As many breweries continue to talk expansion, The Bruery – which produced just around 4,000 barrels last year – was forced to make the inevitable decision to make changes that still allow them to remain innovative.
Choosing to stay small, The “Bruery” was forced to make some tough decisions regarding their current lineup. Going forward the brand will no longer be producing Orchard White, and will move both Rugbrod and Hottenroth to seasonal offerings.
The changes will inevitably allow them to produce more beer, as a newly acquired space will allow for more fermentation space, but Benjiman Weiss suggests the growth will be minimal.
Details of the quasi expansion can be found below, in an open letter format on behalf of The Bruery.
To all the loyal fans and retailers of our beer,
As we approach our 3rd anniversary, it’s incredible to look back at the journey of these last few years. Our growth has been of a magnitude that we never could have imagined when brewing our first 15-barrel batch. As you might already know, we’ve been operating at capacity for over the last year and a half; a near doubling of capacity in January of this year has been a mere drop in the bucket. We’ve reached a fork in the road. One path is to open a much larger brewery that would satisfy demand over the long term, and accumulate millions of debt and bring on outside investors to get to that point. The other path is renewal of our original vision: a small, family-owned business making some of the most interesting, highest-quality specialty beers available in the market in our own unique way. After much debate, research and soul-searching, we’ve chosen the latter path — but on a grander scale.
We have just leased a temperature controlled warehouse space that we will be filling with thousands of oak barrels, allowing us to create some of our favorite beers such as Oude Tart, Melange #3, and a variety of other delicious and innovative beers. We’re extremely excited for this cellar expansion both because it will allow our creativity to shine and because it will help us get our favorite beers into more glasses in more cities. Since day one at The Bruery, we’ve been making barrel aged ales with an eventual goal to fill shelves with these complex and full-bodied beers. Until now, we have only been able to do this on a limited basis, primarily reaching only those in our Reserve Society. This new investment will allow us to brew more, distribute more and get more specialty beer into the marketplace.
With this change, we have had to make room in our brewing schedule to brew the beers that we’ll be barrel aging. Unfortunately, Orchard White is the victim. While we have great love for Orchard White, we feel there are many great witbiers available and believe our limited resources are best spent elsewhere. Further, Rugbr├©d will now only be available in the fall and winter, with Hottenroth taking it’s place in the spring and summer beginning in 2012.
As a company focused on quality over quantity, and founded on the basic fact that making beer is fun, we’re excited to continue brewing up our dream. We won’t be putting down our mash paddles in place of mechanized processes, we won’t be switching our khaki shorts for navy-blue suits and most importantly, we won’t be sacrificing our original vision for any reason whatsoever. Simply said, we are growing at our own pace.
Thank you all for the support these past three years. It’s your love of style-bending beers that have helped us, and breweries like us, to grow and will keep us growing in the years to come. If you can make it, we’d love to see you at our 3rd Anniversary Beer Festival on May 29th to help us celebrate our future!
Your Friends at The Bruery