"On the Way!"

Able Tanks.jpg

I was in awe the first time I climbed into the turret of the M1 Abrams tank.

It’s an incredible machine, with capabilities you have to experience to really appreciate what a marvel it is. Powered by a 1500 horsepower turbine engine, the 72 ton behemoth can move at 50 MPH (60+ MPH if you know how to disable the governor). The turret is equipped with a fire control computer which uses a gyroscope, crosswind sensors and a rangefinder to balance & precisely aim the main gun, allowing it to hit targets with ease at 4000 meters. Handling it feels more like a videogame than real life.

Yet, the amount of preparation required to make the Abrams work properly is immense.

We were introduced to the M1 early on in training at the US Army’s Armored Cavalry school at Fort Knox, KY. While excited to mount up and get rolling, I quickly discovered we would instead spend weeks in the maintenance bays learning every aspect of the vehicle from top to bottom before rolling it anywhere. I’ll tell you first hand, the preventative maintenance workload is intense. The lesson: as mounted combat units, we are responsible for knowing and maintaining our horses.

Relentlessness about every detail led to repetition; repetition built trust among our crew. Slowly, we were becoming a singular unit; as if each of us was a vital organ of the M1. Hours everyday were dedicated to crew drills and rehearsals; sometimes in the simulator, but often simply in the maintenance bay with 4 folding chairs, practicing fire commands.

Fire commands coordinate the 4 individual crew members who are all performing 4 different tasks, which need to be done in unison, otherwise the Abrams is reduced to a 72 ton paperweight.

Tank Commander: “Gunner, sabot, tank”
Gunner: “Identified, range one six hundred”
TC: “Driver, move out”
Loader: “Up!”
TC: “Fire”
Gunner: “On the way!”
*Loud noises*

“On the Way:” the moment of execution; when all the effort put into maintenance and preparation is complete and the Abrams’ very existence now has meaning (you know, more than a paperweight).

2017 was the year of “Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast;” dedicated to focusing on the details, establishing rhythms, and setting conditions for the next offensive.

That time is upon us now: In 2018, we pull the trigger - “On the Way!”

Production

This past year, our goal was to increase efficiency while simultaneously upping output to maximum capacity. We achieved this milestone as summer kicked off. For the latter part of the year, our fermenters were empty for only a couple hours each time they were turned over.

Most of the increase in production was dedicated to our new canning operation, which fired up in June.

 Jake's new favorite toy: The canning line will be put through it's paces in 2018.

Jake's new favorite toy: The canning line will be put through it's paces in 2018.

The addition of our canning line is the largest commitment we’ve made to date, but the investment has been more than worthwhile. Since debuting “Victory nor Defeat” in 16-oz cans, we have fought to keep up with the pace at which they are moving.

Many have asked why we are only canning “Victory nor Defeat.” The answer three fold:

  1. Starting up a canning operation not only requires the equipment, but also the cans, of which the minimum order for printed cans is ~75,000. This presents space constraints.

  2. The mantra in 2017 was “Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast.” With that in mind, we knew we were venturing into unknown territory (the very competitive beer retail space) and wanted to remain deliberate in taking on the new rhythm. With every ounce of “Burn the Ships” produced going to draft lines across our area of operations, VnD was in a better position to establish a foothold on retail shelves, which we could leverage in the future (once we proved we could hang in the game).

  3. With “Burn the Ships” production volume completely dedicated to draft lines, canning the brand would require us to reallocate inventory away from restaurants, effectively decreasing our draft footprint (which is a no-go).

Overall, our brewhouse increased production by nearly 30% in 2017, with “Burn the Ships” & “Victory nor Defeat” accounting for over 70% of total volume produced, which still wasn’t enough to meet demand. A good problem, but one we are going at head on in 2018.

With the canning line in place, and a rhythm that is both efficient and consistent, we’re ready to increase our production capacity without much operational resistance.

In December, we committed to the purchase of a new custom brewhouse, as well as a new line of fermentation and conditioning tanks. This equipment doubles our potential output, allowing us to expand our offering, most notably the addition of “Burn the Ships” in 16-oz cans (debuting Friday); the first trigger pull of 2018.

 Jim & Chris came up with the tag line. #goodjob

Jim & Chris came up with the tag line. #goodjob

While availability of these cans will be limited in the near-term (similar to VnD), we’ll be moving to a new production rhythm before winter is behind us, giving our Distro and Ale Room teams more inventory to run with.

