Seasons Greetings from Bale Breaker Brewing Company
A holiday letter from bale breaker owner & co-founder meghann quinn
Is it just me, or is December the only month out of the year where you don’t dread getting your mail? Rather than a plethora of bills and junk mail, our mailboxes are full of seasonal greetings from our loved ones with adorable pictures and thoughtful stories of how much their families have grown over the past 12 months.
Well, I don’t have kids, and I surely don’t want to show anyone a photo of how many more wrinkles and grey hairs I’ve gotten this year, but I do want to take a moment to brag. The Bale Breaker crew did A LOT this year.
Here are my top 12 highlights of 2019:
- A new look for Bale Breaker. New can designs started hitting the market early this year, complete with wrapped 6-pack boxes, Topcutter 12-packs, and Variety 12-packs. While it seems that 2019 went quickly, it also feels like a decade ago that I held an OG can in my hand. RIP, gold cans. You served us well.
- Sold beer in new places. We expanded distribution into SW Oregon and started selling a little bit of beer in Alaska and Hawaii. You better believe I’ll be heading to the islands when it’s time for a sales visit, and if I don’t come back, please don’t worry. Just wait longer.
- Launched our IPA Rotator Series. I sincerely thought Hop Country was the best beer we ever brewed, but then I had Golden Grit this fall and didn’t miss Hop Country so much. And just last week, I tried the test batch of Desert Bite, and OMG. Sloooow clap... Our brew team has truly outdone themselves with this series.
- Turned SIX in April and threw ourselves a birthday party complete with face painting, a balloon artist, and Glitter Princess - a beer that tasted like a mimosa but had actual GLITTER in it. #mindblown
- Dusted off the ol’ passports. Smitty and Quinn traveled the world this year brewing awesome beers with awesome breweries. They went to Ireland (which resulted in our Jameson Caskmates Topcutter Whiskey, woohoo!), Australia, Japan, and Mexico, and I went…down the road to work. I’m not jealous, you’re jealous.
- Brewed beers for a cause. With all that was going on this year, we didn’t lose sight of our commitment to community and charity. Our two signature fundraising events - Ales for ALS and Sesiones del Migrante - experienced their most successful years to date. Let’s keep that momentum rolling in 2020.
- Learned A LOT. This one highlight could be a post all on its own, but our production team was busy with loads of projects this year, including adding PCR testing to our lab protocols, figuring out how to keep our sour beers from tasting like cheerios, and battling the dreaded hop creep.
- Added new faces to the team. Six new folks joined the Bale Breaker crew this year – Kat, Sara G, Justine, Mike, Hayden, and Taylor. Plus, Dimitri and his wife gave birth to their first, a baby girl, and Danika is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her first, a little boy.
- Got into the tall boy game, and I don’t mean Smitty and Quinn. Yes, they are tall boys, but they’ve been here since the beginning. I’m talking about putting beer into 16oz cans for the first time with releases of Fuzzy Logic, Citra Slicker, and Sown & Grown. Which reminds me what highlight #10 should be…
- Grew our own barley. I won’t bore you with details on this, just do yourself a favor and grab a 4-pack of Sown & Grown in the next week or two because the first in our homegrown IPA series is almost sold out. And if you do want to get bored, go read this article to learn more about it. (J/K, I’m only saying that because Quinn wrote it.)
- Packaged beer in glass. Yep, you read that right. For the first time ever, our beer went into glass bottles. For years, we’ve been refining our barrel program, and just a few weeks ago, we released the first three in our barrel-aged bottle series – Wildwood, After Midnight, and Shaky Grounds. Buy some, give some, drink some, age some. The possibilities are endless.
- Had so.much.FUN. While we sure accomplished a lot in 2019, this crew always finds a way to have a good time. Work doesn’t feel like work when you’re surrounded by the capable, qualified, intelligent, hardworking, and fun group that we have here. Thank you, team. So stinkin’ proud.
And lastly, to the fans who stuck it out to the end of this post, thank you for your support and letting me reflect on the past year. Did I forget anything that you think should have been mentioned? What was your favorite thing we did this year? I’d love to hear from you (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on social media), and please stay tuned… We can’t wait to share what we have in store for you in 2020!
Cheers, and Happy New Year!
Posted December 27, 2019