Cold Mountain, because of its complexity and the spices used to produce it, requires about four times the fermentation and conditioning time that our normal beers do. As a consequence, we are currently unable, despite substantial capital investments, to produce the amount demanded of us. As a consequence, we have to ration it to our distributors, who in turn ration it to their retail customers. Our initial run of Cold Mountain was packaged in the last week of October and released during the first week of November. We packaged it in 22-ounce bottles, draught and one-liter bottles. We also packaged a modest amount of 12-packs (which were not actually released until last week). We will be packaging an additional small quantity of Cold Mountain this week, which should be appearing at retail by perhaps this Friday. Once again, it is being rationed to our distributors who will no doubt be forced to spread it very thin throughout their distribution areas.
We sometimes feel that we have accidentally created a monster for ourselves, but one which we are constantly working to tame. We sincerely appreciate the passion with which Asheville, in particular, has embraced Cold Mountain and are grateful. Be assured that we are as frustrated as our customers in our inability to satisfy the demand for Cold Mountain, despite having tripled the production over the last five years.
We seem to have also hit a big home run with Thunderstruck Coffee Porter, our second winter seasonal. The initial Nov. 1 release was quickly sold through the market within a matter of two to three weeks. We will be releasing the second batch late next week and hope to keep it available through February.
All we can ask is for our consumers and the retailers who support us every day to understand that we are doing everything in our power to provide them the beer they demand, while at the same time taking the time to guard our consistency and quality.