WE DON’T CALL IT WINTER GRIND FOR NOTHING
Posted on Nov. 21, 2018, 4 p.m.
Posted on Nov. 21, 2018, 4 p.m.
On occasion, your Mother’s runs into complications fulfilling our central mission: to brew and share the love. E.g. this season’s production of Winter Grind. Despite the best efforts of the highly capable professionals from retail, distribution, and our own flesh and blood in the brewery, Winter Grind demand is overwhelming the capacity of our facility. We’ve yet to receive reports of many craft beer coolers devoid of Winter Grind, but several distributors have run out completely at least once this season so far. Behold the double-edged sword of making one of the most drinkable coffee stouts in craft beer.
If you’ve taken a brewery tour here at Mother’s you’ve seen the grain room, the brew house, the cellar, packaging, and the tasting room. But there is so much more that goes into being a production brewery. What you haven’t seen is the office. Seven desktops, each computer displaying a different spreadsheet: sales projections, orders from distributors, invoices, production planning, brew roster, cellar scheduling, shipping and receiving calendars. And seven employees, all working in concert to make sure the beer you need is on the shelves you browse. In short, behind every Instagram-worthy image of gloriously green hops is the reality that a brewery is a business.
So let’s call this a ‘teachable moment’ and examine what makes Winter Grind such a complex beer to produce. To the above list of coordinated effort, let’s add another facet: our coffee roaster. One of the key ingredients of Winter Grind is the custom roasted coffee we get from our downtown neighbors at Mudhouse. Their approach to coffee is as rigorous as our approach to beer. To schedule an additional brew of Winter Grind could be as simple as picking up a case of canned, ground coffee. But it is not. First we schedule the brew. Cool. Now the base stout is ready for fermentation. Next, we’ll add in the labor of grinding 90 lbs of coffee beans and then getting those grounds into the fermentation vessels. Here’s where things get complicated: the coffee character that makes this one of our most popular beers comes from an extended steeping in the fermented beer. It takes time and there are no shortcuts. Finally, consider the extra time that goes into transporting the finished cases from our brewery to your local retail establishments. It’s a hell of a journey from dreaming up a beer to getting into your refrigerator.
We’re sharing all of this not to garner sympathy: we’re doing what we love at Mother’s and aren’t complaining. But we do want the fans who make our passion possible to be prepared if they find themselves facing a shortage of their favorite beer this season. If you find yourself faced with an empty Winter Grind slot at your regular stop for local craft beer, don’t panic! Know that it will be full again before you know it. We packaged about 60,000 bottles-worth of Winter Grind just this week. That beer is being shipped out over the course of the next week. It will be in your neck of the woods presently.
We love the fact that you drink Winter Grind faster than we can brew it. But we hate any inconvenience you may experience getting your hands on it. Always remember that your Mother’s is constantly striving to increase efficiency and production. Our prime directive is getting you the love you need with the quality we demand. And when the realities of running a business complicate that scenario, we only redouble our efforts to adapt to that reality.