Howdy, friends! It's lookin' like we're settlin' into the right chilly part of this winter, so we gathered up all the good tastes and good times we could to make it worth your while to brave the cold on this here long weekend!
And speaking of it being a long weekend, we'll be open from 12-6 on Monday, January 21st for all your still-putting-off-the-laundry-even-though-you've-had-four-days drinkin' needs!
Speaking of drinkin' (though aren't we always?), remember last week when we talked a lil' bit about our newest Super IPA: Cryptic Nonsense? Well it's on tap now and it's tasty as all heck, so come on out and see for yourself!
And while we're on about new beers, we've got a couple new beers waitin' in the wings, just itchin' for something* to kick so's they can go on tap, and the first of those is Best! In short, Best is an easygoing, locally-sourced, fruity/earthy, straight-up tasty lil' pale ale and we do predict you gon' enjoy!
In addition to that beguiling little Pale, we're also anxiously awaiting the day that we get to tap Stone Valley! It's been far too long since we've had some delicious amber, so we gathered up a buncha good stuff from some of our friends (Stone Path, Valley Malt, and of course Four Star Farms) and made a delicious amber!
But gettin' back to things that you can drink in the more-or-less immediate future, we're tappin' our weekly cask this Thursday and it's an old favorite poppin' back in with a twist: Shut Up Kelly! with oak chips that've been soakin' in Queequeg Spiced Rum! It's mighty good, I tells ya what.
Speaking of good things, we've got Matilda's back on Friday! You already know the deal with these fine folks: hella tasty food made by good people. What more could you ask for?
Then on Saturday we've got 3 Kitchens Catering comin' in and doing wing flights! Wing! Flights! Wing! Flights! Wing! Flights! Anyway in case you haven't guessed, we're pretty stoked about wing flights.
Also on Saturday, if you're the travellin' type (or if you live a bit farther away, whichever), our beer is gonna be featured in the Saltbox Kitchen Brewed for a Cause dinner! This event is hosted in conjunction with the Black Ale Project, which means a chunk of the proceeds go to charity; so you'll get good eats for a good cause, which sounds like a win-win in our book!
Lastly but far from leastly, we've got Mr. Tamole back in the house this Sunday! He's been through the taproom more than a few times, but there's a damn good reason we keep bringin' him back in, so come on out and eat some tasty food with us!
*Hint: Marimba, FAO
Well hey there! Even though the second best day of the year has already come and gone, we're jumpin' right back into the ol' groove with a fun-filled weekend packed to the brim with good times and good tastes galore!
Pictured: a real buncha winners
But before we get to movin' forward, we gots to look back at least a little bit because Horatio Day was just completely rad as hell and we wanna thank all of you for coming out and celebrating our silly made-up holiday with us. Y'all are some cool people and we've gotten to do some damn cool stuff because of it, even if we did manage to scare off a few people because of "that bartender with the facepaint."
He only wanted to help you
You beautiful people!
But amongst all that jubilation, Horatio Day is a tad bittersweet as we bid our final goodbyes to special beers we've known and loved (like 2016 El Pulpo, Serendipity, and Shelby), and we bid a somewhat more temporary goodbye to some old favorites that we'll get to see again next year (barreled El Pulpo, Buffalo Nickel, maybe Quadless Leg Monster, 2017 El Pulpo). But! We've also got some outright Good News - we've still got smallish amounts of a few special beers (Horatio Day leftovers, as it were), and we'll be tappin' those over the next couple weeks. First up, we've still got some Ginger Extraordinaire left on tap (though it's been going quickly), and we've also got some Protector for your drinking pleasure! After those kick, they'll be replaced more or less at random by a couple others (Buffalo Nickel, 2017 El Pulpo, Barreled El Pulpo, Melvin, and Joyrider, to be specific) and we'll be shoutin' about that on the social medias when it happens, so if there's something you've got a hankerin' for we suggest you keep them eyes peeled!
And if you've got a need to be *extra* fancy in the new year, we've got about forty Horatio Day goblets left! So come grab one!
And speaking of beers that are nearly gone, our beloved Doyle is about to slip this mortal coil, never to be seen again. But! We planned for this! We've got a new Super IPA contender, who goes by the name of Cryptic Nonsense, ready to take its place! So if you're gonna miss Doyle, come get some while the gettin's good! And if you wanna try this newcomer, come help us drink the rest of the Doyle so you can get Cryptic!
Tastes like delicious mysteries. And fruit.
Anyway, getting back to beers that are with us for the Long Haul, we've got Shut Up Kelly! on cask starting this Thursday! That there is a beer that's pretty much made for cask so we made a cask of it!
And if you're looking for something to entertain your brain while you sip them suds, Thursday also marks the next installment of Simpsons Trivia!
Ah yes, the monthly competition for terrible prizes we found on the Internet!
In further news of good tastes, our Friday popup is a newcomer around these parts: Bird's Nest! Their specialty seems to be combining classic Italian foods with other foods and then deep frying the whole damn thing (their biggest claim to fame is deep fried manicotti), so needless to say we're stoked as heck to see what they got!
