“Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris.”
– Mephistopheles, Doctor Faustus
The translation of that quote above is, “It is a comfort to the wretched to have companions in misery.” Or, put another way: Misery loves company. In that respect, here’s what’s making us miserable today: To make room for its 2017 lineup, Avery Brewing Co. is retiring seven beers by the end of this year. The brewery announced in a press release that the beers on the chopping block include the entire Demons of Ale series—Samael’s, The Beast and Mephistopheles—as well as The Kaiser, The Czar, Salvation and Dugana.
The decision to kill off the beers is a result of increased focus on the growth of Avery’s Annual Barrel Series (a group that includes seasonal releases like Tweak, Rumpkin, and Uncle Jacob’s), the Botanicals & Barrels series (which currently includes Raspberry Sour and Vanilla Bean Stout, and will consist of six year-round offerings by late spring 2017), and the one-offs in the Barrel-Aged Series that have so far included beers from Brabant (a wild ale aged eight months in zinfandel barrels) to Callipygian (an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels with coffee, cocoa, cacao nibs and vanilla beans). The brewery plans to have more than 3,300 barrels in its collection to produce even more beers in these series, according to the release.
“The Demons and Dictators series were ahead of their time when they first came out, but that was over a decade ago,” Avery’s co-founder and CEO, Adam Avery, said in the release. “These beers led the way for everything we do today to push the boundaries of our beer. Now we are taking all that courage, expertise, and quality control we gained and amplifying it in a much bigger way in our barrel program. We are not only focused on making our barrel program the biggest out there with annual production of multiple different styles of barrel-aged beer, but more importantly we are committed to making it the best and highest quality. This is challenging us more than we’ve ever challenged ourselves before—and that’s a good thing. It’s hard to say goodbye, but I couldn’t be more excited to see the reaction of our fans when these barrel-aged beers get in their hands.”
But all is not lost for huge fans of the to-be-discontinued beers: Travis Rupp, head of Avery’s barrel-aging program, hinted in the release that they may reappear as barrel-aged bottles or taproom rarities.
Until then, however, find some friends and drown your tears in some bottles of The Beast. Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris.