The latter of the two - "when will your taproom be bigger" - is one that we don't have an answer for, and we frankly aren't terribly inclined to speculate on (we learned our lesson on that one a few times already). But for reference: it took us almost two years to open our current taproom after signing a lease, and at the moment we don't even have an available space that we can sign a lease on (in the past eight months, we've made little progress other than expressing a desire to have more space). You can feel free to extrapolate from there if you like, but the short answer is "not soon".
But! The way-less-sexy question of "when will you be able to make more beer" is one that's finally more-or-less got an answer! As you'll recall from months ago, we bought some new equipment that would allow us to expand capacity, and in order to get it running we needed to navigate a maze of contractors and inspections and all sorts of fun stuff. And in the midst of all that... we hit a snag. A big one. We ain't like to point fingers (and we certainly can't name names), but there was somebody we were relying who ended up being entirely untrustworthy****** and that set us back by a dang ol' ways. It was hugely frustrating for a long time, but we managed to chart a new course and we're back on track! We're in the middle of the first test run on our shiny new toys, and if things go according to plan (which would be a first for us), we'll be ready to hit the ground runnin' pretty much immediately!
Big Stupid Cans?
Yeah! They're rad! 25.4 oz of fresh beery goodness! Come buy some!
Are these crowlers?
Sort of. Mostly. We went with a slightly smaller size than most Crowlers (25.4 oz instead of 32oz), but they're filled and sealed by hand, one at a time not unlike the humble Crowler (which means they have a similar shelf life to a growler - about a week). Also we can't use the word "Crowler" for legal reasons because it's a registered trademark of the Ball Corporation and they've got some pretty strict rules about how you can and can't use the term. Plus we feel like "Crowler" is an awkward word to say.
Will you be distributing Big Stupid Cans to stores?
Nope! Sorry! We had to sign something saying we wouldn't do that before they'd let us buy the equipment (I told you their rules were strict). And also the shelf life of these cans makes them impractical at best for retail.
Are these the same size as the Foster's cans?
They sure are! And it turns out that the people who sell Crowler machinery don't really like it if you ask them that.
Will you be filling these to order?
We thought about it, but there was no way to make it work. The current plan is to fill a shitload at the beginning of the weekend (and possibly a backup shitload partway through the weekend) and then use that as our can allotment for the week. It might take us a little while to find the balance between not having too many left over (which would be a potential waste of beer) and not running out too quickly (which tends to piss people off), but we'll do our damnedest!
Are you going to stop doing growlers?
Absolutely not! Growlers are sweet!
** Who also apparently dabble in antique cash registers. Of course they do.
*** We still kinda can't believe that we got The Weisstronauts to play at our party. Their music brings us so much joy.
**** From, like, four people.
***** Most people, particularly those of you who will bother to read this, have been hell of supportive and we do very much appreciate that. But every now and then we run into people who seem to think that "having to wait around a little while before drinking in the afternoon" is history's greatest injustice. So if we seem a bit defensive about the whole "you need to expand" thing at times, that's why.
****** We needed this particular person to fix something in the building (i.e. outside of our unit and thus outside of our jurisdiction). He estimated that it was two days' worth of work and promised that it would be done by the end of 2016. He didn't start until late March (of 2017, mind you) and then didn't finish for a month, at which point he started blaming further delays on National Grid whilst refusing to provide any proof of their involvement in or awareness of the situation. It's still not done, but we've gotten around the need for it.