Those of you that follow this column know the love affair with the beast that I like to call Murphy, as in Murphy’s Law. That SOB has raised his ugly head on more than one occasion over the past four plus years that Beer Army has been in existence. There have even been times when I have challenged Murphy to a fight. Sometimes we win and sometimes… well, you know the deal.
Never in a million years would I have predicted that we would have all of our permits from the federal, state and local level in hand in regards to our brewery but still not have beer in production. I thought for sure if Murphy was going to spring something on us, it would have been with one of those permits. I have heard horror stories from fellow brewers when dealing with the TTB as they have a known history of taking more than 100 days on average to approve a Brewer’s Notice.
Our Public Affairs Officer, Scott, has fielded too many inquires to count in regards to when will we have Beer Army brew out on the street. So I’m calling my shot here and once again challenging Murphy to a fight. We WILL have beer on draft within ENC BEFORE 1 April. Now I sure our Brewing Officer, Jeff, is going to lose any remaining hair on his head that he may have (and if you don’t know, he is bald), so I guess he is going to be really pissed if he starts losing his beard. I know that he loves that beard way too much so I feel confident that we’ll meet that deadline.
We are only two months into the year and it is amazing the amount of progress we have made to date. One thing that we have recently accomplished was finally hiring somebody to replace Heath as he moves up to be the Sales Officer for Beer Army Combat Brewery. We are proud to welcome Oscar on board as we feel very fortunate to have a guy on the team embodies what Beer Army is all about. If you haven’t met him yet, get your butt into the Outpost and say hi.
We are getting ready to make some major upgrades during the month of March. Some of you have been asking for some of this and we are happy to finally find solutions that we feel is ideal but more importantly, will work. One of them is an entire overhaul of our POS system. The new system will allow us to offer gift and loyalty cards that will be usable at both the Outpost and the brewery. We are getting rid of our analog tap board and going digital where flat screen smart TVs will have our beer list up digitally using a new and exciting program called What’s On Tap At. When we update this new digital tap board, it will automatically push to our website, Facebook and Twitter so you can always see what has just been tapped. We are also planning a special event for the Outpost’s one year anniversary of being open which will also coincide with our brewery’s grand opening.
With the opening of the brewery and the tap room, we are tentatively planning to do a grand opening in the month of April. This grand opening will be a family affair where we will have live music, stuff for kids to do, great food and of course, plenty of outstanding Beer Army Combat Brewery beer! We expect to announce a date by the middle of March.
While we are just recovering from Jolly Skull, the calendar doesn’t lie as we have to start planning to ramp up for the 4th Annual Brew Bern Beer Fest in New Bern, NC. Can you believe it is only four months away as it goes 29 June at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center? We are making some aggressive plans to get breweries and beers that we have never had at our festivals before. We are looking forward to the challenge of getting our festivals more “crafty” and less macro.
Finally, in closing, I want to thank all of you for making Beer Army what it is today. While this recession that we are all in may have started over 4 years ago, it is still affecting folks today. We know firsthand how some of you loyal soldiers have lost your jobs or the threat of losing your means of living has grown greater. We hope everybody is able to bounce back quickly and know you are not alone. You and your families will continue to be in Beer Army’s thoughts, hopes and prayers. After all, without you, we are nothing because YOU ARE THE BEER ARMY!