Sierra Nevada Brewing update: Hoptimum, Imperial Stout and Bigfoot 4-packs

sierra nevada brewery building

Sierra Nevada Brewing building via {a href=""}armstrks on Flickr{/a}

(Chico, CA) – BeerPulse caught up with Sierra Nevada Brewing‘s Product Development Manager, Bill Manley, to see how 2012 is going so far.

The brewery is operating near “full bore” right now.

Last time we caught up in October, the company had just announced the addition of Ruthless Rye IPA as a new seasonal. Manley says Ruthless sales are up 50% over last year’s spring seasonal, Glissade Golden Bock. They’ve already produced and shipped all of the Ruthless for the year so what is out in the market is all there is left. Summerfest Lager is not far behind and Tumbler Brown Ale will return in the fall.

Hoptimum Imperial IPA started shipping a couple weeks ago. The beer was previously only available in big bottles but the company replaced them with 4-packs this year. They’ve already doubled production projections for 2012,increasing output of 400 barrels in 2011 to 3,000 barrels this year. The plan is for the brand to be available into August.

Though the branding isn’t official, Hoptimum is part of what the brewery is internally calling the High Altitude Series. Imperial Stout 4-packs will follow Hoptimum in the fall and Bigfoot will return next winter, for the first time, in 4-packs.

Sales for Pale Ale and Torpedo Extra IPA cans have been going “gangbusters” so far. The brewery completely ran out of all packages of Torpedo at the brewery last week.

Next in the Ovila Abbey Ales series is Belgian Strong Golden Ale in 750s. Ovila Dubbel will return to shelves in 4-packs of 375ml bottles after bottle-conditioning completes (ongoing).

Brux Domesticated Wild Ale, the much-anticipated collaboration with Russian River, is on target for July release. Manley explained that the company purposely kept things quiet around the brewery while working on this beer as a quality control measure. 1,000 barrels of the beer are currently bottle-conditioning.

The Beer Camp variety pack (3 bottles x 4 styles) will be released in August. No announcements on styles yet.

The barrel-aged offerings mentioned last fall are on the backburner (read: fall at the earliest). No further info at this time.

9 thoughts on “Sierra Nevada Brewing update: Hoptimum, Imperial Stout and Bigfoot 4-packs

  1. Hopefully the imperial stout is based on the 30th anniversary recipe. That thing was awesome.

  2. “Boo to Bigfoot going to 4-packs.”

    As long as this isn’t some marketing ploy to raise the price per ounce… I’m fine with it. Either way, I’ll still buy the crap out of them.

  3. Apparently the switch to 4 packs for Bigfoot is due to both increasing costs in beer ingredients (barley, hops, etc) and the near-zero profit margins they were already receiving on Bigfoot sales. Here’s a statement from Sierra Nevada’s Communications Coordinator Bill Manley, on the subject.

    “I just wanted to pop on here and explain the rationale of why we are making the move. Bigfoot for years has been under priced, as in, for years we have been making zero, or very close to zero dollars on that beer because as commodities (barley/hops/gas) have gone up in price, we’ve kept the price of Bigfoot the same.

    This year, (2012) sadly, we were forced to increase the price. Believe me, we don’t enjoy it either. Doing the math, another price increase was set for next year, and probably the year after too. We have been trying to come up with a way to balance out the costs of these higher gravity products…The option we found the least offensive was to drop the 6 packs into four packs and lower the price-per-carton. Additionally, we will brew MORE Bigfoot to keep up with the ever increasing demand, and make it more available for a longer period of time.

    Sierra Nevada has always had a reputation for fair pricing. Our entire lineup of year-round products and seasonal selections are very competitive in the market and that has been something we are very proud of. The higher ABV (ingredients) and higher costs required to make some of these beers truly dictates what our end pricing will be.”


  4. Pingback: Why Sierra Nevada Bigfoot is moving to 4-packs |

  5. Pingback: Why Sierra Nevada Bigfoot is moving to four-packs |

  6. Pingback: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Series variety pack beers revealed | BeerPulse

  7. The problem with 4 packs is that a lot of stores won’t stock them. It pretty much limits it to specialty stores. In my town there is only one store that will stock 4 packs and it is Bevmo. They charge more than anyone else and it is 30 minutes away from me. Looks like my Big Foot addiction comes to an end in 2013.

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