Happy New Year to all of you who made Alesong Brewing and Blending's first full calendar year a success! We couldn't have gotten to this point without all of your support and enthusiasm for our beers. So thank you!!
As we reflect back on 2017, it is part humbling and part mind blowing to think about everything that has happened in these past 12 months! From the very beginning of the year, when all we wanted to do was break ground on that tasting room property, we had a lot going on!
Winning "Best New Brewery in Oregon" at the Oregon Beer Awards, and another award for Rhino Suit was a great way to start. Right behind that we debuted five new beers at our February release and soon after had to get ready for our May release and Eugene Beer Week. For that release, we only packaged three bottled beers, but our collaboration with the Eugene Symphony, Strawberry Symphony, was a highlight. We took a short break to celebrate in Brian's marriage to Lindsey McCarthy, but then it was right back to painting the tasting room (brutally early the very next morning!)
In July, we released our first (and only) canned beer: a double IPA called Anniversary, and were definitely reminded that we're still in the midst of IPA-mania here in the Northwest! Look for another beer of that sort in 2018 as we celebrate the big 2-year! Also in July, we were finally approved to open the tasting room on Territorial Highway and threw a huge party to celebrate! That day was definitely a highlight for us as a culmination of the thousands of hours and headaches that went into getting that building up! Thanks to all of you who joined us!
At the end of the summer, amidst all of the crazy Oregon fires and eclipse mania, we held another release of new beers and then had a bit of a world tour of amazing beer festivals! From the Great American Beer Fest, where we were once again fortunate enough to earn another medal for one of our brett beers, Touch of Brett: Mosaic, to the Beavertown Invitational in London and What's Brewing in Norway, it was quite a busy fall! It's really fun to be invited to attend these festivals with other breweries we admire and we are always thrilled to be recognized for the hard work we put into crafting new beers!
We finished out the year with a final release, bringing our total to 18(!) different bottled (+1 canned) beers for the year! That represents quite a lot of hands-on brewing, blending, bottling, labeling (and, let's be honest, cleaning) between us in 2017!! That November release was a fun one both because it included our bourbon barrel-aged imperial milk stout, Rhino Suit, and because for the first time we held a remote release party in Seattle. It was great to get to spend a little more time connecting with our community outside of Oregon so look for more events like that to happen this coming year!
Over the last six months we've learned a lot about our tasting room as well and we can't wait to tweak things for a big year in 2018! If you haven't been out to visit yet, please consider a trip! We're open all winter on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and expect to extend those hours come spring (and the return of warmer weather & sunshine). We've got some fun events planned this winter and next spring and are also working on a few big surprises by summertime to make it your favorite place to spend a sunny summer afternoon! Stay tuned!
It's been a ton of work, but from making and delivering our beer to you, to enjoying one at the tasting room, at one of our awesome retail accounts, or over a nice meal, we couldn't think of a better way to spend the last 12 months. So, thank you, once again for being part of the Alesong Family! We look forward to a bright and prosperous New Year, and hope we can continue to share it with you.
Matt, Doug, Brian, and Brandon