Hi, everyone! We'll get started live from the Tap Room at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14. Feel free to post questions ahead of time. We'll be sure to get them to Dan!
We have a few questions in the queue. Go ahead and post yours, and Dan K. will answer them when we get started at 1.
OK, we're about to get started here at the Tap Room -- have some great questions already. Dan is spry, coming off a recent East Coast trip. Keep 'em coming!
I thought the blog post from Stan Hieronymus yesterday was a really well written piece on this very subject. A brewery can help connect employees to other employees to colleagues at other breweries, to wholesalers and retailers, to writers and fans and ultimately to even the most casual consumer that has much more on their mind than beer. We are thinking about how to grow our business and maintain those connections. It is the connections that create the memories. And while the dollars that come with growth are an important measure it is the memories that we will ultimately leave behind"
Fortunately there are no new pressures from either our outside investor group or our employee investors. I do feel a greater sense of responsibilty to all these investors than I might have when it was just Tom and me.
The Board of the St. Louis Brewers Guild along with a representative from AB met yesterday with the new Director for the Guild, Patrick Hughes. With all of the noise going on outside of the room it was a great meeting as the Guild moves forward and I can confirm that it is the intention of the Guild to continue The Brewers Heritage Festival. There are some great ideas to improve the experience for consumers. We are working on bringing the home brewer beers back to the Festival. And lastly, the Festival is scheduled for Father's Day weekend, June 14th and 15. Details to follow.
We will continue to expand our production of these beers in 2013, splitting the series into two, Special Release - Extra Stout, Belgian Golden Ale, Pumpkin Ale and Christmas Ale and Special Release IPAs - Tasmanian, American and English Style Export IPA. We will make sure that Major Brands, our wholesaler in MO and Standard Beverage in KS works to increase distribution of these beers in your area.
@beer guy I didn't get any. Did you?
We are almost at capacity for our two breweries in StL at 50,000bbls per year. We are now looking for the land that would be needed for a new production brewery in StL. In the long term, a much larger brewery could need as much as 40 or 50 acres. There are few if any craft brewers with this type of footprint in an urabn area. We very much want to avoid building a 3rd brewery and find down the road that we do not have enough land. With such a challenging search but a willingness to take on post-industrial urabn land we are allowing 5 years from the start for the search to any produciton coming from a new brewery in StL.
(Dan is continuing his answer to that last question. Stand by.)
We have a couple of questions in the queue about "wild" and sour ales. We'll get to that next.
@RP3P0 Dan asks if you're a millionaire...
In order to continue to meet growing demand we have created partnerships with three breweries outside of StL to brew and package more beer. In 2012 we have brewed about 4,000 bbls of draft Pale Ale at the new Blackstone Brewery in Nashville. Their head brewer, Dave Miller was our first head brewer and therefore he is very familiar with Schlafly Pale Ale. When Blackstone was looking to build this brewery we worked out this agreement that has helped them to get the brewery built and helped us to get this capacity. We will continue to brew this quantity of Pale Ale in Nashville in 2013. We have a similar agreement with the new Backpocket Brewery in IA City. We will be brewing draft Summer Lager and Oktoberfest their in 2013. Lastly we have an agreement with Stevens Point Brewery to produce some of our beers in cans and we are now installing some new equipment at Stevens Point to make this happen. The combination of these partnerships should allow Schlafly Beer to meet increased demand over the next 5 years.
We have started a sour beer program at the Tap Room in an area of the cellar that is separate from other fermentation areas. We have beers currently in barrels that have been innoculated with various strains of wild yeast and bacteria. We hope to have some of these beers available at the Tap Room only in 2013. We are years away from bottling any sour beers produced with wild yeast or bacteria. Brewers spent a few centuries trying to keep these little critters out of their beers so if we move to bottle these we want to ensure that there is no chance of cross contamination with other beers.
@iwilleathops Oh, I like that rumor.
@Oinkspurger Orange and chocolate is one of my favorite flavor pairings.
In 2013 we will be expanding our portfolio of beers in cans. In additon to Helles Style Summer Lager and Hefeweizen in 12 pack cans, we will be introducting a new series of "canned sessions" - beers in 12 ounce cans in 6 packs that will all be 5% abv or less. This will begin with two beers that we have produced as draft beers for a number of years; A session IPA based on the best of two recipes that we have produced - one that was know in DC as House in Session and the other an Amarillo IPA that was on tap at Schlafly Bottleworks. And American Brown Ale that we have brewed for a number of years at The Schlafly Tap Room and is on draft at select accounts in our trade area. Then in the fall of 2013 we will introduce a seasonal beer in cans as well.
At the moment we do not sell beer in Chicago. Schlafly Beer is available in South and Central IL. (TBC)
(TBC) = To Be Continued (in next post)
Stand by for this, folks. This is some news.
We are exploring the possbility of opening a small brewhouse, pub and store in Chciago. We are not close to making this a reality but it is a way in which we believe we could introduce Schlafly Beer to Chicago. We will keep you posted.