Sunday, November 09, 2008

Tupper's not new News yet

The 2007 sale of Dominion Brewing to a consortium of Anheuser-Busch and Fordham Brewing had at least one insalubrious effect. The new brewery declined to continue to brew long-time local favorite Tuppers Hop Pocket Ale and Hop Pocket Pils.

Bob and Ellie Tupper have been looking ever since for a new home.

Now, there's some potentially good news:

I wish I had some real news to post, but our efforts to get back in the market the right way are just taking time.

Contrary to some rumors, we don't have a deal with anyone yet, and there is certainly no fixed price at which we will return, although it's certain to be about 50 cents higher than "ouch" and it may even be 50 cents higher than "yowie!" I promise you that's as specific as we've gotten on pricing.

But we are making progress. We are in late-stage negotiations with two brewing companies, who together can meet any probable demand. (Though at 50 cents higher than "yowie" we may not need as much capacity as we used to.)

The core of any agreement we reach will include the following:
  • Beers will be made to our specifications—no short-cuts to reach a price point. The ale and pils recipes will not change except to adjust to changing flavors and intensities of hops and malts—adjustments we had to make several times when we were with Old Dominion. Any agricultural product has to run hard to stay in the same place.
  • The breweries will work with us to develop other beers including some seasonal and one-off products.
Working with two breweries presents some legal complications that we did not have when we were permanently moored to the Old Dominion dock. Right now we're working through the details—trying to get a label that will work both in the short run and in the long run, change the way our corporation operates, contract for some quasi-secretarial assistance, and re-establish a distribution network. We hope to have beer in the tank soon and return to the shelves sometime early in 2009.

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