There are many pros and cons to waiting in line for beer, the worst being not having enough time and not knowing if there will be enough beer to go around (there’s also line shares and comradery too, so it’s not all bad). Resurgence Brewing are playing the role of guinea pig in HopMule, a new tool that seeks to take the guessing out of the beer waiting game, with the release of a new batch of their CitMo IPA 2.0 and brand new PB Sponge Swirl, a new blend of Peter B. Porter and Sponge Candy Swirl. Both beers are available for preorder right now at HopMule (as is their new Brut IPA, but more on that later).
Using HopMule is simple. Visit https://app.myhopmule.com, place your order, select your pick-up window, pay, and that’s it. Then go to the brewery at the time you selected and pick up your beer – no waiting in line, just walk up to the bar and grab your brew. Resurgence is currently the only brewery using the service (it is still in beta testing).
Resurgence Owner Jeff Ware says that the goal of HopMule is to create a place where anyone can go to see all of the new beer releases in one place. While he knows there are those who don’t mind waiting in line for beer, he says HopMule wasn’t created to eliminate that aspect of beer releases – it was created to help streamline the process.
“It’s about trying to create a release marketplace – one centralized place where every brewery can post their releases to. A place where a consumer can see all of the releases they want without having to visit 12 different websites or social media pages. I think it’s a much needed thing in our beer scene. I think the whole line culture is fun and cool if you want to do it and we, as a brewery, support that as well, but if you’re a busy father of three with only a couple of hours to go out and grab a beer, this could be a solution for a lot of people. We know it’s not for everybody.”
Ware adds that HopMule, which was developed by a local IT company, was born out of a need to make things easier for both the taproom and customer when it comes to beer releases. He admits that things should go a lot smoother if the brewery knew how many people to expect for each release.
“This came about around a year and a half ago. We were holding beer releases, say, like the last time we released Peter B. Porter, and you’d come into the taproom and we’d be three or four deep at the bar and everyone is ordering 10 crowlers a piece. And while all of our bartenders were busy getting crowlers, not everyone there was getting served. Our customers are having a bad experience, our wait staff is overwhelmed, and no one is enjoying it. The fastest you can make a crowler is [approximately] two minutes. And we’re not even one of those breweries that gets crazy lines. We thought, how can we do it where we can maximize customers experience in the taproom, but also maximize the ease of managing a release. So, we thought to ourselves – there has to be a better way to do this.”
“What it does on the taproom side is help to alleviate that bottleneck or lack of bottleneck. Sometimes we do a release and we only sell a handful of cases, other times we sell 50 cases. There’s no real rhyme or reason, and this helps us know ahead of time how many people are coming, so we can setup and staff the release appropriately.”
Ware says that the idea for the PB Sponge Swirl came about when he was sitting at the bar drinking Peter B. Porter and envisioning it with more chocolate sweetness. “We were playing around with a mix and realized that the sweetness really plays well with the peanut butter, a lot like a peanut butter cup or peanut M&M. This beer will be perfect for the holiday season and will make for something cool to bring to a holiday party.”
A limited amount of PB Sponge Swirl will be available on draft and in cans (1 case limit PP, approximately 25 cases available). CitMo 2.0 will also be available on draft and in cans (1 case limit), with limited amounts of draft/cans going out to distribution.
Next weekend, Resurgence is releasing Brut IPA, which features a strong aroma of sharp citrus rind, white peach, lemon and grape. This hazy IPA will send fruit character riding across the palate and finishing dry but full of flavor. Ware says that Brut IPA “is the perfect beer for New Year’s Eve,” especially since they are not throwing their New Year’s party at the brewery this year due to an already full schedule. You can pre-order the beer on HopMule and pick-up on Dec. 14. The beer will officially release the following day. For more information on the Brut IPA release, click here.
Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.