The Six Mile Bridge Blog

Meet Ronnie Fink: New Head Brewer

May 30th, 2019 by

RonnieIf you follow us on social media, or caught the piece in St. Louis Magazine, you already know that we have recently added a new Head Brewer to our family! Ronnie Fink already has an exemplary reputation in the area, known for his technical skills and attention to detail. We could not be more excited to have him come on board to lead the charge on new beers and perfecting special one-off projects. In an effort help you get to know him better, we are sharing this Q&A!

Q: What drew you to Six Mile Bridge?

A: The people. I definitely feel like there is a ton of good craft beer out there but what usually draws me to breweries as a customer are the people behind that beer. I think what drew me here professionally was both the people and the atmosphere. Plus, the opportunity presented itself when I was ready for it, so it was the right thing at the right time.

Q: What is your current favorite SMB beer?

A: It’s no secret that I love Citra hops…. By far my favorite and my dog’s name is Citra. So obviously DDH Citra is my go-to!

Q: What are your favorite styles to drink and to brew?

A: My go to beer style is IPA, but also hoppy beers in general like Pales, DDH pales, IPA, etc. They are also my favorite styles to brew. A close second for favorite thing to brew is any kind of lager. They are somewhat technical, so I think they are a good indicator of the quality of a brewer and his or her brewhouse and cellar management.

Q: What is your training and educational background with regards to brewing?

A: I have a biology and chemistry undergraduate from Missouri State. Then I went to UC-Davis’ master brewer program in 2010. My time in Davis has proved to be invaluable for my career and led to my first job at Free State Brewing Co. I spent an amazing 3yrs there and was able to gain experience brewing, filtering, running the QA/QC program/lab and almost everything else associated with brewing. I then spent the next 6yrs helping open and run Modern Brewery, here in St. Louis. Now I’m ready to put my experience to work here at Six Mile Bridge!

Q: How would you describe your “style” as a brewer?

A: Meet a hundred brewers and you’ll experience a hundred different brewing styles! I like to consider myself something of a “jack of all trades.” I approach it very scientifically, very professionally, and very organized. I’m always trying to make everything run more efficiently. That may sound boring to some people because brewers are often seen as “artistic” types. However, I do consider myself to be creative too, I just focus that part on the recipe design, the research, and the overall beer idea. Once I step on the brewhouse floor, I shift into scientific/efficiency mode while still having fun. At the end of the day, I try to remind myself how lucky I am to be in an extremely fun industry, and that I love what I do. I remind myself that I don’t always have to take myself and my job too seriously. There’s definitely a balance between technical proficiency and joy.

Ronnie's first brew for SMB, a Double Dry Hopped New England Style IPA with Amarillo, Ekuanot, and Azacca hops.

Ronnie’s first brew for SMB, a Double Dry Hopped New England Style IPA with Amarillo, Ekuanot, and Azacca hops.

Q: What are some of your plans for the beer portfolio at SMB?

A: I’m so excited about the potential for growth. We have a solid core offering right now, which means anyone who comes in to the Taproom can certainly find something they like. What I’m looking forward to is expanding our portfolio to include even more styles that excite beer enthusiasts. That’s why the first beer I decided to make was a New England Style IPA, because it’s a style with a lot of momentum right now. I also think just having more hands in the brewery is going to be great for doing more barrel aged and one-off beers, so overall I’m just really happy to be part of this growth.

Q: Can you tell our followers more about your personal background and interests?

A: I’m a born and raised in St. Louisan and a huge sports guy, so I obviously love the Blues and Cardinals. In my spare time I play hockey, and I try to golf as much as humanly possible! I’ve been married for 7 years and have a red heeler named Citra. I love comic book movies, and going to the movies in general. My favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard. I listen to a lot of classic rock, 80s, and country but like all music. My favorite concert I’ve been to was Bruce Springsteen. TV wise I’m a big fan of “Game of Thrones,” but not much else currently.

Please come to the Taproom this Saturday, June 1st to taste Ronnie’s first brew for Six Mile Bridge! He put a lot of thought and energy into this powerful Double Dry Hopped New England Style IPA which will showcase his passion for unique, hoppy beers. Help us welcome him to our family and cheer on his brewing endeavors!

