I hate lines. I hate waiting in them, I hate thinking about them, I hate waking up early to stand in them. I hate wasting hours only to be disappointed if by the time I get to the end of the line the ride is broken or the bottles are gone. There will be no lines at our beer release.
But we do have a problem. We make small batch beer and there is a relatively high demand for it. How do we sell it in a way that avoids lines and makes people happy? Not all people, of course; I’m resigned to the fact that some people will not be happy with how we release our beer, no matter what way we choose to do it. All I know is I hate lines so if I were buying beer I’d want to avoid that at the very least.
So, ahem, let me start over.
Why…. hello there! Hey there craft beer nerd/lover/friend! I’ve got big news: Scratch is releasing its first bottled beer, Chanterelle Biere de Garde! It’s an absolutely fantastic French-style farmhouse beer brewed with chanterelle mushrooms we picked ourselves from the woods here in southern Illinois. It’s earthy with hints of apricot and funky mushrooms and a clean, malty finish. It’s bottle-conditioned in 750 ml champagne-style bottles and comes in at 6.3% alcohol by volume so it will be great to sit in your cellar for at least a year or so. Or to drink straight away. We’ve already been lagering it for your enjoyment for the last five months.
Here’s how we decided to sell this beautiful beer: We’ll be selling tickets online which will guarantee you a bottle. You can buy up to two tickets (and therefore two bottles) per person. The tickets will be sold at $5 a piece through a ticketing page on our website (coming soon), which we’re using simply to help you avoid waiting in line and crushing into our parking lot on a single day. We won’t be collecting any of the money we make with the ticketing system. This time around we’re donating all the proceeds after taxes and fees to the Ava Volunteer Fire Department. We plan on donating all proceeds on tickets for our bottle releases to a good cause that supports our community and we couldn’t be happier to support the great people who volunteer their time to our fire department. Think of the $5 as money well spent so you don’t have to waste a day waiting in a line. And, best of all, the money goes to a great cause.
Now then, your ticket is basically a reservation that entitles you to come to the brewery and purchase your bottle at $20 per bottle for up to ONE MONTH after your ticket purchase, during our normal business hours Thursday through Sunday. If you do not pick up your bottle after one month, you fully forfeit your right to that bottle. We cannot make ANY exceptions or special arrangements. Our storage space is extremely limited. You must be at least 21 years of age and must show proof of ID when you purchase your bottle, no ifs, ands, or buts. You must show your ID when you come to pick up your bottle and your name must match the name of the ticket holder who bought the ticket, no ifs, ands, or buts. Again, we cannot make ANY exceptions or special arrangements.
We chose to price our beer at $20 per bottle because we think this complex beer compares to similarly complex wines and because of the labor involved in harvesting the mushrooms, and the time spent brewing and bottle-conditioning the finished beer. We think it’s worth every penny and then some. Most of all, it’s an absolute pleasure to drink.
Tickets will be available starting on Monday, May 16th at 12:00 PM Central Standard Time. They will be available until they sell out. You will then be able to pick up your bottle or bottles at your leisure during our normal business hours starting Thursday, May 19th through Sunday, June 19th. Just think of it as a month long party! We plan on hosting one of these parties monthly or nearly monthly after this release featuring a new beer each time. If you don’t get a chance to purchase this bottle we’re confident you will be able to get a future release.
Thank you for your support of Scratch beer over the last 3 years. We’re excited to be able to start offering bottled beers and will keep you posted about our releases here on our website and on Facebook.