Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Refresh on our 6-pack recycling program, since you asked...

Hey guys and gals,

We're always trying to figure out ways to lower our impact on our environment at Yazoo. We capture all of our cooling water for hot water for the next batch; our spent grain goes to a local cattle farmer, and to Provence for their Yazoo bread; we recycle our cardboard down at Smurfitt-Stone (even though they quit paying anything for scrap cardboard!); and so on. One of the things that has always bugged me was the fact that after they are purchased, our six-pack carriers go straight into either the trash or recycling, when they could be used again.

So we're starting a 6-pack recycling program at Yazoo. Bring in your Yazoo 6-pack carriers during normal taprooom hours, Thur-Fri 4-8 PM and Sat 2-8 PM.

Ten Yazoo 6-pack carriers will get you a pint on the house. Thirty Yazoo 6-pack carriers will get you a free t-shirt.

The carriers need to be in good shape, and ready to be reused again. That is, no tears, no water damage, no cigarette butts, etc.

Hey, free beer and swag, just for doing something you hopefully do already (drink Yazoo)! And you'll feel so much better knowing that you're helping the environment. Save your 6-pack carriers, bring them down to the taproom during normal taproom hours, and enjoy a pint or a t-shirt on us!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beer Fest!

We're getting ready for not one, but TWO beer fests on the same weekend coming up. The first, of course, is Nashville's own Music City Brewers Fest, voted one of the best parties of the year. The second night session is completely sold out but you can still get tickets for the earlier session. Personally, I prefer the earlier session, since all of the beers are still available and the level of sobriety is higher. You can still get tickets at www.musiccitybrewersfest.com.

The second is the Top of the Hops Brewers Fest in Jackson, MS. I'm excited about this one! It's going to be the first time we've had our beer out in my home state of Mississippi. We'll be bringing our Pale Ale, Dos Perros, Hefeweizen, and Hop Project down. I don't have a firm date when we will start selling our beer down in MS - but I will be glad when all my relatives can buy it in their local Kroger, instead of me filling up my trunk every trip down.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Meet the newest Tennessee distillery...

It's Yazoo Brewing Company! Yes, we now are the proud and poorer owners of a TN Dept ABC Distillery License! That will allow us to legally produce in Tennessee beers over the 5% by weight cap. Yes, I said legally. And that is all I will say about the past. Anything that happened before today is kind of fuzzy in my memory.

So a batch of a beer named "Sue" is on tap for next Friday. It will tax our new brewing system with double the amount of malt as Hop Project or Pale Ale, but we think it is well warmed up and ready for the challenge. The aromas around the Gulch will be a wonderful mixture of bread baking at Provence, smoke from Jimmy Carl's Lunch Pail, and cherry-wood smoke from our batch of Sue. And all will be right with the world again, for a little while.



Friday, July 16, 2010

Hop Project #32 bottled today

Hop Project #32, bottled 3rd week of July (notched on left side of label). We went back to one of our favorite hops in the series so far, Nugget. This beer was bittered at the beginning of the boil with Warrior hops. We then added Nugget hops at 30 minutes left in the boil, 5 minutes left, and then dry hopped in the fermenter with Nugget for almost two weeks.

The aroma is mild and pleasant, with some citrus notes. At first sip the beer seems almost too-well-balanced for an IPA, but then the bracing bitterness kicks in with a slightly-chewy melon bitterness that lasts and lasts. God, what a great job I have, tasting beers at 9:30 in the morning!

We have this on tap this weekend at our taproom. Sorry to say but I predict it will not last through the weekend. It will be out in six packs next week or the week after in our mid-TN areas of distribution, and down in Alabama towards the end of next week.

And yes, Mississippi, we'll be bringing a couple of kegs of Hop Project #32 down for the Top of the Hops Brewfest on July 31 in Jackson, along with our Pale Ale, Dos Perros, and Hefeweizen. I'm looking forward to meeting all the Raise Your Pints guys and gals!



Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Should Yazoo switch to cans?

(Don't forget to vote ----------- > )

Our next big project is going to be increasing our packaging line speed. Right now, we're running it five days a week, and the slow speed of our old six-head Meheen filler is holding up the rest of our brewing process. It's going to be a pretty hefty investment in new equipment, so now's the time to ask the question: Should we continue in bottles, or make the jump to cans?

Before you say the obvious answer (Do both!), let me say a few things. First, when you get into any kind of packaging, you start off by buying a whole lot of packaging materials at one time. For instance, when we started packaging our beer in bottles (two years after we opened by the way), we had to buy truckloads of glass bottles, cardboard boxes, six-pack carriers, paper labels, label glue, metal crowns for the bottles, etc. The amount of money you have to invest in just packaging materials, upfront, means you have to move a significant amount of beer every month just to make the numbers work.

If we decided to start canning, there would of course be the upfront investment in the new equipment. But on top of that, we'd have to buy 8,500 cans of each brand we canned. That would be a huge hit to our cash flow. So for us to start canning, it would only make sense to make the switch completely. We couldn't afford to both can and bottle our beers.

In a lot of ways, cans are a much better package than glass. They are impervious to light, while even a beer packaged in amber glass will get lightstruck and skunky if left in sunlight for a short time. Cans are more readily recyclable. Almost 45% of all cans are recycled, while only a small percentage of glass bottles are. There is an active market for recycled aluminum, while there is not much demand for recycled glass right now. Cans are much lighter than glass, so the fuel costs of getting the glass to the brewery, and out to the market, is less. Cans are welcomed in places where glass is not - beaches, golf courses, parks, etc.

For us, cans are pretty attractive. Our packaging components would be a can, a lid, a six-pack ring, and a cardboard tray, most of which can easily be recycled. Compare that to bottling, where you have a bottle, cap, label, six-pack carrier, and cardboard case box, with almost none of those items ever being recycled.

But... the big question is, "What do you think about it?" If you saw a big, beautiful pack of Yazoo Pale Ale tall-boys at your local grocery store, would you buy it? Please take the poll over there to the right, and post a comment!

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Yazoo caps are in!

Our new Yazoo ball caps are in, just in time to protect your brain cells from frying in this heat. We'll have plenty in stock at our taproom, and online at www.yazoobrew.com.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Summer Ale Posters are in!

We did a limited run of only 100 numbered and signed posters of our Summer Ale label artwork. The artwork was designed by local artist Derrick Castle, and he was kind enough to sign all 100 posters. Why did we only make 100? Since we will be donating all of the proceeds of the sale of these posters to the Community Fund of Middle TN for flood relief, we wanted to make them collectors items. They will sell for $25 apiece. You can get one or more at our taproom, or online at our online store at www.yazoobrew.com. Cheers!