To the rescue came these make-do keg tables. You all were incredible about coming by to order to-go beer and coming out to enjoy an outdoor pint in the parking lot (even in sub-zero temps in late 2020 and early 2021) or on the beach. You likely sat around one of these tables. We had, of course, an absolute plethora of empty kegs available to use, as our production, which had been slowly and steadily growing by a a couple hundred barrels each year since we opened was cut by more than half overnight.
Since March of 2020 I have been watching that mountain of empty stored kegs. Every day those pallets reminded me that we are not where we need to be, sales-wise, and that we have more brewing capacity than we do sales. The market and people's beer drinking habits have changed, maybe permanently, and how we get great beer to folks needs to change, too. But ever so gradually we have seen tiny increases in sales, week by week, month by month. There have been a few rough weeks. But bit by bit we were eating into that pile of empty kegs.
Today, Dylan & Alison are filling the last of that stockpile of kegs. This fact has brought out both tears and high fives here. I had to go out and cannibalize the few remaining COVID-era "tables" from The Beach for the sake of a few more empty kegs.
I couldn't be happier.
We're not where we need to be yet. Costs are nuts and margins are very different than they were for us in 2019. Financial sustainability as a company seems elusive in this industry and in this housing, insurance, and childcare market. As an example, check out what 2021 looked like for us in this graphic:
Many thanks to all of you who continue to support us by coming in to the tasting room for a pint or enjoy our beer out and about and at home -- your impact is felt by the pint and can over here!
P.S. -- TimCo wants me to remind you that if you're a fútbol fan, he invites anyone to join him for any of the World Cup games on between 6 am and 2 pm (and he'll be happy to meet you for the 3am game if one of your teams is playing then, just let him know in advance). He's here unless he's out delivering one of those aforementioned kegs (in which case, you're welcome to stay and keep the seats warm while he's gone). Heads up that on Black Friday the US team plays England starting at noon.
P.S. #2, we're wrapping for Book Trust again this year. If you have presents you'd like wrapped, stop on by and drop them at the wrapping table at H&D any of these times:
THIS Saturday & Sunday, 1-5pm
Friday, 12/2, 4-7pm
Possibly Saturday, 12/3... figuring out coverage we hope!
Sunday, 12/4, 2-4pm
Friday, 12/9, 4-7 p.m., Sat & Sun, 12/10-11, 12-4 pm
Friday, 12/16, 4-7 pm, Sat & Sun, 12/17-18, 12-4 pm
Friday, 12/23, 4-7 pm, Saturday, 12/24, 12-4 pm
You can enjoy a pint while we wrap, or you can run other errands, or whatever the heck. If you'd like to donate a tip to Book Trust, awesome! (Click this link to hear how Book Trust is enabling kids to choose, celebrate, and own their own books and be more engaged in school in general!)