Recap of 2016: A Holiday Letter from Chris White
Happy Holidays from White Labs!
2016 was a growing year for White Labs. We made significant investments and improvements to our operations that will enhance our ability to serve you in 2017 and beyond.
This year began with the completion of our San Diego packaging hall and full implementation of our 24-hectoliter brewhouse. Both marked significant milestones as the packaging hall has allowed us to expand production and transition the majority of our strains into PurePitch® packaging, which delivers higher cell concentrations on the yeast we produce. Our brewhouse makes wort for propagating our yeast cultures and has been instrumental in making experimental batches of beer that highlight our various yeast strains. The brewhouse also provides beer to our San Diego and Boulder tasting rooms, serving educational (and tasty) experiences for professional, homebrewers and craft beer lovers alike.
In early spring 2016, we incorporated a new CRM/ERP software system into our daily operations. This transition was more difficult than we anticipated, which in retrospect mirrors the complexity of our business. The new software was an investment that had to be made and one that is helping streamline our operations as we grow our production. We appreciate all your support and thank you for sticking with us through this significant period of growth and change.
Other highlights this year include: opening a tasting room within our Boulder, CO customer service office, launching new products like WLP600 Kombucha SCOBY, utilizing White Labs Davis as an innovation center to test off-site production capabilities and perfect processes that will be applied in Asheville, expanding our lineup of professional educational workshops, incorporating new homebrew packaging improvements, doubling the production of wild yeast and bacteria to match the popularity of sour and farmhouse-style ales, and introducing The Vault to homebrewers.
**Head of Research & Development Troels Prahls gives a tour of White Labs Copenhagen.
All of these product launches and operational improvements were done as we made strides to expand our international territories. White Labs Hong Kong and Copenhagen are helping make liquid yeast more readily available to customers worldwide, specifically in Asia and Europe respectively. We are thrilled to share that exciting changes lie ahead for our Copenhagen office in the first quarter, as we plan to move from inside the WarPigs Brewpub to a new, larger facility. Once the transition is complete, we anticipate expanding our production capacity roughly 10 fold.
We’ll kick 2017 off by beginning production in Asheville as early as the second week of January. The construction is unfolding in three phases culminating by mid-2017 with the opening of our boutique restaurant and tasting room. Following the final phase of construction, our focus for the next two years is to continue adding FlexCell™ equipment that will increase yeast production in Asheville.
**The future home of White Labs Asheville, opening to the public by summer 2017.
While we were able to scale up production of our 83 core yeast strains this year, we are even more well positioned to offer new and unique strains in 2017. You can also expect updates to some of the existing customer programs as well as introduction of new campaigns, useful tools and resources added to whitelabs.com, and the launch of additional products and services.
At White Labs, our team is committed to innovation and creativity, much like the industries we are here to serve. On behalf of the more than 100 (and growing) White Labs employees, I want to thank you for your continued business. Cheers to you and a prosperous 2017!
White Labs Founder, CEO & President