Yesterday, I met up with Rey Knight of Butcher’s Brewing at Bottlecraft for a few minutes.
You’re currently making the transition from contract brewing to in-house production brewing. Why?
There’s a stigma against contract brewing. You have no identity, and we want to have an identity.
What are the details on your new operation?
We’re currently producing 700 barrels between Bayhawk Ales in Irvine and Minhas Craft Brewery in Wisconsin. Our new location will be located off Palomar Airport Road and will have a 30-barrel brewhouse, capacity for 1200 barrels a year, a bottling line, and a 650 sq. ft. tasting room. We’re shooting to have this open within 9 months. We currently can our beers by way of Minhas, and we’re hoping to bring our canning operation in-house as soon as possible to our new location.
What can you tell me about your current distribution?
We have beer in most Southern California Whole Foods and Sprouts. We’re also selling beer on five islands in Hawaii, and we’re even shipping some beer to Japan. Our number of draft accounts is around 45 currently. Right now we’re exploring options for distribution.
What’s new with your beers?
Think of Butchers and Mucho Aloha as you would Port and Lost Abbey. Butchers is our more American beer lineup, while Mucho Aloha is our creative, Hawaiian-influenced line. For Butcher’s, we have our meat-inspired IPA series: Prime, Choice, Select and Standard – all referring to cuts of meat. For ABV, Prime is 8%, Choice is 7% and so on. The Prime is our big Imperial IPA, while Standard is our 6& Black IPA (more info on the beers, here). Our newest release is the Free Range IPA, which is brewed with Nelson Sauvin and Summit hops. The recipe for Free Range will change from season to season. There’s also a Barleywine that will become our winter release.
There’s tons of breweries opening up right now. How will you set Butcher’s and Mucho Aloha apart?
As long as I spend most of my time worrying about what’s in the bottle, I’ll be OK.
Have a question for Rey that you didn’t see? Leave me a comment below and I’ll ask!