gaJOBS - Create

 

SB 63, aka the beer jobs bill, is on the docket today for discussion and will be put to a vote by the GA Senate Regulated Industries committee. Moving past this first hurdle will give the bill legitimacy and will greatly aid its chances for complete adoption. If you haven’t already contacted your representative in support of this bill, please do so. Thanks for all of your support!

 

 

Here is a map of where you are likely to find our beers. Remember this is not a guarantee they will be there when you show up. Due to the high demand for our beers, they may or may not still be on tap when you arrive. If you are planning to travel for our beer please call ahead to ensure it is on tap. We’d hate to have you show up, only to find the guy at the other table drank the last of our beer!

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We all know the beer laws in Georgia are antiquated, but how far are you willing to go to change them? Sure you’ve probably already signed the Beerjobs petition (17,000 people have) and you’ve probably been reading about SB 63 (the current bill we are trying to pass to reform Georgia beer laws) but are you willing to make a documentary about it?

Cameron Johnson is! Cameron is a senior at the University of Georgia in Athens studying mass media arts, and what started out as a simple class project has morphed into a film which may help turn the tide for Georgia drinkers and brewers. Johnson described the goal of the film to the Red&Black as: “My plan is just to show the difference. What they’re achieving with lightened laws, compared to what Georgia is achieving — kind of like what Georgia could be”.

So we reached out to Cameron to ask him a few questions of our own.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 8.46.04 AMEventide: When did you start this project, and why?

CJ: Ever since I turned 21 I have had a passion for craft beer. After discovering more styles and breweries around the country I noticed that Georgia was behind. That’s when I discovered the laws and regulations stifling Georgia breweries I felt that more people should be made aware of it.

Eventide: You’re still a student, are you 21?

CJ: I am in my last semester at the University of Georgia and I am 22

Eventide: What is the timeline for the project?

CJ: Filming began in late January, and I plan to have a finished product to show by the end of April. 

Eventide: Are you going to be interviewing state Representatives?

CJ: I have interviewed State Representative Spencer Frye for this project who sponsored House Bill 314 two years ago. I will also be interviewing the south Carolina head of the craft brewers association and hopefully Nancy Palmer, she is just so busy haha.

Johnson has covered many of his bases and plans to make a solid case for his argument, and help spread the word about what craft beer means for Georgia. He will be doing a lot of traveling for his film and, because of this, he started an Indiegogo.com campaign to raise the funds. We are happy to report he has already surpassed his goal by 126% and will be able to complete the film. Here’s a short promo of what you can expect the film to cover.

Johnson’s documentary, (Beer)aucracy: “One Nation Under Hops” is set to air at Cine in Athens on April the 28th.

We love seeing the community coming together to help make Georgia a better place, and we are proud to help accomplish this goal through beer. We are excited to see this film finished, and are hopeful that it will aid in seeing our beer laws changed as well. Thanks for the fighting the good fight Cameron, we wish you the best.

 

 

 

We attended the State Senate Committee hearing on SB 63 and this is the long and the short of it.

If you are unaware of SB63, it is in favor of creating Georgia jobs by granting breweries and brew pubs the same rights which currently stand for both Georgia Wineries and Distilleries. It would give brewpubs legal ability to package their product, and give both breweries and brew pubs the ability to sell their product directly to the consumer. This will benefit Georgia by increasing the amount of products both made and sold in Georgia,  increasing tourism dollars across the state, and attracting more businesses to the state. These limiting laws have not only been holding back people from starting and/or successfully operating breweries, but have also been a key reason some big breweries are building production facilities in other states, and not Georgia.

The presentation of the bill:

Hunter Hill (http://www.senate.ga.gov/senators/en-US/Member.aspx?Member=803&Session=23) presented the bill, and is the sponsor of the bill. In short he presented how SB 63 will increase Georgia jobs and be a positive factor for all parties involved. These parties are the 1) Producers of beer, 2) Distributors of beer, and 3) Retailers of beer. If passed, the bill would allow on premise (up to 72 oz) and off premise (up to 144 oz) retail sales from a brewery and brewpub. This would allow the producers a much needed revenue stream which would be focused back into the brewery to increase production, improve processes and hire employees. The total amount sold would account for less than 1% of total beer sales in the state, so the affect on distributors and retailers would be completely offset by the amount of brand awareness this would create for the products they are already selling. Everybody wins.

After the bill was presented there were some comments made by the committee which made it clear these regulations are not well understood even by the people voting on them. This is understandable since they are very nonsensical, and haven’t garnered much attention up to this point. To make a point of how little the laws pertaining to this case are understood, even by the committee in charge of regulating this industry, one senator commented that “it’s economically bad to give away free beer” which is, of course, what the current law forces breweries to do.

In defense of the bill Nancy Palmer, Executive Director of the Craft Brewers Guild of Georgia, brought out some very key points in the antiquated nature of our current treatment of these issues. She stated Florida passed this same law, and to a greater extent than what we are asking for in 1963, and North Carolina in 1986. This is why both of them trounce us in number of breweries per state, and North Carolina has seen such a rise in Beer Tourism and investment in their state from breweries in the past decade.

