AUGUST IN REVIEW
Yo! Everything at the brewery has been moving at such a frantic pace the last few weeks that I haven’t had a second for reflection/ appraisal but being closed this weekend has afforded me that opportunity so here comes a classic tome of a Troon post.
To preface this, and for the benefit of those of you who just found out about our brewery, let me reiterate that Troon is solely a production brewery. Unlike nearly every other brewery in this state we do not provide samples, pours, or regularly scheduled tours at our facility. All of our kegged beer is sent to the Brick Farm Tavern and is available anytime they are open, regardless of whether we are too. If you think of it that way we are also “open” more than almost any other brewery in the state too. I understand that it’s frustrating for new visitors to find a closed brewery after seeing our listed Google hours, but we can’t change them every week… Instagram and our website are the best solution we can think of for now.
With that out of the way I want to start by addressing all the speculation out there about the motivation behind our switch to cans, and also the impact it’s had on our operating hours, because I never got a chance to explain our decision fully and I think I owe our longtime fans that much.
Since December Tom and I have spent three days a week filling growlers and we loved the fact that the slow fill times allowed for us to chat with all of you wonderful people throughout the weekend. However, it also meant that we were unable to brew during those three days and as demand grew it became increasingly crippling to our production schedule to have half the week blacked out. Besides that, wait times for growlers were creeping up, lines were growing longer, and even with the two of us filling constantly throughout the day we started to see the writing on the wall in terms of the long-term feasibility of growler filling with a two-man team.
Up until now we have been allocating exactly the same quantity of beer for cans as we did for growler fills, even instituting strict limits, but that amount simply isn't sufficient anymore which brings us back to the fact that focusing on increased production is paramount. Having more free days in August has allowed us to start double-batching (the first one will be available this coming weekend with nearly double the quantity of cans that we've had previously) and to run the retail side of things with a single person so that one of us can brew at the same time, something that was never possible before.
On a related note, we really do try our best to release a new beer every week but that is a pretty difficult undertaking and sometimes it isn’t possible. When we brew multiple beers over 9% abv in a row it just takes longer for the beer to finish, and that metric, not the artificial constraint of a deadline that doesn’t represent anything other than a vague goal, will always dictate when we start packaging. It isn’t the most convenient solution for us or for you, but when we make an effort to constantly experiment with recipes and techniques in the pursuit of constant improvement it makes the process more fraught and unpredictable than if we brewed the same four beers on a consistent basis.
As to lines, I think the apocalyptic prophesies after our first ,admittedly disastrous, release were unwarranted. We haven’t had wait times over ten minutes since then and growler fills, not cans, were the root of the problem during the aforementioned release. Some of you have suggested pulling back from cans partially to also be able to fill growlers but that would effectively double the required labor and negate the positives that cans bring, all without increasing quantity.
I truly want what’s best for every one of you, and for you all to have the best possible experience when you take time out of your day to come visit us. The contact page on this website has been active since Day 1 so if you have concerns, rebuttals, or even agree with anything that I wrote above you can feel free to get in touch and let me know what you think. Hope you enjoyed the eclipse without major vision loss! -Alex