Southampton Annual Beer Release Not Happening In 2013

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by joefuzz, Nov 18, 2012.

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  1. joefuzz

    joefuzz Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    So a few weeks ago Don Sullivan (President of Southampton Publick House) was on a local morning radio show (WEHM) and I called in to ask about the annual Imperial Russian Stout release party. It actually lead into a pretty lengthy conversation about Phil and more importantly their new brewer Evan, but the basic answer was there would be no 2013 release party.

    He did say that the farmhouse series (c&c) will be back up in production for 2013 after having over a year of out of stock issues. He hinted at some soft releases of bottles over the course of the year and a giant party for 2014.

    I tried to contact the radio host for the audio from the interview but they did not have it backed up. I then sent a follow up e-mail to Don to confirm.

    I have to say im pretty let down that this wont be happening this year, it always turns out to be one of the best releases of the year. But all that being said I guess it is better off to give this new brew team time to come into their own and really fine tune their vision of the future Southampton Publick House beers.
    Gonzoillini and afksports like this.
  2. axeman9182

    axeman9182 Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Well that's a bummer, I was looking forward to going to the release again this year (aside from the 4am alarm). I could have sworn someone posted not too long ago that he had talked to someone at the brewery and was told there would still be an Imperial Stout release this year.
  3. xnicknj

    xnicknj Initiate (0) May 25, 2009 Pennsylvania

    major bad news. i love everything about this release party. :(
  4. slander

    slander Site Editor (1,785) Nov 5, 2001 New York

    When I saw Ev at NorthFork, he said he thought it was a go...
  5. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan Poo-Bah (3,166) Dec 13, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    wow, seems like info is all over the place on this one. i do firmly feel it would be good for the brewery to ensure that this next release (whenever it may be) is solid to not rock confidence in the brewery and the new team. nothing would be worse than a bad release for the brewery. i know most people were skeptical about some of the beers released in the past few years. peconic had a note on the bottle about carbonation that turned lots off, and it turned out incredible and black raspberry lambic no one knew it it would be any good and it became one of the more sought after beers.

    what you say about soft releases, however, intrigues me. southampton is a release that doesn't suffer from the insane crowds and people leaving without beer that you hear about other breweries, but being a few hours out on LI probably helps. for these soft releases, how would they be announced? i wouldn't mind seeing the southampton stuff go the way of the soft releases too, but i don't think it is needed. being that i work fairly far east (only about an hour west of southampton) i could hit up soft releases easier than capt lawrence, but it is too much of a haul for random check ins.
  6. brystmar

    brystmar Initiate (0) Sep 2, 2009 Texas

    Sad news. Was really looking forward to another batch of sours, and the '12 RIS is drinking marvelously right now. Guess things spiral downward pretty quickly when your head brewer leaves. :(
  7. joefuzz

    joefuzz Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    I have checked in at SPH a few times since Phil's depature and the beers are still very good. I don't really see this as a downward spiral but more a passing of the torch.

    Evan has been there a while under Phil and I am pretty confident that when the time comes the new Southampton will be just as good if not better than it was under Phil's watch.I think I would much rather wait a year for him to refine what he is doing than have him rush out bottles that will tarnish the reputation of a stellar brewery.
    cosmicevan likes this.
  8. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Initiate (154) Jun 7, 2005 New York

    Bummer, but the idea of more soft releases sounds promising.

    Hommage was easily one of my favorite SH releases that almost no one even talks about.
  9. xnicknj

    xnicknj Initiate (0) May 25, 2009 Pennsylvania

    i know soft releases have worked really well lately (captain lawrence, allagash, etc), but southampton would be tough. it's SO FAR out of the way for a lot of people, and people don't seem to ever leave empty handed (there was even extras of black rasp last time). for people outside of the city and the island, no advance notice would make it really difficult for a group like mine to organize and get up there (about 3.5 to 4 hours each way).

    either way, i hope to see more of their special releases this year or the next.
  10. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan Poo-Bah (3,166) Dec 13, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    that's the point of silent/soft releases, no? make it for the locals and avoid the sh*t show of people driving hours and hours and then complaining that they didn't get beer. and for those that do decide to travel, they thoeretically will have more time to get there since the concept is that the beer should last a little longer due to lack of hype. a captain lawrence soft release is pretty tough to get these days unless you live within an hour of the brewery (traffic included) and have the luxury of being able to drop everything and go there as soon as you learn of it.

