Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Hey Gang!

Well sorry for the crazed delay in random thoughts from the brewery. First and formost, this Saturday we are having a Halloween/Costume party! The doors of the brewery will be open at 7pm and at 8pm the Alex Wilson Band will take the stage till 11pm.

Admission is FREE! We will just charge for pints!

We will also have a costume contest complete with prizes. First prize will be a dream date with Leif! (just kidding!) We will be giving away a few items from the gift shop for the most creative costume, most elaborate, funniest and scariest. If anyone has any suggestions for other categories - post a comment! (It would be really good to have a comment or three..srsly!)

Ok, over the last several weeks we here at the brewery have been crazy busy with of course - the beer business! One of the things that Todd posted on was about the excise tax increase threat. A couple of Tuesday's ago - I went to Madison and experienced the full effect of a public hearing on the subject. I saw folks that want it and of course those that don't. One of the more impassioned testifying came from my friend Paul Graham who is the owner and President of Central Waters Brewing Company in Amherst. It struck a cord with me and I know the panel as well as he described how a tax increase would be detrimental to his business. This excise tax is a 400% increase - thats right - 400%!!

This is a tax which is levied on a small business (ours!) irregardless of profitability - same with the Federal excise tax! The REALLY sad part of the hearings is that small brewers are getting lumped into the same category as all the big ones. Getting blamed for alcohol addiction in TEENS (When was the last time you saw a teenager grabbing a 6pack of wild ride?)

The proponents of the tax will state that the increase is ONLY .03 cents per bottle. What they failed to realize that is the three cents will increase to .09 cents per bottle by the time it hits the consumer! (Wisconsin is a three-tier system state meaning that we the breweries sell the beer to wholesalers who in turn sell it to the retail outlet. Each Tier will mark up the cost of the product accordingly to their profit margin) So that .03 cents per bottle will become $2.16 per case or .54 cents per 6pack. Lemme tell you folks there was a time (before recession) that most thought that the price of CRAFT beer was recession proof and could just keep going up - it just isnt that way. Everyone watches what they spend. If our six pack price would go up an additional .54 cents - we are looking at a decrease in volume, which in turn would mean the loss of jobs, which in turn, since we work on a thin profit margin, may even cost us our business. That is not so good. Find me this weekend on Friday or Saturday night and I will be happy to talk taxes (well for awhile anyway) with you. Oh yeah - impact to our little brewery? An additional $30,000 in taxes.

SO - please contact your state legislators! Tell them you dont support the increase in taxes.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Taxes and partys

Hey everyone.
Here it is the middle of the night again and I am still here brewing,
we are pushing 120 bbls. in a row.
That would be about 30+ hours of brewing.
Nate's pulling part of the time but I still have to enjoy my mid-day naps so that I can come back in and work in the dark.

Well, Jim was down in Madison yesterday trying to keep the beer tax from rising.
Sounds like there is very little support from the powers that be but the
Madd Mothers and the "health care" providers were dragging in children and survivors to look for some sympathy.
I hate to say it but..most of the "health care" providers are suckling on the government teet so what they did yesterday was just a money grab,
If they were to pass the tax the .03 per. bottle would be about $3.00 per. case and that would be if everyone involved just passed on the tax at their normal margins.
The problem arises when everyone rounds up the tax to cover other expenses.
It will show up down the line when you pick up your 6-pack.
If the prices increase people will buy "down" to a cheaper beer and that would leave us with a smaller production.
Smaller production would mean that we would not need as many workers, wow!! that .03 sounds pretty good to the guys working here. NOT

Now on to something very different:
The band for our Halloween party is the Alex Wilson band out of Milwaukee.
Alex and his band were the 2007 WAMI (Wisconsin music industry awards) blues group of the year.
In 2008 they were nominated for 3 more awards where Alex won guitarist of the year.
This event is a way to say thanks to all of our help at Oktoberfest and to kick back and let loose!
We are planning a heck of a blowout so don't be late.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Only 363 Days till Oktoberfest 2010


That is all I can say! Our 3rd Annual Oktoberfest Celebration was a great success! It was a bit cold and rainy but as my daughter said - "Its a beautiful day - its just sprinkling!" Gotta love the kids! Anyway, a good time was had by one and all. Great Music, Great food and Outstanding Music!! The Black River Falls High School Band started everything off by 11:00am. By Noon Wally Pikal and Harvey got the crowd going with some fine polka music and a few witty jokes.

Gary Brueggen and the Ridgeland Dutchmen played from 3pm - 6pm - He truly is Wisconsin's Concertina Kid! He had a ton of people tappin their toes and having fun!

At 6pm- Sand Creek's Celtic house band - Atlantic Wave took the stage and the raised the tent roof right off the posts! Barry, Ed, John and Katie were in top form. Folks were a dancing and I am sure there are a few incriminating pictures out there! If you are looking for a CD of Atlantic Wave's latest "The Angels Share" - swing on by the brewery and pick your copy up! We have a limited supply. ($15)

Well I am sure we will have a few more comments about the fest - but before I sign out and help the gang finish getting the brewery back in "brewery mode"- I need to put a big


to all the volunteers, workers, bands, vendors and especially to all of you who attended and had fun! Thank you all!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oktoberfest is soon upon us!

Greetings everyone!

Well - we are getting the old building whipped into place! We have re-organized, shuffled, moved, hid, cleverly decorated all kinds of things to make room for everything that will be going on irreguardless of the weather! Thats right - the show goes on!

Tomorrow night we are having a little event for a former employee who is on leave from serving our country in Iraq! Come on down and hang out and say "hey" to Ken!

Other than that we hope to see you all on Saturday (if not sooner!).

Just in case you are wondering ... Mark will be pouring our beer down at the quivey's grove beer event this weekend!