Even if inventories run low at all this year, we’ll be able to confidently say there is more “on the way.”

Distro

Our Distro Team kicked ass in 2017.

While it wasn’t a major goal to grow our distribution footprint, we did grow in terms of volume moved within our current footprint. As such, we brought on Jim back in February to assist with the cause. He did not disappoint, quickly becoming a valued asset within our daily operations (despite his excessive sarcasm...).

IMG_20170707_103101107.jpg

Together with Chris & Jake, the Distro Team ran nearly 1600 individual deliveries, moving over 18,000 gallons of beer to local restaurants & retailers; a ~20% increase in volume and 34% increase in sales over 2016.

These guys also took on our transition into the retail space with the VnD 16-oz cans, which entered our Distro network in July. As stated above, we’ve struggled to keep up with the pace at which the cans are moving at the ~25 retailers we distribute them to, mostly because these retailers are far exceeding our projections; many moving several cases every week.

With our deliberate posture in 2017, we spent a good amount of time collecting feedback and numbers from our partners, finding VnD 4-packs quickly became a top-seller.

  • One retailer found they were the 5th best selling item in the history of their store after only 4 months on the shelves.

  • Another stated our 4-packs were the 3rd best selling item of the holiday season, behind Sam Adams kegs and craft beer advent calendars.

  • Several more had VnD at or near the top of their sales charts in 2017.

Keep in mind, we didn’t debut these cans until this past July. In the 6 months since, we have built a good understanding of the demand, and are adjusting in 2018 to begin closing the gap for those who want increased access to our products.

With the imminent production increase on the horizon, Distro will begin expanding our geographic footprint. At this time, we hold a strong presence within the greater Manchester-Nashua region in both restaurants and retail, but maintain a mere foothold in the Seacoast and Monadnock regions.

These areas are the focus for growth in 2018.

The Distro team will begin identifying potential partners in each this month; an effort which will require your continued input & support: we love proving our value to establishments you believe would be a great asset to our team in greater Keene, Portsmouth, and in-between. After all, you guys have always been our best sales people.

At this time, we have no plans of expanding into other states; for us, the world still ends at the Live Free or Die border. One bite at a time.

To assist with the increased workload, we pulled the trigger on adding another teammate - Max Nagel - who has spent the past several months as our apprentice. Since he’s already familiar with our operations and rhythm, so he’ll be up to speed quickly.

 Max, doing apprentice things.

Max, doing apprentice things.

Beyond that, our QRF (quick reaction force) distribution model will not change.

We will continue tracking consumption trends to ensure we’re meeting our partner’s needs when they need to be met, and still guarantee re-up deliveries within 24hrs - if not same day - with product which has never been allowed above 38-degrees F.

The moment beer is needed, consider Able Distro “on the way!”

Ale Room

The headquarters of the movement here at the brewery grew as well in 2017. We poured 22% more volume at the bar compared to 2016 (over 14,000 gallons), with beer-to-go accounting for most of the volume (over 5,000 growlers and 7,000 Quart cans). This amounts to ~39% of our total production volume.

Growler and Quart fills did decrease slightly since the debut of the VnD 4-packs, but this is something we accounted for (and banked on) since we knew those who typically purchased Victory would now do so via 4-packs (more efficient; better quality). All things considered (Quarts, growlers & cans), beer-to-go sales still increased 12% over 2016.

We set out in 2017 to keep the Ale Room the way it is - a simple bar for those who live and work within our community. I believe we succeeded, with our summer BBQ parties (Anniversary Party, Thunder Road Car Show, Party for Independence!, Summer Sizzler, etc.) Monday night performances & Tuesday night trivia (hosted by our loveable Distro Manager, Chris). These new events come about because we’ve always thought of our bar as the fun side of our operations and thus, we like to get creative with how we run it.

 We do have fun...

We do have fun...

Expect us to have more fun with it in 2018.

I don’t have another “on the way” one-liner for the Ale Room...oh well.

Onward

After a year of preparing for this moment, we’re ready to get “On the Way!” in 2018 (nailed it).

As always, we give you our deepest gratitude for your continued support of this movement; couldn’t ask for better crewmates.

It’s go time; let’s have some fun. Cheers.

