Friday, September 21, 2012
At 5 p.m. Friday, Deep Ellum Brewing Company’s first bottles will be on retail shelves
In the life cycle of the growing brewery, having bottled beer is, as they say, "huge."
DEEP ELLUM For the first time, the up-and-coming Deep Ellum Brewing Company (DEBC) will have their bottles sold commercially. At 5 p.m. Friday at four Sigel's locations and Spirits Liquor Company in Deep Ellum, 185 cases of beer go on sale.
"That’s definitely not a lot of beers, so people will need to get it quickly," said Tait Lifto, "brand and sales ninja" for the brewery. He expects bottles to be available until Saturday.
The beers for sale are DEBC's Farmhouse Wit and Rye Pils. They will have Deep Ellum IPA and Double Brown Stout available in bottles by the end of the year.
Before now, DEBC beer was only available at bars in DFW and Denton, by keg at specified locations, through a sample at the brewery during DEBC's Thursday night tours, or by filling up a growler at select Whole Foods locations.
Selling bottled beer is a huge step for the brewery, Lifto said. "Most of the breweries we talk to, bottling is half of their business, period," he said. "When you’re doing draft only, it’s a static market: You have to go to that place to enjoy the beer."
"Bottles, obviously, travel. People can take them to pool parties or share them with friends. It’s a phenomenal thing," he said.
Jasper Russo, director of wine marketing at Sigel's, said he's been calling the brewery nearly once a week since he found out several months ago that bottled beer was on its way. "It’s one thing to be able to get the beer when you’re out," Russo said. "If you have a favorite beer and can’t drink it while the football game is on [at home], you’re leaving money on the table."
"We’re real interested in promoting the local microbreweries," he said.
The bottles are filled, sealed, and labeled at DEBC on St. Louis Street in Deep Ellum. The brewery purchased their bottling line from a Michigan company called Short's Brewing Company, and it's positioned in the Deep Ellum brewhouse in front of the fermentation tank. For now, the owner and other full-timers carve out a few hours a day to help bottle. Someday, Lifto says the brewery will hire people whose entire job will revolve around the bottling line.
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