Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's June - Time for an Update

Where We Are

So, I don’t really know where to begin. I guess that’s not true…
For starters how about a huge “congratulations” to Peter & Britany Hoey on the birth of their baby, Liam! Odonata is, first and foremost, a family company and we love that the family has been added to. Liam was born on Saturday before father’s day and today mom, dad and baby (and big-sister) are all home happy and healthy.


Image from Twitter follower @Sac_Pixie

Next up, as you hopefully already know, bottles of Saison are on the market and selling at an impressive pace! The feedback we’re getting from retailers is more than a little humbling, but pales in comparison to the feedback you all are saying online, in emails and casual conversations along the way. What’s more, it seems like you all like it enough to buy a second bottle! Of all the things that have impressed me most since their debut, it’s the looking at empty shelves where our beer once was and having to opportunity to re-stock. Very, very cool.

Batch 001

Finally a bit of heartbreak… Astute beer buyers have noticed that the batch of beer on the shelves is in fact batch 002. Here’s the deal with batch 001 – it most likely will never see the light of day. Know this, our goal is to sell beer we love, first and foremost. There’s no nice way around it, Batch 001 was ‘good’, but not ‘good enough’ and it had everything to do with the carbonation. Things were looking great, we opened a few for testing and heard the audible hiss we hoped for, even poured with a wisp of a head, but ultimately the carbonation for the beer wasn’t to snuff. This is pretty big news for this two-man company, the loss of the beer alone put us in a tight spot and we’ve talked with many veterans in the industry for advice. Ultimately, however, it was clear that we were choosing between putting out a beer that we couldn’t be proud of, or writing it off and moving forward. So, forward we go.

Other Stuff

It’s a weird spot to be in, having a small business with only two bodies to do all the work, but damn we’re having fun. That said, we know that you’re expecting an online store for shirts and glassware as soon as possible. All I can say to that is ‘we’re working on it’. I still need to get some nice pictures of the shirts and glasses to get to our super-awesome web guy… but that just hasn’t happened. We also know that there are a lot of places near you that don’t yet have our beer in stock. We are certainly working on that, too. We’re looking at expanding NorCal distribution within the next two weeks as some bigger accounts come on board. We’ve kind of held back a bit initially to see what sort of production needs we’d have to plan for, based on how well the beer was received. Needless to say we’ll be planning for more beer, more frequently to be shipped to more places so that more of you can enjoy Odonata Saison.

Oh yeah… just so you all know, we’re planning some fun summertime beer releases. It’s still unclear which direction we’re going, but I think Peter will work on getting something fun and unusual (yet, historically and seasonally correct) out to you soon. Before that we have a few batches of Rorie’s Ale & Liam’s Ale to get into barrels.

Thanks, everyone. Your support has been encouraging and spectacular. Our initial RateBeer score came in at 95 and we’ve also been listed at Sacrament News & Review as “Summertime’s Local Artisan Beer of Choice”. To see more of what folks are saying about us, check out the News tab on our website.

- Peter & Rick


  1. Historically correct beer? Sounds interesting; I'd love to see a local brewery find a recipe from an old pre-prohibition Sacramento brewery and remake it.

  2. Peter and Rick-

    Finally got to try the draft in Auburn. Very nice work. Tried many times to post a pic of that on FB and my mobile uploading ability on the fritz...

    Great beer and hope to see the beer closer to Truckee please...Like AT FiftyFifty???


    Todd Ashman
    FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
    Truckee, CA

  3. Hi guys, I heard you on the BN. Thanks for doing the show!
    I have a question about yeast, and if it's proprietary info I totally understand.

    I believe you said you use Dupont yeast as a primary strain and blend in 5% of the French saison yeast. My question is, do you then keep this yeast as a blended culture? Or do you harvest Dupont yeast before adding the French saison yeast? I guess you are still pretty early in your development, but I just have my own questions about how I might expect a mixed saison culture to "drift" in performance and flavor on successive repitches, and how long I might be able to go before noticing that drift.

  4. We actually have a lab create the blend for us - one pitch. Cheers!