There has been so much going on, a blog post is in order. Let’s recap:
Back in March, we held a focus group in which we asked people (mostly strangers, to us anyway) about our plans and our beer. As it turns out, they liked our name, our logo, and they mostly liked our beer – although we asked them to be fairly critical and, in doing so, they gave us some pretty good advice on ways we can improve. Which – of course – we will be doing in future brew days (starting this month..!)
Right after that, we had an Artvoice article written about our startup plans. The article was probably the most detailed piece written about us yet, and the writer (Cory) did a real nice job with it. That paper dropped the same day as our Cole’s tasting, which was perfect timing. Everyone there was very excited about our progress, and we had great feedback from the 50 or so people that came.
|The Cole's mob|
The following weekend was the Amber Waves of Grain WNY homebrew contest. As we are still officially homebrewers (i.e. we don’t have a commercial space for brewing – yet), we were able to submit beers into the competition. We had done this last year for several of our beers, and got some excellent feedback from BJCP certified judges. This year, we didn’t feel like we needed to submit those same beers again, so we decided to just submit one – our IPA, which was a beer we had only made twice.
As you might know, IPAs are the darlings of craft beer enthusiasts. This means that there are typically a lot of entries for homebrewed American IPAs. Being that we had only made ours twice, we were just hoping for some constructive feedback, but not really expecting much more (even though we personally felt, in our absolutely biased opinion, that this IPA had a world-class aroma.) So, it was to our great surprise that we beat out about 30 other IPAs to take first place in the American IPA category! We consider this to be a great accomplishment, as we have much respect for other homebrewers, beer judges, and the BJCP alike.
The very next day, we headed off to Pizza Plant Transit for another tasting, and we were greeted by a very long line of customers ready to try the beer just as soon as we plunked it down. Again, we got very good feedback.
As we go through this process, we can’t predict exactly how everything will turn out. One of the hardest things to predict is how our beer will be perceived. Which is why it was great to receive positive feedback in so many different forums; and, on the occasions it wasn’t positive, very constructive. A reminder: if you like craft beer, you need to come see us at a tasting – if only to be able to provide input into what you want our beer to taste like. Plus, beer geeks seem to love rare beer – and what could be rarer than a 5 gallon batch that will probably only be made once, ever?
Of course, the beer is sooo rare, that once all of these events were over, we were completely out of beer. So, we’re in the process of restocking – taking your feedback into account – and preparing beer for some really cool tastings this summer, including a few places that we’ve haven’t brought beer to before. Keep following us so you’ll know where we’ll be.
The last and most recent thing we got to do was setup a stand at Beerology, a beer festival at the Buffalo Museum of Science. We did not bring any beer (not allowed until we’re licensed), but we did bring some of our new keychains, t-shirts, as well as a nifty middle schoolish science fair-y poster on beer and science. We also brought a sign-up list for a brand spankin’ new newsletter that we’ll be sending out in the next few weeks; over 100 of you signed up during the festival. Want to get a copy of the newsletter? Sign up on the front page of the website. You can also provide feedback on what you thought about Beerology here. One completely valid criticism is that you wanted to taste Big Ditch beers and there was none to be had! The nerve of those guys.
|Setting up @ Beerology. |
Where in this picture do you NOT see our logo?
More exciting news is coming... very soon.