Remember that seasonal beer New Glarus Brewing Company made a couple of years ago? You know, the one you really liked, but can't find anymore? Well, the brewery remembers it too, and is giving you a chance to help bring it back via its third annual Beer Vote.
New Glarus has placed every beer it's ever produced on its beer ballot, and the polls are currently open to the public. 54 beers are currently available to vote on, everything from the immensely popular Spotted Cow to the not-so-famous Norski Mai Bock. There's even a place for customers to offer suggestions for new styles of beer they would like to see from the brewery.
According to Deb Carey, co-founder of New Glarus Brewing, the idea for a beer vote was a natural evolution from customer feedback after taking tours and from those calling the brewery asking about a favorite style of beer. New Glarus sensed that its customers wanted to play a greater role in what beers would be available. With a nod to the democratic process, the Beer Vote was born. So far, it has been very successful in helping to bringing back fan favorites such as Cherry Stout and Enigma. It has also proven to be a great way for New Glarus to build stronger relationships with its customers.
Over 19,000 votes were cast in 2009, and the brewery is on target to beat that number with nearly 14,000 votes already cast this year. Polls close at the end of August, at which time New Glarus will tally all the votes and see which beers get to be produced another year, which ones will rise from the dead, and which will be put into a state of temporary stasis.
Of course, the idea of basing next year's brewing schedule on the votes of the drinking public brings up a few questions. Foremost may be: What if Spotted Cow, the most popular beer made by New Glarus, doesn't receive enough votes? What if everyone assumes that everyone else will vote for Spotted Cow and nobody actually does? Would Spotted Cow be discontinued?
In response to these questions, Carey jokingly replies that she wants everyone' opinion on what to brew, but has never been a slave to public opinion. Spotted Cow fans can rest assured that they will still be able to get their hands on a six-pack no matter how the vote goes -- but after the vote, they may also be able to pick up a pack of Smoke on the Porter too.