Taking Care of Our Planet

April 22nd, 2019 by
Alpacas of Troy uses our spent grains to feed many of their animals.

Alpacas of Troy uses our spent grains to feed many of their animals.

Happy Earth Day! In honor of this day of celebration and reflection, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to share with everyone the many ways Six Mile Bridge Beer tries to preserve our environment and resources.

As a brewer that heavily focuses on quality, natural ingredients like honey, spices, and fresh fruit, we are rewarded for and reminded of the earth’s bounty on a daily basis. This mindfulness truly inspired us to make some extra efforts towards sustainability in our business practices. We have fully embraced the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” methodology for limiting our impact on our planet:

REDUCE

Ameren Wind PowerOne of the most obvious ways we can help preserve the environment is reducing waste. We have worked so hard to create a business model that minimizes waste. There are the obvious ways such as practicing mindfulness in our consumption – building awareness into our planning stages so we have little waste as possible. We also purposefully source all our supplies with the intention that they will be recyclable or biodegradable or reusable. Through this system, we have managed to keep our combined Taproom and Brewery garbage output to an average of only 5 small bags a week! Given the hundreds of people, and hundreds of barrels of beer, that come through our space weekly, this is quite an accomplishment!

We also have dedicated ourselves to reducing energy consumption. All lights in our Taproom and Brewery are LED bulbs which use significantly less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs. For added reductions, we put our Brewery lights on motion sensors! This means that we are only using lights when and where we need it.

For many of our other power needs, we are so proud to participate in Ameren’s Pure Power Program which allows us to purchase clean wind energy! In 2018, our support of this effort reduced our carbon footprint by 116,581 pounds of CO² and the clean energy generated was the equivalent of planting 1,557 trees! Seeing these stats every year makes us feel so good about being involved with this program. It takes energy to make delicious beer, but by using wind energy we can make great products while still being responsible stewards of our environment.

REUSE

In addition to reusing/repurposing as many of our supplies as possible, we have also built some significant “reuse” practices into our everyday brewing process.

Brewing beer uses a lot of water! We wanted to do as much as we could to reduce water waste, which is why we set up a water recapturing system so that water gets used for multiple purposes. When we run wort through our heat exchanger, we run cold tap water through the other direction. This cools down the wort and warms up the tap water at the same time. Then, the warmed tap water is recaptured in the hot liquor tank to be used. Not only does this help us limit water waste, but we need less energy to heat the water up to brewing temperature.

One of our largest outputs of “byproducts” is our spent grains. Luckily, these leftovers make appetizing feed for many farm animals. There aren’t too many things cuter than alpacas, which makes it all that more delightful that instead of going into the trash, our grains pull double duty and nourish these animals. Alpacas of Troy is a family-run farm in Eastern Missouri that is home to lots of alpacas and an assortment of other animals. These adorable alpacas produce the softest wool, which Alpacas of Troy spins into yarn and other fiber products. You can find them at several area Farmer’s Markets, and when you touch those soft and beautiful pieces you’ll be enjoying something partially fueled by the same grains that made your favorite beer!

Taproom cupsRECYCLE

If there is a recyclable option for something we need, that is the route we take! Our packaging, office supplies, Taproom needs, and marketing materials are recyclable whenever possible. If forced to buy and use something that isn’t able to be recycled, we find a way to repurpose it instead. Recycling is an effort that we can all take on. We certainly hope that once you’ve enjoyed drinking our beer at home, our bold and colorful cans are livening up your recycling bins!

COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY

As our business grows, we will continue our commitment to sustainable practices and an environmental mindset. We hope you’ll join us this Earth Day, and every day, in protecting and preserving our planet. There are many decades of great beer in our future. Let’s make sure we still have a beautiful and healthy place to enjoy them!

 

Style Spotlight: Blood Orange Wit

April 18th, 2019 by
Freshly ground coriander and ripe blood orange.

Freshly ground coriander and ripe blood orange.

This month we released our first batch of Blood Orange Wit for the year and we are so proud of our subtle twist on this classic style. The first-ever batch was released in 2016 and the response was overwhelming. All of our styles are the result of hard work and premium ingredients, but it still feels amazing to make something as well-loved as this beer.

