Update on Parched Eagle operations in 2018

Greetings all,

I’m writing today to update everyone on the Parched Eagle’s 2018 so far as we head straight towards the end of the year. Basically, from a business perspective it’s a been a tale of two years within one so far:

From the beginning of January through mid-May sales were quite good and we were in the black, starting with an outstanding first quarter (as winter is interestingly our busy season).This culminated with our two anniversary parties in early to mid-May for both of our locations.

Business was so good that in April we were literally running out of beer at both locations as our one barrel brewing system was unable to keep up with demand (a proverbial good problem). So, we pulled the trigger on a two barrel system, which has been serving us quite well as we have gotten the system dialed-in.

We were also planning on having a new contract brewer start brewing 20 barrel batches for us in mid-June, starting with Crane Ale APA. This would have included six packs in bottles.

However as soon as the weather became consistently warm in mid to late May we experienced a precipitous decline in sales (at least 25%) that lasted through the summer and into the fall. We usually experience a lull in the summer, but this year has been especially difficult. This included ill-timed equipment failures in late summer.

As the weather gets colder sales are picking up but, honestly, we are in a financial hole here in mid November. This means that we can’t afford to have a contract brewer come on board for us to help get our products out in the marketplace (a central business goal for this year).

How can you help? Come in to either of our locations to drink our beer! Sounds easy/fun enough, huh? Another way to help is to spread the word about us. We don’t have much of a marketing/advertising budget so word-of-mouth is an important outreach tool for us.

I am quite happy with the beers we have on tap at each location this week, including the return of our namesake  Kölsch last Friday. This is arguably the best batch of our Kölsch yet and nicely rounds out the tap selection at both locales:

Parched Eagle Golden Ale Kölsch

Catcher’s Mitt India Brown Lager

Alferd Black Rye Imperial Saison

Utopian w/Mosaic Imperial IPA

Hop-Bearer w/Mosiac IPA

DIPAer Danky Double IPA

Burgeoning Goth Queen Oatmeal Stout

–Something for everyone, we think (hope). Next up for Black Friday: a very limited release of GERONIMO Imperial Stout at both locales!

And, on Saturday evening our charming Taproom at 1444 E. Wash was visited by fine folks from The Old Fashioned restaurant. They posted this outstanding comment on Instagram on Sunday:

“A shared space. It’s a weird space. But here, it’s about the beer. It’s not about hipster food, rooftop views, retro swag, carefully designed crowler labels, or anything promotional. This place is an epitomization of the full rejection of the phony commercialism currently shrouding beer culture. Here, they lead with exceptional beer, and it stops there.”

I shared this with my main business partner Tom and our outstanding bartender Robert yesterday: we all agreed that this comment sums us up perfectly! To it I add that within the context of our no frills yet nice/comfortable/friendly environs at each location a nice sense of community exists. So, please do come on by!

Cheers,

Jim

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Happy Hoptober!

Rainy October Wednesday greetings all,

This October takes on a Hoptober feel for us starting tomorrow (Thursday October 11th) with the triumphant return of DIPAer DANKY Double IPA on tap! First released on 4/20 this year, DIPAer Danky was a smash hit and didn’t last long on tap at both of our locations. Expect a beautiful mix of dank, resiny, citrusy hops (Chinook, Simcoe, Mosaic, Rakau and Citra) coupled with a fairly significant malt backbone and balancing hop bitterness. The double dry-hopping combo of Rakau and Citra adds a wonderful lemongrassy/dank aroma. It finished out at 8.3% ABV.

DIPAer Danky is my homage to two classic DIPAs: Russian River’s Pliny the Elder and Heady Topper from The Alchemist!

It will be on tap at our Taproom (1444 E. Wash) at 3pm and our Westport Brewhaus at 4pm.

Next up for Parched Eagle Hoptober is the return of UTOPIAN w/Mosaic Imperial (Double) IPA! Our original DIPA is slated to be back on tap at both locations on Friday October 19th. This huge beer is a marriage of Maris Otter and Crystal malts, organic fair trade Demerara sugar, and waves of Simcoe, Chinook, Amarillo AND Mosaic hops! 9% abv and 107 IBUs.

