PORTSMOUTH, NH (CBS) – A man who created the recipe for one of the most critically acclaimed beers in the world is leaving the New Hampshire brewery that made the beer famous. And he’s taking the recipe with him.
After eight years at Portsmouth Brewery, head brewer Tod Mott is opening his own brewery in Maine.
Mott and the Portsmouth brewery confirmed his departure to WBZ-TV on Monday.
He also acknowledged that he’s taking with him the recipe for Kate The Great, which he created and owns the rights to.
Kate The Great has been dubbed by beer enthusiast websites as one of the greatest brews in the world.
Each Spring, people from all over the country come in to try the award-winning limited edition Russian Imperial Stout on what has become known as “Kate Day.”
Demand for the beer is so high, that in recent years, the brewery has started selling raffle tickets. Only raffle winners are allowed to buy the beer.
Even with the raffle, back in March the brewpub sold out its entire stock from the latest batch in about seven hours.
Mott says he will continue to brew the beer, and may even offer it twice every year. But he’ll have to change the name.
While Mott is taking the recipe, the brewery still hold the rights to the name Kate The Great.
While this may seem like a point of contention for some, Mott and the Portsmouth Brewery are parting on good terms.
In fact, there is still hope for the Kate the Great brand. Mott says it’s possible he could collaborate with Portsmouth’s new head brewer, Tyler Jones. The details haven’t been worked out, but the idea is brewing.
“I wouldn’t rule it out,” he said. “There’s a good possibility I might come back, brew with Tyler.”
As for Portsmouth, Jones doesn’t feel pressure to come up with the next Kate.
“That just has to happen organically. I just hope to make delicious beer,” he said.
And the owner of the brewery admits a phenomenon like this is “like catching lightning in a bottle.”
WBZ-TV New Hampshire Bureau Chief Lauren Leamanczyk contributed to this report. You can follow her on Twitter @LaurenWBZ.