-Carl

"Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast"

 Room Clearing Training, Fort Bliss TX 2nd PLT (HOP), Apache TRP, 6-1 CAV

Room Clearing Training, Fort Bliss TX
2nd PLT (HOP), Apache TRP, 6-1 CAV

A year ago, we published “Take the Hill;” a look at 2015 and our expectations for 2016. With 2016 now behind us, it’s time to update you on our progress and upcoming strategy for 2017:

Production
As 2016 began, we anticipated an increase in our production capacity with the addition of new tanks and kegs (which are now at over 400 and counting). We installed the tanks (with the help of our neighbors at New Hampshire Hydraulics) in mid-February, and immediately increased our production to fulfill demand.

In the fall, we secured long-awaited hops contracts, allowing us to increase production of “Victory nor Defeat” and add it to our distributed offerings; a beer which spent 15 months pouring solely in our Ale Room due to raw material limitations (and no, we never considered “replacing” any of the hops in order to make/sell more earlier).

In 2015, we were proud to announce that we moved every ounce produced; not one keg lasted long enough in our inventory to reach expiration. We’re unable to say the same for 2016: Out of nearly 2500 kegs produced, we had to let 8 go; a sell-through of rate of 99.7%.

We’ll have to improve our inventory management in 2017...

Distro
Chris came on board in February 2016 from our neighbors down the road at Anheuser-Busch. He quickly became a tremendous battle-buddy to Jake, and asset to the company.

These guys ran nearly 1,200 individual deliveries to over different 100 New Hampshire restaurants this year, moving over 1700 kegs (or over 15,000 gallons) in the process. While many are rotating lines (where brands on draft switch up often), we maintain ~60 permanent draft lines - the vast majority of them running The Smoked IPA: “Burn the Ships.”

On the sales end, we found we no longer need to “cold call” restaurants. Throughout the year, new opportunities came from simply answering the phone; incoming requests. We have you all to thank for this, since it is you who has continually asked for our products when it isn’t available, and continually ordered it when it is.

You guys are awesome; keep up the effort.

At the end of August, we also added Quart Cans of Burn The Ships and Victory Nor Defeat to our distro network in limited quantities to only 10 specialty craft beer stores (after 2 years of endless requests from retailers). As a result, monthly distro sales increased ~20% once we added the retail channel; a solid increase despite the small quantity of Quarts produced. This, however, is a good indicator of the potential retail has for us in 2017. More to follow.

Overall, the distro end of our company grew 50% in 2016. High five.

Ale Room
Our on-site bar continues to serve as the center of the movement; you all know it well. Overall, the Ale Room saw 30% growth in 2016, pouring over 12,000 gallons of beer into flights, pints, growlers & our latest offering - the Quart Cans.

We debuted the Quarts at our 2-year anniversary party in June 2016. Since that time, we sold nearly 6,000 of them in the Ale Room alone. Add in the 7,000+ growler fills we did in 2016, and beer to-go accounts for most of the volume we poured through our in-house draft lines.

While the Ale Room moves only ~1/3rd of our total production volume, the venue still accounts for most of our sales. We really have all of you to thank for this, and cannot express how much it means to us. We truly appreciate all of your continued support, one pint at a time.

2017
While growth in 2016 was exponential, it is something which needs to be managed closely or it can easily run out of control. We’re big on doing the very best job we can, and this means we have to be relentless with our efficiency at every level.

“Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.”
-Sun Tzu

After analyzing this past year, we believe maximizing these efficiencies is where the most opportunity lies for growth in the year ahead.

While 2016 was the year of "Taking the Hill," 2017 will be the year of "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast."

I’ve carried this phrase with me since my time in the military. The challenge of training soldiers in the art of combat is managing each individual’s subconscious need to execute as quickly as possible.

I recognize this sounds counter-intuitive; in war, time is of the essence, so one would expect soldiers to execute their jobs with a greater amount of speed than the enemy. Yet, speed doesn’t come from training to be speedy. Attempting to execute as quickly as possible simply leads to mistakes, since the mind is trying to handle each task one at a time. The second order effect of which is they aren’t focused on their job, but each detail inherent to their job.

“You must be slow in deliberation and swift in execution”
-Napoleon Bonaparte

Details get missed, corners get cut, mistakes are made. The result is actually more time & effort to finish the job because it wasn’t done right the first time.

I’ve come to believe speed comes from the disciplined & deliberate repetition of tasks until they become habits. Habits then shape the subconscious to execute without having to think through each task, allowing us to focus on the job. Thus, speed of execution comes naturally.

