First, lets catch you up to speed…Matt was out of commission for close to two months after his accident. Our part time brewer, Mark really stepped up for us and pulled double shifts, worked weekends and more while keeping his part time job. When Matt came back, Mark quit. He had lots of very good personal reasons that didn’t involve him being completely burnt out, but I can’t help but think if we hadn’t worked him so hard he might still be around. In the meantime, we’ve hired a bunch of new people…we now have a second full time brewer named Alex, A delivery guy named Todd, A packager named Joanne.
Sales continue to grow, which makes us very happy. The LCBO remained our biggest challenge through the summer, as the demand was truly insatiable. It was weird having to call up stores and tell them that we could only deliver 5 cases instead of the 20 they asked for, but we simply could not keep up with how much they wanted (lucky for me, this was mostly done by my sister, Jen). We did eventually catch up though and have been able to expand the number of stores we sell to from 20 to 45. Over the same time we also gained about another 60 restaurants.
Getting through this Christmas was a big challenge, but I’m happy to say everybody got what they ordered and got it on time. It meant running our little two head manual filling machine 24 hours a day and many nights of no sleep, but the sense of accomplishment is pretty huge. I’m very proud of everybody here, it was a lot of work, but we got through it. On top of insanity sales we also managed to have a staff Christmas party, open our tasting room and hold a benefit concert, Put a float in our town’s Christmas parade (mostly thanks to Todd, see pics below of our "12 Days of Christmas theme), and attend many events to help spread the word.
Over the last few months, we’ve been trying to get the financing put together to get in more tanks and a bottling line so we can keep up with what looks like another busy summer coming up. Financing always takes 3 times longer than we expect, but hopefully we’ll get things in place quickly.