Friday, November 21, 2014

Exciting News for Prince William County!!

In the previous blog, we discussed the issue of the restrictions in opening a brewery in the county. However, this past Tuesday, we received a call from supervisor Mike May's office with the news that there was an interesting article in the Potomac Local news. The office was happy to report that Prince William County had just finished updating their code to allow breweries in the zoning districts that were originally only open to brew pubs. Recall the coffee shop brewery model? Now it is legal in our County to open a small brewery in a zone like a shopping center! BadWolf played an integral part in helping the county in this endeavor and they wanted to thank us. We were ecstatic!! Holy mackerel, this was all great news!! It's too bad we missed the opportunity in Tacket's Mill however, the spot is now up for grabs to help another entrepreneur's dream come true.

With that said, it great to know that a small business in a little 1,200 square foot space can make a big impact in the community. If anyone is interested in starting a small brewery in the county, please feel free to reach out to us for any questions. We would be happy to help. 571-208-1064 ask for Sarah or Jeremy. Cheers! :-)

Here is the article:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Big BadWolf: The journey in selecting a second location

The expansion is in order and we have settled on a large space on the east side of Manassas City scheduled to open in Spring 2015. View the video. This time last year, we began the search for the new space and for one reason or another, it did not work out. There were several options and ideas thrown about. One of the particular jurisdictions we had considered was Prince William County, a place we grew up in and knew well. We almost picked a neat little spot in Woodbridge, which the biggest obstacle were the laws pertaining to breweries in the zone we had our eyes on. I guess "pertaining to" would be incorrect; the issue was the zone would not allow our particular business model to work. We wanted to place a brewery (just like little BadWolf) in a B-2 space. Sadly, we did not have time to wait for the process in working with zoning officials and the county to change the legislation. It was disappointing but at the same time, we had another idea. Why not pave a path for other breweries to make it easier for them to open in the B-1, B-2 zones?

So, we proposed that they refine and update their code to help other breweries to open up in the future. Jeremy was asked to speak with several local municipalities to clarify our own business practices and current zoning in the City of Manassas. This talk, along with suggestions to the Prince William Zoning Board about ordinances pertaining to breweries is now showing results! They are moving forward with a new proposal to make it legal for a brewery like our little BadWolf model to open up in commercially zoned areas within Prince William County. This is very exciting news!!

Currently, in Prince William County a brewery can operate in the M-1 and M/T districts, those are the industrial sectors. That leaves the potential new operation with just a few districts to choose from on the zoning map.  However, one could also open a brew pub/restaurant in a B-2 zone but NOT a "brewery" according to the County's definition. What about a small brewery operation that's no different than a little coffee shop? The only way it would work is if you have food served under the restaurant definition, then the brewing operation may now meet the proper criteria. Oddly, the Virginia SB 604 in effect as of July 2012 allows for breweries to operate in Virginia to serve pints on site to customers without food. It only makes sense to trickle this down to the county municipality and update the codes.

In the Prince William Zoning Ordinance breweries and brew pubs are defined as:

Brewery and bottling facility shall mean an industrial operation involving the brewing and bottling of beverages for local, regional, or national distribution and which may involve routine truck traffic. Brewery and bottling operations may be permitted in restaurants as an accessory use when integrated into the restaurant operations, with limited distribution and wholesaling permitted. 

Restaurant: A retail food service establishment with table service (order placement and delivery) provided to patrons; also including cafeterias with table attendants; carry-out trade, if any, shall be a limited portion of the facility; traditional sit-down dinner establishments with waiter/waitress service

We will keep you posted when the new ordinances are approved and of course provide more details about the expansion as we move forward. Stay tuned. We hope that Prince William County will soon become a little brewery mecca and serious tourist destination! This will boost the economy in the county and provide an opportunity for even more jobs and lots and lots of amazing tasty, beer!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

What's in a title?

From Etsy: 
When you hear "brewmaster" what comes to mind? In the craft beer industry today we might automatically think of a person with credentials, perhaps a deep formal education in brewing, chemistry or the like. With that background, the person would essentially learn the true art of craft brewing.

The definition of a brewmaster from Merriam-Webster is "a person who supervises the brewing process of malt liquors." Excellent, it's far more simplified than all the hype. I believe the main requirement for a "brewmaster" if I had to associate the title with a definition is simply a passion for making great beer and enjoying what you do. Everything else will follow suit including the improvements and tweaks to the recipes. If you love what you do, then you're good to go and anything can be learned. In order to do or have, you gotta "be" something first. In our case, we are happy and love making beer. We don't have tons of awards, formal education in brewing, but there is experience, know how and pure passion for our product, our company, and most importantly, our customers who totally rock! Without their feedback, support and comments, we would not be where we are now. We are also so thankful to have supportive networks of friends, family, employees, community, the city, Historic Manassas, and fellow brewers (homebrewers and professionals) and fellow business owners. 

What matters most in the end is whether people enjoy your beer. Pure and simple. If they do, then great and if not, then make adjustments accordingly. Does one need a formal education or some fancy title to be great at what they do? Absolutely not! The founders of GREAT companies dropped out of high school and college and many started billion dollar companies out of their garage. (Microsoft and Apple)

We at BadWolf Brewing Company could quite possibly be in the category of nothing more than "glorified homebrewers". That's cool, no seriously, who the hell cares where you came from if people enjoy the beer! One thing remains true and that is brewing is not just a science but it is an art and there is plenty of wiggle room to bend the rules to make new and exciting beers! Titles are the least of our worries. So relax people, it's just beer!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

It's all about branding and logos, isn't it?

So many emails and suggestions come to us to "brand" our company with fancy logos and beautiful designs. In fact, some emails have arrived with people saying our logo particularly sucks. "Suck" is a harsh word but it sends a powerful message, they are remembering us ironically. Perfect, that is exactly what we want!! We have been compared to other breweries and companies and are told we "need" a logo. Maybe so, but our stance has always been people will remember us by our beer which has to speak louder. The simplicity of the font, wording and black background IS BadWolf's brand but it sure as hell is not fancy. Sometimes all you need is to KISS (keep it simple silly).

Another point to keep in mind is this, "What do you think of BadWolf in your mind when you hear the name?" You have automatically envisioned a concept or better yet, your very own logo, right? That is our hope that our brand drums up an image in your mind of something that one cannot forget.

Traditional marketing teaches us the idea that we have to go about marketing a certain way to get the message out there  but we have a unique view that the beer (our main product) should speak the loudest and IS the brand. If it doesn't speak loudly, then we have nothing. BadWolf is all about great beer and that my friends is everything.

So grab your t-shirt and wear it proudly! All of our t-shirts are made in the USA and printed locally! Our stickers, key chains, steins and 90% of the merchandise is USA made.