Growler Care and Events

Good morning folks!

Last week we debuted our XLCR Pale Ale to the masses and have gotten some great responses. We’re glad to see that the beer is being well received, thanks to everyone who came out last week. We dig the support!

This has meant we are swamped on growler sales at the moment, literally selling out our ENTIRE inventory the last couple weeks. Fear not, we have another shipment arriving mid-week so there will be chances to take home our Big Island Blond, debuting this week! For anyone who came out and was unable to get a growler last week, we are really, truly sorry. As in any business, it can be hard to gauge what kind of response you will receive your first time around. Fortunately the response has been great, unfortunately it led to a shortage in our growler inventory. We appreciate the patience on your end as we figure it out.

HOWEVER, on the growler note, we have some requests from those who have purchased growlers. Since we have refilled a ton of growlers in the past week, we are starting to notice something you folks can help us with a little bit:

  1. Once you finish off the beer in your growler, PLEASE give it a quick double rinse in hot water. This will make sure to eliminate some of the “funkiness” that has come back in some of the growlers.
  2. After you rinse, please let it dry, preferably upside down, without the cap on. Air ventilation = good thing.
  3. Please do not use dish soap, as this is a pain in arse to get out when we sanitize. Nobody wants a soapy beer

Going forward, we will be giving every growler that comes back the “sniff” test. Don’t be offended when we do, we trust you. It’s just the OTHER guy we’re worried about. If it’s funky, we will kindly remind you about proper growler care and probably give you a mean scowl. If it’s clean, you will be rewarded with a smile and a high five.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

July 19-21 – Crazy Days:  We will be open for normal taproom hours (Thu and Fri 4-10, Sat 2-10). Swing on by during the festivities and say hello!

July 21 – All Pints North Beer Fest – Duluth, MN

July 21 – Highland Park Beer Dabbler – St. Paul, MN

No tours this week due to the massive amount of events, but please come say hi at any of the above listed places!

As usual, cheers and have a great week everyone.

Friday the 13th Updates

For those unfamiliar with our Bridge Jumper IPA(ish) story, let me recap. Upon receiving our equipment, we had to take a bit of a stab in the dark as to how much grain we would need for our first official batch of XLCR Pale Ale. After all, we never really had a chance to learn our evaporation levels, mark our water lines in our brewhouse or know what kind of efficiency we would get from our brand spankin’ new system. We just wanted to jump feet first off the proverbial “bridge” and make our beer!

Turns out, we have a REALLY efficient system and instead of getting the more mild 5.5% XLCR, we produced the monster that has become known as Bridge Jumper. While it certainly is a bit more of a beast than our pale ale (8.5%), it was extremely well received by brewery employees and taproom attendees alike. So now, we feature our Bridge Jumper as one of our staple beers!

Since we sold out of the entire first batch in roughly 5 days, we are brewing up batch number two this morning! How fitting that a freak beer like the Bridge Jumper is being made again on Friday the 13th. Beautiful irony, really…

EDIT:  Brewed up Big Island Blond again on the 13th, brewing Bridge Jumper again on the 18th or 19th.

Hope to see everyone in the taproom tonight from 4-10, until then, Cheers!

Our Time to Shine!

In case you missed the news yesterday, we’re pretty cool. As further proof of this, Kare11 had President John Klick and Head Brewer Bob DuVernois on to talk about our story and, most importantly, try our XLCR Pale Ale. Just released yesterday, you can grab XLCR at 318, Republic and the taproom in Excelsior.

Thanks again to Kare11 for profiling Minnesota’s amazing local beer, it’s always good to be mentioned in the same series as Summit, Surly, Fulton and all the other phenomenal MN breweries.

Check out the story here: http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=982866

Opening Week

5 ½ days, 29 kegs of beer, over 1,000 visitors and one heck of an opening week have left us speechless.

First and foremost, we want to say THANK YOU to all that stopped by and enjoyed a Bridge Jumper with us. Whether it was a taster, a pint or a growler, it was overwhelming to see the community come together and show that kind of love opening week.

Through all the setbacks, obstacles and challenges that came along with opening a brewery, we were able to keep moving forward knowing that our neighbors would be there at the end of the day to make it all worthwhile. Needless to say, you all did not disappoint.

Another group that deserves some major props is our group of volunteers that made this week possible. Without question, we could not have pulled off this week without you. The dedication and commitment to a brewery that just opened its doors was inspiring to see and we are proud to say your were just as responsible for our success in the first week as the employees.

As far as our beer goes, we have officially cashed all kegs of our Bridge Jumper, which was more than we could ever possibly imagine for opening week. Do not fret, next week we will debut the XLCR Pale Ale in the taproom, a beer we look forward to being one of our flagships for the foreseeable future.

The first week wasn’t a totally smooth road, as we did experience some challenges with our growler filler. For those that purchased a flat growler, we profusely apologize. Unfortunately, our CO2 and growler filler were not on the same page for the first day or two, which led to inconsistent carbonation levels. We have corrected the situation and will make sure all growlers are properly carbonated going forward. If you have not already, email ben@excelsiorbrew.com with any kind of growler issue and we will take care of you.

At the end of the day, we will learn and grow from this week as a business and a brewery. For example, don’t trust ANY piece of machinery will be simple to use (especially if the instructions are in Russian). Or remember that if a beer you made comes in at 8% ABV, you cannot toast everyone that walks through your door opening day, and expect to be standing by the end.

Again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for the support and for taking a leap of faith on a local brewery. Craft beer brings out the best in everyone and we know you have a lot of options, it means a lot to see people come through our doors and choose us. Cheers to a great opening week, can’t wait to do it again next week!