Last week we talked about how having both the Red Tape and Pilsner as year-round beers tied up our brewing cycle before we decided to brew Jabby Brau. That was just one of the lessons we learned about planning our production. We were also forced to abandon our plan for seasonals as it proved to be unwieldy for a new brewery. We had planned to have one seasonal for each season with a few specialities here and there as we needed them.
Our Copper Legend Octoberfest, which came out at the start of September, was the first seasonal that we brewed under this plan. The problem was we could not tell if our initial batch would last through October. Because we lagered this beer for six weeks, we had to decide whether or not to brew a second batch before the first one was released, if we wanted it for October.
In the end we decided to brew a second batch. By then we learned bars and restaurants had already bought all the Octoberfest beer that they intended to. That’s why you can still get growlers of fresh Octoberfest from our tasting room in December. Thankfully, there are only four kegs of it left now. We were able to learn a valuable lesson while narrowly avoiding a potential disaster.
In response we abandoned the original plan and have moved to a new structure that offers more flexibility in both production and variety. We are now brewing a new specialty beer every month. The intention is to make each batch large enough to last two months. However, to start, we are trying something new and erring on the side of caution with regards to volume.
Our Kiwi Rising, for example, is almost gone after only three weeks. As we gain more experience with the new model we will slowly increase production to meet our two month goal. This means that once things settle we will have three year-round beers and two specialties available at any one time with something new every month.