakes opened in 1988, produced 14,700 barrels in 1998 and did not pass 25,000 barrels until 2004. Brewed 110,000 in 2011.

  13. Bill October 30, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Thanks so much. Hard to believe 20+ percent of their output is Christmas Ale. Fanboy alert! — In my perfect beer world, 20+ percent of their output would be Nosferatu, and if it were to be available year-round… mmmm…