What the "L"?
A Milwaukee distillery made L Flag Bourbon to celebrate the Brewers' Game 163 National League Central tiebreaker win last year — and, of course, to stick it to the Cubs and their fans.
"It's all in good fun," said Pat McQuillan, co-owner of Central Standard Craft Distillery.
Sure it is.
The new bourbon came out Thursday, a day before the 1-5 Cubs headed to Miller Park to play the 6-1 Brewers in a weekend series.
At the end of last season, Brewers fans were waving "L" flags seemingly everywhere — including Wrigley Field. It's the same flag the Cubs have been flying atop the center-field scoreboard after home losses since 1938 — the sad counterpart to the now ubiquitous "W" flag.
And you'll recall that in February, the Brewers were trying to keep Miller Park from becoming "Wrigley North" — despite all those "L" flags — by offering a presale for Wisconsin residents only for games against the Cubs.
"Any claims that this presale is an attempt to prevent Cubs fans from getting Brewers tickets are ... well, pretty accurate, actually," the Brewers admitted on their Twitter account.
The idea for L Flag Bourbon started after Central Standard says the Cubs "snubbed" its request to buy the actual "L" flag that flew over Wrigley after the Brewers beat the Cubs 3-1 in Game 163 on Oct. 1 to clinch the NL Central title.
"They sell their 'W' flags for about 500 bucks each to benefit their charity," Central Standard co-owner Evan Hughes said. "So we thought offering them double and paying to replace their current 'L' flag was a no-brainer opportunity to do some good, help a great cause and celebrate the rivalry between our two cities."
Central Standard planned to fly the flag at the distillery and then donate it to the Brewers Community Foundation.
What was the Cubs' response?
"One (official) literally said, 'No and not for any donation amount,' " Hughes said. "As fans, I guess we can respect that kind of blind loyalty, but from a charitable perspective, it doesn't seem very neighborly . or fun."
So Hughes and McQuillan, both "huge Brewers fans," decided if they can't have the flag, they'll do what distillers do: make the bourbon. On Thursday, Central Standard started selling the limited-edition 163 bottles (get it?) for $30 each.
They sold out in three hours, McQuillan said Friday morning.
Will they make more?
Yes, McQuillan said, "if demand continues."
The distillery is expanding into Illinois, and McQuillan said they might consider a W Flag Bourbon for Cubs fans.
"It has been discussed," he said. "We'll see where it goes."