November 27, 2018

Big Hugs Release

This year marks 10 years of Big Hugs Imperial Coffee Stout.

Every year we’ve brewed this beer looking to strike the cushy spot between strong and comfortable, an Imperial Drinking Stout, built for true

The label provides a journey through all the friends and foes our fair kitten has met through the years, do you recognize them all? We look forward to celebrating with all of those who have traversed this trail with us.


we’re hosting Big Hugs at our Balmoral brewery.
It’s a big day, and we have a big space, so come fill it up.

we canned the variants
Vanilla in 4packs, Bourbon Barrel Aged in 2 packs, more info below.

There will be merch for your outsides, food and drink for your insides, Dark Matter Coffee, good feels and snacks. We look forward to this event every year, and hope you feel the same.


release day: 12/02/17 at 11am

location: Balmoral Avenue brewery, 2050 W. Balmoral


4pk 16oz cans: $19.99

limit 3 per person

no growler / howlers 

10oz pour $6

This year we chose a single coffee variety – Santa Petrona, bourbon, washed. It’s from El Salvador. Dark Matter extracted it multiple ways – espresso shots (a coordinated effort across all of their locations to simultaneously pull enough shots at each location to fill a 1/6 bbl with espresso), french press, pour-over, and more. The coffee is brewed at super concentrated levels so the beer dilution is minimal upon its addition. We added the liquid at a total volume of 3% by volume of beer. Then, for the first time, we infused the beer on whole roasted beans of the same variety in our infuser.

All in, this batch of Big Hugs is a bully reborn. 10% ABV and easy, balanced drinking ~ it’s the imperial stout your pint glass fights for, with notes of dark fruit, smooth roast, and cocoa.



4pk 16oz cans: $21.99

limit 3 per person

no growler / howlers 

10oz pour $6

Vanilla Big Hugs is brewed for those with the sweet lean. The same base beer as original Big Hugs, the liquid coffee added was brewed in the style of Dark Matter’s “Vanilla Suburbs” iced coffee, which has vanilla and cocoa added with the coffee grounds when it is extracted. We then conditioned the beer on madagascar vanilla beans. The woody-sweet of vanilla presents itself upon the cracking of the can, while the drinking experience is well integrated and smooth.


2pk 16oz cans: $19.99

limit 3 per person

no growler / howlers 

10oz pour $11

Bourbon Barrel Aged Big Hugs, is in our opinion, in its finest form here in year three. The Big Hugs base recipe is tweaked to stand up to its time in wood, richer overall, with bigger mouthfeel and body, it’s Hugs at its core and something altogether different at the same time. Aged 9 months in freshly emptied Willett bourbon barrels, we then added liquid coffee and infused the beer with whole bean coffee. For the liquid coffee Dark Matter conditioned green coffee beans in barrel-aged Hugs after it came out of the barrels. Then they roasted the coffee and extracted it into liquid that we added BACK into the beer. Cyclical ouroboros extraction theory.



The Whole Enchilada, the presale option for Big Hugs and its variants, is back. On Wednesday, November 28th at 11am we will make a set amount of Big Hugs available online. For $190 (tax inclusive, ticket site fee NOT included) you can guarantee yourself:

2 x 4 packs of Big Hugs Imperial Coffee Stout 

2 x 4 packs of Vanilla Big Hugs Imperial Coffee Stout

3 x 2 packs of Bourbon Barrel Aged Big Hugs Imperial Coffee Stout 

1 x 14oz. specialty Big Hugs teku   

All packed up in a Half Acre Build CO custom split fountain screen printed box.

Link to ticket page here.

You will be invited to pick up your full allotment on release day (12/2) from our shop on Lincoln, between the hours of 11am-10pm. 

If you do not pick up your allotment on 12/2, you can get it from our shop on Lincoln 11am-10pm 12/4-12/9. Do not try to get them on Monday 12/3, we’ll be closed.  

If you do not pick up your allotment by 3pm on December 9th you will forfeit it to the hungry beasts that make our science cheese. 

There will be no refunds and no exceptions. Please read all of the fine print on the ticket website before your purchase.  This is for pre-sale only, if you want a beanie, a tee shirt, or anything not included in the pre-sale, you may have to wait in a line at Balmoral on release day. While you can drink Big Hugs and its variants on draft, there will not be any additional packaged (to-go) Big Hugs (or variants, or merch) located at Lincoln on 12/2.

PROXIES ARE NOT PERMITTED. By PROXIES, we mean you cannot pay and have someone else pick up for you. You must personally pick up and show a valid ID at time of pick up to verify age & identity. 

We have a great time with you at the Big Hugs release, and being at Balmoral this year we hope it’s more comfortable and joyous than ever, but we realize that not everyone feels the same way. If you elect to acquire your lot via The Whole Enchilada, please consider dropping by anyway, for a sample of a one-off beer, or complimentary sweet treat.

Thank you, 

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