The Death of Death
Talk about screwing the pooch — we’ve out done ourselves this time, ladies and gents.
As you might know, we’ve been debuting new beers as our four-part Apocalypse Series for the last few months. So far Conquest and War have been well received, and Famine should be hitting the shelves in the next few days. Although the timing wasn’t perfect (we had initially hoped to release all four in 2012), the beers themselves have been promising. The last in the series, Death, was slated to hit the market around the end of this month.
That was the plan.
The thing is, you can plan until you’re blue in the face but things don’t always work out the way you had intended. After doing several test batches and dialing in the recipe, I was ready. I initially brewed Death some time ago, and it’s been conditioning since, slowly mellowing out. In my test batches, this extended conditioning time allowed the chocolate and coffee notes to meld together, while the heat from the chipotle pepper addition lingered in the background — really nice stuff. There were a few hitches on brew day, but nothing crazy — I was eager to see how the beer evolved.
This weekend, I had Maggie pull a sample off the condition tank and bring it back to me so I could ensure the beer was ready to be packaged. It had been a week or so since I tasted the beer. I raised the mason jar to my lips and was…
What a shitty feeling. The beer wasn’t what I had hoped for. It was good, but (to me) not good enough.
So we have several thousand dollars worth of beer (a Russian Imperial Stout is NOT cheap to make) that I am not totally happy with, hanging out in a conditioning tank, waiting to be kegged.
But it won’t, its ultimate home is the sewer.
What I’m trying to say is, there will be no Death — at least not for a while. Sure, we could re-brew it, but at this rate it would be ready sometime in mid-March — and we all know that Spring beers will be in full effect by then.
We missed our chance.
As much as this sucks all around, I still feel it’s the right move. I want to be sure that when a customer walks into a store and buys a $8-$10 bomber of our beer, they’re getting the best possible beer I could make. The beer has always been first, and it will continue to be so. We’ve been pretty lucky up until now, but I guess it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. It just so happened to be the last beer in a series we’ve been really vocal about and had especially high hopes for.
The bottom line is that we’re extremely grateful for all of the support you guys have shown us for the past year and a half, and we promise to never forget that. We know that we’ve let those people down who were excited for the final installment of the Apocalypse Series, but hopefully you can appreciate our commitment to making great beer.
You guys deserve the very best.
So Backlash will continue to be without a dark beer, for now. That doesn’t mean we don’t have some other awesome beers planned, though.
Unless those turn out to be not so great either, in which case this blog post never happened.