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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Oh, the heartache: Behind the shortage of Two-Hearted Ale

Posted by on Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Ninety-nine barrels of Two-Hearted Ale on the wall, 99 barrels of beer ...

Hey, we'd be grateful to could find even a single bottle of Two-Hearted Ale in stores, but we've finally gotten to the bottom of the shortage of the popular beer.

Demand for the India Pale Ale has outstripped the brewing capacity at Bell's Brewery, according to Marketing Director Laura Bell. Distributors are apportioning the supply to stores—Peace Street Market in Raleigh had none in stock, nor did Sam's Quik Shop in Durham—and Whole Foods in Durham is out for the season. (A reasonable substitute is the Hopsecutioner IPA by Athens, Ga.-based Terrapin Beer Co.)

But Two-Hearted fans shouldn't despair. The brewery, headquartered in Kalamazoo, Mich., plans to break ground in April on an expansion, which will include additional fermentation space and a 200-barrel brewhouse to augment its current 50-barrel one. A barrel is 31 gallons; 50 barrels is 1,550 gallons.

Bell said she doesn't have year-end production figures yet, but that Two-Hearted is its fastest-growing brand.

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