Grain Belt Nordeast shortage imminent--but don't panic!

Yesterday, August Schell Brewing Co. announced that unprecedented demand for its newly released Grain Belt Nordeast was requiring them to temporary limit distribution.

Now don't go racing to the liquor store in a beer-deprived panic and start cleaning out their stock--then we really will have a shortage--before your read what company president Ted Marti has to say about the state of the Nordeast supply:

Marti explains that Grain Belt Nordeast, brewed in honor of Schell's 150th anniversary, has created something of a bittersweet situation: The brewery has maxed out its tank space, and there's no quick fix for such a problem. Last week, they installed a 560-barrel tank, and they have two 750-barrel tanks on order, which means it will be another month before they can supply the market with additional Nordeast.

"I don't think anybody estimated how big the demand would be," Marti says. "You go by introductions in the past and that's about all you can do. It's hard to measure sometimes." Nordeast's initial debut was strong, Marti says, and demand has not leveled off--in fact, it's only increased. Of the brewery's ability to keep pace, Marti says, "As soon as it hit, we knew we were in trouble."

The brewery has decided to temporarily limit the distribution of Grain Belt Nordeast to the metro and New Ulm areas. Once the new tanks are ready, distribution will resume in all areas. Marti estimates they have enough product to supply the metro area until new beer is produced--though customers might be advised to hold off on any planned beer bathing or beer swimming activities that would require large quantities of Nordeast.

"We're going to try to keep the Twin Cities somewhat filled," Marti says. "Your people should probably have access. By fall we should be caught up everywhere."

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