It seems as if every year the process of trying to obtain a much sought-after bottle of Portsmouth Brewery’s “Kate the Great” changes, and this year they’ve added an element of chance. Instead of having people line up on the release day to get a calendar page to get in to buy a bottle, they’ve taken an entirely different approach. Starting around – and I say around because the facebook page for the brewery just reminded everyone that there’s no firm date – January 24th, the brewery will be selling custom-printed scratch tickets that offer a chance to buy a bottle of Kate for $2 each. Now, before you bristle about the brewery capitalizing on demand and making their own lottery, you have to hear part 2 of the plan. They’re going to take all the sales from the chance tickets and give it to a local charity.
“Ten thousand tickets will be available, with nine hundred “winners” mixed randomly among them. These tickets will be sold at the Portsmouth Brewery for $2 apiece starting six weeks prior to Kate Day, until they run out. All of the revenue generated by the sale of these scratch tickets will be donated to a non-profit of our choice. Sale of scratch tickets will be limited to ten per person per day.”
This change is probably with good reason – a few years ago people from several states away drove in the pre-dawn hours to stand outside in cold and sleet for the chance at getting a calendar page that would earn them the right to purchase a bottle. After moving away from Portsmouth, I thought I could never justify taking a day off from work just to do that – and I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to late winter cold. So I decided to be happy if I accidently came across it on tap in one of their un-announced secret releases, and to hang onto my ’09 bottle for a special occasion.
Then, a friend told me about the changes this year, and I got my hopes back up again. The best part (aside from the $20,000 that would go to charity if all the tickets sell) is that, once you have a winning ticket, you can come in and buy the bottle of Kate at your convenience within 30 days of Kate day. Which means no lines, no taking a day off from work, and no frustration. I’m quite excited about this – I wish everyone who tries the best of luck!
And, if you want to know your odds of winning vs. the cost of buying tickets – check out The Seacoast Beverage Lab’s info graphic. (Thanks Brian!)