Well, friends. It has been a few weeks since we first timidly opened the doors to our retail store at 412 William Street and delivered our first kegs to local restaurants. It would be an understatement to say that we have been on a roller coaster of epic proportions. We have had some very rewarding successes and some very public shortcomings. But at the end of the day, we own it all, we have learned a ton and are in a great position to be truly up to speed by summer.
In the success column, we introduced three of our beer brands recently. They are North Shore Blonde, Cliff Top Pale Ale and White Sail Wheat. At their best, the response has been solid. In particular, I was very pleased by the response to White Sail, our North American Hefeweizen. I believe that it will be in steady rotation through the summer months.
On the set-back side, we have learned some lessons about our carbonation process, and particularly about yeast management. As some of you may have experienced, we had some under-carbonated Cliff Top sold over the long weekend. In addition, we utilized an unproven yeast strain recently which lead to a batch of North Shore Blonde with pretty undesirable results. Regretfully, some of it was sold on Thursday of last week, although only about 50 bottles. Some of you have already reached out to report this and I appreciate your kindness and understanding. If you purchased a bottle of Blonde on Thursday and haven't opened it yet, don't. If you did open it, please bring the empty bottle in to the store and we will rectify the situation as best as we can.
Going forward, the good news is this. We have brand new, fresh and vibrant yeast being propagated for us in a lab environment as we speak. This will improve and shorten our fermentation and allow us to offer you a better and more consistent product. Also, we are acquiring new fermentation vessels which will dramatically increase
our production capacity.
The retail store will not open this week (May 29-31), as we are refilling our production pipeline. We appreciate your kind patience as we continue to work out these early jitters.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Firstly, I want to thank all of our great friends in Cobourg and the surrounding area who have made it so completely clear that we are building our brewery in the right place. Thank you for your unwavering support...and your seemingly unlimited thirst.
As I have had the opportunity to explain to many of you, we have spent the past few weeks waging a war on two fronts. One one side, we have been working to get our brewhouse operations up to full capacity. This has included a ton of engineering and re-engineering, assembly and re-assembly and countless hours of watching CO2 bubbles. You will be happy to hear that we are just now finally hitting our stride with many of the kinks worked out.
At the same time, there is the wonderful issue of your enthusiasm and patient demand to buy beer from our on site retail store. We have opened as possible, we have sold beer in large quantities at an unexpected pace, and we have had to turn people away empty handed. Many of you have commented that "it's a nice problem to have". You are probably right, if you consider the opposite scenario in which the fridges were full and no one wanted the contents. However, our goal now is to provide you with consistency.
To that end, after much deliberation and angst, we have decided to keep the retail store closed this weekend (May 9th-11th) in order to get ahead of the game. We really want to have our best foot forward going into the May long weekend. The store will be open on May 15th at noon. At that time you can select between:
Cliff Top Pale Ale
Our North American Style Pale Ale which boasts a balance of citrusy hop bitterness and smooth malty sweetness.
North Shore Blonde
An effort at elegance in simplicity. It is golden in colour with a crisp sweetness and a subtle and balanced hop presence
White Sail Wheat