    i much preferred the announced releases where i could plan accordingly, camp out and have an amazing bottle share and actually get the beer, but times have changed. barrel select gold sold out in what, 4 hours? the new cherry sour took a bunch of days, but with traffic and gas from the hurricane it was virtually impossible to get there unless you lived rather close.
  11. xnicknj

    xnicknj Initiate (0) May 25, 2009 Pennsylvania

    i agree, but southampton's releases have been anything but a shit show, with their location being a large contributing factor (IMO). captain lawrence however, DID turn into a total clusterfuck, necessitating a different method of release (which is a great idea and i've still been able to get up there for beers). i just feel like southampton is one of the rare places these days that can have a fun, organized release party and not have it turn into complete chaos.
  12. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan Poo-Bah (3,166) Dec 13, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    true, but the times, they are a changing...perhaps they are looking to be a bit more pro-active? also bear in mind that the team has changed...not just phil, others have left in the past year. i mean, in today's beer scene, it isn't like they wouldn't be able to sell their 600 bottles of IRS. maybe it wouldn't happen that day, but they'd eventually go. despite being a release where if you show up on time you can buy multiple allocations, last year, i definitely heard a few locals who showed up as i was leaving who were pretty bummed that there weren't bottles left. not everyone is into lining up in the cold and waiting 12 hours (or more) and soft releases prevent that and definitely favor those who live closest and support the brewery year round.

    i'm on the fence about soft releases. i do like that they take the hype out of the releases and make it fair in the first come, first served sense...but i always did love the bottle shares and the idea that everyone that bought a bottle waited in line and experienced the release...and ofcourse that you can make plans to be there was a nice thing.
  13. POTABLE83

    POTABLE83 Devotee (407) Jun 21, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    Just as an update, I spoke to Evan recently and he confirmed that they are brewing/bottling RIS for this year, but he's unsure as to what extent the annual party will be. He said they have been brewing several smaller one-off batches but doesn't know how many will be ready for the RIS release. Should have a better idea around the beginning of January.
    afksports, cosmicevan and Sidebordz like this.
  14. xenjoiii

    xenjoiii Disciple (339) Jul 24, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Evan's small batch releases have been incredible thus far. I was at the SHPH a ton this summer and tried Evan's take on a west coast influenced Imperial Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout (absolutely incredible), Black Raspberry Wheat and Abbey Single (also incredible). All, with the exception of the Oatmeal Stout, have been available for growler fills.

    Also, to weigh in on the RIS release. I spoke to Evan at the brew pub in July and he told me that they would be brewing the RIS. I also inquired about the future of Peconic County and he said it will likely be brewed again.
    afksports likes this.
  15. xenjoiii

    xenjoiii Disciple (339) Jul 24, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Update: 1) Bottles of French Country Christmas Ale are available (brewed in house/750ml/capped and foiled)
    2) I asked about the release, and was told that it is happening - the girl I spoke to didn't have the date on hand. If all goes to plan 1/26?
    SpeedwayJim and POTABLE83 like this.
  16. Gonzoillini

    Gonzoillini Meyvn (1,090) Oct 15, 2008 Illinois

    As someone who isn't a Southampton local (just grew to love the brewery after reading Saisons by Markowski and trying some of their offerings) I'd be curious to know the relationship between Phil and Evan. Was Evan an apprentice / working with the brewery prior to Phil's departure? Peconic / the berliner weisses / Black Raspberry Lambic / etc... were these Markowski's beers or a collaborative thing between the brewers at Southampton?

    Personally I have never been a fan of the RIS, but all the saisons / sours / Belgian offerings have turned out very well. Would love the opportunity to try Peconic / Black Raspberry Lambic / Berlinner Weiss again, and it sounds like Southampton is being left in capable hands for the more experimental stuff (unlike what it sounds like is happening at Ithaca).

  17. xenjoiii

    xenjoiii Disciple (339) Jul 24, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    From my knowledge, long before Phil's departure, Evan has been conducting majority of the brewing at the Publick House, while Phil oversaw/monitored their contracted beers. Also, the Uberliner and Black Raspberry Lambic were a collaborative effort between both Phil and Evan.

    I doubt the specialty beers will suffer (quality-wise). Since Phil left for Two Roads, Evan has been brewing in-house only tap offerings that were all (to my opinion, at least) above-average.
    maddogg and Gonzoillini like this.
  18. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan Poo-Bah (3,166) Dec 13, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    are there limits on the french country christmas ale? any idea on how many bottles are available? i can probably make the trek after the new year, but it is definitely a bit of a trek.

    also, will there be an official announcement for the release?
    where do they share info? twitter? facebook? can't seem to find any announcements from them.
  19. Retail1LO

    Retail1LO Initiate (0) May 4, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I was truly saddened to hear about the demise of the release party as it relates to this upcoming January. My birthday's on the 27th and I was going to make a weekend outta this. Hopefully something still goes down, as I've always enjoyed their stuff, and have been looking forward to hitting up a release there. I guess if nothing's on the slate, I'll just head up to VT for a long weekend and hit up HF, and The Alchemist...stay in Waterbury a couple evenings and get smashed at Blackback or the Prohibition Pig.
  20. xenjoiii

    xenjoiii Disciple (339) Jul 24, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Not sure on bottle limits. I purchased 3 yesterday. They only brew the beer for December, so I'd assume its less than 500 bottles. Last year I remember the event being posted on here and Facebook. They announced it about two weeks in advance. The only information I was able to extract from the girl I spoke to was that it is definitely happening.
    cosmicevan likes this.
  21. stakem

    stakem Poo-Bah (4,861) Feb 20, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Since first reading this thread in November, I have been resisting the urge to post. It seems that in years past, nothing was for certain until a week or 2 before the big day. I understand if it doesn't go down this year but a big part of me really wants to see this happen. Even if it isn't to the caliber of previous years as far as number of different offerings sold to go, it would still be nice to have an excuse to make the trip. This is the only yearly release that I look forward to attending any more and its my once a year chance to see some old familiar faces.

