Counter Weight Brewing Company

Discussion in 'New England' started by Bgar15, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. Bgar15

    Bgar15 Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2016 Connecticut

    What is the status on CW in Hamden? Haven't seen many updates from their Facebook account or on here.

    When is the grand opening planned?
  2. purephase

    purephase Initiate (124) Feb 23, 2008 Connecticut

    Their Instagram suggested their canning line just arrived today, with a "Better late than never" caption. There's been some talk in the CT thread on the last page:
    Also the current rumor is that there's going to be one set of cans that's brewery only and a separate set that goes into distro. This is probably a good call given some of the gnashing of teeth I heard about from distributors when NEBCO ended up selling the last of the Gandhi-Bot cans at the brewery.
    HehTheKid likes this.
  3. PenningtonNY10

    PenningtonNY10 Initiate (153) Nov 20, 2009 Connecticut

    I remember hearing that they were aiming for a February opening. I hope that is true!
  4. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (116) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    Oh poor little distributors. :slight_frown: They lost out on gouging for a few hundred cases that NEB sold at the brewery. What NEB really needs to do is drop who they are with b/c NEB has been more than patient and shown much more allegiance to their lousy distributors than they ever should have.
    Admittedly, initially NEB was grateful to the distributors for going out and pushing their product. This "arrangement" apparently involved the distributors having exclusive rights to sell cans of the core 4 beers (Bot, Hag, 668 and ECP (when it actually existed)). However, times have changed. Craft brews, especially in the "brewery release can format" have absolutely exploded. NEB no longer needs exclusive distribution of their cans. [Ironically, Sea Hag was one if the first IPAs to be packaged in cans, go figure] They have more than paid back the greedy distributors in expanding and making more beer available for distribution, thereby increasing the distributors profit.
    NEB has been gracious but now probably realizes there is a new business model which includes breweries being able to sell their beers (most notably cans) at the brewery. Imagine that concept. However, if the money grubbing distributors can't squeeze every last nickel out of the, they get pissed.
    I sure hope that FBD NEVER goes to distribution. You think finding a 4 pack of Bot in the wild is tough. And the reason for this is lousy distribution (with a hand from some, although not all, package store owners). I hope NEB reaps every well deserved penny from FBD cans. As far as kegs, let the distributors circle like sharks in the bloody water.
    I am not sure how long NEB signed contracts with the distributors but I sure hope they are up soon. NEB have practically been indentured servants to them for at least a decade. I certainly hope that Marty will be able to negotiate something on their behalf. It looks like Matt Westfall was wise enough to the game to not fall into that trap (although he did sign with at least one of the two crappy distributors of NEB).
    Pisthetaerus likes this.

    EDNOSE Aspirant (209) Oct 27, 2007 Connecticut

    I can't wait for Counter Weight to start producing, but I live in the Western edge of the state and distribution is more than welcome!

    It's funny how finding a 4 pack of Bot in the wild is more palatable to people than standing in line in the freezing cold or boiling sun on can release days at NEBCO or any day at Tree House ... to each his own. The reality is that there are a lot more customers going into liquor stores than standing in long lines at breweries for beer and I can't see this ever changing.

    Funnily, you complement Counter Weight (a little) for being "wise enough" to have two distribution sources for their packaged product (brewery and distributor) when NEBCO already does this. Right now Coriolis is the only brewery distributed can but as you alluded to FBD appears to be ready to follow suit.
    HehTheKid and HOP-E-DAYZ like this.
  6. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (116) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    Not trying to derail a CW thread but since Matt is the link to NEB and CW's still unknown distribution plan is threadworthy, a discussion of NEB is, IMO, appropriate.

    CW is apparently going to have at least one canned beer that can only be purchased at the brewery and at least one canned beer that will only be available at package stores (and maybe bars, but NOT at the brewery in cans or on tap for fills). I could be wrong but I think this is a bit of an attempt for CW to have some additional brewery control while giving a bit of exclusivity to the distributor. That being said, I think there will be much overlap on brewery v. package store can availability.

    NEB does not have two distribution sources for packaged product save for Stout Trooper (only this year), Coriolis, which is a new and sporadic phenomenon and their true uber limited/seasonal stuff which if they sent to distribution would be an administrative headache considering the small quantities (Comb Over, Weiss Trash, BBIST). I have never seen them sell 668, ECP or Hag cans from the brewery. Likewise, only the very last of the then "Gandhi" cans were sold out of the brewery, which led to the distributors getting miffed.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly about going to the brewery. They pour every style of canned beer (all 3) regularly at the brewery. Coriolis is brewery and bars only. Bot is on seemingly every week. They have put on at least 50 different brews on at the brewery in the past year. Save for a special release, lines are usually under 15 minutes for fills.

