2011 was a great year even if we had stopped it in October.
More people enjoyed more Highland, in every style we make, in all of our seven states. We set records, retained quality, introduced new brands with great success and went into the last quarter of 2011 with high hopes, and that tinge of hyper-awareness that comes from knowing you're going to be stretched to the max for two months.
But what happened was beyond our wildest expectations!
Cold Mountain disappeared faster than ever.
Thunderstruck, our new winter seasonal, didn't offset the pressure for Cold Mountain. It added to it.
The first batch sold out in four days. It takes three weeks to make, and we have to make our five regular beers year-round, so selling out in four days was... the best and the worst. Orders for Oatmeal Porter blew sky high overnight. Gaelic reserves - the one we ALWAYS have plenty of - dwindled.
Making two seasonals at once was a stretch, we knew that. But what we didn't know is that ALL of our beers would sell so fast. We often packaged and shipped it immediately - it never even reached the cooler!
Eight 18-wheel trucks could fit in our cooler and it was chilling... air.
We got caught with our kilt up.
Now it's time to make changes. We don't want our fans to have a hard time finding our beer! We don't want our distributors, who work so hard in a competitive market, to experience a shortage. You all are the reason for our success. So our resolution for 2012 is to grow even stronger, reinforced by the demand for our beer. And keep the kilt down. That's just embarrassing.