Sunday, April 20, 2008

Beer + Sauces = ohYEAH!

Recently, Janet Campbell from Mrs. McGarrigle's in Merrickville contacted us about dropping off some Beau's to her. Not only was she a fan of the beer, but she was working on a batch of mustard that would have our beer in it (two great tastes that taste great together!). Kevin went and dropped her off a few growlers without complaint, since he had heard from Phil that you can sample mustards in the shop. He didn't eat much dinner that night.

Right around the same time, Thomas Riding stopped into the brewery. He's the chef at the awesome Sam Jakes Inn where they serve lots o' Beau's on tap, and he and his wife Deborah have a sauce business called Just Wing It . It's really cool to talk to other entrepreneurs and realize that we are all doing this the same way--literally, Just Winging It.

"How do you get the sauce in the bottle?"
"We pour it in by hand."
"Hahahaah! You're crazy. No really, how do you get it in there?"
"How do you put the labels on?"
"We do it by hand. Sometimes it takes all night."

I was thinking about these cool parallels this morning since we have 20,000 ceramic bottles coming tomorrow (no, not Friday as promised, what else is new) and are looking at packaging around the clock for a few days to get all the LCBOs back where they should be-ie, not sold out.

You see, each ceramic bottle arrives naked and capless, crowded and stacked with 2000 of his closest friends onto a pallet. Each bottle is crowned with his or her own swingtop by hand, and then the bottles are rinsed to remove dust etc. Each bottle is then sanitized, and filled by hand with a beer gun. The seal is closed, the bottle is then rinsed, hand-tagged, and sealed by hand with a tamperproof sticker. We smack an OCB sticker on the baby, weigh it, and pop it into a cardboard box that--guess what!--we had to assemble ourselves. Seal er up, put on pallet, lather, rinse, repeat. There's a whole lotta labour of love that goes into every bottle of Beau's!

Anyway, here's a cheers to Janet and Thomas and all the other semi-crazy people who start their own businesses making food and drink by hand. We tried some of the Just Wing It sauces over the last week or so, and they rock. You can see a list of where to buy them on the JWI website, and hopefully we'll get some to sell in our retail store soon too.

Cheers! Jen

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Suppliers and Demand

We're on the cusp of total craziness at the brewery right now between patio season being official here (yay!) and keeping up with our launch into the LCBO. Steve and brewer Matt are in San Diego this weekend at the World Cup of Beer, where we have entered Lug Tread (category 69!) and Bog Water to be judged with their peers. Awards are given out Saturday night, and if they don't win Steve and Matt are going bar-hopping in Tiajuana to drown their sorrows --so let's really hope we at least place so they come back in one piece.

Thanks to everyone at the LCBO and the nice people drinking our beer for being patient with us while our newest cermaic bottle supply was en route. They are in Montreal, hopefully painted and dry, and supposed to arrive tomorrow. Anyone with 48 hours of nothing to do this weekend should come down and learn to wield a beer gun here at the brewery, we're going to have all guns blazing as we fill around the clock. (The Citizen has an online video of beer gun shenanigans here:

What else?? We've got a couple of new accounts pouring our beer these days: Schnitzel's in Cornwall, and Confederation Place Hotel in Kingston. For golf lovers you'll be able to drink some Beau's at the Marshes this year, and also at Loch March whenever all this snow melts.

Oh yeah, and we're the official beer of the TD Trust Ottawa International Jazz Festival this summer, where we'll be launching a new style of beer for the summer festivals of 2008: we're going call the new baby Festivale (festive ale... get it???), and Matt's brewing the first batch as soon as he gets back from Tiajuana... er... San Diego this weekend. It's an altbier, a nice summer German Ale we hope you're gonna love.

Raise a glass to the start of patio season this weekend! Cheers, Jen Beau-James