Masses of Medleys

03.01.2012 Leah Wong Ashburn 9 Comments
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I love a buffet, a tapas restaurant, or a sampler plate. Four cheeses? A trio of dips? I’m in. It’s fun to try things and have a nice selection. Especially in a group – such easy conversation to compare how things taste and what you like. It’s so… social. It’s no wonder the Mountain Medley, with a mix of Highland styles, is our fastest growing package. The thing is, it’s the most complicated and expensive package to get out the door. By comparison (but not in reality, as evidenced by an employee's new back brace), a 12-pack of Gaelic is an eyes-closed, one-hand-behind-the-back operation. Twelve bottles, boom, in the box, done. Medleys are the opposite. We don’t have a machine that can take two, sometimes three bottles from five different places and put them in a case. First, we have to have inventory of each beer style. We may have to wait for one even though four are ready. Instead of being packed once in regular cases, bottles designated for Medleys are packed into reused cases with the tops cut off, called pre-Medleys. When all styles are available, we call in the troops. Nine people, from musicians to college students to family members, repack 17,280 bottles, by hand, from the pre-Medleys to  Medley cases, for almost four very long hours.

They are expensive and time-consuming, due to their refusal to be automated. But our fans like Medleys, and we love that you can try five of our beers at once (with friends, as we encourage sharing your 12-pack). So we’re making plans to make more, a lot more.

Variety is the spice of life, right? Grab a Mountain Medley for your next party. I’m off to find a buffet.

- Leah Wong Ashburn

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