Before the COVID-19 pandemic, debuts of A Deal With The Devil Barleywine at Anchorage Brewing attracted hundreds of people from around the world. Fans were known to fly all the way to Alaska, set up tents, and wait up to 14 hours in 30-degree weather for a chance to score a limited edition, wax-dipped bottle.
That was before travel lockdowns. But, despite today’s hurdles, ADWTD devotees are not easily deterred. This is no ordinary beer.
Anchorage’s highly sought-after Barleywine incites fervor for an avid subset of beer drinkers — an outspoken crowd of Barleywine is Life (#BIL) enthusiasts known for paying $50, $75, or even $100+ for a single bottle of the rich, complex, boozy, often barrel-aged style they love.
These devotees are already buzzing about the brand new, hyper-limited batch of this year’s Double Oaked Vanilla A Deal with the Devil. Aside from Alaska residents, the only chance #BIL followers have to snag a bottle is on the Tavour beer delivery app.
The online beer retailer Tavour has made a splash in the craft scene with their uncompromising dedication to promoting independent craft breweries. They work directly with over 600 breweries across the country — many up-and-coming — to deliver their beers to fans in up to 25 states. And, their close relationship with Anchorage Brewing means special releases of A Deal With the Devil are available to a lucky few members, while supplies last.
For craft fans in-the-know, A Deal with the Devil is worth scouring the country, and the internet, to get — and paying top dollar for. The brewers aged this latest edition for 7 months in top-shelf Woodford Reserve Double Oaked barrels, then transferred it to Elijah Craig barrels for an additional 6 months. Finally, they finished it on Madagascar vanilla beans. The result is a sinfully smooth elixir that clocks in at a blush-inducing 17% ABV. Previous vintages have earned a perfect 100/100 aggregate score on BeerAdvocate (a user-based beer rating platform).
This new 2021 vintage is even more small-batch than the last, with a mere 133 cases produced. Apart from a small locals-only taproom release and the few bottles Anchorage stowed away in the brewery cellar, the entire batch is on its way to Tavour.
Last year’s vintage of ADWTD sold out on Tavour in just 15 minutes; it was the only place outside of Alaska that it was ever made available. The online retailer expects this new Double Oaked Vanilla edition to fly off the app even quicker. And, a lucky few members will get access to the even more limited 2-year barrel aged Triple Oaked ADWTD, from the 116 total cases in existence, just a few days later.