What a year! I can’t believe we are already winding down another year at Bloomington Brewing Company. Winter and spring seasonals will be just around the corner and the 10-Speed raring to go out of the gates come April. As Business Manager, my job requires me to always look ahead. It can be bothersome to a certain degree because I don’t stop to really appreciate the happenings and the people around me. So I am glad to write a few (okay many) words about 2014 and marvel at how much we achieved and what we get to look forward to in 2015. And boy, did we have some happenings this year.
First and foremost, we celebrated our first package; a 22oz. “bomber” style bottle. After 20 years of draft only beer, we finally took the plunge and ordered a Meheen bottling machine. Our first bottle, Rooftop IPA, has been a huge success not only in our hometown, but statewide. Next up was the 10-Speed Hoppy Wheat and this fall, Persimmon Ale. We could not be happier with the results of our beer. Quality is our most important goal and we are very pleased to have a product that we are proud to serve outside of a keg, or our brewpub.
As highly anticipated within our bottles were, in my mind nothing will top the success we had for our 10-Speed Hoppy Wheat. Being recognized as 2013’s Beer of the Year by Hoosier Beer Geek, we anticipated that 10-Speed would be a big hit for us as it released in mid-April. And our release party was just that. We were so happy to partner with Salt Creek Cycles, who offered free bike tune-ups and planned a ride aroundBloomington, finishing at the brewpub for pints of fresh produced 10-Speed bliss. Thanks to you, our loyal BBC compatriots, we went through more kegs and bottles than we thought we could produce.
By the time 10-Speed was released in a bottle, we had earned Silver Medal honors at the Indiana Brewer’s Cup. Then, just a month ago, Beer Advocate displayed 10-Speed in their monthly magazine. Front page of the reviews! We were honored to receive a score of 90 by the Alstrom Bros., considered to be an outstanding beer according to their ratings. And from you, the fans? We are currently at a score of 95, which makes 10-Speed Hoppy Wheat a World-Class beer. I don’t need a score to know that, but we are so very happy that you enjoy the beer as much as we do.
The brewery was also happy to release our summer Session IPA, Backcountry. Promoted in conjunction with the Indiana Forest Alliance to raise awareness for the 5% of untouched forestry in the state, we donate a portion of brewery sales to the IFA to help keep the Backcountry out of the hands of logging and industry, keeping our landscape beautiful for all walks of life to enjoy. Looking ahead, our goal is to have Backcountry in a can to enjoy in anywhere you so choose in 2015. I enjoy beer to begin with, and I am glad we can help a good cause while doing so.
I could write many more paragraphs on so much more. From the ever growing Bloomington Craft Beer Fest, our home brewerhops giveaway during American Craft Beer Week, or the mischievous Krampus release, which pours today as I write this, I can come to this conclusion: local beer is here to stay. Bloomington isn’t just producing beer that is local. Bloomington is producing great beer that just happens to be made here.
That’s not just us at BBC. Upland is making fantastic brew, as always. I, personally, love their new Side Trail Series brewsCoastbuster and the Hill Walker Saison. Steve and Arlyn at Function are not only making great, quality beer, but wonderful food options for a true brewpub experience. Our friends from Brown County, Quaff On, set up shop downtown bringing their great ales with them to Btown. The Tap Beer Company opened up just a few months ago to rave reviews and is opening up a second location in downtown Indy. And Switchyard Brewing will be open in the coming months for another local experience. This town is quickly becoming a destination for local, craft beer lovers. And we couldn’t be happier for it.
We have so much to be thankful for. We would not have any success at all if it would not be for you, our fans. Thank you for drinking our beer and for sharing it with your friends and family. We get no greater satisfaction than to see you at our brewpub or at a bar, laughing and sharing some fun memories while enjoying our beer. Not many gets a chance to see their hard work rewarded in the joy of someone else being happy because of it. Beer is a communal experience.
We have even more in store for 2015. We are expanding our production facility with two new 40-barrel tanks to provide you with more delicious nectar to enjoy. We look forward to having our first beer in a can in Backcountry by May. And who knows, we may even host an event with all our best friends to celebrate our friend, the hop! (Stay Tuned for details) Personally I am thankful for the hard working guys in our brew house. Nick, Dylan, Jim and Chase work their tails off to bring their fermented creations to your lips. We will keep striving to make beer you enjoy. A toast to all the great memories of 2014 and to memories soon to be had in the coming year. Happy Holidays from all of us at Bloomington Brewing Company.