Our first post of 2018. No idea why we needed to reference Kindergarten Cop other than its an episode of talk about yourself.
In October we had a triumphant post about finally getting our licenses and moving on with being a business and not some sort of in-flux God-only-knows-whats-next drama. Today's post is sort of a maybe-brief recap of time since then, our commitment for more recurring blog posts, and a look down the rabbit hole.
For those of you who haven't read the stories below this post- we opened in October of 2017. We had a whale of a tale with licenses and waiting for godot and literally got our license on a Friday and opened, somewhat stupidly, the very next day. This post tries to talk about what it's been like for 3 people -all of whom work for Wiretap full time, 1 person who thought two full time jobs was a good idea, and 2 more people who have full time jobs but reserve their heart for the business (yes that's a total of 6 on a good day). To know more about the backstory, people, LA city zoning, and other drama, read the previous posts.
We got our license to sell alcohol on the last Friday in September. Instead of celebrating and getting our ducks in a row we decided to blast on social media a flash opening the very next day. We barely had growlers, there was literally no service bar, and we might not even have had some drywall painted. Dumb.
October was basically Friday and Saturday, noon till about 8. That ran into November and December and we didn't really promote the space much. I think most of it was trepidation over "being open for service" and also part that we dont focus as much on having a "tap room." We have a tasting room and focus on being open for events and times that center on folks trying out our beer and less so being a "bar." Lots of quote symbols in this paragraph, sorry.
In January we kicked off a new initiative of being open during hours that actually made sense. Closing at 8pm on a Friday or Saturday was kinda dumb; we get that now. So we launched Thursday, Friday, Saturday, open till about 10, opening Thursday at 5 and Fri/Sat at 3. The change was substantial. A lot of neighborhood people and folks from the community loved coming in on Thursday and Friday, and Saturday tended to be more people in the LA area looking for new stuff. That change was great and we look forward to exploring new options -we might look at more stuff in the week or focus on Sunday related things. We also plan on dialing in on the fact that home plate of dodger stadium is 1.18 miles from our front door so we make for a perfect place to pre-game or watch the game; probably less-so post game on account of us and our abuelita hours.
Outside of retail stuff we've made some leaps and gains in the wholesale space which is where we put the bulk of our effort. In October we showed up for the Burbank Beer Festival, in November we ran some of the longest lines at the LA Pizza+Beer fest, and in January we were the only independently owned beer company at the Santa Anita Fine Wine Festival at the Santa Anita Racetrack. Granted our only companion was Golden Road, it was great to be an independent brand amongst a sea of big names. Outside of events we started to claim some territory as well! We expanded our deliveries from City of LA to include spots in Burbank, South Pasadena, Arcadia Monrovia, and as far East as Upland and as far South as Irvine. A big shoutout to BJ's Brewhouse for picking us up in select locations.
Finally, when it comes to retail product we've made some more moves. When we first started in October we had one 22oz bottle in distribution which was Luchador at 5%. A fun trivia thing you'll never find documented is that Luchador was originally a 5% session beer -but when we let the yeast fully attenuate became 7%. We decided to rename the variant El Borracho from the game Loteria. However, customers quickly began to sell out on the 7% version so Luchador became El Borracho and kept the name Luchador. As of December we had five brands in retail packs -Echelon, Luchador, CTRL+ALT, Vauxhall Cross, and NSA. Last month we decided to move Vauxhall (English Coffee Stout) and CTRL+ALT (German Altbier) to "seasonal" status which let in Serial Czechnology (Czech Pils) and KryptoKolsch (German Kolsch) into main production levels. We continue to have another seasonal, Cymbopogon, our lemongrass IPA, float in and out of availability.
We're delighted to announce:
- A Red Saison
- An English Special Bitter which will be a branch from Echelon
- A German Dunkel
- A German Ale fermented with a Mexican yeast and dry hopped with a British hop. Lose your mind now we have no idea what it's going to be called.
- Plus! Some California red wine barrel aged nonsense!
We're super thankful to be open. We're super thankful to be a City of LA brand. We're super thankful to Lincoln Heights. And we're pleased as punch to bring really good beer to market and continue to grow the brand.
Thank you. Come thru.
It's so weird to be talking about being thankful to be doing business than crying about some political bs.
You're awesome for reading this far. DM us on IG for a coupon.