Then on Saturday we've got our pals from Smoke Shop BBQ in here with delicious meats! Their meats are very tasty and you should eat them.
And then to cap off all the rad stuff that's goin' on this weekend, on Sunday there's gonna be Girl Scout Cookies! No, it ain't yet time for our annual(ish) beer and cookie pairing extravaganza - we ain't got the cookies yet - but we are gonna have a Girl Scout in here slingin' sweets for the afternoon, so if you wanna get paws on some Samoas (or some of the other, lesser cookies) come on by!
Also on Saturday, though not at all related to our brewery but we feel like you need to know about it, apparently the City of Everett is gonna set a shitton of Christmas trees on fire. That is all.
Well hello there. We've been expecting you. We've got a right proper follow-up to last week's inward-focused navel-gazing marathon, but first we gotta tell you about all the rad stuff we got goin' on this week, and oh man are we ever prepared to get all kindsa festive all up in!
First up, on Thursday, is 2019's first installment of Audio Triviality! We don't know the theme just yet, so we'll assume it's something like "still kind of ashamed I tried to drink a bathtub full of mojitos on new year's" or something like that. (Editor's note: it's Sex, Drugs, & Rock 'n Roll, but sure, let's go with mojito shame. Close enough.)
And to go with all the Triviality, we're tappin' what is one of our personal favorite beers on cask: Extra Naked! And to "kick things up a notch," we tossed in a fistful o' citrusy, cedary Chaos! That's definitely a coincidence and not some kind of commentary on how we think the new year is going to go.
Then on Friday we've got our friends from Matilda's in the house slingin' fried treats! There ain't much else to say here because we've had their empanadas a whole buncha times and they are always On Point.
A Horatio Eve feast!
And then. On Saturday. It's the Big Day. The day we've been excitedly planning for over the past few months: Horatio Day! It's our second-favorite day of the year and we are just straight-up stoked as heck that it's almost here!
Three more sleeps until Horatio Day!
Y'all have already heard us talk about this day for six weeks, but we'll put up some Q 'n' A style info here just in case:
What's the deal with Horatio Day?
Horatio's our dapper logo dude, and we're throwing him a birthday party! In short this means we'll be tapping a bunch of cool beers - rare stuff, barrel-aged stuff (lots of barrel-aged stuff, as it were), stuff we've been hangin' on to in our cellars, and maybe a couple new things!
How many beers will be on tap?
If everything goes to plan, we'll have twenty three beers on tap! There's our standard draft list (which is twelve beers, and we got kind of excited and put a couple Horatio Day beers on there already. Hello, Ginger Extraordinaire!), plus the cask, plus ten more lines full of cool stuff!
Did you catch the casual bottle release of Buffalo Nickel, our amber rum barrel aged super saison?
Any other fun stuff?
Of course! Who do you think you're talking to? We've got fancy gold-rimmed glasses again this year if you wanna drink in style all day (we did order more this time around, but we still expect them to go pretty quickly), or if you've got a Year Two anniversary mug you can bring that and we'll fill that for you, and there's gonna be cake (there's always cake), and there's a Horatio costume contest!
Wait, there's a costume contest?
Hell yeah! What better way to celebrate somebody's birthday than dressing up like them? Anyway, you know how costume contests work - come dressed as Horatio and tag us on the Instagrams (use the hashtag #horatioday2019) and we'll give prizes to the winners!
You gonna have food at this shindig?
Of course! The Bacon Truck is gonna set up in the taproom from noon 'til six, then we're having a Mac 'n' Cheese competition between Brato and Bonetown starting at six! So if you wanna get fed, you gon' get fed.
Will the new side of the taproom be open?
Sadly, no. That's a whole long story that we'll get into some other time, but suffice to say it's still being considered an "active worksite" which means we ain't allowed to use it even though it's pretty much all set up and ready to go.
What's the story with the fancy glassware?
We've got fancy glassware! That's, um, kinda it, really. Basically we got cool gold-rimmed glasses, and if you want to you can buy one and drink out of a fancy gold-rimmed glass all day (or you can buy one and take it home with you, whatever you like). We ran out of these pretty quickly last year, so we got twice as many this time around, which either means we'll still run out before 2 PM, or we'll have them on hand until July. Time will tell!
Seriously though, aren't they awesome?!
Anyway. That's pretty much all the hips and haps for that big ol' day fulla fun! And, just in case you can't get out and celebrate on Saturday, there's a likely chance a few of these releases will be lingering on tap Sunday afternoon, and we'll have Mr. Tamole dishin' out hot tamales to help nurse our hangovers.
A post-Horatio Day feast!
Oh! We've got one more fun thing to talk about before we get all retrospective on you, and that's December's coloring contest winners!
Our winner, @lew989, and our runners up below!
Whew. Okay. Now, we've got a little tradition around here that we started up two years ago, and basically we look back at the year and see how many silly stats we can come up with. It's a ton of fun to write, and everything is as well-researched and accurate as we can get it (much thanks to Liz L'Etoile and the crew at Four Star Farms for answering our weird questions about hops), and anyway we hope you enjoy reading this silly nonsense as much as we enjoy writing it! Now, on with...
