Jan. 16, 2014! The Big Year Brown gets released!
UPDATED: The nice article written by Pat at Feast can be read by clicking here.
This is big. In honor of our Big Year coming up, we are releasing tonight in the pub our Big Year Brown the first in a series of 3 Civil Life beers that will range in abv from 6.5% to 7%. Dylan and I decided in December it would be fun to make a big version of our American Brown. We named it Big Year Brown for a few reasons. None of which we are going to share. Just kidding.
Our Big Year Brown was so named to acknowledge the many changes that will be happening around the brewery this year. We have added 2 60 bbl fermenters, which will be hooked up over the next month and are also in the process of ordering a canning line that should be operational by the end of August. We will also be adding an additional Brewer this year and possibly even a few more employees.
It is also important to mention that we are now available on draft in Southern Illinois with Koerner Distribution and the huge Illinois welcome has been heartwarming for us. Thanks to Patrick Sullivan from Koerner for so kindly pursuing us and believing in what we do. In St. Louis, big things are happening with our distributor as well, the good people at MoBev continue to get more draft accounts and most importantly keep us on tap at so many of St. Louis’ great restaurants and drinking establishments. A special thanks to everyone at MoBev, they have been a pleasure to work with.
The first batch of our Big Year Brown is also a big thank you to our top accounts around St. Louis that have without a doubt poured so much Civil Life beer over the past year that we couldn’t help but acknowledge them with a thank you. The first batch of this beer and the first batch of our second beer in this series the Big American Stout will be heading their direction.
It is without a doubt the best way we could thank them for keeping us going here in South City. When I was calling up some of our biggest accounts, I was explaining how important they are to us here. I would explain that their purchases kept Dylan, Mike (for most of the year), Patrick, Chris and Joe employed. Most importantly, it kept me off the streets. Our top account, Bailey’s Range sold so much beer that it could have filled almost 3-20 bbl fermenters and Five Star Burgers in Clayton sold enough beer to fill 2 ½ fermenters. And to round out the top three, the good guys at Amsterdam Tavern sold enough beer for just over 2 fermenters. I’d mention our employees have jobs here only because of so many of our local draft accounts both big and small. Just pouring a few Civil Life kegs a year helps but pouring massive amounts and keeping us on tap really keeps people here working.
Rounding out the top ten were Mangia, Dressel’s, Flying Saucer, Royale, The Bridge, Crow’s Nest and McGurk’s! Another nice testament to the power of local is that the Royale, Mangia and Amsterdam tavern are all within our Tower Grove South neighborhood. You’ll also find the Big Year Brown at the Soulard Itap. ITap opened two new locations last year and has always been one of craft beer’s biggest supporters. Our esteemed partners in Pigs & Pints, the Block Restaurant locations will get some as well. We always must tip our hats to them for helping us put on Pigs and Pints and for always having Civil Life on draft.
But please don’t think for a second that I would forget about our smaller loyal accounts either, even though it looks like that right now. I was once an owner of a small shop as well. The next round of Big Brown (which will be out in late March) will go to some of the many smaller accounts that don’t sell a massive amount of beer but are fiercely loyal to us. There are so many of them that mentioning them all would take some time and quite frankly I would be upset if I left even one out. But these are accounts that have dedicated one or two taps to us all year or rotate us in and pour massive amounts during that time. We are very indebted to their loyalty and soon they too will be able to partake in the Big Year Brown as well.
So what’s next? The next two beers in this series will be a Big American Stout and the Gordian Knot Bock which we are brewing for our friends at Stlhops.com. Fearlessly led by the Great Mike Sweeney and @ericstl6 (rumor has it we are changing the name of our ESB to Eric’s Special Beer) they do an incredible job of keeping the St. Louis beer community informed and moving forward. The Big American Stout will be released in the middle of February and the Gordian Knot Bock is looking like late March or Early April.
We’ll be putting our 6.5 – 7 % beers away for the summer after the Gordian Knot Bock but rest assured, we’ll be tracking our top customers throughout the year and we’ll have a some late fall selections that will once again head to the most loyal Civil Life establishments.
And most importantly, our biggest thanks goes to you, our loyal customer with a true and undeniable thirst for sessionable ales and lagers. I have always said, “Ordering a Civil Life at any drinking establishment around town is as good as ordering at the Civil Life.” There is little chance it would remain on tap without the many loyal patrons who are constantly asking for and drinking our beers around town. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
But in the meantime, we’ll get back to doing what we love best. Making sessionable beers for everyone. And honestly, we’ll have thank-you’s from here on out from time to time but our livers will always return to what we love best. And that is simply several restorative pints, enjoyed over many hours while slipping into conversations with old and new friends.
Cheers and all the best in this your Big Year,
Jake Dylan Mosley
Captain of the Barley Ship Head Beer Magician
PS. This is the second time I wrote this. The first draft was two pages and I was going to make it one page. But alas, it is two pages again.
Hello earthlings. I have been sent here to open a brewery. I hope you have time over the next year to check in from time to time and see our progress (or lack there of at times).
Morning beer delivery at Tynan’s Bridge House Bar in Kilkenny, Ireland.