I repeated the mantra of “slow is smooth, smooth is fast” often as a platoon leader. Let me share a story which serves as a good example:

To train on entering and clearing buildings, we would simply go out into the west Texas desert and mark off imaginary hallways, rooms and doorways with white tape. Teams would then practice moving and clearing the imaginary building as a team. No ammo, no enemy.

For hours at a time, we repeatedly executed the “simple” task of moving a fire team through a building as a single unit - with full equipment, battle load and rifle. Not fun. It requires four people moving together without hesitation, while simultaneously maintaining their sector of security. One person misses their assignment, the team is immediately at risk.

Many soldiers feel the adrenaline and hustle, only to leave teammates behind; or get antsy and enter a room prematurely. There’s a lot of running into one another; even tripping over one another. I'll tell you, cleaning an M4 after dropping it in the sand will ruin your evening.

“Quit rushing to failure, this isn’t Call of f*cking Duty. Act like a professional. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.”
-SGT Malone

Note: I'm paraphrasing, but it's pretty close.

Before long, any four of our soldiers could navigate a building as easily as one strolls to the bathroom during a break...all while maintaining 360-degree security and clearing potential threats, despite not knowing the building’s interior layout. We then stepped up to section clearing (2 teams working together...without shooting one another), then full platoon clearing. Once ready, we booked range days in the shoot houses - buildings designed with bullet-absorbent walls and targets we could engage.

My point: By the time we added ammunition and targets to the mix, the men didn’t have to think about where their teammates were, how to safely clear around corners, what to do when low on ammo, etc. The details happened seamlessly, without error, and much faster than when hurrying through imaginary hallways in the desert.

The details were now habit, and they could focus the entirety of their minds on their job: clearing the building.

“Maneuvering with an army is most advantageous; with an undisciplined multitude, most dangerous.”
-Sun Tzu

Here’s how we’re applying this mindset to our 2017 strategy:

Production
Efficiency of production is an area we are constantly analyzing. Our self-built 10-BBL brewing system isn’t the sexiest or easiest to brew on at large scale. However, with nearly 3 years under our belt brewing in this process, we’ve identified ways to cut down on brewing time and increase batch efficiencies. So much so, we can produce 50% more in 2017 without any additional equipment, which will allow us to focus on expanding in other cool ways.

We’ve also added production to AbleOPS - the system facilitating our operations we debuted last year to simplify the complexities of running our own distribution. Since we already track consumption trends, we’re able to leverage this into predicting our production rhythm. AbleOPS lets us know what the breakdown in keg sizes should be on kegging day, ensuring inventory is at the right level. Too little, and draft lines start running dry. Too much, and beer could expire before it’s consumed.

 Screenshot of AbleOPS - the system driving our Production & Distro operations.

Screenshot of AbleOPS - the system driving our Production & Distro operations.

Remember the eight kegs mentioned above which we had to let go in 2016? The cause was basing our production schedule off the current inventory. Yes, a 99.7% sell-through rate is still very strong, but as we grow and scale, we recognize these small discrepancies can easily become large - or out of control - before we realize it. It’s important we identify and address them immediately before they become problems.

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Distro
This is one area of our company which requires little improvement. The model has not changed: product delivered when needed on-demand (we have a 24-hour guarantee on our main brands, and have yet to breach it).

Rather than employ a dedicated salesperson, we’ve developed a culture where we are all salespeople, and found that culture has permeated into our customer base...meaning all of you. This has allowed the company to grow organically.

The #1 reason most restaurants decide to add a particular brand to their draft lineup is simple: customers ask for it. And you all ask a lot.

It means a great deal to get your endorsement; we won't let you down.

Ale Room
The bar is also experiencing organic growth at a rapid pace. More often we are experiencing long lines and large crowds. It’s easy to become rushed when this small room becomes packed.

We never intended this venue to grow into - in essence - it’s own company, so we all simply shared it as a joint responsibility in order to grant customers access those experienced in the brewery’s operation (rather than just part-time bartenders).

As we enter 2017, the Ale Room needs a dedicated manager to help facilitate its growth; a role Heather has agreed to take on full-time.

We will all continue to serve as your bartenders, since it is critical to maintain customer’s access to our subject matter experts across all 3 operations we maintain (Brewing, Distro & Ale Room).

Closing
For 2017, we’re slowing down from the chaos of rapid growth in favor of establishing a smooth rhythm for the future. We aren’t worried about growing as big as we can, as fast as we can. There are no plans to build new facilities, scale production capacity, or expand into other states. For Able Ebenezer, the world ends at the New Hampshire border.