2018 by the Numbers
Number of batches brewed: 105
Number of double batches: 13
Amount of beer packaged, in gallons: 11,246
Number of flights that would fill: 71,972
Percentage of total volume actually served in flights: 12%
Number of different beers released: 60 (49 if you don't count flagships or other re-releases)
Number of collaboration beers: 26
Highest number of new beers released in one month: 6 (tie between June and November)
Beer brewed most often: Key Lime
Number of Key Lime batches made: 14 (three of which were double batches)
Number of key lime pies that could have been made with that lime juice instead: 544
Number of actual key limes it would take to produce that much juice: 10,445
Amount of hibiscus, in pounds, that was sacrificed to Loretta this year: 50
Number of times Joybringer was brewed: 4
Percentage of Joybringer that was produced exclusively for fun barrel projects: 42%
Number of times Jared thought he was super clever by singing "Ode to Joybringer" on these brewdays: like six
Number of funky beers aging at the beginning of the year: 0
Number of funky beers aging currently: 9 (or rather, 9 variations from a stock of 4 base beers)
Amount we previously expected that we'd be doing cool shit like this after just two short years: 0%
Amount of hops used, in pounds: 511.3
Percentage of hops that came from local suppliers: 43%
Percentage of hops that came from Michigan, of all places: 10%
Most used hop variety: Cascade (though it's Galena if you consider Masscade to be separate from Cascade)
Height, in feet, that you would need to grow all those hops on a single bine: 3,837.75
Amount of time, in weeks (assuming a 40-hour workweek), it would take you to pick all those hops by hand: about 13, if you don't take lunch breaks
Amount of grain used, in pounds: 27,274
Percentage of grain that came from local suppliers: 19%
Amount of oats used, as measured in bowls of oatmeal: 12,475
Amount of brown sugar used, also measured in bowls of oatmeal (but as a topping this time): 12,327
Yeast used, in cells (approximate): 593,746,840,000,000
Average OG of beer produced (in degrees SG): 54
Average ABV of beer produced: 5.79%
Highest ABV beer produced: Rebello Fellow (9.5%)
Lowest ABV beer produced: The Showdown (3.7%)
Amount of vodka, in gallons, it would take to make the same amount of alcohol we produced this year: 1,628
Number of Big Stupid Cans filled (approximate): 3,150
Number of bottles filled: 972
Number of times Tom managed to get beer all over the ceiling while filling bottles: 3 (goddammit Tom)
Number of places we were on draft at the beginning of the year: 7
Number of places we're on draft now (thanks Amanda!): 28
Number of times the mill completely broke: 1
Number of times Jared burned off all his arm hair lighting the burner under the HLT: only 6 this year!
Number of times Jared dropped his wedding ring into the mash tun while it was full: come on, man. Be cool. You said you weren't gonna tell anyone.
Number of major-ish injuries sustained during brewing: 1
Number of major-ish injuries sustained during kickball: 6
Number of kickball games: 20 or so
Number of different breweries (and/or distilleries and/or cideries) that showed up to kickball games: 17
Number of kickballs popped by John's dog Larry: at least one, maybe two
Amount of skin, in square inches, lost to friction burns while sliding in to base: 15
Number of words written in the blog: 41,981
Least verbose month: September (2243 words)
Most verbose month: December (6512 words, about half of which were last week)
Top 3 most commonly used words in December (in order): beer, time, year
Number of times we used the word "beer" in the blog this year: 480 (376 if you don't count variations like "beers")
Number of times we manged to use the word "spooktacular" in the blog this year: 14
Number of casks filled: 61
Number of cask festivals attended: 4!
Number of beer festivals attended/poured at (including cask festivals): 29
New beers released in 2018:
January: Quadless Leg Monster, Cello, Loretta, Shelby
February: Stag, Big deLICious, Nug
March: L.I.Z., Galena, Stomper, Big Boots 2018
April: Pink Smoothie, Ghost Dragon, J.A.R.E.D., Springtime Lies
May: Lawnchair, Comet Bomb, Serendipity, Ginger Jamboree
June: Joyrider, Four Star Smoothie, Bison Penny (Batch 200!), Azacca, Mr. Buttons, Hillcrest
July: Doomrider, Rebello Fellow, Chromo
August: DNA, Sunken Wit, Blood Built, Lil' Delicious, Jaunty
September: The Windy Man, Death Salon, The Showdown, Nerd Farm
October: Orange Red Dead, Korey, Adelle, Danzig
November: Hartshorne, Nick, Biere de Krampus, Marimba, Barreled El Pulpo, Barreled Shelby
December: Doyle, The Protector, Ginger Extraordinaire
Rereleases (not mentioned above): FAO, Oh My!, Joybringer, EPICS, Ruby Rye, Bullhead, Black Witow, Extra Naked, Key Lime, Wasted Life, Shut Up Kelly!
Jared and Jimbo will tell you some things, sometimes.