Today is a good day for beer. Today, Schlafly introduces a new, premium series for 2017: From The Ibex Cellar. Don’t get this confused with the Ibex series that has given us Lazy Ballerina and The Eleventh Labor though because that line is now being called “Ibex Rare.” These beers while similar in name are meant to be a more accessible extension of the Ibex Rare series and are sure to keep the Schlafly brand evolving.
From The Ibex Cellar has been in planning for over a year and a half and will feature six bold hand-crafted beers from the Ibex Cellar, the exclusive room beneath the historic Tap Room in downtown St. Louis. Here, only the most select beers are brought to age and evolve and the “From The Ibex Cellar” beers showcase special care in every detail from packaging to process. The first installment will hit the market in the coming weeks with Schlafly’s Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout.
We were lucky enough to get a bottle of the Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout in advance so click here to see how it tasted.
I sat down with Schlafly’s Brand Specialist, Wil Rodgers and Ambassador Brewer Stephen Hale recently to find out more about this project. Both of these bearded beer enthusiasts were incredibly proud of the series and the work that went into creating it. The thing that struck me as we spoke was not just the passion about the beers being made but about the thought behind the packaging they come in as well. The bottle itself was a major focus for this series, with everything from look and size being meticulously thought through.
We worked on the bottle for a long time. There’s an Ibex on either side of the bottle, as well as the bottom. The bottle itself has a feminine look to it so we gave the label a dark, masculine look to contrast it. The 11.2 ounce size was important, as opposed to the 750 ml bottles, because with this size you can open a bottle to have one for yourself and not be having a rough day at the office the next morning.
The packaging is inspired by the history behind the building that the Tap Room occupies as Stephen and Wil explained.
The font came from our designer, Sarah Frost, digging around in the public library archives. She discovered some of the letters of this font that was produced in the early 1900’s and since this building was a printing press at that time, it’s a safe assumption that some of this font was printed here at one time. She reached out to a local typeface designer and he took what we had and created some letters we didn’t have like the ‘x,’ the ‘a,’ and the ‘r.’
Even the 4-pack carrier the beer comes in tells a story. Its shape at the top of each side of the carrier mimic the architecture of the Schlafly Tap Room building with the barrel vaults in the cellar below and the peaks of both the beer garden and the north facing side of the Tap Room. I’m not saying they’ve thought of everything but I challenge you to name something that they didn’t think of.
The series launches with Schlafly Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, one of their biggest, boldest beers that was aged in freshly emptied Kentucky bourbon barrels. The next beer to launch in Q1 of next year will be Schlafly’s Local Oak. A mixed-fermentation process creates a lot of personality for this beer with a light malt character and tart fruitiness. This beer is aged in the new foeders, made from locally grown Ozark timber. The series will continue with beers such as Imperial Coffee Stout, Gooseberry Gose, Barrel-Aged Pumpkin Ale and Single Malt Scottish Ale.
As more beers from the From The Ibex Cellar series become available, rest assured we'll keep you informed.
The “From the Ibex Cellar” beers will be available for purchase in four-packs of 11.2 ounce bottles with a suggested retail price of $17.99. The beers will be available only in bottle format across the brewery’s distribution region as well as in the Schlafly Tap Room or Bottleworks retail areas. For more on Schlafly Beer’s distribution, visit www.schlafly.com/beers/