2014 was another landmark year at The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery. Appropriately so, for it also marked the end of our first decade of operation. While our gaze is ever forward, it is nice to take a brief moment to reflect on such a wonderful year before anticipating the excitement that awaits us in 2015.
Overall, the Duck-Rabbit Brewery underwent significant expansion during 2014. The physical brewery, of course, took on greater dimensions towards the end of this year. Tarheel Building Systems broke ground on Duck-Rabbit's new warehouse in August, which received its first shipment of malt just this week (see photo below). This growth was not expressed solely through the expansion of our building, but also in equipment. In early fall, we installed a new box building apparatus composed of an automatic case erector, carrier erector, and multi-packer. In essence, the box-building machines have vastly improved our packaging efficiency, as they achieve in an hour the same that an employee formerly needed a whole day to accomplish by hand. Our distribution territory swelled this year too, breaching the Alabama state line with the help of our newest distribution partners: Allstate Beverage and Supreme Beverage Company, both of which are now selling Duck-Rabbit beer throughout most of Alabama. Duck-Rabbit grew substantially within the digital sphere during 2014, as indicated by its snazzy new website and blog. The brewery also has more social media presence than ever, including over 10,000 twitter followers. In this sense, Duck-Rabbit’s connection to the exploding craft beer community has never been stronger. Lastly, the Duck-Rabbit family has ten new members, all welcomed in 2014: Jake Ryan, Robin Ashley, Matt Cooper, Katie Cooper, Andy Blake, Todd Glass, Gerry Kuhn, Jake Stablein, Josh Caputo, and Ben Self.
2014 was also a year of revelry. On September 13th and 14th, we celebrated Duck-Rabbit's 10th Anniversary at Motorco Music Hall in Durham, NC and at the Duck-Rabbit Brewery in Farmville, NC. We were joined by many old and new friends, and we were more than sufficiently rock-and-rolled by Durham’s own Mothra as well as by the legend, Jon Langford and his newest band, Bad Luck Jonathan, during both parties. Ten years of production was a lot to celebrate, but then October arrived and so did this year’s Great American Beer Festival® and competition. We were thrilled to discover that our Märzen won a Silver Medal for the German-Style Märzen Category, and the Schwarzbier took home a Bronze Medal for the German-Style Schwarzbier Category in this year’s competition.
What better way to commemorate the making of delicious beer than by making even more delicious beer? With this in mind, we released three different one-off beers in 2014. At the end of last spring, we released a Coffee Stout with great success, due in no small part to the superior coffee-roasting talents of our friend, Brad “Baldo” Markowski. Towards the end of this year, we released Paul’s Working Holiday: an oatmeal oyster stout. The king of all one-offs, perhaps, was the release of Duck-Rabbit’s 10th Anniversary Barrel-Aged Anarchy. This was a delectable blend of 37 hand-selected bourbon barrel-aged Duck-Rabbit beers - with dates-of-brew ranging between 2008 and 2014 - including Wee Heavy Scotch Ales, Baltic Porters, Barleywines, Duck-Rabbator Dopplebocks, and Rabid Duck Russian Imperial Stouts; one wine barrel-aged Porter was also added. If you missed this opportunity to try the masterpiece that is Barrel-Aged Anarchy, fear not. Many more flavorsome Duck-Rabbit dark beers will be awaiting your palate in the future.
The merriment shall continue, for 2015 promises to have much in store. The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery is starting 2015 with the introduction of five new 80 barrel tanks replacing two 60 barrel tanks, therefore increasing our capacity by about 8680 gallons. After all, we have not planned to use our new brew space idly now that our shiny new warehouse is ready to store supplies. What does this mean?? More beer, of course! Keep an eye out as new developments pour in as surely as beer flows from taps; more great beer, stories, events, and excitement will be at hand as we charge into a brand new year.
We at the brewery want to thank all of our fans, our friends, and our families for all of your support!
Join with us as we raise a glass of Anarchy to toast the remarkable achievements of 2014 and to welcome the promise of a fantastic 2015. Happy New Year.