Co Joined but Not Twins
Now that it is final I can talk about it. We have reached an agreement. Archipelago Brewing Co. has taken over the production of beers at the Pump Room. For the past two months (since their head brewer Alex Chasko* left) we have been in negotiations work out the detail. When Alex gave his notice The Pump Room approched us. They are a restaurant and Bar business and they know how to do that really well. We are a brewing comapnay and we know how to do that. It seemed like a logical fit, but as they say the devil is in the details.
It took a while but I think that we have most of them worked out (mostly).
Some might know (although many may not) that we produced some of the Pump Room beers for them in the past. A few years back Alex came to us and asked if we could (under his supervision) brew an IPA for them, and then a few months later we brew a celebration ale as well. We made both those beers for them under "contract" as it is called. We used there specifications and recipe, they used our raw materials and equipment. It is an arrangement that is fairly common throughout the brewing industry where one brewery (usually smaller) has excess sales and another brewery (usually bigger) has excess capacity.
What we have doone now is a bit different. We are suing their equipment and recipes but supplying the labor, process and expertise. We will keep using there raw materials (where different from our own) and since we are using their equipment much of the "house Flavor" will remain.
So - What (you ask) does all this mean to you (the Beer Drinker) . Here's how it breaks down. We have hired a brewer (Scott Beczek) to do/oversee the brewing operations, we have also taken on the remaining Pump Room brewer (Jeff Mrphy). We (Archipelago) will over see the process and technical needs. Scott and Jeff will brew together and continue to craft the current Pump Room Beers, they will strive to improve beer quality (not that we didn't like the beers now, but one can always improve), and they will develope a few new beers in the future. We (Archipelago) will supply them with raw materials, technical expertise and process support. We have made a few needed repairs to the Pump Room's berwing equipment and we have fine tuned the recipes just a touch.
So why ? well, for The Pump Room they get to give up the responsiblity and complexities of making beer and get to focus on their core business (running restaurants), they get a better price on beer as we have greater buying power and they get technical support. Archipelago gets more volume, more outlets to sell beer and more customers aware of our brand. I get more employees to manage and a few more nervous nights worrying about unusual fermentations, but I also will get another place to drink beer (wait a minute I could already go there and drink beer - hmmmm I guess I will have to as Pump Room for a discount plan I guess :-)
Our first beers will start coming out in Mid December and then you all can write and tell me what you think.
I am pretty sure it will be a win, win win situation (win for Pump Room, win for Archipelago, win for the consumers).
*pictured here is the new Archipelago crew (Veronica, Racheal, Scott, Ben, Hoshang, Ashlyn, Jeff and Fal) Pictured at the top; Alex (PR former brewer) and Scott (new PR brewer) drinking someone else's beer at a bar in Golden Mile