We’ve officially boxed up 2015. It was one hell of a year for Able Ebenezer, and we couldn’t have done it without you and your support. With that, I would like to share with you what we’ve accomplished:
This was a big year for us on the brewing side of the business, as we needed to increase our output in order to keep up with growth. In essence, we reached the top end of our current production capacity, and sold every ounce we produced; not one drop of our inventory lasted long enough to reach its expiration date. We consider this quite a feat, since we maintain no bottling or canning operation; all of our production volume goes into kegs. To facilitate this growth, we increased our keg inventory by the hundreds and doubled our cold room space (since it is our standard is to keep everything we produce cold until it pours from the draft). Throughout, we maintained our superior quality and freshness.
A year ago, we distributed our products actively to roughly 20 local restaurants within the Merrimack River corridor running from Nashua to Concord. Today, we distribute to over 60 restaurants across a territory spanning east/west from Portsmouth to Peterborough, and north/south from Laconia to Nashua. Numbers? We ran well over 800 individual deliveries, moving over 1,100 kegs (or nearly 12,000 gallons) in the process. We also welcomed the addition of a new delivery vehicle to assist with the heavy lifting: Able 2, a Jeep Renegade outfitted to carry up to 12 kegs (shown in the photo above).
The Ale Room
Many of you are familiar with our on-site bar at the brewery, where we share the full Able Ebenezer experience with you and yours. This small bar has been one of the most fun parts of our operation, as this past year we hosted several special events with some of our partnered restaurants, unveiled our outdoor seating area, welcomed Jimmy’s Food Truck, debuted Jake’s N64 in the living room, and watched as our live music night on Monday’s grew into a local staple. By the numbers? We moved around 9,000 gallons of beer through this venue, most of it going into the nearly 8,000 growlers we filled. Even as I write this now, the Ale Room is full of people enjoying playoff football over a pint or flight with friends and family.
So yes, 2015 was one hell of a year...but we have higher expectations for 2016.
Throughout my time in the Army, I viewed military operations as 3-part exercises: Setting Conditions, Taking the Hill, and Defining the Next Mission. Thus far, our demand has vastly outpaced our ability to keep up; we’ve been limited by production capacity, storage space, keg inventory, and the simple availability of time (after all, there are only 4 of us). As such, we’ve had to make sacrifices, such as taking products off draft in our Ale Room to free up inventory for restaurants, and wait-listing new restaurants to ensure our current partners never lose their access to product. We've learned from these sacrifices, making adjustments and maneuvering the company into a position where we can move forward without limitation. We have set our conditions.
“You must be slow in deliberation and swift in execution” -Napoleon Bonaparte
Tactical patience has paid off; now the time has come to pull the trigger. No more wait-lists. No more holding back. This is a “Take the Hill” year for Able Ebenezer.
Next month, we will begin increasing our production once again, as new brite tanks arrive in mid-February. This will put us in position to triple our capacity and thus, begin to actively grow restaurant partnerships once more.
In 2016, we will double our distribution operation. To support this effort, we’re happy to announce the addition of a new member to our team. Chris Clement - a fellow military veteran - has accepted our offer to join the movement, coming over from our friends down the street at Anheuser-Busch. Chris gets his boots on ground with us next month.
We also recently completed our mobile app - AbleOPS - which is designed to track all of our inventory throughout our network, process orders digitally, and calculate consumption trends at our partnered restaurants to streamline production rhythm and inventory planning. In true Able fashion, this app was designed and built by us, in-house. In the future, we plan to roll AbleOPS out to restaurant managers so they too can view our available inventory and place orders instantly via their computer or mobile device.
Will still be open 7 days a week; same hours, same good times.
With that, we cannot thank you all enough for taking up the cause alongside us...and we’ll need you again as we move forward this year. Together, we will continue to grow the movement, and Take the Hill in 2016.