Our focus is on you, the people of the “Live Free or Die” state. With your continued support, we can reach our goal of becoming a genuine Craft Beer of New Hampshire. Together, we can do it.

Thank you all for your continued support of the movement. It’s going to be one hell of a year. Cheers!

-Carl

Take the Hill

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:

Production
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.

Distribution
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.

Production
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.

Distribution
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.

Ale Room
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.

-Carl

 

A Surprising Year

Where are we now?

One strong dolly, an over-worked Transit Connect and a few ratchet straps later, I’ve witnessed Able Ebenezer come quite far for a self-distributing brewery just now marking it's first year. For me, it has been an adventure doing what I love...and I cannot stress enough how incredible it is having found work that I truly love.

After leaving the US Army in December 2013, I began bouncing around between jobs, seeking something that had purpose...something I believed in. In June, I was laid off from a role when they could no longer offer the 30-35 hours of work per week they had able to give. This was when I met Carl, and heard about the opportunity at Able Ebenezer. I knew nothing about brewing or the complicated distribution business, but I did know was I was willing to work tirelessly to learn it, especially with a company that had purpose. I was surprised when I was hired.

Joining this company a just few weeks in, I was given opportunities and learning experiences that aren't close to being fully realized. If a year ago you had asked me how to make a great beer, or how to logistically keep track of accounts that span most of Southern New Hampshire, I wouldn't have the slightest idea how to respond. The answer is “very carefully.”

Through that careful hard work and your support, we have created quite a name for ourselves in these first twelve months. From tasters up to pints, from grilled cheeses to hot dogs, and from a couple restaurants to over 40. Thinking back, I remember seven establishments seemed like far too many to keep track of, but am now finishing out the year with forty-two. Overall, this year has been full of surprises for me.

To quote the man I always turn to:

"History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again."

-Kurt Vonnegut

While we don't know exactly what is ahead of us, we know it will be bigger and better.

As great as milestones are, after the 13th we will continue our movement forward. Expanding our lines of attack and seeking those opportunities for growth, all while continuing to service the amazing establishments who currently pour our beers.

Taking a moment to catch my breath and appreciate what I have worked for is a humbling moment, yet something I don’t believe one should get caught up in. It’s never wise to dwell on your accomplishments simply because it is so easy to lose track of the new ones to come.

With that, I am back on the road again today delivering kegs across southern NH, and will be behind the bar tonight to host our weekly live music. This past year required a great deal of hard work, but I know the path ahead will require even more. I welcome it's surprises.

With that, here is to our moment to look back and reflect, and to getting back at it the next day as we drive forward into Year 2.

Cheers.

-Jake

Carl's Weekly Update | 5.20.14

Production operations are ongoing at the facility. For us, it has been a long road turning a battery distribution warehouse into a 10-barrel brewery and tasting room; a journey that is now coming to an end. Now, a new chapter begins.

With that, however, comes what we've worked so hard to achieve: the chance to share our passion and production with you all in the form of revolutionary, Able ales. We recognize that this phase will bring new challenges, but are excited about facing and overcoming them together.

The last thought I want to share with you all from this build phase is this: the decision to "burn the ships" and leave "paradise" to pursue a work of passion is not an easy one. Since doing so ourselves, we have endured months of unexpected obstacles, heavy stress, never-ending days, and sleepless nights without earning pay of any kind...not to mention the bevy of individuals who couldn't believe we were even trying in the first place. Reflecting on the past several months, I told my partners that I have never been more stressed in my life, including my time overseas in Iraq. However, I have also never been happier.

This is why we admire and are inspired by those who do it anyway. They don't care how difficult, illogical or crazy their passion may be. Like Ebenezer and his Rioters, they know what they want and are willing to put in endless effort to get it done, and in doing so bring value to fellow citizens. We knew that this brewery was what we wanted; that it was a crazy idea with a long, difficult journey ahead...but if we pulled it off, we could share our ales with you all; bringing an able experience to able people with able beer.

This is why we started Able Ebenezer.

With that, we still have a great deal of that journey left to take on, so we're going to get back at it. We want to thank all of you who have followed our work and our story these past few months. I look forward to pouring you a fresh beer on the afternoon ofJune 14th.

