Undoubtedly you’ve been waiting with bated breath for us to announce the details of our first Quingenti Millitre release. The beer is, of course, “Ken Schmidt / Maui / Stone Kona Coffee, Macadamia, Coconut Porter Aged in Bourbon Barrels,” a suitably Pavlovian response-inducing beer to kick off this exciting new venture.
Here’s the rub: we’re only expecting there to be about 500 bottles. As such, we had to think long and hard about the best way to release this magic liquid into the wild, examining a variety of strategies and trying to learn from the experiences of others before deciding on a method.
Well, now we’re ready. Here’s how it’s going to go (in brief):
We’re going to sell the bottles at the Stone Company Store—Escondido. But not to just anyone. Just to winners. Of a drawing. That you can enter.
The drawing will work like this:
- For every $1 ticket you buy, you will be entered once into the drawing.
- Buying multiple tickets will increase your statistical odds of winning in the drawing, however you can only win once. Maximum.
- $0.96 of each $1.00 ticket sold will be donated to the Escondido Creek Conservancy & Interfaith Community Services (the 4¢ covers credit card processing fees).
A HUGE thanks to Brown Paper Tickets for waiving their usual ticket fee for this. It means a lot more money will go to these great charities.
Tickets go on sale right now, ticket sales stop on August 16th at 11:59pm, and the winners will be selected on Thursday, August 18th and notified via email (so check your spam folder.) They’ll then get until September 18th to come to the Stone Company Store—Escondido to purchase the beer for its full retail price: $25 plus tax & CRV.
There’s more to it than that, however, so be 100% certain to read and reread all of the rules:
- YOU MUST PURCHASE AND PICK UP YOUR BEER IN PERSON at Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido. WE WILL NOT SHIP ANY BEER. We’re sorry, but if you can’t come get it, don’t buy any tickets!
- This drawing is open to individuals 21 and older ONLY.
- Buying tickets does not guarantee any result. You are purchasing the chance to have your name randomly chosen. THERE WILL BE NO REFUNDS.
- The drawing is NOT for a “free” bottle of beer. If you win, we grant you the OPPORTUNITY TO BUY one Quingenti Milliltre bottle of: “Ken Schmidt / Maui / Stone Kona Coffee, Macadamia, Coconut Porter Aged in Bourbon Barrels” at full retail value ($25 + tax and CRV).
- One beer per person! While buying more tickets will increase the statistical odds of being chosen, participants may “win” only once and purchase one bottle of beer only.
- The odds of having your name drawn depend upon the number of tickets purchased.
- There is no limit to how many tickets you can buy!
- The number of bottles available will be determined on bottling day (we believe it will be around 500).
- These are virtual tickets; you will not receive physical tickets for your purchase. We will retain records in order to select winners and contact you if your name is chosen, but will not use your personal information for ANY other reason. Ever.
- All of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Escondido Creek Conservancy and Interfaith Community Services. Brown Paper Tickets has very graciously agreed to waive their normal service fees so that we can donate as much as possible to these two non-profit organizations.
- TICKET SALES END TUESDAY, AUGUST 16th, AT 11:59PM.
- Selection of winning tickets will be done by an unaffiliated third party.
- We will notify those who have won the opportunity to purchase one Quingenti Milliltre bottle of: “Ken Schmidt / Maui / Stone Kona Coffee, Macadamia, Coconut Porter Aged in Bourbon Barrels” by email no later than Thursday, August 18th, 2011.
- Winning ticket numbers (with no other identifying information) will also be posted on our website the day of the drawing.
- Winners may purchase and pick up their beer between Thursday, August 18th, 2011 and Sunday, September 18th, 2011.
- In order to pick up and purchase your beer, you must present a government issued photo ID and the credit card used to purchase the winning ticket–and you must be the person on the ID! Winning tickets are non-transferable.
- The Stone Company Store CANNOT SELL YOU BEER if you bring anyone under the age of 21 with you (other than a child for whom you are the legal guardian).
- The deadline for winners to pick up and purchase their beer is 8pm on Sunday, September 18th, 2011. Winners not adhering to this deadline forfeit their right to purchase the beer. There will be no refunds of ticket purchases.
- If you purchase a Quingenti Millilitre bottle and attempt to resell it, you will be ineligible for future drawings. It is because of opportunists that we’ve gone to this length to create a fair system for getting these beers out to those who truly appreciate them, rather than those seeking a quick profit at others’ expense.
- These rules are subject to change (but we don’t expect that to happen).
I want to speak directly to rule 19 for a moment because I made it a bit of a personal crusade to include it.
This beer took a tremendous amount of effort to brew (to this day, you can make Mitch Steele hunch over with stress if you ask him about the brew day). Barrel-aging it was a wise decision and took years of careful patience. Now, we want as many Stone fans as possible to try it, ideally while sharing it with their beer loving friends & family.
And if we’re being honest, while $25 is a lot to spend on a single bottle of beer, it is below what the market would bear. The price reflects the cost of making the beer, but we haven’t priced it to reflect the enormous demand, as is more typical in the wine world. We’ve done this because we want it to be reasonably accessible to our fans, and we’re willing to leave some money on the table to do it.
So it would make us very sad (read: ticked) if a few people ended up with a large number of bottles, purely with the intention of reselling them for a much higher price on eBay. That is also part of why we are holding a drawing to select the buyers. Our good friend Jean Van Roy of Belgium’s famed lambic brewery Cantillon has the same motivation for releasing his 2011 Zwanze Ale on draft only.
And while we’re very excited that the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens will be one of the few places that will get to serve Zwanze this year (shameless plug, it’s on September 17th), it’s unfortunate that brewers have to go to such ends to avoid seeing their beer auctioned off online for exorbitant prices. While I don’t imagine this explanation will have any effect on the people who game the system in this fashion, I do hope it will help our true fans understand our thinking and, if they’re lucky, enjoy this beer in the same spirit of collaboration, ethics, camaraderie, and passion with which it was made.
Alright, now that you’ve all listened to my diatribe, here are some upcoming Quingenti Millilitre releases:
- 21st Amendment / Firestone Walker / Stone El Camino (Un)Real Black Ale Aged in American Oak Barrels
- Dogfish Head / Victory / Stone Saison du BUFF Aged in Red Wine Barrels
- 2010 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Aged in Bourbon Barrels, the release of which will be tied to the forthcoming book, The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance (Ten Speed Press, 10/2011)
- Green Flash / Pizza Port Carlsbad / Stone Highway 78 Scotch Ale Aged in Scotch Barrels