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Home > Introducing Point 2012 Black Ale - Stevens Point, WI

Introducing Point 2012 Black Ale - Stevens Point, WI

Inspired by the mystery of the ancient Mayan “Long Count” round calendar, Stevens Point Brewery’s brewmasters have created 2012 Black Ale, a dark, robust brew to satisfy beer lovers’ tastes any day of the year.

2012 Black Ale was introduced at retail on March 1, 2010 – or, according to the Long Count calendar method. It will be available year-round in 6-packs of 12-ounce longneck bottles and kegs wherever Point beers are sold.

Inspiration comes in many forms, according to Joe Martino, Stevens Point Brewery Managing Partner, in this case from the public fascination – and apprehension – associated with the Mayan calendar, which ends abruptly in 2012 after more than 5,000 years.

“Some doomsayers think it will bring the end of time; others say the world will experience a new beginning,” Martino said. “One thing we do know is 2012 Black Ale will intrigue ale lovers as much as the Mayan calendar intrigues archaeologists, astronomers and doomsday prophets. It’s the right beer to enjoy as we contemplate what may happen after December 21, 2012.”

Brewing 2012 Black Ale
2012 Black Ale’s ingredients include pale, Munich and roasted malts, Cluster and Cascade hops from the Pacific Northwest and Saaz hops from the Czech Republic, said Ken Carlson, Steven’s Point Brewery’s Director of Brewing.

In addition to the Mayan calendar mystery, 2012 Black Ale is inspired by traditional German “schwarzbier,” or black beer, according to Carlson. “German-style schwarzbiers typically are lagers, but we saw this beer is an opportunity to be more creative,” he said. “We brewed our interpretation of black beer as an ale, which means more hops as well as fruity notes that come from using an ale yeast. The use of roasted malts adds a slightly burnt character to the beer.”
The Mayan “Long Count” Calendar

The ancient Mayans, whose civilization reached its height between A.D. 250 and 900, were early scholars of mathematics and astronomy who studied the movements of the moon, stars and planets in the black tropical night skies. They devised several complex and accurate calendars, including the so-called “Long Count” circular calendar. The Long Count calendar spans 5,125 years, beginning on what the Maya saw as the dawn of a period of creation: August 11, 3114 B.C., long before their civilization established itself in the jungles and mountains of Mexico and Central America. The Maya designated that date as Day Zero, or calendar ends inexplicably on A.D. December 21, 2012, the Winter Solstice, prompting various doomsday predictions. Maya experts, however, say it simply means the start of another long Mayan calendar cycle and period of creation, starting with the day once again for the first time in more than 5,000 years.

Regardless of what happens following the Winter Solstice in 2012, one thing is certain: 2012 Black Ale is available year round now so you can enjoy it any time.

Stevens Point Brewery
The company was founded in 1857 by George Ruder and Frank Wahle. In 1864, the company provided its beer to the troops during the Civil War. The brewery was subsequently sold to Andrew and Jacob Lutz in 1867. The Lutz family continued operations until it was sold to Gustav Kuenzel in 1897. The company was then organized as the Gustav Kuenzel Brewing Company in 1901. The following year, it was renamed the Stevens Point Brewing Company. Ludwig Korfman purchased a controlling interest in the company in 1924 and reorganized the company as the Stevens Point Beverage Company. The company faced local competition from the mid-1860s through the Prohibition era of the 1920s, when the remaining competition went out of business.[3] During the 1950s, the brewery began using cans in production. In 1973, Point Special brand beer was rated the top American beer in a taste test as reported by Mike Royko, a prominent columnist for the Chicago Daily News. By the 1970s the company was owned by Felix and Ken Shibilski. In 1990, the company first began selling its product outside Wisconsin, in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota. In 1992, the Shibilskis sold the company to Chicago-based Barton Beers Ltd. The new ownership was unique for Barton in that Point beer was its only domestic product line, with all of its other offerings being imports. The company planned to tie sales to its Mexican brand, Corona, but when that brand's sales exploded, the Point brand became a distraction. In 2002, the company was sold back to Wisconsin ownership by Milwaukee-based real estate developers Joe Martino and Jim Wiechmann. That same year, the company introduced gourmet sodas to its beverage list.[4] In 2003, Point Special won the gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the premium lager category. That same year, the company bought the Augsburger brand from Stroh Brewery Company. In 2005, the company bought four beer brands from the James Page Brewing Company. In 2007, the company was listed in the top fifty craft brewers list by the Brewers Association.

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