BOW in glass in breweryMost of our beers start out with a very traditional base. In this case, a Belgian Witbier. As you probably know, a witbier is made with wheat (sometimes oats or barley) in the mash and hops, orange peel, and coriander in the kettle. For our version, we use wheat and barley in the mash. Once in the kettle, we put in hops and hundreds of pounds of blood orange peels instead of regular orange peels, along with the coriander. We freshly grind all of our coriander seeds in a small coffee grinder immediately before adding it. The more recently it has been ground, the more potent the flavor! Then, for extra zing, we add fresh blood orange pulp during the second fermentation.

This beer truly embodies the Six Mile Bridge philosophy of brewing. We love paying homage to the traditional foundations of beer, classic and time-honored styles. We also love looking for ways to add modern flair and flavor. In this case, swapping the blood oranges in for regular oranges was a fun way to bump up the citrus notes and put a blush on the classic golden hue. Blood oranges are unique in their robust flaBLOOD ORANGE WIT_WHITEvor and color. They’re special. And they are perfect for this beer.

One of the other motivations for creating this beer was to make a perfect Spring/Summer seasonal. The citrus notes and light, refreshing flavor are ideal for all the best summer activities like barbeques, float trips, patios, and outdoor concerts. It also pairs well with fresh summer fare like salads and BLTs and wood-fired pizza. We wanted to put “summer” in a can and our Blood Orange Wit definitely fits that bill.

As the weather gets warmer, and the days get sunnier, we hope you’ll enjoy our Blood Orange Wit! Look for it on draft and in our vibrant orange cans.

Irish Lamb & Stout Stew

March 17th, 2019 by

Irish Stew with Stout

If you’re hosting a St. Patrick’s Day get-together, consider pairing our Dry Irish Stout with a traditional lamb (or beef) stew… Made with our stout right in it! One growler and you’ll have food and drinks for a group.

Ingredients:

  • 2+ tbsp butter
  • 2.5 lbs. lamb or chuck roast cut into 1.5-2″ cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 8 oz bacon, diced into small pieces
  • 3-4 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cups beef broth (substitute chicken if needed)
  • 2 cups Six Mile Bridge Dry Irish Stout
  • 4-5 medium carrots peeled and cut into pieces of desired thickness
  • 3 celery stalks cut into pieces of desired thickness
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Fresh thyme sprigs (3 for stew, rest for garnish)

Irish Stew Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Rinse and dry stew meat pieces.
  2. Season meat with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large lidded pot or dutch oven, melt 2 tbsp of the butter and then turn up the heat to medium/medium-high to brown the stew meat. You’ll probably need to do the meat in smaller batches, removing to a bowl or plate once browned.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium/low. If the pot looks too dry, add another tablespoon of butter. Then add the garlic and onions and cook until the onions start to get soft.
  5. Add the diced bacon and cook until it is brown.
  6. Add 3 tablespoons of flour and stir. If the mixture appears more liquidy than a paste, add another tablespoon of flour.
  7. Add Irish Stout, beef broth, and tomato paste. Mix very well.
  8. Add meat, carrots, celery, bay leaves, and 3 large sprigs of thyme.
  9. Add as much water is needed to ensure the meat and vegetables are fully submerged.
  10. Reduce heat to low and cover the pot with lid. Simmer for 2 hours.
  11. Remove lid and continue to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour until the meat is extremely tender and the sauce is the desired texture.
  12. Skim fat off the top as needed. You’re more likely to need to do this if you used a chuck roast than if you used lamb.
  13. Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
  14. Serve over homemade mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes. Garnish with a small sprig of fresh thyme.

Fish Fry Fridays ARE BACK!

March 14th, 2019 by
Frankly Sausages Fried Cod

Image courtesy of Whiskey and Soba

Did you know that Frankly on Cherokee and their food truck “Frankly Sausages,” provide some of THE BEST fried cod in all of St. Louis? It’s true. Maybe it’s because their line-caught cod is totally 100% fresh, never frozen. Maybe it’s because their beer batter uses our Irish Red Ale. Maybe it’s because it comes with a side of French fries so good, you’ll dream about them.