Carl

Co-Founder | Accounts & Engineering

Carl's Weekly Update | 5.13.14

We're off and running at the facility. The system is up and we're conducting operations at this time. Over the next couple of weeks we have a number of walk-through's scheduled with the town, and will look complete our licensing process with the state (the final legislative hurdle).

From this point forward, our main objective is building inventory, putting final touches on the facility and expanding the buzz for our opening (for that, we have many of you reading this to thank).

Finally, I will announce that this past week we have completed the development of a new product that will be unveiled in the near-term. Having tasted it over the weekend, I believe it has the potential to be our ablest of beers.

Once again, I give you all my sincere thanks for your support. Have a great week everyone.

Carl

Co-Founder | Accounts & Engineering

Carl's Weekly Update | 5.6.14

This week's update will be short: We completed the flooring, furnishing and painting of the tasting room, as well as executed the last remaining equipment install over the weekend. As such, the tasting room and brewing areas are now complete. The remaining work to be done is minor in nature, and includes tasks which we will complete as we approach the opening. While we were held up on being able to start engineering runs this past week, we will get them running in the coming week.

This week we will also be scheduling our inspections/walk-through's with various interested departments within town of Merrimack and look to achieve their blessing on our work to date.

Thank you all again for your interest and support. My partners and I look forward to welcoming you all into our lives as we open these doors. Have a great week.

Carl

Co-Founder | Accounts & Engineering

Carl's Weekly Update | 4.28.14

32e51e_941fee4d690d40feb8b044db8a672ae2.png

We accomplished a great deal this week, with the added benefit of our partner Jim making a trip back home to help us push closer to completion.

We are at the final stretch of the facility build, with plumbing and electrical work being completed, as well as the installation of our new propane tanks (dedicated solely to the boil kettle). We also completed the last piece of fabrication work and placed all brewing equipment into final position on the brewery floor. Our tasting room is also near completion, with the only remaining aspect being the installation of our new floor, and moving in the new furniture (both occurring this week).

Next week we will dedicate our time to putting the finishing touches on the facility. By this time next week, we expect to be conducting engineering runs, with brewing to begin shortly following.

We trust your week ahead will be as productive and fulfilling as ours. Enjoy.

Carl

Accounts & Engineering

Carl's Weekly Update | 4.21.14

This week was a busy one at Able Eb. We accomplished a great deal, and continue to progress towards brewing and announcing a grand opening. This week, we completed the following:

  • Completed the installation of the brewery sign.

  • Sealing of the brewhouse floor.

  • Finishing of the lobby flooring.

  • Finished detail painting work.

  • Completed the lobby/retail space.

  • Competed the public restroom.

This coming week, Mike (our Head Brewer) and I are featured with Michael Haupley-Pierce and Tim Robbins on the New Hampshire-based Taphandle Show (link), which will be available Thursday (4/24). I encourage all of our followers to take a moment to check out their show, and give a listen to previous shows as well (including some great ones with Bill from White Birch, Brew Hampshire filmmakers Bryant and Meagan, among many others).

In terms of facility work, we are complting final fabrication to the brewhouse, as well as plumbing and electrical work in the tasting room and brewery areas. We also anticipate the reception of the last pieces of brewing equipment (plate chiller, brite tank), as well as our new cold room.

Thanks again to everyone for your continued support. We anticipate the announcement of our grand opening very soon. With that, we look forward to the week ahead. Time to get back at it. Have a great week everyone.

Carl

Co-Founder | Accounts & Engineering

Carl's Weekly Update | 4.14.14

This past week was very productive at Able Ebenezer.

  • We completed our trench floor drain and wastewater pretreatment system.

  • Paint is just about finished throughout the facility (aside from touch-up work).

  • Our new pine wood flooring has started to go in.

  • Associated piping for the brewhouse is complete.

  • Our tap handles went into production.

I would like to expand on that last item, because tap handles are an item that every brewer needs to invest in if they are interested in being on tap at local venues. Like much of the other work we’ve done to build this brewery, we decided to make the handles ourselves. The idea we had was to brand the names and logos into the side of NH White Pine, creating a look that we feel represents us well.

We acquired a White Pine tree from here in the town of Merrimack. From that tree, we began cutting, shaping, fitting and finishing handles. This week, we brought the handles to New Boston, NH to our branding artist; we came away with what we have decided will be the final product (see image below).

This coming week, we have several items on our plate, and will try to get all of them.

