Update - November 14, 2010: We’ve made several improvements to our popular Big Beer Series Subscription. Subscriptions will no longer run through the calendar year - you can now sign up at any time, and your subscription will consist of the nine consecutive Big Beer Series editions following your enrollment date. Also, Big Beer Series subscribers will be automatically enrolled in the Portsmouth Brewery's Imperial Pint Club.
For details on how the program works, please look over these Frequently Asked Questions, and our answers:
Q: How much Big Beer does Smuttynose make, and where does it go?
A: We brew about 150 barrels of each edition of our Big Beer Series. About half of that is racked into kegs and the remainder, usually around a thousand cases, is bottled and allocated among our forty wholesalers, spread out over nineteen states. Our Big Beers come in 22-ounce bottles, packed twelve to a case.
Q: What do I get with a Smuttynose Big Beer Series Subscription?
A: Here's what you get as a series subscriber:
• A full or half case of nine consecutive editions (styles) in the series, for a total of 4.5 or nine cases, depending on which option you choose. Your subscription begins when you sign up and continues until you've received all nine editions.
• Release parties for each Big Beer Release, which take place before we ship the beer out to wholesalers.
• Reminders in the months leading up to your subscription expiring.
• Glassware options as in past years. Whole cases subscribers can get a case of six Big Beer Series bubble glasses. Half case subscribers get a half case of three glasses. Or, in lieu of glassware you can choose a $10 or $20 gift card to the Portsmouth brewery depending on your subscription level.
• Automatic enrollment in the Portsmouth Brewery’s Imperial Pint Club.
A: A full-case subscription costs $485; and a half case suscription is $250, payable at the time you sign up.
Q: How much money do I save as a subscriber?
A: The cost per bottle is $4.49 for a full case subscription; $4.63 for a half case subscription. That's a considerable savings over retail prices. If you purchased nine full cases of Big Beers at the brewery, you'd spend $576, ninety-one more dollars than the subscription price, and that's not even counting other subscription benefits!
Q: How do I sign up and pay?
A: You can sign up for the Smuttynose Big Beer Series Subscription online and pay with any major credit card or through Paypal. Here is the link.
Q: Do I need a Paypal account?
A: No. Any credit card will do.
Q: Can I purchase only selected editions, or do I have to subscribe to the entire series?
A: The subscription is for an entire year’s worth (nine) of Big Beer editions. Individual cases of our Big Beer Series can be purchased at the brewery, but not at the subscription price.
Q: After I subscribe, how do I get my beer?
A: You or someone you designate must come to Smuttynose Brewing in Portsmouth and pick up your cases in person.
Q: Can you ship the beer to me if I don’t live close by?
A: Unfortunately, we are not able to ship beer.
Q: Do I have to pick up the beer on a certain date?
A: Shortly before we start shipping the next Big Beer edition to our wholesalers, we will send a notice to our subscribers, informing them of the upcoming release date. For those of you who can make it to the brewery on that date, we’ll host a social hour and tasting in our hospitality room. For those who can’t make it on the release date, we’ll hold your beer for ninety days from that date. Whenever you arrive, whether it’s for the Release Date Social Hour or some other time, there will be a case (or half) of Big Beer with your name on it waiting for you. Please note: If you can not pick up your case at a Release Date Social, we ask that you call or email us before you plan to stop by, so that we may have your beer ready for you.
Q: Once I’ve purchased a subscription, can I drop out of the program before I’ve claimed all nine of my cases and get a refund for the balance?
A: No. Subscribers agree to purchase the full year’s series. We may be able to help connect you with someone who will purchase the remainder of your subscription if the subscription is sold out.
Q: How firm are the release dates and Series editions listed on the Smuttynose website?
A: We are fully committed to adhering to the schedule we’ve posted, but circumstances beyond our control occasionally require us to change that schedule, or even the sequence of editions. Although we reserve the right to make changes in our Big Beer schedule, we will do our best to inform subscribers of any changes in our program well in advance. Our top priority is the satisfaction of our customers, and we pledge to do our very best to assure that!
Have we answered all your questions? If not, drop us a note.