Our original plan was to have a Double IPA Smackdown event with both these beers on tap on October 11th but issues with Utopian’s fermentation have dictated a delay for a week. What it comes down to is this: the yeast is in charge until it’s done doing it’s job. That said both will be on tap starting on 10/19 for smackdown tasting purposes! Sounds fun, huh?

THEN the following Friday (10/26) our flagship HOP-BEARER IPA returns on tap! And yes once again it’s Hop-Bearer w/Mosaic as the first batch with Mosaic hops in place of Citra (for flavor/aroma along with Amarillo) was an absolute smash hit at both locations and will be back by popular demand to round out our Hoptober releases.

Hop Heads of the world unite this Hoptober!

Cheers,

Jim

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Annual release of Catcher’s Mitt IBL this Friday 10/5!

Hello all,

This Friday CATCHER’S MITT India Brown Lager returns on tap at both locations as Major League Baseball’s division playoff series get under way! This annual autumnal release has been quite popular and the ’18 batch is showing considerable potential. A couple of years ago Bryan Richgels of the Mason Lounge asked me if I’ve ever heard of an “IBL” (I hadn’t) and suggested that we brew one and indeed we have! Weighing in at 7% abv, Catcher’s Mitt is kind of like a fairly hoppy American Brown Ale (or more accurately an India Brown Ale as IBL implies) fermented with lager yeast so it has a nicely clean/crisp finish. Nicely dry-hopped with Amarillo, too. All hail October baseball with Catcher’s Mitt!

And, as tough as catchers’ mitts have to be, this batch of Catcher’s Mitt has overcome a very badly timed (temporary) breakdown of our glycol chiller, leading to (very) warm fermentation temperatures for three days. As a result ’18 Catcher’s Mitt is a bit higher than the target of 6% abv and a tad more fruity. So, also all hail Wyeast Labs’ California Lager yeast strain, which more than admirably handled the inadvertent very high fermentation temperatures for a few days.

Cheers!

Jim

 

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Hop-Bearer w/Mosaic debut this Friday 9/14!

Hoppy Monday all,

Friday after next our flagship beer HOP-BEARER IPA returns on tap but with a twist as this batch features Mosaic hops! Mosaic used in place of Citra for both the boil and dry-hop additions. Hence the double dry-hopping combo for this batch is Mosaic (seven days before kegging) and Amarillo (four days before kegging). “Mo” (as it’s called by some) features mango, lemon, citrus, earthy pine, tropical fruit, and stone fruit notes and is similar to Citra but with a bit of a sweeter citrusy/fruity profile. This batch is coming along quite nicely and will be freshly ready for its release at both locations on Friday the 14th starting at 3: hop heads of the world unite!

Excellently adding to the appeal for the debut of Hop-Bearer w/Mosaic this Friday is the fact that this is also the birthday party for Parched Eagle Vice President/Maintenance Manager and all around good guy Tom Christie: come hoist a glass with Tom!

Cheers,

Jim

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The Weakling Belgian Tripel release party Friday August 17th!

Greetings all,

On the heels of our participation in the Great Taste of the Midwest this past weekend next Friday THE WEAKLING Belgian Tripel makes its debut at our E. Wash Taproom (1444 E. Washington Avenue)! For The Weakling we use Wyeast Labs’ seasonal release Canadian/Belgian yeast strain, which originally comes from Unibroue. This is a dynamite choice for the Tripel style that showcases the malt profile along with appropriate light fruit esters (e.g. lemons and oranges) and some of its own spicy character. Also expect good balancing hop bitterness along with a bit of Saaz noble hop flavor and aroma. We brewed it once before two years ago and it was a hit, including a 4.04 rating on Untappd. 9% ABV and not weak at all (but very smooth)!

We also welcome one of Madison’s newest food carts–PERUVIAN LOCOS–to our Taproom and they’ll be out front serving their delicious South American fare from 5 to 8. Should make for some interesting food and beer pairings. Salud!

The Weakling will of course also be returning on tap at our Westport Brewhaus on Friday starting at 3, after an hiatus of almost two years (way too long for this elegant beer).

Santé!

Jim

 

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