As the Christmas season approaches, Crooked Hammock in Lewes is set to release a stocking stuffer through its new Backyard Beer Club that puts a twist on one of the brewery’s most popular releases.
On Nov. 20, Crooked Hammock held a preview of its new Banana Hammock Gold, which takes the popular Belgian quad-style beer and ages it in bourbon barrels provided by Bulleit, the popular national brand of bourbon and whiskey. The beer will only be available to members of Crooked Hammock’s Backyard Beer Club, a new membership program that will be limited to 300 members, 100 at each Crooked Hammock location – Lewes, Middletown and North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Crooked Hammock founder Rich Garrahan said signups for the Backyard Beer Club will start on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, through Crooked Hammock’s website. Membership costs $180, which covers the whole calendar year. Garrahan said for that cost, members will get a number of perks: each month they will be able to get a four-pack of Crooked Hammock’s subscriber series beers, 15% off merchandise, a birthday pint and invitations to beer release parties.
Garrahan said the club is a way to reward loyal fans of Crooked Hammock and as a way to manage presales of specialty beers. For those who sign up, the first beer they will get is Banana Hammock Gold, which will come hand-bottled. Members have to physically go to a Crooked Hammock location to pick up their beers.
As for Banana Hammock Gold, Garrahan said the idea to collaborate with Bulleit came about after working with them on some cross-promotion, leading to the distillery putting Crooked Hammock in their barrel program, where spent whiskey or bourbon barrels are sent to breweries for barrel-aging beers. Garrahan said the timing was right, as Crooked Hammock was set to begin brewing Banana Hammock and wanted to experiment with barrel-aging. After being brewed, Garrahan said the beer was aged for two months; although, for future batches, the intention is to age longer.
He said the regular Banana Hammock will be released in February.