Kate the Great day 2012 (Live Blogging)

As Portsmouth Beer Week comes to an end, we are here at Portsmouth Brewery to celebrate the 7th Annual Kate the Great Day.

Kate the Great, also known as “Catherine the Great II”,served as Russia’s Empress for 34 years.  Overseeing the Russian Golden Age of Enlightnment, following a Western European model of culture and political practice and had a fascination and love of strong, dark English beer.

Our Kate the Great is a Russian Imperial Stout, brewed at Portsmouth Brewery, under the leadership of Tod Mott.  “This is the 7th year that we’ve brewed the Kate the Great, but it isn’t the first incarnation of this recipe.  Originally (and briefly) it was called “Boston Strangler,” Tod introduced a version of this recipie at Back Bay Brewing Company in 1996.”

Lets get the day started!


—————————  Today’s Event ————

3:00 AM:  First Kate the Great Fan li8:00nes up.  XXX  From California.

3:10:  Second and third people arrive.

The First 2 groups in line for Kate The Great 2012
From L-R: Patrick O’Connor, Bill O’Connor, Rob Barry, Ron Johnson, Dave Hering

8:00: 2Beerguys BrewKrew arrives and joins approx 150 people in line

9:00:  Press crew starts to file in.  High Fives for everyone

9:05:  Quick line count – approx 275 people

9:18:   Interview with Tod Mot



photo courtesy of seacoast beverage lab

Five months in the making..  1 month of fermination and 4 months of conditioning

  • 26 degrees plato (OG) 6 degrees (TG)
  • 60 ibu’s
  • 10% ABV   
  • First time using the hop back, to give it an aromatic quality.   
  • First time bottled in 11.2 ounce “Steinie” bottles.  All previous releases were released in 22oz bottles.
  • Took 6 oak spirals (american oak).  Floated 3 bottles of port on them from Flag Hill Winery.  Then the oak spirals were added in the last week.
  • 2011 had a dominant chocolate characteristic and this year, the same ingredients were used, but “this year is different”  says Todd “this year is the best”.
  • Only 1200 of the bottles were labled, due to time.  The rest will be labeled 
  • “We only brew one imperial stout here,” says Todd “We have four or five IPA’s that we brew here, but just one iimperial stout”.
  • Just about 6 barrels available today.   Call your friends and get it while it lasts.

9:35:  Peter Egelston joins the Interview

10:30 The line is estimated to be over 500 people.

10:45 the doors open up and Portsmouth Brewery’s seats begin filling

11:30 Peter begins his speech about 2012 Kate the Great, which is subsequently tapped and toasted.

1:00 The group that showed up @ 10:00  (starting near the dumpsters behind Gilly’s) reached the corner of Ladd street. The end is near.

1:35 Beer Fans were seen trading a special Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout and Founders Curmudgeon for 2012 Kate the Great.

2:01 Approximately 1/2 of the 2012 Kate The great has been consumed.

3:00 The line is still going strong. Some of the folks near the front of the line have been waiting 3+ hours.

3:05 Checking the tank for Kate …………

3:51 1.5 barrels remaining. That is approximately 1150 half pint pours. Prost!

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