There was a time (what seems like twenty years ago) when I would write thoughts, share imagery, and quote inspiration for Tree House projects on a near daily basis. I miss those days because Tree House is constantly on my mind (of course it is -we don't leave!) and I have a lot to share about it. At any rate, time is at a dear premium so I’ll spare you the nostalgia and jump right to the meat of why I am writing today.
If you’re reading this you likely know that we've built a new facility with the intent to make the Tree House experience as great as it possibly can be. “How will the new facility improve the experience?” “What else can you tell us about the new project?” A stream of consciousness to follow….
We will have a lot more beer. New equipment purchases will allow us to make at least ten times as much beer in 2015 as we did in 2014. We have a 30 bbl brewhouse landing within a few weeks and a mixture of 30 & 60 BBL tanks are already in place. “How many barrels?” Honestly, I don’t know…. but, a lot more.
We will CAN some of our beer. Before settling on a canning line, we found none of the other options we investigated were a good long term solution for preserving and presenting the vibrant, fresh hop experience we work so hard to create. More importantly, we didn't have room to package. This has meant on-demand Co2 purged growler fills were the way to go in the meantime. Given the demand for our beer, this has meant long waits in the retail shop. (Though I must give props to the hardest working retail crew in the world. They do absolutely superhuman work). Regardless, we know it is frustrating. We have, and will continue to appreciate your saintly patience as we work toward the ideal model…. It is soon to improve. We want our beer to be easy to get. And it will be!
Which beers will we can? To start… Julius. We will be making a LOT of Julius in 2015 and beyond. To put how much into perspective, we expect to make as much Julius in three weeks - once we get rolling - as we’ve made in the entire three years Tree House has existed. Also making appearances, with near certainty, will be each Eureka variant (including a new Mosaic version), Green, Haze, and That’s What She Said. They will all be available in 16 oz. four packs at the retail shop. But seriously, cans of Green to take with you on the trail or in the boat? HELL YES!
We will bottle some of our beer. Hopefully by late spring / early summer we will receive our bottling line. This means bottles of Double Shot, Double Shot variants, Good Morning, and Good Morning variants, among other things from the barrel program we will finally have room for. I am so excited!!
We will continue growler fills. It’s unlikely we will fill growlers of the beers to be packaged. Instead, we will offer growler fills of 5 BBL batches that we are working on throughout the year. Retail shop exclusives, if you will, brewed on the original Premier Stainless brew house. One-offs galore.
We will (god willing) have beer on draft around central Mass (and beyond?)!
We will have a mixed fermentation barrel program. Brendan and I constantly riff about different beers we want to make without the space, capacity, or means to make them. That is about to change. What kind of beers am I referring to? You saw a sliver of it with Lucid. Imagine Lucid with a bit more acidity, less residual sugar, a bit more funk, and tannic barrel attributes. We have a house spontaneous culture Brendan has been blending and working with for over a year now. It will start to see the light of day in 2015, among many other things like fruited wild beers with native fruit. I could talk about it for hours but carry on I must... Can you tell we're excited?!
Surprises! I can't say anything else or it wouldn't be a surprise... o_O
When? Target dates create undue stress. We don't want to disappoint you! We are all working very hard and sacrificing dearly to get to where we want to be. The answer is most definitely very soon! The building is 95% done and equipment is nearly all in place.
Tell us about the building! We built it from scratch on a 4 acre plot that was home to scrub brush and young tree growth as of May this year. It’s our building. The grounds are absolutely beautiful and true to the Tree House spirit. The koi pond will be back, in grand fashion, as will the Tree House!
Beer brewed by us, packaged by us on our equipment, in a facility we built from scratch! A personal dream come true!
A caveat about retail: While our new facility gives us 12 times as much room as we have ever had, we are not done yet. We plan - in the next 1-3 years - to build a gorgeous timber frame structure to permanently house the retail shop, in addition to a large climate controlled barrel room. In the meantime, please note that the retail space in the new building is temporary (though we think it will feel awfully familiar :).
In the meantime, before the new facility and equipment are online... we are working harder than we ever imagined we could work to have beer ready and available for retail hours. We can barely keep up. We are making as much great beer as quickly as possible given our current space and equipment. We thank you - again! - for your continued patience.
What else can you tell us about the future? Not much. It's unpredictable!
- The things that dreams are made of... Tree House Wood Fired Pizzeria and BrewPub…. ? !
Phew. Hopefully this gives you a bit of an idea what to expect in the coming year from Tree House. We have worked very hard for over three years tweaking, refining, and iterating on our recipes and we are downright giddy to finally get to share them on a broader scale. We hope you are too!
Every time I pause to reflect on how far we've come and where we are, I look back at the founding principles of Tree House to make sure we haven't veered off course. I'm happy to report we are the same Tree House we were when we started: one that aims to make, and continue to make, the very best beer possible without compromise.
Take care, and thank you so much for letting us live out our dream! We'll raise a glass to a happy and healthy new year for you all!
coming soon - reflections on 2014 - one hell of a year. giving thanks to those who have made tree house what it is... the best customers, crew, and network anyone could ever ask for... thoughts on our beers, and their continued refinement...