Anon Update - Feb 2021
If you read posts from the Mass Brew Brothers, a few years back you may have come across the story of Devin McArty and Rick Serino (linked below). While the names were changed, the story is true. In 2017, Mike and I leveraged his discerning taste and my love of homebrewing to establish Anonymous Brewing, LLC. We spent a year refining my red ale recipe into a unique hybrid red ipa that offers just enough deviation from the hop-forward new england ipa's filling up store shelves.
We brewed our first commercial batch alongside the pros at Ipswich Ale. The result was spectacular. We had 30bbls of what was once just a part of my homebrew rotation. The logistics of the whole process was mind blowing. In hind-sight, it's remarkable that we were able to pull it off. With just the two of us selling, we quickly found partners in more than 150 locations across eastern Massachusetts. We spent countless evenings pouring samples and chatting about the beer. The feedback was amazing and we were having a ton of fun doing it. Our partnership with Ipswich continued until it became harder and harder to get on the schedule without a regular commitment. In the end though, we were able to work out a pretty flexible schedule with Riverwalk on a smaller system (15bbl) that provided a more manageable volume for Mike and I to handle. We were in a groove.
Just as the pandemic hit and almost to the day that things started getting locked down in March of 2020, we were releasing a fresh batch of Tiffany. While it wasn't impossible, the process for two part-timers to sell to retailers became a bit more challenging. Local breweries, who were now unable to sell on-site, started shipping direct to retailers leaving less shelf space for the little guys. Also, the inability to pour samples decreased our reorder rate significantly. In the end, we sold through the batch and decided to reevaluate.
I will admit, Mike kicked my ass as a salesperson. From the moment that first batch from Ipswich was released to the day we sold the last retail case of Tiffany, he straight hustled. In the end, this wore him down and put a strain on his family life. He made the decision to take a step back from the brewery.
At the same time, I was looking for ways to tread water while waiting out the pandemic. Given an update to our licensing status for 2020, I now had the ability to produce small batches on a pilot system. I invested in an all electric 1bbl brewing system. Currently, a small amount of each batch I brew is bottled and available for home delivery through our online ordering system. The remainder is kegged and sold to a small group of restaurant accounts around the North Shore.
Additionally, while Riverwalk has started to push for larger orders, I am hoping to work out another 15bbl batch in the near future with them or any other possible partners (email me: email@example.com). While it has been a while since WeyLey has been available, my next commercial batch will be Spin... This recipe is one of the first small batches brewed on the pilot system and the feedback was very positive. Here's to hoping we can get some in your hands soon.
published by Kevin - February 4th 2021 - Cheers 2U!
Beers and Food
While the current status quo at times feels like an idle, I am thankful that we are in a position to tread water as we come to the final stages of the pandemic. In addition to brewing small batches and trying to work out a 15bbl contracted batch, I am using the winter to research the steps (and finances) needed to achieve the long term goal of opening a brewpub.
I call it a hyper-nano brew pub with a one dish kitchen pairing fresh food with fresh beer. While there will be regular dishes in the rotation, my thought is to invite locally renowned chefs to takeover the kitchen with a unique pairing concept of their own.
All the while, sourcing fresh, local ingredients for both the beer and the food.
In the meantime, please check in with us on social media for updates on both small batch and commercial releases.