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They've been asking for it for weeks, and now they can get it.

Prison City Pub & Brewery in Auburn announced Tuesday the release date of its next batch of Mass Riot India pale ale: Sunday, Sept. 11.

Demand for the beer surged in early August, when Paste Magazine ranked it No. 1 in the publication's annual blind taste test of 247 American IPAs.

The beer, a 6.4 ABV New England-style IPA, was initially on tap at Prison City for about 10 days in early July before the Auburn brewpub ran out. Work began on the second batch almost immediately after Paste's article was published.

Marc Schulz, who co-owns the brewpub with his wife, Dawn, said hundreds of people have asked for the Mass Riot over the past month, and about 80 or 90 specifically traveled to Prison City for it.

With that demand in mind, Prison City announced a few rules for Mass Riot's release. Beginning that Sunday at noon, 120 Crowlers (32-ounce cans) will be available, with a limit of one per customer. The beer will also be on tap at the brewpub in 4-, 8- and 16-ounce servings.

Marc said he and Dawn agonized over how, specifically, they would release the coveted beer.

"We have no idea what to expect," he said. "We're simultaneously preparing for the best and the worst. There could be a line wrapped around the corner and we'll sell the 120 cans in a couple hours. But we're trying to be humble: Maybe we only sell 20."

Unlike most Prison City beers, which can be taken home in Crowlers, the Mass Riot will only be available on tap once its 120 Crowlers have been sold. Several of brewer Ben Maeso's other Prison City beers will be available the day of Mass Riot's release, both by the glass and in Crowlers.

Schulz said he expects a good 30 or 40 percent of the day's customers will grab their Crowler and walk out the door. The Sept. 11 release will sate that crowd, as will the beer's next batch in about two weeks — but after that, he said, the beer might become more sparse as Maeso returns to making other IPAs, like the Riot in Vermont.

"We can't afford to just become the Mass Riot brewery right now," Schulz said. "At the end of the day, we're a restaurant that also happens to brew beer."

Prison City will also "be digging into the cellar and pouring other exceptional beers" that day, it said on its Facebook page.

Thirsty Pug Craft Beer Market plans to do the same. Mike Sigona, owner of the Genesee Mall bottle shop, said he'll open that Sunday from about 1 to 5 p.m. (The shop is typically closed Sundays.)

"There's definitely a lot of hype for this beer to come out," he said of the Mass Riot. "It's going to be great for the beer community and great for Auburn."

Sigona said he'll have about four or five beers by Brooklyn-based Grimm Artisanal Ales on tap that afternoon. Three of Grimm's IPAs placed in the top 30 of Paste's rankings.

Even though fondness for that beer style will bring many a hophead to Auburn that Sunday afternoon, Sigona hopes they branch out, too.

"Hopefully they try (Maeso's) other stuff," he said. "It's nice to see a local guy get this kind of recognition."

Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.


Features editor for The Citizen.