Well, its New Year's Eve...so much for an awesome 2009. In the last year we won 3 Golden Tap awards, a Gold Medal at Mondiale in France (1 of 10) and two medals (out of three) at the National Organic Championship. We were named the #1 thing to try before you die by Ottawa Magazine, best local beer by Metro newspaper and one of 10 unique entries in the Ottawa food scene in the past decade by the Ottawa Citizen.
Mr. and Mrs. Harper poured a couple pints at 24 Sussex for us, and George Wendt visited our Oktoberfest, along with 5,000 of our closest friends!
We just started selling into Toronto LCBO stores, we've added a bunch of new fermenting tanks - 42,840 litres worth to be exact, our new bottling line has arrived (but still isnt actually working).
We rounded out our seasonal line-up with Beaver River in the Spring and we did a special one-off project with the Canadian Amateur Brewer's Association.
We've been lucky enough to try Piggy Market's and Elk Ranch's sausages made with our beer, Art-is-in Bakeries Beau's Bread, Pascal's Awesome beer ice-cream, as well as sauces, chutnies and steak-and-mushroom pies with our beer.
We've grown from 13 employees to 24 in the year. We received a very welcomed grant from the Ontario government to help us keep expanding.
We sponsored or donated well over $50,000 to worthwhile causes like Prostate Cancer research, Amnesty International, Ottawa Jazz Fest, Kelp Records, FrancoOntarien festival, Operation Come Home, Yes Women Can!, Brockville Memorial Hospital, Therapeutic Riding, Bon Apetit, Tulip festival, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, Military Families Fund, Capital Pride, the Ontario Provincial Police Association, Rideau Valley Roller Girls, Canadian Diabetes Association, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Feast of Fields, the United Way, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Canadian Breast Cancer research, the Vankleek Hill Agricultural Society, The Ontario Federation of Agriculture and more.
I made a New Year's resolution that I would post weekly and by my count, including this one I hit 26 - or about half way to my goal. My resolution for next year is to keep this momentum going, to make sure our beer stays as tasty as ever, to grow only when growing helps make us cooler than we are, to dramatically increase our support for charities and indie music and arts and to get to 52 blog entries for next year.
Thanks again to everyone who bought one of our beers this year.
Thanks to everyone who signed up to our Facebook Group, the Beau's Army.
Thanks to everyone who voted for us for a Golden Tap, or a best local beer competition.
Thanks to everyone who visited the brewery for a tour and brought a friend or a relative or a bus load of people.
Thanks to everyone who asked a restaurant to start carrying our beer.
Thanks to everyone who gave us a tip about a new restuarant, or a good one to approach.
Thanks to all the wonderful restaurateurs who made the choice to buy fresh, local, organic beer instead of a beer that came with a big advertising budget.
Thanks to all the bartenders, waitresses and waiters and sommaliers and chefs who willingly took on the role of Beau's salesrep and talked passionately about our beer to your customers.
Thank you to the bloggers, editors, and journalists who felt that what we were doing was newsworthy.
All of our success in 2009 is really your success. Everything we are is possible because of everything you do for us. We have been truly blessed this year with kindness and support from so many people.
I'm looking forward to 2010 with unbridled enthusiasm. I hope you'll join me at midnight to ring in the New Year with a LugTread or a BogWater (actually I'm planning on mixing Bogwater with champagne for a twist on a Black Velvet, but you get my drift)