The important thing is, you get to eat it. Yep, our widely celebrated Fish Fry event is back this year for every Friday of lent. Come to the Taproom (early!) to drink your fill of delicious, hand-crafted beers alongside one of the best fried fish in the city.

Image courtesy of Whiskey and Soba.

Image courtesy of Whiskey and Soba.

Michelle and Kevin are always happy to see you!

Michelle and Kevin are always happy to see you!

What you need to know:

Our Fish Fry events are every Friday of lent (March 8th through April 12th) beginning at 5 PM until the food sells out! This fish is so good, we will always sell out and sell out fast… Get to the Taproom early (we will let you in at 4:00) if possible and you can enjoy some beer while you wait for the food truck to open for business.

As with most of our Taproom events, we are kid/family-friendly for anyone who can be patient. All food is made to order and the best quality doesn’t happen instantaneously. We do have a selection of games available to entertain one and all, or you can bring your own (we suggest “Go Fish” if you want to be festive while you wait).

While all of our current draft selections are delicious, we have several fantastic options for those looking for a perfect pairing with their fried fish. Our Irish Red Ale is both seasonally appropriate and tastes delicious alongside the beer-battered cod made with that same brew. The Southern German Lager is light and bright, excellent for balancing all that deep fried goodness. And both our Bavarian Hefeweizen and Double Dry Hopped Citra IPA have uniquely great citrusy elements that pair well with many seafood dishes. But don’t let those suggestions stop you from enjoying our Dry Irish Stout, Coffee Maple Stout, or Harvest Peach Farmhouse… We have something for every mood and preference.

See you soon!

Drink Irish with Six Mile Bridge Beer

March 5th, 2019 by

Six Mile Bridge Irish BeersShamrock season is upon us and with it, a variety of festive beer options. If the “dyed green” beer genre isn’t to your taste, we hope you’ll celebrate with one of our handcrafted Irish style beers. No matter your preferences or St. Paddy’s menu, we have a great option for your celebrations.

Irish Red Ale Featured on SauceOur Irish Red Ale tastes as delicious as it looks, a warm and robust beer with ruby and amber hues. You may have caught an eyeful of our beautiful Irish Red Ale on the recent cover of Sauce Magazine or in a savvy Instagram post, as this beer was tailor-made for March festivities and beyond. So many Irish Reds have a bitter finish, not at all in keeping with the sweetness of friendly celebrations. We specifically chose to smooth out our Irish Red with Wildflower honey as opposed to Clover honey for the unique flavor profile it brought to our beer. While it doesn’t add a sugary sweetness, it helps round out the overall notes to create a more even and enjoyable experience. When we say “Made With Integrity” one of the things we take such pride in is the attention to detail, including every single ingredient that goes into our products. This beer goes great with so many foods such as battered fish, roasted veggies, or poached stone fruits, but the toffee and caramel tones really compliment a sharp Irish cheddar. A great starter course or snack if you’re having people over to your home or if you’re camped on a sidewalk to enjoy a parade.

You can also come by our tap room for a pint and a growler of our award-winning Irish Stout. Bold, malty, rich, and a little bit smoky, this beer won a gold medal in the 2016 US Beer Open and has been a customer favorite for years. The complex and roasty flavor of this beer goes great with oysters, sharp cheeses (another vote for Irish cheddar!) and rich desserts… especially chocolate. This tasty stout is actually one of our oldest and best recipes, going back to the early days of Ryan and Lindsay’s home brews and open houses. You might want to drink one just to toast the brewery as it may have single-handedly convinced Lindsay they could really do the whole professional beer thing!

Six Mile Bridge Drink Irish ShirtA fun fact about our dry Irish Stout is that it was once called “Six Mile Bridge” after the small, friendly and beer-centric town in Ireland. From this beer in its inception to our entire brewery in 2019, we have wanted to embody what we feel that town embodies… Openness, authenticity, camaraderie, and great beer. It is in that same spirit that we hope you’ll Drink Irish with Six Mile Bridge and the people who bring you joy and friendship this March.

