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.