Well looks like we completed another trip around the sun! Wow was 2016 a crazy year. I thought it would be a good exercise for me to do a year in review, as it truly was a year to remember for us. There was good, bad, ugly, and just about everything else. I’ll spare you the “Bad” and “Ugly” stuff. I’m just proud to say that we got through it, grew from it, and are in a better space today because of it. That’s how we like to look at it.
So the “Good” you ask? 2016 was full of amazing accomplishments, growth, and joy for our humble little brewery. We won seven awards at professional beer competitions this year including a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival and a 2nd place ribbon at the California State Fair! As brewers, we are often our own worst critics and work incredibly hard to become better at what we do. Placing at these competitions in an increasingly competitive industry really validated our efforts and I can honestly say the GABF medal was one of the greatest days of my life.
2016 saw Hop Dogma grow in every respect. From production to retail and expansion, we pushed our boundaries and worked tirelessly to expand our footprint and make our company a healthier and more sustainable business. We gutted our garage brewery and did some simple repairs, shuffled some things around, and actually ended up being able to double our in-house fermentation capacity! So more good beer coming your way! We still can only self distribute at this time, but we were able to get our beer as far south as San Diego and Redondo Beach and up to Sacramento, Sonoma, and beyond. On the coastside, we continue to make wonderful relationships with our fellow local business owners and our beer is popping up in more and more places all the time, which brings joy to our hearts. It has been so gratifying to work with our friends and neighbors in such a wonderful place.
This year we had to make some major changes that involved some very difficult decisions. We are saying goodbye to some core brands for a bit. Our A-Frame IPA and Beaudacious DIPA will be retired in bottle form. Before anyone gets too upset we will be doing draft only in-house from time to time. We just decided that these hoppy beers that we contract (gypsy) brewed just were not holding up well enough or representing us in a way that we felt good about. The brands were suffering, tired, and we truly believe that the beers that we are designing and making right now are our best. We know that some of you love these beers so that made the decision that much harder. All we can say is that we feel confident that we can make these beers in house at a higher quality level. As professionals we know that quality needs to always be priority number one. If we are going to become the brewery that we aspire to be, we can’t have products out on the market that we can’t stand by. So we have decided to cut back, expand our in-house brewing abilities as best we can, and focus on quality and the customer experience. We will still do a small amount of contract brewing now out of E.J. Phair. They have been doing a wonderful job for us and the relationship we have built with them is really helping us expand our distribution abilities. For example, we are proud to announce our first canned product will be released January 4th! It will be our beloved Alpha Dankopotamus IPA! The can, we truly believe is a superior option for our hoppy beers so we are making the shift. Look out for the release information but you will be able to get it out of our taproom and many locations throughout the Bay Area.
In 2017, we hope to accomplish many things. We are still looking for a suitable production space. We’d like to expand our retail space as well. This is a little easier said then done but we’ll see. Very shortly, we plan to do a little reimagining of our taproom. We’ll be upgrading the chairs and tables, paint, bar, whole nine yards. So that is exciting for us as we want our customers to be comfortable when enjoying our beers and each others’ company.
Lastly, we just want to say thank you for your love and support. We could never be doing this without it. Our patrons have proven time and time again that they are incredibly supportive, funny, honest, caring, and incredibly people. Have a safe and awesome New Year and we can’t wait to do 2017 with ya!