Wax On, Wax Off
I remember back in late July, last year — when the fine people at Paper City saw our first batch of Groundswell bottles, they asked “How long are you going to be wax dipping those for?”
To which I responded: “As long as possible.”
We all knew this day would come, right? I mean, to be honest, I’m surprised we made it this far. To put it into perspective: we’ve hand labeled, dipped and stamped over 10,000 bottles of beer since our inception.
That’s just fucking ridiculous.
I wouldn’t go back and change anything at all. I take pride in the fact that we put such a personal stamp (see what I did there? Keep up if you can) on each and every bottle of our beer. But what was once a somewhat necessary point of differentiation has since become a huge bottleneck (see what I did there again? I told you to keep up!)
Listen, we’re a small operation — literally 3 people right now. It’s gotten to the point where we could either:
- A) Bring beer in and/or around your faces by working a beer fest/liquor store tasting/meet the brewer event/brewing new test batches, etc — or
- B) Wax dip bottles for 8 hours. It’s super labor intensive and not the best way to spend our time at this point. Especially when we have big ideas and great new things that we want to bring to you guys.
What has started to happen is that we’ll brew our beer, it will get packaged, and then it will sit there…waiting…for us to come label and wax it.
So, in an effort to get beer into your respective cake-holes, we’re turning the wax off. You’ll be seeing a lot of “naked” bottles hitting the shelves soon. We know, they’re not as pretty as they once were, but here are some benefits to turn that frown upside down:
- 1) As said previously, beer into your gullets sooner/no outages of beer at our distributors (famous last words)
- 2) Bottles will be easier to open! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “yea the wax looks cool BUT IT’S A HUGE PAIN IN THE ASS TO OPEN”. Ok, ok, you win. Also, maybe work out your wrists, it’s only wax. I kid.
- 3) And, the big one — more reasonable pricing (we hope). What’s this mean? Well without implicating anyone in particular, we’ve seen more than a few instances of our beers being marked up more than what we’d consider fair and reasonable because of how the bottles look. Chances are, you know which places are doing this if you’ve seen the price point vary greatly from store to store. We’re hoping that by stripping wax from the bottles of our year-round beers, you’ll see the retail price follow.
And for your wax purists: We’re still going to be waxing our more limited releases, of which we’ll now have more time to focus on. See? It’s not all bad bud, here’s a nickel.
So that’s it. A big ol’ blog post dedicated solely to wax and naked bottles. Can’t say that a few years ago I would have predicted dedicating time to writing something like this, but hey — life takes you to some strange places.