Thought the clamor for Yuengling was crazy? Just wait until Great Lakes Brewing Company unleashes its Christmas Ale.

Thought the clamor for Yuengling was crazy? Just wait until Great Lakes Brewing Company unleashes its Christmas Ale.

The sought-after suds will start appearing in markets outside of Cleveland on Monday, Oct. 31, marketing assistant Lauren Boveington said. This year, the brewery will be cooking up 296 batches of the holiday ale brewed with honey, ginger and cinnamon.

For those who can't wait until Halloween, Great Lakes will tap the first keg at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at its home brewpub at 2516 Market Ave. in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood.

"I get phone calls in August asking when the Christmas Ale is going to come out," said James Delewese, resident beer expert at Kenny Road Market. "There is no other seasonal release that gets as much fervor. So many people know about it, and so many people want it."

Here are three tips for getting a sip.

1. Check for updates. Great Lakes has created several pages to help local drinkers find its seasonal. Follow @GLBCinColumbus on Twitter and check for updates at greatlakesbrewing.com/beer-finder.

2. Befriend a local beer vendor. Most Christmas Ale is shipped locally to Glazer's distributing company, which divvies it out to Columbus accounts. Great Lakes brews the beer in many batches, so the amount shipped can change weekly. Ask how much your local carryout expects to get and when shipments come in.

3. Find it on tap. Even though many enact per-customer limits on Christmas Ale, beer stores almost always sell out. Often a safer bet is grabbing some on tap. For example, if a store gets five cases, that's enough for 20 customers to buy one six-pack apiece. However, a single half-barrel keg holds about 120 pints - a pretty good opportunity if you get to the bar early.