5 Seasons brew pub also commented in favor of the bill. They have obtained over 26,000 signatures in favor of the bill. Currently 5 Seasons, by law, can sell you wine to go but cannot sell you the beer they make on site to go.

Bart Watson, chief economist at the Brewers Association, proposed the three reasons this bill will increase economic impact, rather than shifting it.

1) Tourism dollars we are not getting from beer tourism is net new impact.

2) Capital from the increase in sales from breweries will go back into local investment, and the investment in net new breweries will be a net new increase.

3) Georgia products created and consumed in Georgia are sold at a higher value creating a larger increase in gross revenue for the state, the vast majority of which remains in the state.

In opposition:

Nick Economos, President of Eagle Rock Distributing and acting President of the Beer Distributors Association. He stated the bill is unnecessary not because the brewing industry is growing and does not need additional help. He did, however, concede that passing this bill would not take away jobs or revenue from his business or others in the state.

Martin Smith, lobbyist for the beer wholesalers of Georgia, had a different story to tell. His comments were that, currently, Georgia is 18th in craft beer production (he is correct, but only because Sweetwater produced 170,000 bbls, and the next closest is Terrapin at 44,000 bbls) last year so there is no need for change to the system. In response to Nancy’s comment on other states passing beneficial beer laws well a head of us, he stated: “they should be asking themselves why are they not like Georgia”.

In further opposition there was a retailer from a package store that give his thoughts on how this will affect his business. The comment was that this would be “unfair for breweries to be able to sample and sell beer when they can not”. At which point the Department of Revenue stepped in and said they are allowed to sample beer as long as they don’t sell Liquor, but they cannot because they made the choice to sell spirits. Finally, the retail owner’s son stepped up and said “I would love to go to a brewery, and leave with beer I bought from them! But that would be a perfect world, and we don’t live in a perfect world”.

All in all this is very large fight which comes down to all breweries located in Georgia being in favor of this bill, the distributors saying it will not hurt their business, and the retailers stating they would like to participate in exactly what is being proposed. Regardless of the obvious nature of the bill, it will still be a closed door conversation and the best thing to be done is to email your state representatives and other pertinent government officials and let them know that you stand in favor of bettering GA through the passage of the SB 63 – The Beer Jobs Bill.

 

Want to hear something funny? We’ve been working to get everything in place to open our tasting room for months now, and it turns out that we’ve been able to do so all along. The powers that be were giving us incorrect information (they assumed we were a winery event though we kept telling them that we’re production brewery) and, after getting all of our ducks in a row, we were told that they were mistaken and we could have opened a tasting room as soon we were able to start operating as a brewery. A little frustrating but the good news is WE CAN OPEN A TASTING ROOM!

So lets run down three things you can expect and when you can expect them.

1) We plan to open the doors in April, and this is a firm deadline. We’ll have a soft opening to work out the kinks, and will have our grand opening a month or so later. Most of the required pieces are in place, and we are right on schedule. This is, however, a short timeline so we will be very busy between now and then. We will, most likely, be looking for volunteers to assist with pieces of this process, so be on the lookout for a call to action in the near future. If you haven’t signed up for our mailing list please go here and do so: http://eventidebrewing.com/stay-informed/

2) Demolition of the existing space starts this week. The space we plan to use was once the office space for the building we currently occupy. It’s got 20 ft ceilings made of wood, and a great deal of vintage 50’s charm. The building was built in 1952, and we are going to try to keep it looking that way. We should have all of the demo of the office done by next Monday, at which time we’ll share some photos of the space for you to see.

3) The space will be about 3k sq/ft so it’s a sizable tasting room. We are working on the decor now but the feel will be uniquely Georgia, as are all things built by us. We haven’t finalized 100% of the aesthetic, and it’s highly likely that we’ll be asking for input, so keep a lookout on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts for surveys and questions.

We’ve got a lot of surprises which we’ll share with you over the coming weeks on what more you can expect from our tasting room, but the good news is we can now open the doors. So hold on, this ride is going to be a fast one with a boatload of fun to be had at the end. Thank you for all of your support!

Cheers,

The Eventide Team

 

This time last year Atlanta was covered in snow and the Snowpocalypse term was cemented into our popular culture. To mark the anniversary and make note of the fact that Winter in Atlanta is very fickle and fleeting we will be releasing a one batch offering of Snowpocalypse Belgian Dark Ale next week.

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His friends don’t think he’s abominable.

Weighing in at 9% ABV this Belgian Dark Ale will definitely keep you warm until the cold winter nights start heating up again. The rich flavor of Special B malt combined with a healthy malt bill makes sure your palate is satisfied, and a touch of dry hopping helps accentuate the prominent fruit esters. We’ve been waiting patiently for this beer to attenuate to its correct FG and, now that it has, we’re really excited for this to finally hit the ground and, hopefully, stick (see what we did there?). Grab it while you can because, like Winter here, it won’t last long.

