Yesterday Fremont Brewing announced that it was releasing its Brew 4000. The company made the announcement first via a live Instagram video. Given the current restrictions, precautions, and challenges, the company decided to do something they’d never done before. Customers could order the beer and pay for it online, then pick the beer up via a drive-thru operation. Despite imposing a per-person bottle limit, it seems the beer sold out in a flash. A limited amount will make its way to the retail marketplace.
Of course, some people were disappointed to discover that Brew 4000 was sold out by the time they tried to place their orders. If you want it, and you are unable to get it, then the system is unfair, right? I didn’t get any of it either, by the way, but I still admire the way they handled the release.
So why talk about it here? Why would I bother telling you about something you cannot get? In all of this COVID-19 darkness, I keep trying to find pinpricks of light. One thing I am noticing right now is a lot of innovation and creativity. Needs must, right?
The way Fremont Brewing handled this release was pretty darned smart: order and pay online, then the brewery advises you of your pickup time (a window of time on a designated date). You drive to the designated pickup location and maintain a safe distance for a minimal-contact drive-thru handoff. That’s the plan in a nutshell.
The person picking up the beer must be the person who bought the beer. No proxies. No bringing along all of your friends that don’t even like beer so you can skirt the per-person limits. No paying people to stand in line for you. I am not a big fan of that kind of activity, especially when people are just looking to make money on the resale market, so I applaud Fremont Brewing’s efforts on this one. No doubt, if they do another release this way, they’ve learned lessons and will adjust.
Anyway, here’s the notice Fremont Brewing released on Facebook:
Brew 4000, an English-style barleywine aged thoughtfully for a year in bourbon barrels, is ready to be released. This beer commemorates our 4,000 brew, a landmark in our history, and is our thanks for your companionship on this beer journey.
We are trying something new, to safely release these bottles to you in this time of the Coronavirus outbreak. We will be selling a limited number of bottles online, with the ability to pick them up from our production brewery, Fremont West, or by waiting patiently and picking up at the Urban Beer Garden at a later date. We have put guidelines and guardrails in place to ensure both your safety and the safety of our employees.
To order your bottle(s) please go to https://www.fremontbrewing.com/brew-4000
Be well and enjoy.
Again, from what I hear, the beer is already sold out. A limited quantity will make it out to select retailers. Your best bet is to keep an eye on Fremont Brewing’s social media channels.