Some interesting info surfaced on Beer Advocate recently and I tried to get New Glarus to confirm but haven’t heard back yet so I’m re-posting this as “speculation.”
[8/28 Update: I just noticed that two people in the BA thread were told 90,000 barrels this year, not 100k. Seems much more plausible.]
From Incutrav: “Was talking to Deb [Carey] on Saturday at the brewery. Spotted Cow is the #1 selling draft beer in WI, beats out Miller, Bud– everything. Pretty amazing. They are on pace to sell 100k BBL in 2010. New brewery will be running at max capacity within two years they figure.”
100k barrels in 2010 would be a remarkable turnaround from 2009. That would be a 27% increase from approximately 79k barrels sold last year (per The New Brewer). The brewery posted a modest 5% increase in 2009 after multiple consecutive years of double-digit growth, the lower rate due in large part to the recession. Having the top-selling draft beer in Wisconsin is also a baffling, incredible accomplishment.
And from Weatherdog: “On Saturday at the Great Taste I was lucky enough to have a nice conversation with Dan Carey. I asked him about the future and history of the new geuze. He was very forthcoming and just an awesome guy to talk to.
They originally brewed somewhere between 30-40 bbls of the lambic in March of 2009. This batch was fermented with the same Wyeast Lambic blend that is available to homebrewers. After that fermented for a while, they decided that they didn’t like the flavor profile of the beer and it didn’t go in the direction they wanted. They ended up dumping about 30 bbls of the beer out, but still held on to a little bit for future blending. Then this past December they brewed another batch of the lambic and put it in unsealed barrels right next to their horse barn to 100% spontaneously ferment. This beer then spent the entire spring and summer outside next to the barn fermenting and aging. This younger beer turned out much better and had a flavor that they were very happy with…
If I can remember correctly, the blend for this years batch had the remaining old lambic blended in with about 5 (55 gallon) barrels. Dan still held back 5 or so (55 gallon) barrels for future blends. All future batches that they brew will be spontaneously fermented in the same way as the second batch. Now future releases will be as traditional as anything in Belgium.
Dan told me ideally this beer could become an annual R&D release with the possibilities to maybe do some other fun stuff with the base beer.”