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While Bud Light still retains the largest single style market share, Budweiser has dipped below craft offerings for the first time in history. As a result. AB-InBev has launched a campaign marking craft beer drinkers as pretentious snobs. See exhibit 1 below.

This tone deaf approach seems strange because of recent AB acquisitions which include Blue Point Brewing, Goose Island, 10 Kettle, and Elysian (makers of the pumpkin peach beer they denounce in the ad). However strange they may be these tactics aren’t surprising, since AB is more ad agency than brewery at this point, but it really is irksome to have a push button brewing operation claim to make beer “the hard way”.

At the end of the day this notoriety may be all that the marketing team was after (spin, baby, spin!), we are having a conversation about the product after all. However, it doesn’t seem like this line of thinking will continue to resonate with a country that is steadily embracing the craft movement; in fact, some will view this as a slap in the face. At the end of the day, our thinking is that people should drink the beer they want to drink and not the beer they are told to drink. Marinate on that for a minute.

Being in the beer business a lot of people ask us, “What’s the next big thing”? IPA’s have dominated the craft market, and many people are looking for the “Next IPA”. It’s an interesting question when you break it down, and we, personally, don’t think there is going to be a next “big” thing, rather there will be more “things”.

Malcolm Gladwell was involved in a Ted talk on this very topic. He uses the example of Spaghetti sauce. A similar questions was applied to the sauce industry: “which is the best sauce style?” They found out that more sauce choices was the answer, and not just coming up a new style. People craved an abundance of choices rather than a single perfect style. In beer it is very much the same.  The majority of retailers still carry only a handful of beers and they are usually the most popular styles. This sales approached worked well when there were limited offerings but the times have changed and consumers are constantly craving more selection.

This brings us back to what, specifically, the consumers are asking for. Of course, any expanded offering of popular styles (Pale Ales, IPA’s, Stouts, Belgian Ales, Wheat Beers, Lagers, etc.) is a good place to start. As of late the trends have been moving toward and through Peppers, Sours, Barrel Aging, and Nitro. You should see more and more of these styles coming to market in the coming months, and this will persist until the next “big” thing comes about.

As people become more educated about beer the push toward craft beer and new styles/offerings will also become heavier. And as breweries make more styles this will allow these newly educated consumers to expand their palates. As this push persists and education increases people will be able to experience all that craft brewing has to offer. This will, eventually, give them the ability to discern what they favorite style is not through outside influence but by taste, sight, and smell; creating real craft beer connoisseurs.

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It’s that time of year again! Come join us this Saturday for the biggest AWBF yet.

There is a huge locals tent where we’ll be pouring Eventide Pale Ale, Kölsch, and Nitro Stout. We look forward to seeing you there!

Everyone loves to drink beer from cans. They are better for the beer, you can take them anywhere they are allowed, they are more easily recyclable, and are much easier to transport. Here at Eventide we’ve been talking about moving into cans for a while, and have begun the initial stages of the can launch. For us, the move to cans will help us to do the following things.

1) Make our beer more accessible. We have been a draft only operation for a full year, and every day we get asked where can I buy your bottles/cans? By moving into cans we will be able to produce 2-3x as much beer as we did last year and have it available in off-premise locations (that’s industry speak for convenience stores, grocery stores, and other retailers). This allows more people to experience Eventide, and helps us spread the word that “Great Doesn’t Have to be Complicated”.

2) Maximize our equipment usage. When we started Eventide we wanted to use a small system to work with our core ideal, and really hone our skills by making smaller batches. The smaller system was, also, about as much as we could afford with the money we scrapped together. Getting us into cans will allow us to max out our system, and get ready for an expansion into a larger system within a few years.

The plan to get into cans is as follows.

First, we have to finish working out the funding needs for the canning line, cans, additional equipment, and additional raw materials, but we should be moving past this very shortly. Second, we need to finalize our can design. Currently, we are designing a can which showcases our honest, approachable styling, and can really compliment our uncomplicated message. Designs for the cans are expected to finished up on Feb 9th. Third, execution of our plans and launch into market. We have already begun the process and are expecting it to be late spring when we can get cans into the market. Don’t fret if we miss spring by a month or two, we’re also working on a number of other things and it takes a great deal of time to do something right. Also, we have to continue to focus on growing the existing products, and while putting beer into cans may sound simple there are many moving parts that require undivided attention. When we do go into cans we want to make sure it is with the best beer we can make, good for our business, and great for our fans. No rush=better product.

We will be canning the Pale Ale and the Kölsch Style Ale first. We have kicked the idea around of other styles, but those will come later on. We want to see how these two styles do in the market, and work out any kinks in the process, before we expand our can offerings past these initial two. Hopefully, this summer when you pack up to go shoot the hooch, have an afternoon picnic, or want to kick back on your front porch, you’ll be able to do it with a delicious can of Eventide in your hands.

A final note: None of this would be possible without your support. Our fans have been an overwhelming blessing to us, and we are so grateful to have so much support from our city and state.

Cheers,

The Team (Nathan, Haley, Geoffrey, and Mathew)