    EDNOSE Aspirant (209) Oct 27, 2007 Connecticut

    I think we are agreeing here ... NEBCO just has more beers (for now):

    Brewery only cans - Coriolis and seemingly FBD (based on both of our assumptions)
    Distribution only cans - Sea Hag, 668, G Bot

    As you mentioned, IST was both for first time this year.

    Sounds like Counter Weight will be doing something similar in that they will have beers that go out in cans for distribution and others that are sold in cans at the brewery only.
  8. Lupin

    Lupin Aspirant (275) Jun 4, 2006 Connecticut

    No one "needs" exclusive distribution of their cans. From what I've been told by people from two breweries, distribution in CT exists in perpetuity at the county level. You need to reach an actual agreement with the distributor to annul your arrangement with them. This is why some of the newer breweries have actually hired employees to drive around the state with SUVs or trucks with kegs and pallets of bottles/cans rather than sign up in the first place. If they manage to attain sustained growth, there's no reason to give away that piece of the pie up front on crappier terms associated with lower volume and higher risk for the distributor.

    The brewery-only model for canned releases is NOT a sustainable model for the mass market. It's about to hit a wall. You'll get people popping in to pick up stuff at their favorite brewery within 20 miles, on the way home from work, or in their own town, and then you'll have enthusiasts who will continue to hit up whatever is the latest stop on the hype/facebook sponsored post train (trailblazer cold creek tess, ice cream man, #nofilter, whatever armada released) is that week.

    I'm not sure what my point is other than this: while there is a nice balance to the "beer X goes to distro, beer Y stays on-site" thing, selling beer X through distributors doesn't preclude you from also selling beer X at the brewery, so what is the benefit of keeping beer X as a distributor-only beer? If it is legitimately only "well, doing that means the distributor might say 'FU' to you," then it's really a matter of making a product good enough to speak for itself. I have a feeling CW will do that, so I think it's a weird decision.
  9. PenningtonNY10

    PenningtonNY10 Initiate (153) Nov 20, 2009 Connecticut

    What a nice looking facility!

  10. sulldaddy

    sulldaddy Poo-Bah (3,226) Apr 6, 2003 Connecticut
    Premium Trader

    Looks very nice! Was about to post the same image, before i saw your post at the end. Excited to check it out when Matt is open
  11. EDNOSE

    EDNOSE Aspirant (209) Oct 27, 2007 Connecticut

    That is just enormous for a start up. Awesome!
  12. pbrian

    pbrian Defender (609) Feb 8, 2001 Connecticut

    Indeed, and they flew on that project, seems like just yesterday it was announced. He must have had a head start with the licensing and such.
    sulldaddy likes this.
  13. PenningtonNY10

    PenningtonNY10 Initiate (153) Nov 20, 2009 Connecticut

    It's encouraging, because you know they're gonna be popular right off the start with Matt's track record.
    bostonwolf likes this.
  14. steve_o4

    steve_o4 Initiate (0) Dec 19, 2016 New Hampshire

    Pumped for this! Nice to have somewhere closer to home than NEBCO when I go visit my parents
  15. OldLady

    OldLady Devotee (478) Apr 25, 2006 Connecticut
    Premium Trader

    Any news? I'm not on FB.
  16. xanok

    xanok Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2009 Connecticut

    Not much.

    From 2/1:

    "It's been a while since our last post. We've been busy putting the final touches on our tasting rooms and finishing some projects around the brewery. We expect to have an opening date to share with everyone shortly. We can't wait!"
  17. Bcelos

    Bcelos Initiate (54) Mar 24, 2015 Connecticut

    There's a little brew fest going on this Friday at the New Britain Museum of American Art. Counterweight is on the vendor list so it should be interesting if that is A; in fact true, and B; what they bring!
    beanoboy7 and OldLady like this.
  18. dortenzio1991

    dortenzio1991 Initiate (106) Aug 12, 2011 Connecticut

    Note sure what the case count was but Premeditated Murder did make it into distribution (twice?)
  19. PenningtonNY10

    PenningtonNY10 Initiate (153) Nov 20, 2009 Connecticut


    sulldaddy and skleice like this.
  20. purephase

    purephase Initiate (124) Feb 23, 2008 Connecticut

    Headway kegs going out today. Looks like Prime 16 New Haven will have it on at open.
  21. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (313) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    I've got 2 bottles in my fridge, been there forever.
  22. Lupin

    Lupin Aspirant (275) Jun 4, 2006 Connecticut

    Why? It's not getting any better.

    Opened my lat PM three years ago at an Igor's release and it was already past its prime.

    The wax-seal (2013?) Attempted RedRum was also a goner when I opened it thanksgiving weekend 2015, but the plastic (2014?) was still drinking fine at EBF.
  23. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (313) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    Lost interest in it, I had a few more and drank them when they were new and these two just sat at the bottom of the drawer. Maybe it will be my pre-storm beer tonight.
  24. larrytownsend

    larrytownsend Initiate (0) Sep 28, 2005 Connecticut

    Yes. It is on tap now and tasting great.
    smutty33 likes this.
  25. Bcelos

    Bcelos Initiate (54) Mar 24, 2015 Connecticut

    Pumped to see all these IPAs finally making it into production, but excuse me if i'm wrong here, but wasn't Counter Weight originally going to be like a wild ale sour brewery? I just remember seeing a picture of their coolship.

