How Short’s Brewing Plans for 24-Hour Freshness

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It’s been a huge undertaking, but Scott Newman-Bale said that Short’s desire to package, distribute and sell a beer in one day has been fairly easy.

Sort of.

Well, let’s check with him on August 18, the day after “Psychedelic Cat Grass – Without Delay” IPA hits shelves.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. on August 17, packaging of the beer will begin at the Michigan brewery’s facility, with the first truck scheduled to leave the dock at 12:15 a.m.

A run that should take 3-4 hours and distributed to six different states from Michigan should all be on shelves for sale later that day.

“In Northern Michigan (where the production facility is located) it will go from packaging to shelves in about 3-4 hours,” said Newman-Bale, who is a partner at Short’s and is the point man for the project. “The whole point is to get the whole batch out to market in one day and I am highly confident that no one has done this on an entire state level let alone wide-scale level. I’m sure a few places have done it locally is my guess. Something similar but not to this scale that this is.”


Logistics is 90 percent of the process, Newman-Bale said. Working with all departments to ensure a smooth product push, to coordinating with distributors and its clients has been quite the undertaking.

One of the hardest parts, he noted was actually figuring out what accounts are going to get the product. He said sales figures played a big part in that determination.

“Most of [the distributors] were confused at first in the process and what we wanted to get at,” he said. “They at first thought it was stupid and were not very excited about it at all.

“I think quickly, in a day or two, they realized how cool of a concept it is and that it’s out of state. Everyone at this point is pretty excited now.”

The sales team didn’t have to do much selling he said. Once word got out about the project, buyers were clamoring to get in on it.

“It has to be a limited release, not because we are trying to create a supply and demand, but there is only so much logistically we can do,” he pointed out. “This is literally physically hard for us to get this onto shelves anyway. We can only do so much.”

Despite the undertaking, all parts of the territory will get the beer on August 17, which meant getting two drivers for the deliveries in parts of Pennsylvania and working to get a plane to cart product over Lake Michigan to Wisconsin accounts.

“Even financing is involved,” Newman-Bale said, “how do we send bills and invoice everyone at one in the morning?”

To further complicate the project, the label artwork for the six-pack carton is three dimensional and each six-pack includes its own pair of 3D glasses.

When Brewer Magazine talked to Newman-Bale on August 9, a hiccup in rush ordering left the 3D glasses unwrapped.

“As with anything at Shorts, we take a difficult concept and try to make it extra difficult,” he joked. “So they were to be wrapped so the condensation wouldn’t warp the glasses. They didn’t arrive that way, now the packaging line is down as everyone is stuffing 3D glasses into plastic sleeves.

“It should have only affected about half a dozen to 10 people and at this point it’s a collaborative effort with every department involved.”

The brewery describes Psychedelic Cat Grass as a triple dry hopped American India Pale Ale first brewed for HopCat. Aromas of pineapple, mango, and grapefruit accompany the brew’s slightly hazy, pale orange color and lasting white head. A dry finish is preceded by balanced flavors of tropical fruit and bitter hops.

Newman-Bale said it wanted an IPA because of the freshness of hops.
“But we aren’t committed to that if we do this again,” he said. “It’s been a fun project. It hasn’t been as stressful as anticipated. Everyone has been excited about it so as long as the market likes it and distributors put up with it and clients like it, then we would consider it again.”

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Short's Assess Logistics, Success of "Without Delay IPA" Promotion

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