On August 26th, a few of you noticed this seemingly cryptic tweet via the STL Hops Twitter account:

The @Schlafly Saison bottled yesterday, this will probably be the last chance to get it. It will not be coming back as a seasonal next year.

That decision was made way back on July 19th at the most recent Schlafly employee meeting they’ve dubbed the “Beer Town Hall.”  It was decided that the Schlafly beer portfolio was in need of a makeover.  As with many makeovers, sometimes things go away.

The two casualties of this change in portfolio will be the year-round No. 15 and the seasonal Saison.  It was decided that No. 15, which continues to have some die-hard fans, is going to make room for a new series off beers which has been dubbed “The Brewers’ Choice.”

Not unlike New Glarus Brewing Company’s Unplugged Series, the Brewers’ Choice series will be a constantly rotating selection of new beer styles that will be available throughout the year.  The genesis behind the Brewers’ Choice came about due to the popularity of the series of draught beers released at the Bottleworks under the same brand name.

It’s important to note that this new line of beers called Brewers’ Choice will work similarly to the original draught version. Many of the beers released in this new line will probably be single batch beers that could possibly never be produced in a bottle again.

While this new series is indeed the brewers’ choice, that doesn’t mean that Schlafly doesn’t want input from their customers.  Schlafly VP Dan Kopman has asked for people to provide him with ideas for what you’d like to see come out via this line of beers.  Please feel free to leave comments here or email Dan at dkopman@schlafly.com.

The first beer to be released will be the ever popular Scotch Ale.  Unlike in the past when Scotch Ale was released in late January to coincide with Burns Night, you’ll probably begin seeing Scotch Ale hit shelves in early November.  The second release, which they expect to be on shelves mid-March will be a Bavarian-style Weissbier.

As Schlafly will be celebrating their 20th Anniversary on December 26, 2011, the other big announcement to come out of the Town Hall was that of a new beer to commemorate this milestone anniversary.  The plan for this beer is that it will be released in 750ml packaging and will have four separate and distinct recipes.

Each version of the 20th Anniversary beer will represent a different “generation” of Schlafly employees and brewers. The first release, which will be brewed mid-October, will represent to original Schlafly brewers: Dave Miller, Stephen Hale and Dan Kopman.  They’re remaining silent on what the style will be, but I’m sure the secret will be out soon.

One last important beer to point out in this new shake-up is the seasonal that will be replacing Saison will be the oft-requested Porter.  It’s important to note that this beer is still up in the air and I don’t have any details about this beer yet, we’ll all have to stay tuned.

For those of you that mourn the loss of the No. 15 and the Saison, take heart that there is a slight chance we could see these beers again.  As Tap Room Head Brewer Stephen Hale said to me, “There is always the possibility that we could brew one off draught-only batches in the future.  The future is never certain.”