Finally, I have found a moment of peace where I am compelled to write something. These updates just seem to happen organically, not scheduled by any means. It is definitely mid spring in Tennessee, but today I find myself in Tucson, Arizona, doing my regularly scheduled non-brewing occupation. It’s 95 degrees here today, we’re all finished up for the day, so I’m taking refuge in the A/C and working on behind the scenes BriarScratchy things. That usually consists on spending money on things but its great to buy new things for the brewery when beer sales are doing great. If you’ve bought a BriarScratch Beer in the past couple of months, your dollar is being well spent, going right back into making the business better. I just ordered some logo’d plastic stadium cups for this summer’s outdoor events on the square along with some sweet camouflage coozies with an orange logo. Let us know if you want one of the coozies, they are only $3 when you buy them from us directly!
Ok so let’s go over all the things that have happened in the first 4 months of 2016. For starters, I partnered with Spencer Wakefield and opened Prince Street Pizza and Pub in an old block building located right in the heart of downtown Gallatin on January 8th. If you haven’t been there yet, well then shame on you! We truly make the most delicious pizza and snacks in town and we have a craft beer bar, which currently has 12 taps (soon installing 12 more to make 24), and we tap only Tennessee craft beer. That’s right, among all the BriarScratch offerings that flow through there, we also have Yazoo, Mayday, Jackalope, TN Brew Works, Blackstone, Ghost River, Wiseacre, Honky Tonk, Blackberry Farm, Black Abbey, Blackhorse, Saw Works, Calfkiller, Roots Cider, Ole Shed, Fat Bottom, Mill Creek, Little Harpeth, Tailgate, Bearded Iris, and Mantra Artisan Ales! The response has been over the top for this place and I am very proud to have brought something else to Gallatin that plays a part in our city’s culture.
On February 27th, we hosted the 2nd annual Tap The Town downtown Gallatin pub crawl. We celebrated one whole year in business! Over 400 people came out for the event! The weather was amazing and we had live music at each location, making for a very pleasant and busy night. Each location experienced record sales for the night. I consider our first year a great success with very little strife. The biggest problem has been me trying to balance my work schedules and not being able to package beers fast enough. The thing about our ales, is they can be ready in 12 days from brew day, or 28 days from brew day really just depending on a few factors like schedule, tank space, or keg space. I’m doing as much as I can to improve all these factors so that I can produce more beer this year. in 2015 we sold 105 barrels of beer. A barrel is a measurement of beer production and equals 31 gallons. Some breweries brew more than that in one batch but for us it’s huge! That’s 3255 gallons, That’s over 26000 glasses of beer sold, and that doesn’t even include all the beer we’ve given away for promotional events, weddings, and parties! I plan to sell 200 bbls of beer in 2016. It’s good to have goals!
As for increasing the operation, that is going to take more equipment. We are fairly limited on space and can only do so much in our building but my goal is to push the envelope and make it happen. I recently purchased a used glycol chiller unit for an amazing deal and just made the decision and ordered a big, shiny 350 gallon fermenting tank to go along with it! I plan to use these, among 1 other old stainless steel dairy tank that has been hiding in our old barn for decades, to ramp up production on my flagship beers. On top of that, I have invested in more kegs and odd and end do-dads that will help increase overall efficiency. The actually brewing equipment isn’t getting any bigger any time soon. I will still brew 85 gallons per batch, I will just now have more space to store and ferment so I will be able to brew more often and brew 2 batches in one day more efficiently! Creekbank Blonde has made up about 50% of our total sales so I want to focus on keeping up and getting that into more locations, along with pushing our seasonal and specialty brews a little stronger.
Ok, if you’ve read this much so far, that’s fantastic. I write these things more so as a personal company journal to look back on down the road, but also to offer transparency in this brewing endeavor for those select few who are truly interested in what we have going on. Let’s see, what else is happening. So far this year we have launched in 4 new locations with 2 more on the horizon. Along with Prince Street, we released beer in Last Call Bar and Grill and Starr Ranch in Gallatin, along with Piranha’s and Moby Dicky’s in Hendersonville. Next month we will be launching in one of our favorite summertime spots, Awedaddy’s at the Gallatin Marina! We will also have ourselves a tap at the brand new Blossom and Cellar Door Craft Cavern in Hendersonville, founded by our friend Tamara. It’s going to be an amazing Summer, that’s for sure!
We have some events as well! We’ll be participating in The Crawfish Boil and Fashion Crawl on the Square. Come see us May 6 and 7 at The Strawberry Patch in Hartsville, and May 14th at SpringFest at the Sumner County Comer Barn on Hartsville Pike benefiting Children Are People. On June 12th we are hosting our annual Summer kickoff event, Sumner Summer 2016. Location will be announced soon on Facebook!
Last but not least, let’s talk about the beer. As usual, the flagships Blonde and Brown are selling just fine. We have been focusing on brewing Hitchin Post Pale Ale quite a bit more, and selling it at the pub as Prince Street Pale Ale. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Mudpit Porter but it’s making its comeback real soon as Eddie is moving it to the brite tank for carbonation tomorrow! Pop’s Hops is an ongoing hit. We just sold the last keg of #13 to Crescent City for the annual Crawfish Boil. We put out a new Amber Ale as a one off recently and dubbed it Rusty Roof, based on it’s beautiful rusty hue. Light, malty, delicious, and gone… Same goes for The Volunteer and Dixieland D-Light. Two awesome and extremely drinkable beers that I would love to produce year round, but just not enough room in the files. Roaddog Red is the current seasonal, named for our buddy and road warrior in the holler. I will be doing a special version of the Red ale very soon with cognac soaked berries in honor of a fallen friend, taken from us too soon. This guy left a positive impact throughout our city and I want to give a little something back in return. Another special brew we just finished off was a porter brewed with honey and rye, called Queen Bee. We aged Queen Bee in a whiskey barrel for 8 weeks given to us by our friends at Broadway Liquors in Gallatin. The barrel previously held Eagle Rare, a 10 year bourbon by Buffalo Trace. We managed to fill 75 bombers and host our first bottle release event on March 19th! The winter seasonal South Tunnel Stout didn’t stick around very long either. Our stout brewed with lactose sugar, oats, cocao nibs, and toasted oak chips is probably one of my favorite beers to brew throughout the year. And last but not least, one of my main focused on side beer projects, The Briar Farm, is starting to develop. Using a unique yeast strain we harvested from a little briar on the farm, we are creating alternative versions of our beers with an array of flavor complexity. The 1 year beer, released at our anniversary event, was a saison brewed with Sorachi Ace hops, allspice and clove. The yeast is now currently resting in a portion of the red ale, making a beer I aptly named Farm Dog. Oh wait, there’s one more. A beer I named Unincorporated. Just like our little community, this beer isn’t governed. It is a hybrid of styles and makes its own rules. Its brewed with all the grains: Barley, White Wheat, Malted Rye, and Golden naked Oats. Its got 3 different hop varieties. It’s very tasty! It’ll be out and about next week. Ok that’s all for now. I can’t even focus on writing anything else. Beer, beer, and more beer.