    Is it possible that they are pumping out the IPAs while the wild beers mature over?
  26. Shyla987

    Shyla987 Initiate (86) Jul 18, 2013 Connecticut

    No, never was going to be wild ale sour brewery. Does have a coolship. not operational yet. Also will have a foeder.
  27. OldLady

    OldLady Devotee (478) Apr 25, 2006 Connecticut
    Premium Trader

    Cans still in distributor warehouse?
  28. Ultra-Plinian

    Ultra-Plinian Disciple (318) Mar 1, 2013 Connecticut

    Of course the cans are in distributor. They will be there for a few weeks. How else will you create a scarce product so that all the liquor stores can have passwords and secret hand shakes. This is my attempt at sarcasm. I hope games are not played with this distribution.
    Robtobfest, OldLady and CTHopman like this.
  29. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (116) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    I am pretty sure that Headway will be the only beer exclusive to distribution (at least to start). Evidently, Matt is wise to the whole distribution "scheme" that runs rampant in CT. I hope all his other offerings are brewery only. Let's be realistic, Hamden is relatively centrally located in a small state. It isn't like fellow Yankees can't find time to get down there every week or two to pick up cans and growlers.
    OldLady likes this.
  30. Shyla987

    Shyla987 Initiate (86) Jul 18, 2013 Connecticut

    Matt has this down. Distribute something that may be popular, brewery only releases for more selective stuff.

    The thing that kills me here is the people commenting on how new breweries should operate, when thinking in terms of beer geeks. It's not only about us! Some breweries realize - it's a good thing! - that they need to reach more people in order to make the more rare beers, e.g. coolship beers (expensive).

    Headway IPA and others will fund more interesting beers.
    cciskey, purephase and smutty33 like this.
  31. EDNOSE

    EDNOSE Aspirant (209) Oct 27, 2007 Connecticut

    They commented on FB today that they are brewing a batch of Space Coyote. Said that "this batch" is galaxy and "each batch will explore a few different hop combinations". The can they show in the post says 6.0 ABV on it.

    And for those that think Hamden is centrally located ... you must not have fought traffic on the Merritt from Western Fairfield County!! :slight_smile:
  32. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (116) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    I work in Wilton. Far enough west for you? I am well aware of the traffic. And I am speaking relatively; hordes of beer drinkers from CT flock to TH weekly and Trillium and VT frequently. CW is also open Saturdays unless that conflicts with your work schedule. In sum, picking up a few sixers a month from CW doesn't appear to be a stretch.
  33. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (116) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    CW's FB shows a photo of 4 brews with stickers. All are in cans. I highly doubt those are going to be sours or barrel aged limited releases. Not to say that he wont have those in the future but I highly doubt they are "rare". Seems like they are likely "standard" brewery release only (stout, IPA, saison, Pils)?
  34. Swats

    Swats Initiate (37) Jul 1, 2015 Connecticut

    Had Headway tonight at Brewport, very solid, would definitely buy it in cans,
    dmolz and Shyla987 like this.
  35. EDNOSE

    EDNOSE Aspirant (209) Oct 27, 2007 Connecticut

    I guess I can trump you with Stamford for work and Ridgefield for where I live () both of which are surprisingly large increases in drive time from Wilton. I'm sure I will make it up there at some point, but it's not remotely realistic to think it will be frequently (which is why I love distribution option). NEBCO is a 2-3 time a year event. Add the tunnel and a few more exits and it is a hike. It isn't VT, Treehouse or Trillium that is true.
    #35 EDNOSE, Mar 14, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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  36. Shyla987

    Shyla987 Initiate (86) Jul 18, 2013 Connecticut

    Did you even see my post above about the coolship and foeder? He's engaging the market with general releases. Then will build from there.
  37. Pisthetaerus

    Pisthetaerus Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2014 Connecticut

    Points for having the most oxymoronic sounding post in the thread.
  38. PenningtonNY10

    PenningtonNY10 Initiate (153) Nov 20, 2009 Connecticut

    I'm excited to make some Counter Weight -> NEBCO trips from Middletown in the near future.
    Shyla987 and Ultra-Plinian like this.
  39. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (116) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    Thought by selective stuff you meant coolship beers. Your words.
  40. Shyla987

    Shyla987 Initiate (86) Jul 18, 2013 Connecticut

    How so? Am I reading this wrong? Possible! Can't a brewery have a coolship but it's not the main focus? Maybe my wording was wrong on initial post, but I thought it was obvious that you can have general market beers plus unique/more rare stuff. I dunno.