And if great beer isn’t incentive enough to celebrate with us, we have a sweet St. Paddy’s Drink Irish package up for grabs in our “Drink Irish” photo contest! Share a picture on Instagram of your Six Mile Bridge Irish Red Ale or Irish Stout using the hashtag #DrinkIrishWithSMB between now and March 14 and we will randomly select one participant to win a “Drink Irish” tee, two green logo pint glasses, and two “Drink Irish” koozies.

Our Irish Stout is available on draft in our Taproom and in bars and restaurants around Missouri. The Irish Red Ale is available on draft in our Taproom, in your favorite bar or restaurant, or in 16 ounce cans at a wide variety of retail locations with very good taste in beer.

Meet Our New Sales Director, Shane!

November 29th, 2018 by

Shane with Barrels

Hey, everyone! Say hello to Shane Cox, our new Sales Director!

Shane’s already been with us now for a couple of months so we figured it’s about time to tell you all about him. Outside of the brewery, he’s a proud father of three daughters (ages 16, 17 and 19) and has a law degree (JD) from Southern Illinois University School of Law. He puts that degree to use by being an Adjunct Instructor for Missouri Baptist University for over 10 years, teaching both undergrad business courses as well as MBA courses. And if all of that isn’t enough, he’s also been a karaoke and wedding DJ for the last 10 years!  When he’s not doing a dozen side hustles, he likes playing volleyball, singing karaoke and drinking great beer.

Wanna know a little more? We did too, so we asked Shane six relevant questions and 6 questions that are absolutely irrelevant in every way. Here’s what he had to say.

What’s your favorite beer at Six Mile Bridge?
DDH Citra IPA. I am somewhat of a hop head typically. I am really looking forward to our newest IPA due out in the spring of 2019.

Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or one horse sized duck?
This is a pretty tough question as ducks are pretty mean and a horse sized duck would be pretty tough to overcome. With that said, 100 sets of tiny horse hooves would also be destructive. I’m going to have to fight the giant duck. The tiny horses would just be too damn cute to beat up on!

How many years have you been in the beer industry?
I started in this crazy industry in 2015 and have put in many 60 and 70 hour work weeks to find success!

Is a hot dog a sandwich?
I am going with yes on this one as long as its on a bun.

Do you prefer draft, cans or bottles?
Always draft! If I get a can or bottle I always have to pour it in a glass.

If you had to eat one food, every single meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Prime Rib of course!

What was the first beer you ever had?
This is the toughest of all of these questions. It really takes some thought as I am getting old and that was a very long time ago. I think it was either a Milwaukee’s Best or a Natural Light. I couldn’t afford a Bell’s Two Hearted Ale back then!

Shane Citra

With his South African accent, what percent of the time can you actually understand Ryan?
I would say about 70% on this one. I do often say, “What was that?” during our conversations.

Where were you working before coming to Six Mile Bridge?
I was the Sales Director with 4204 Main Street Brewing Company prior to joining Six Mile Bridge.

What sport would be the funniest to add a mandatory amount of alcohol to?
I’m gonna go with Curling since everyone seems to have accepted it as a sport. Has to be either this or kickball.

Have you ever dabbled in homebrewing?
I have not dabbled in homebrewing. I work many jobs and have lots of daughters in sports. My free time is non-existent.

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
There are so many! The average lifespan of a MLB baseball is 7 pitches!

You’ll see Shane basically everywhere around the city. He’ll be at our brewery from time to time sending emails or grabbing samples, at local bars and restaurants sharing those samples, and a bunch of other places spreading the good word of Six Mile Bridge. So now if you see him out and about, be sure to say hello.

Cheers!

SMB

Meet Our New Taproom Manager, Amber!

July 25th, 2018 by

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Ah, yes. For those of you keeping track, this is the first blog post we’ve done since May. Things have been extremely busy around the brewery (uh..cans much?) but we’ve got a bit of breathing room so here we are! Since we’ve made you wait two months for some new content, we’ve got to come in with guns blazing, bringing you some big news to get you back on the hook. So, here we go:

WE’VE GOT A NEW TAPROOM MANAGER!

