Hysteria might be a bit of stretch but hey, it’s Monday and I’m in a Def Leppard kind of mood. At any rate, local distributor Hop and Wine has confirmed that kegs and cases of Hopslam have arrived at fine establishments across the DC metro area. It is Hop and Wine’s policy not to disclose inventory or allotments. Given the amount of hype this beer receives, I’m not sure I blame them. Hop and Wine maintains an outstanding portfolio and deserves far more attention and credit than they receive.

Here is a brief note from President Larry Bell regarding how the have chosen to release the beer this year.

There will be no hard and fast dates for the release of Hopslam in 2012, but rather, it will be released on a market by market basis as has been our policy in the past.  Because this brand has gotten so large for us, and given the production time to make it, this year the total time of release will stretch over a two month period, meaning that some markets will have product well ahead of other markets.  And, in fact, some retailers in a given market may receive product before other retailers.  We are well aware of the “fairness” issues involved in this process of distribution. However, I believe that this will be our best option.

If we were to attempt to have Hopslam released on the same day for all of our customers, then we would have to require our wholesaler partners to inventory the beer, some for up to five weeks, before they could ship it to the retail market. I found this option unacceptable as I believe that Hopslam should be consumed as fresh as possible.  While this option would be fairer to our wholesalers and retailers, it would mean sacrificing quality in the name of politics.  And in the end, Bell’s tries to deliver quality.

All of our wholesalers will receive Hopslam this year.  When they get it depends upon the size of their order, our availability and the individual trucking schedules for each wholesaler.  Shipping is NOT based on favorability.  We will do the best we can to satisfy everyone, all we ask is patience on your part while we brew, package and ship this wonderful ale, while in the meantime try to keep up with our other production.  Currently we only have so much fermenter space for dry-hopped ales and we need to keep up our Two Hearted brewing.  We are brewing over 5000 barrels of Hopslam this year and it takes us awhile to get all that brewing and dry-hopping done.

My suggestions for finding some would be to call or stop into your favorite store today. Our neighborhood guides are good place to start.

Editor’s Note: It’s just beer folks.