Great Lakes Brewing Company taps 2012 Christmas Ale

RAW: Christmas Ale poem WINNER

It's eight weeks until Christmas, but the Christmas Ale supply isn't likely to last that long.  Fans of the seasonal commodity stock up, because they've been waiting all year for this gift.

While much of the city basked in summer like temperatures, it was like Christmas Island at the Great Lakes Brewing Company.

Cleveland beer buffs are celebrating because Christmas Ale is finally on tap.

"It's the first pour Christmas Ale.  It's a holiday," said Darlene Horton.

"Everybody looks forward to this day.  Everybody looks forward to the beer.  You have good times. Sometimes you forget 'em," says Tom Buth.

Loyal Christmas Ale fanatic Jason Stitt won the very first pour in a poem contest dedicated to the special blend of honey, ginger and cinnamon.

The brew masters say a sip isn't just good for the soul, it's good for the local economy.  They had to make a sizeable investment to keep up with the demand.

GLBC added brewing tanks and pumped in $400,000 worth of Ohio honey into this year's batch.  They expect to move a couple hundred thousand cases, and sell ten thousand kegs.

"We've been brewing this for quite a long time, trying to build up inventory, enough to handle a pretty thirsty crowd," said GLBC co-owner Pat Conway.

If you have to have it now, you'll have to go the Great Lakes Pub.  Otherwise it'll be on tap elsewhere and in stores on November 1st..while supplies last.

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