    Heres to (hopefully) seeing some of you at the end of January. Cheers!
  22. xenjoiii

    xenjoiii Disciple (339) Jul 24, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    There has a been a ton of speculation between whether it is happening or not. It seems like people inside of the brewpub are saying that its happening: Evan told me, in July, that it was and this past Saturday the girl at the front desk verified that it was. However, a different employee saw a hashtag that I posted on instagram (pertaining to their xmas ale) and wrote to me saying that the release was not happening.

    I would hate to be wrong on this, as I am really looking forward attending the release again. Hopefully some legitimate clarification will come soon. I thought I had the information that everyone was looking for, however, it seems that the people inside of Publick House really have no clue, as to what is going on with the release.
  23. xenjoiii

    xenjoiii Disciple (339) Jul 24, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader


    FeDUBBELFIST Meyvn (1,073) Oct 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Optimistically thinking, they could be differentiating between having a "release party" - and simply having the RIS bottled and available for purchase. Also, the "check back in early January" comment from their staff is frustrating frankly...
    Centennial and GuisseppeFranco like this.
  25. slander

    slander Site Editor (1,785) Nov 5, 2001 New York

    This is not correct. They've only done this RIS release event 3 times (2010-2012), and the date was always set as the last Saturday in January.

    Last year and the year before, Spence sent me the list of what they were putting up and I would vet it with him (what size bottle, how many bottles made, bottle limits, price, ABV, vintage if applicable), and I would post the event details here, and then shout some RB people I know to repost it there... and then they got around to putting it up on the SPH website.

    I visited last month for lunch and draft Christmas Ale (love), and Evan indicated that he would be making the RIS again but not doing the late January release party. (Hab_tastic's comments seem to reinforce this).

    I will follow up again and clarify.
    Knifestyles and POTABLE83 like this.
  26. xenjoiii

    xenjoiii Disciple (339) Jul 24, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Please do follow up!

    Regarding the comments left on my instagram, I was beginning to think the same. Especially after seeing this:

    "“Hi A+K,
    I’m sorry to say we will not be hosting a release party this year due to
    many challenges and new programs we’ve instituted this past year.

    We’ve hosted a release party for 10 years or more consecutively, so I’m sad
    to say we’re not able to do so this year. however, I am eager to let you
    know that we will begin to brew, bottle and store many small batch brews
    this winter with the intent on reintroducing the Release Party in January
    2014 bigger and better than ever.

    To be honest, scarcity is what makes these beers worth lining up for in the
    cold and I’d rather skip a year so that the quality of our offerings stay
    true to our mission.

    Hopefully you’ll keep us on your calendar as a year goes pretty darned

    Don Sullivan
    Southampton Publick House
    Southampton Bottling, LLC”"

    SpeedwayJim and POTABLE83 like this.
  27. slander

    slander Site Editor (1,785) Nov 5, 2001 New York

    No release party confirmed.

    The RIS is being made and the bottles will become available at some point later this Winter at the Publick House...
    xenjoiii likes this.

    FeDUBBELFIST Meyvn (1,073) Oct 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Forget that. You guys want to just pick a date and all meet up there anyway?!
  29. Sidebordz

    Sidebordz Initiate (180) Apr 23, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, let's do a BA takeover of Southampton. We should all get there early, share some bottles, and buy some RIS!!!
  30. GuisseppeFranco

    GuisseppeFranco Aspirant (214) Nov 7, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    I'm in.
    cosmicevan likes this.
  31. mocktm

    mocktm Devotee (437) Jan 3, 2011 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    Has anyone tried the French Country Christmas Ale? Debating going and grabbing a couple while I'm in the area.
    cosmicevan likes this.
  32. xenjoiii

    xenjoiii Disciple (339) Jul 24, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    I'm in as well.

    I have. I had it on tap and liked it enough to pick up a few bottles to sit on for a while.
  33. slander

    slander Site Editor (1,785) Nov 5, 2001 New York

    As did I. Always one of my faves...
  34. PEBKAC

    PEBKAC Savant (907) Sep 4, 2006 New York

    The contract brewed French Country wasn't very good, was greasy even. Glad to have the house stuff back.
  35. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan Poo-Bah (3,166) Dec 13, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

  36. WhereTheWildBeersGo

    WhereTheWildBeersGo Initiate (0) Mar 31, 2012 New York

    Count me in too!
  37. RandomBattle

    RandomBattle Aspirant (231) Jun 25, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Its a hike for me but I'm in.
  38. Quackus

    Quackus Aspirant (221) Mar 28, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    In as well.
  39. sobeleg

    sobeleg Disciple (390) Jun 29, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    I'll most likely be in on this as well!
  40. SpeedwayJim

    SpeedwayJim Poo-Bah (2,217) Jun 19, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    I'm in too.
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