Toronto, Ontario – What’s Brewin’ spoke to Troy Burtch, Community & Social Media Manager at Great Lakes Brewery about one of its oldest beers Devil’s Pale Ale 666. You may have noticed that this pale ale is getting very hard to find and that’s because Great Lakes has been slowly phasing this beer out of its rotation.
Troy gave us a little history lesson about the beer we know as Devil’s Pale Ale 666. “It was first brewed in 2006 exclusively for the Toronto Festival of Beer (then at Fort York). It was so popular and frankly, different from what all other Ontario breweries were producing at the time, that GLB decided to continue making it. It was packaged in 473ml cans and accepted at the LCBO, where is thrived. There really wasn’t another beer like it in the Ontario market. And the branding “The Devil Made Me Brew It” was popular with people too. It was more British in nature when first released and it went through some tweaking over the years to become more of an India Brown Ale” Burtch replied.
We asked Troy when was the decision made to phase this beer out, “we started to evaluate the brand at the beginning of 2015. There was talk of changing up the recipe and re-branding it to have the look, feel and attitude of our other brands like Canuck Pale Ale and the Tank Ten beers. When we launched Pompous Ass English Ale in the LCBO in December 2014 in 473ml cans, it allowed us to take a closer look at the Devil’s Pale Ale and where it fit in with our portfolio. Eventually we decided that we’d run through our inventory and can the remaining liquid before phasing it out quietly. It did take a bit of discussion as it was, in our opinion, a very underrated beer and a beer that the staff at GLB were very fond of. After weighing our options we felt the best move would be to replace it in the future with a new brand”.
Does GLB plan to make a beer that will replace Devil’s Pale Ale? A tight lipped Troy told us “unfortunately we aren’t announcing which beer will be taking the place of Devil’s Pale Ale in our year-round portfolio at this time. It will be exciting when it happens though, I can promise you that”.
As for picking up any of the remaining Devil’s Pale Ale Troy told us “some bars and restaurants may still have some cans in their inventory from the very last canning run that we did of it just before the end of July. Draught – afraid not”.
What’s Brewin’ would like to thank Troy for taking the time to speak with us.