  • First off, we are welcoming the new season by taking today (the 242nd anniversary of the Pine Tree Riots) and heading to the Seacoast for NH brewed beer and sun.

  • Finishing of the brewhouse floor, then moving equipment into final position.

  • Finishing of the tasting room and lobby flooring.

  • Final electrical and plumbing work within the facility.

  • Commencing of propane piping and burner work (boil kettle).

A special thank you again to every one of our followers. Be sure to take some time this week to enjoy a beer brewed right here in the “Live Free or Die” state. Cheers, everyone!

Carl

Co-Founder | Accounts & Engineering

Carl's Weekly Update | 4.7.14

We accomplished a great deal this week (adding a number of miscellaneous skills to our resumes in the process).

One aspect of brewing that people don’t put a lot of thought into is the Wastewater from the brewing process. Merrimack, with its high concentration of industrial manufacturers (such as our neighbor, Anheuser-Busch), has been deemed by the EPA as one of the few municipalities within the state of New Hampshire that must have a wastewater pre-treatment program in place; meaning that we need to collect, test and neutralize all waste water produced from the brewery prior to putting it down the drain.

While we do not utilize harsh chemicals in our brewing and cleaning processes, and the primary product of our manufacturing process is delicious beer, we must adhere to the standards put in place by the EPA. The way it was put to us, we “need to be held to the same standard as Anheuser-Busch and others in town.” My partners and I welcomed this challenge.

As part of that effort, we spent the early part of this week installing our 50-foot-long trench floor drain, which does not enter the sewer system directly (which you would expect with most floor drains). Instead, the system pumps water entering the drain into batch tanks that once full, will be tested, treated and logged prior to release to the sewer.

The trench is in place, and will be complete on Monday morning once we pour and level the fresh concrete.

Other work this past week:

  • Completion of the trim, doors, glass and final coats of paint within the tasting room/retail area.

  • Completion of our self-designed heat-exchanger (as part of our 10-BBL HERMS system). More to follow on this aspect in future updates.

  • Beginning of piping work on the brewing system.

This upcoming week, we will tackle:

  • Installation of pine wood flooring within the tasting room/retail area.

  • Concrete pour into the trench drain.

  • Sealing of Brewery floor.

  • Completion of piping work.

  • Installation of new propane tanks (boil kettle dedicated) and finalization of propane piping/burner system.

  • Brewing.

Thank you all again for your continued interest in us and our venture. We remain on target, and look forward to the day when we can share a beer with you all. Prost!

Carl

Co-Founder | Accounts & Engineering

Carl's Weekly Update | 4.2.14

It is officially the spring season, and this means that we are getting closer to the grand opening of the Able Ebenezer Brewing Company. My partners and I know that you are very interested in when we will open our doors and make Able Ebenezer beer available to all. Therefore, we will be publishing weekly detailed updates to ensure that you, our followers, are up to date on the latest developments of our facility build and opening timeline. With that, here is where we are as we mark the beginning of Spring: In December 2013, we announced the plan to open a new brewery in Merrimack, establishing a facility occupying the high-ground overlooking the intersection of the DW Highway and Columbia Circle (@ 31 Columbia Circle). Since that time, a number of engineering, construction and regulatory activities have commenced. They include:

  • Complete resurfacing of our facility’s concrete floor, and thorough cleaning of the entirety of the space (a clean brewery produces clean beer).

  • Accumulation and building of our brewing equipment (boil, mash, heat exchangers, mill, fermenters, brite/conditioning tank, etc).

  • The building of the tasting room.

  • Framing of our 27’ bar.

  • Delivery of our kegs, growlers, pints and tasters.

  • Painting walls, ceiling, etc.

  • Federal approval of our Brewer’s Qualification.

  • Many other miscellaneous activities, many of which can be seen on our Facebook page.

Ahead are a number of activities that we are taking on each and every day as we progress towards opening. In the coming week, we will execute the following:

  • Digging out 40’ of concrete floor to install our trenched floor drain and implement our waste water pre-treatment process.

  • Piping work on our custom 10-BBL (310-gallon) brewing system.

  • Complete plumbing and electrical installation in our new tasting room.

  • Brewing.

With that, we are on target to open later this spring. We will continue to update you all on our progress each week, and will make it known when we are able to announce a date for our grand opening. Until then, we welcome all of your questions and comments, and look forward to the opportunity to share a beer with you in the coming months. Prost!

Carl

Co-FOunder | Accounts & Engineering