When we first introduced Chocolate Ale in February 2011, we were, um, surprised by the response. While originally intended as a one-time, one-off beer, like our other Smokestack collaborations, we decided to bring it back in 2012 as a Smokestack seasonal release. We’ve been flooded with calls, emails, and postings with questions about this year’s release. We hope this posting provides some insight about the beer.
Supply: For 2012, we figured we’d better make more – lots more. In the end, we produced over three and a half times as much Chocolate Ale as in 2011, more than we’ve ever made of any Smokestack seasonal beer, and all that our production capacity would allow us to make.
Distribution/Retail/Pricing: By law, we sell our beer to independent distributors, who in turn sell to retailers, who sell to consumers. Our price to distributors, and our distributors’ price to retailers, is precisely the same for Chocolate Ale as it is for all of our year-round and seasonal Smokestack offerings. By law, we have no control over the price charged by retailers for any of our products, including Chocolate Ale. Nor do we have control over which retailers receive our beer, when they receive it, or how or when they sell it.
Our Kansas City distributor tells us that their deliveries of Chocolate Ale to local retailers – including hundreds of kegs to be served at area bars and restaurants – will be complete by Tuesday, February 7th.
Marketing: The media interest and coverage surrounding this year’s batch of Chocolate Ale was due to last year’s demand. We’ve responded to reporter inquiries and done our best to provide them with the correct information to relay to their readers/listeners/viewers.
To our loyal customers who have tried without success to find a bottle of Boulevard Chocolate Ale, we sincerely apologize. We did not seek to create or encourage this phenomenon, but we pledge to try to learn from it, and to look for ways to improve and enhance our planning, our communication, and, ultimately, our production of this unprecedented beer. Let us know if you have additional questions. We’re happy to provide you with as much information as possible.