You’re going to be seeing a new face around the taproom, and if you’ve stopped by for a beer in the last few days, you’ve already seen it! That face belongs to Amber, and we’re so excited she’s joined our team! So, what’s the best way to get to know Amber a little better? Well, we don’t exactly know the best way so we just made up this one: We asked her six relevant questions and 6 questions that are absolutely irrelevant in every way.

Where were you working before coming to Six Mile Bridge?
Friendship Brewery in Wentzville, MO.

What’s your favorite TV Show?
Seinfeld and Bob’s Burgers!

What’s your favorite beer at Six Mile Bridge?
DDH NEMA IPA

Who would win in a fight: Bob Ross or Mr. Rogers?
I would say Bob Ross because of his military background, however, it is because of his background that I choose Mr. Rogers. Bob Ross just wants to paint happy little trees :)

Do you prefer draft or packaged beer?
This depends: Draft for freshness, packaged for convenience.

Preferred tacos: Jack in the Box or Taco Bell?
Jack in the Box…but only at 2am.

DSC_0099

What was the first beer you ever had?
Red Dog, but shhh….don’t tell my dad!

With his South African accent, what percent of the time can you actually understand Ryan?
75% maybe?

What’s your favorite brewery outside of St. Louis?
Carson’s Brewery in Evansville, IN.

Can you juggle?
Beer bottles – no. Life – yes!

Have you ever brewed beer at home?
Not yet, hopefully this fall!

What’s your go-to karaoke song? 
Dani California by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Now that you know a little bit about Amber, come say “hi” to her at the taproom so she can get to know you guys, too! Welcome to the team, Amber.

Cheers!

SMB

We Have a Blog!

May 25th, 2018 by

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Do you constantly find yourself asking “I wonder what Six Mile Bridge is up to right now?” Well wonder no more because we’ve got a blog! That’s right, this is the first post we’re making on our brand new blog page, a page that will be updated with brewery announcements, industry insights, behind the scenes looks and general beer stuffs!

For our first blog post, we decided to answer the most common question we get at the brewery:

Question: Is Ryan Australian?
Answer: No!

Now that you all have that answer, let’s talk about some exciting stuff happening at the brewery right now! We’ve got a new 6.4% ABV Double Dry Hopped New England style IPA on draft called “NEMA” that we brewed with lactose and copious amounts of Mosaic and Amarillo hops. It’s juicy without being very bitter so while hopheads will love it, it’s actually a good intro beer for those of you that “don’t like IPAs,” so give it a whirl next time you’re in!

Other beers you’ll see over the next couple of months include fruit beers, fruited sours, more juicy IPAs and even some stouts. “Stouts during summer?!” you exclaim with unnecessary rage and recoil. Yes, stouts during summer. We’re not completely crazy so we’ll be serving plenty of thirst-quenchers these next few months, but we love stouts and we know a lot of you do, too. Our brewery doesn’t limit stouts to fall and winter because this is Missouri and for all we know, winter could start in July this year. So even when outside it’s summer and toasty, prepare your taste buds for something dark and roasty. That rhymed. We did that on purpose. We’re bringing out the big guns for blog post numero uno.

So now that you know the tone of this blog, we want to know what you guys are interested in reading about from us. If you’ve got an idea on a blog post you’d like to see, shoot an email to info@sixmilebridgebeer.com and we’ll run it through our vigorous vetting process of accepting most, if not all of them. Once your idea passes that test, you’ll see your post featured in the blog in the near future.

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Finally, you know by now that we’re launching CANS on June 2nd! Our first run includes our Irish Red Ale with Honey, Double Dry Hopped Citra IPA and Bavarian Hefeweizen. It’s going to be a summer kickoff party so come early and stay late. Check out our Facebook event here for full details.

BONUS: If you decided to read this whole blog post, then you’ve earned a special treat. This Saturday, June 2, 2018, at 1:30pm we’re ordering MOD Pizza for those in attendance of our Summer Kickoff Party……AND IT’LL BE FREE! This blog post is the ONLY place you’ll see this info and we want to keep it our little secret. So, please do us a favor and don’t go spreading the word on your tweeters and facepages.

We’ll be back soon with another blog post but until then, come see us at the brewery and we’ll pour you a beer.

Cheers!

SMB