In fact, I headed to Cleveland in early November for a short visit right when Great Lakes began selling its Christmas Ale at the retail level. On the plane to Cleveland, I sat next to a guy from Massachusetts who I proceeded to tell about the Great Lakes Christmas Ale and people around us started chiming in telling him it was a must do while in Cleveland.
And every year it seems that Great Lakes has shortages of Christmas Ale. Even in early November, I had to wait a few days for retailers to get in another shipment because they had sold out. My cousin couldn’t find it anywhere around Thanksgiving and was threatening to steal my stash at my Mom’s house. The local news was even reporting on the shortage this year.
Closer to the end of December, when the company is getting very short on supply, you will see Great Lakes Brewery’s Facebook page light up with what bars and retailers you can buy Christmas Ale. You can literally hear the chatter on the streets about where to get it at your local watering hole.
How did Great Lakes Christmas Ale get so popular considering Thirsty Dog’s 12 Dogs of Christmas (another Northeast Ohio brewery) is very close in taste, and some even claim it is better? The Great Lakes Christmas Ale phenomenon was not created by a genius marketing or advertising campaign, rather it is the simple law of supply and demand coupled with word-of-mouth marketing.
Whatever the reason Clevelanders don’t care and just want their Christmas Ale. ‘Tis the season for Christmas Ale. Cheers!