Many customers were upset at the amount the company brewed and how distribution was handled. In the note, Stevens explains the reasoning behind their distribution choices as well as their limited control of retail pricing.
We feel that it’s necessary to address a few of the concerns surrounding the release of our Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS). We understand the frustrations stemming from the lack of availability of this beer and are looking forward to the day when we can produce much more of our specialty brands. As some of you are aware, we have been undergoing constant expansion for the past few years and have been working toward a master plan that will increase our annual brewing capacity by four times our current level. We are happy as hell to share that our new brewhouse is now on line and that we just recently started brewing into the new system. We plan to use this new system in 2012 to increase production of our specialty items to better service the demand for them. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the next couple of 750ml (Backstage Series) releases as well as the 2012 KBS release will still be scarce, because these beers were brewed on the old (smaller) system. But after that we should be off and running toward much greater availability.
On another note, there seems to be some concern or confusion on how are beers are allocated per state. We are proud to be a Michigan-based brewery and all specialty releases take this into consideration. We at Founders will never forget our home state market. In terms of CBS, the state of Michigan received an allocation of 21% of the entire batch of CBS. No other state saw more than 12% of the total availability. That being said, no state is treated more fairly than another (including MI). Distributor allocations are simply based on a representation of total number of accounts they represent for Founders. Should rumors of this exist to the contrary, know that they are just that: rumors.
Lastly, we’ve noticed that retail price gouging is also being discussed. I can only give you the brewery’s position on this, but please know that, legally, once we sell our products to our wholesaler, they in turn sell it to retailers throughout our states of distribution. We have no control over what this retailer will charge for the beer. We do establish our suggested retail pricing, but we cannot enforce this whatsoever. When we hear of retail price gouging, it annoys us as much as it annoys you. Our recommendation to our wholesalers in dealing with retailers that are gouging is to communicate that, if the retailer does not stop overcharging, they will jeopardize their ability to receive Founders specialty items in the future.
In short, we just want to set the record straight on these few items floating around on the blogs and make everyone aware that we are working day and night to fix the capacity concerns with our specialty products. We make this beer because we are extremely passionate about creating the best liquid we know how to produce. We started this business as home brewers and still look at ourselves as such. We know that some of you might never get your chance at a CBS bottle, but we feel it would be a greater disappointment to have never shared this product at all.