Smuttynose Brewing Company of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, recently shipped the first batch of its award-winning Old Brown Dog Ale brewed at F.X. Matt Brewing Company in Utica, New York, the first of four batches scheduled through the end of 2011.
The Utica-brewed Brown Dog will be put in six packs, twelve packs, and 1/6 barrel kegs. Regular Smuttynose drinkers will notice a slightly different look to the bottles, with a full-wrap neck label and more square bottle shoulders. 1/2 barrel kegs and bottles for Variety Packs will still be brewed at Smuttynose in New Hampshire.
Off-site production of Old Brown Dog became necessary due to unprecedented demand for Smuttynose beer.
“We didn’t have enough tank space to brew everything we needed, but discontinuing brands or pulling out of sales territories were never options. After some analysis, we decided that this was the best option,” said Greg Blanchard, Smuttynose’s Head Brewer.
Blanchard cited the ease of transitioning the beloved brown ale’s recipe to another brewery as well as its consistent ordering pattern as the main reasons for placing Old Brown Dog into the capable hands of Matt, which produces beer on behalf of many other craft breweries.
Shipments of Smuttynose beer are up 34% in 2011, more than double what was projected. Planning for a new, purpose-built brewery in Hampton, New Hampshire, is nearing completion and process improvements at Smuttynose’s current home have sped up operations, but these measures aren’t enough to quench the thirst of beer drinkers in the 19 states where Smuttynose is sold.
The New York production arrangement is a temporary one.
“Ultimately, we believe that every drop of Smuttynose should be brewed in our brewery,” said Blanchard, “and we plan to bring Old Brown Dog home as soon as we can.”