A Move Toward Annual Releases
A Move Toward Annual Releases
Effective immediately we have decided to move the majority of our beer lineup toward what we are calling “annuals”
What Does That Mean?
In short it means that we will be labeling them with a year (i.e. 2022, for example), rather than just the name of the beer. So instead of King Kang, it will be King Kang (2022) in order to indicate the year it was made in.
This has been something we have been thinking about for a long time. Beer is inherently an agricultural product, one whose raw ingredient inputs change from year to year based on the agronomic conditions that nature provides (not to mention the inherent variability of the human component in processing these ingredients both before entering the brewery and throughout the brewing process).
We have also reached a point where we have so many labelled beers that if we take a good hard look at our brew schedule for the year, we will be brewing most of these beers once every 12-18 months by the end of 2022. And at the rate we have been releasing, and plan to keep releasing new beers, the gap between repeat releases will only continue to grow. Which means that the raw ingredient inputs, and therefore also the beer, will simply be different every time we release them; because we will be using ingredients that were grown in different years with different agronomic conditions and human processing influence.
The time to make this move feels particularly appropriate right now. First off, one of the worst barley harvests/shortages for malting barley just happened in North America this past fall. Moreover, the quality of what came off the field and will be used in the malt house is also its most challenging in decades. Different? I’d say so!
We also just completed our first year of hop selections. The majority of the hops we will be using in our beer in 2022 will be more different than ever before. We have literally never used a single lot from a single farm of hops. Now the majority of our sexy hops are going to be exactly that: selected single lots from single farms. Starting to see what we’re talking about here?
Been There, Done That
You’ve likely already seen us use annual indicators on some of our beers before (like the monthly DIPA series, for example). This is really just us moving even further in that direction and communicating a little more clearly how we feel about the production of these beers each time they are released. Namely, that each time we make them, they will be different. Sometimes the changes may be large, sometimes they may be small, but they will be different. This has already been happening since our inception, and at some level happens in all beer production. The real change here is our communication and our push to make some of these changes better than ever for the beer itself.
We have never tried to make our beer recipes taste the same every time we make them. Our stated goal has been, and always will be to make every recipe better every time we make them, which inevitably requires some level of tweaking (translation: change). We typically keep the recipes pretty similar (if not identical) on paper, but if we can make the beer better by way of a different process tweak or we can source ingredients that taste better (i.e. different), then you best believe that that’s what we’ve done and will continue to do!
If you’re scared that our beer is about to change drastically and that the Badlands you know and love is changing, don’t be. Very literally, nothing is changing about the beer production or the people who make the beer and run the business. It’s the same 3 people running the brewery today as it has been since day one. The same one guy who has made every beer we have ever released from the brewery (and is writing this now) is still the same one guy making the beer.
As we said above, this has already been happening since day one. In fact, if we’ve chatted with you at the bar about our beer, you likely already know this is how we feel about our beer. This is purely a new way of classifying and labelling the beers on the outside that we think aligns better with how we feel about them on the inside.
If anyone has any concerns about anything we’ve said here, feel free to let us know! We’re happy to put any concerns to rest.
Love Troy, Mike, Grace