Sold out: Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte beer by Platform a hot item
There’s no beer here.
Demand for Cleveland-based Platform Beer Co.’s new blonde ale based on the delectable burnt almond torte cake from Prantl’s Bakery is a big hit with Pittsburgh-area customers — if they can find the brew.
Platform rolled out the beer for sale Monday, but finding it is a challenge for those who want to try it.
“For two weeks people were calling,” said Art Barbus, owner of House of 1,000 Beers in New Kensington.
Prantl’s flagship torte is one of Barbus’ favorite desserts, said his daughter April Perry, who also serves as the bar/distributor’s assistant manager. Given that, he just had to try the beer, she said.
They were inundated with calls, emails and requests on social media to stock the beer. On Wednesday, they got one case in stock plus a “sixtel” — a 1/6 keg of the beer on draft — that they’re waiting to tap.
Barbus told the staff to keep the beer behind the counter, limiting sales to two 16-ounce cans per customer.
At $6.25 a pop, it sold out in about three hours, Barbus said.
They’re looking to get more and will post on Facebook when they tap the sixtel.
The beer was in high demand throughout the region.
Originally wanting an order of five cases, Frank Mesich of Pittsburgh Street Beverage in Greensburg said he was told to expect one case when his order arrived Thursday. He hoped to get at least two.
“My fingers are crossed,” said Mesich, who co-owns the business with his wife.
READ MORE: All about Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte beer
He got four cases when the shipment finally arrived, which was still far short of the list of 14 customers who had already requested a case just for themselves.
“It’s not going to happen,” Mesich said. “I’ve got to make sure everybody gets a taste.”
Prantl's Beer via /r/pittsburgh https://t.co/T3KlvlscDn
— reddit /r/pittsburgh (@RedditPgh) April 16, 2019
— Carson Street Deli (@Bestbrewdeli) April 17, 2019
— SaveMorBeer (@Savemorbeer) April 16, 2019
Gone in a flash
Shane Rothrauff, manager of McBroom Beer Store in the Swissvale section of Regent Square, received a case of the Prantl’s beer Tuesday. The store sold them by the 4-pack for $18.99. They sold out within four hours.
“We placed orders for more,” he said. “We’re trying to get as many cases as they’ll give us, honestly.”
Rothrauff got his hands on a can across the street at D’s SixPax & Dogz on Braddock Avenue. They had a case and sold them by the single can.
“It’s pretty good,” he said. “I can see why it’s hyped up.”
The hype is creating customer waiting lists.
“Everyone’s been wanting it, but we really can’t get it. We’ve got one case, and that’s all they’re allowing everywhere to get,” said Staci Zugai, manager at Z’s Beer in North Huntingdon.
That case is gone, and Zugai has a waiting list of people hoping more will arrive eventually.
It’s not that unusual for craft brews to sell out quick, she said.
Limited-edition and seasonal beers get crowds excited, but small breweries can only brew so much. Then wholesalers have to divvy up the limited supply among beer stores.
“The hype is so big, and we might end up with a case,” Zugai said. “I hate telling people ‘we just can’t get it for you.’”
Buddy’s Brews on Carson distributor on Pittsburgh’s South Side received two cases April 12. They were sold out by the next morning. A can went for $5.49. A 4-pack, $18.99.
Billy Faith, an employee at Buddy’s, sampled a taste.
“I enjoyed it a lot,” he said. “I’m hoping they brew a lot more. We’re trying to order more, but there’s no guarantee.”
“Everybody’s calling,” said David Wright, the sales manager at Vecenie’s Distributing Co., the exclusive distributor of Platform beer in Western Pennsylvania. “Obviously with the demand behind this beer, we could always have used more. It’s been a very fluid situation, no pun intended.”
Vecenie’s received 350 cases, 35 half-barrel kegs and “a couple” sixtels, Wright said.
“There’s certainly people who are sad it’s not going to make it to their place,” he said.
The brand is new to the Pittsburgh market, so Vecenie’s elected to allow those who’ve supported Platform’s other varieties to stock the Prantl’s brew first, he said.
Vecenie’s has received calls from non-beer drinkers asking if they can get some, he said, which is unheard of in the beer market.
“It’s rare you get an opportunity to engage a new customer,” Wright said.
As for when more may be available, Wright was unsure, but said they’ll be pressuring Platform for more of the sweet brew.
“We hope we see some more,” Wright said.
Tribune-Review staff writers Jacob Tierney, Ben Schmitt and Jason Cato contributed to this report.
Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .