Festivus 2020

Posted by Rob Hern on

Welcome newcomers, the tradition of Festivus begins with ...

A Festivus Miracle! 

That we are alive as 2020 rounds out is a Festivus Miracle. Things could still go sideways but, shit, that was a year. Being a small business through this storm sucked. It sucked because we rely on events and word of mouth to grow SFBC. One of the last large events we had at the brewery was the Pulp release... it seems like that was a different lifetime ago (but yes, we are tossing around ideas about how Pulp will work in 2021). On the getting-together-in-person-with-other-humans front, I had been kicking around the idea of doing a Festivus event at SFBC, but this was pre-COVID planning. So, instead of a hilarious event, you get a sassy blog post from yours truly. 

Gather around, family, and let me tell you all the ways you have disappointed me this year. It’s time for:

The Airing of Grievances!

  • The LCBO: I’ve got a lot of problems with you people, and was genuinely happy when you recently caught grief for your DoorDash move. Thank you to everyone who called them out (Volo and Revel Cider in particular +++).  I don’t shop at the LCBO to begin with, because I don’t hate myself and think that buying beer I enjoy should be enjoyable. Support local bars, bottle shops, and breweries. Avoid the LCBO … like the plague.
  • The cancellation of the World Beer Cup: I’m not mad at the organizers for cancelling because of COVID. That makes sense. I’m just mad that I didn’t get that beer back; that was some good shit and I would’ve drank it myself.
  • Old man yells at Slime Beer! I am not the beer police, and I don’t have to love every new trend. The old man in me feels like 2020 was not necessarily improved by all the new experiments put out by breweries. That being said, it’s pretty hypocritical of me to shit on slushie and slime beers as I prepare to release a ridiculous Peanut Butter and Jam Imperial Stout. So take that grievance as you will.
  • Local municipalities: When COVID hit, all of a sudden they were able to loosen up application processes… not attractive one day, so attractive the next. Inspectors being told to be less picky, etc. (if you even saw one and we did). Don’t get me wrong, I am SUPER glad that they let SFBC open a patio easily (it wasn’t the Taj Mahal, but you were drinking at SFBC after all). My grievance is that it took a pandemic for municipalities to get out of the way. If you talked to me back in 2016 when I was trying to get the shop up and running at 20 Hurst, I had zero positive things to say about the city. As I rained blows down upon the inspector (kidding, obviously), I realized there had to be a better way. It’s simple, really: a city should help - not hinder - small local businesses. Our city, and those all over the province, need to examine and adjust how they deal with small businesses, asking themselves why they make it so hard to operate. 
  • The Law: Let the people drink beer in a park! It is a wonderful thing and we should all be doing it. 

Let’s Rumble! Festivus Feats of Strength! 

  1. We finally got our canning machine operating successfully! It’s made from aluminum: very high weight to strength ratio. With the help of the wonderful Mr. Nick Hardman, we built and did a lot of troubleshooting to get an operational canning machine going. It’s not perfect, but it works.
  2. SFBC had some long term projects finally come to fruition this year and, to be honest, they are some of the best blended mixed fermentation beers we have pulled off. In particular, Bigger Than Kiss - specifically the straight up blend - was a unique and well put together sour.
  3. We built and installed a glycol chilling system at the brewery. That may not mean a lot to everyone, but running a brewery without temperature control for so long sucked.
  4. I think that having a baby falls into a feat of strength for Kat way more than for me. MaeBoh (Mabel Beau) is a lovely devil lady, and a true feat of strength for Kat and I after going through IVF to bring her into this crazy world.

As 2020 comes to a close, there is a lot of stupid shit to deal with still. I hope that you can find some positives this year, though. It’s important to remember that it wasn’t all bad, it was just rough… real rough at times. Feel free to share your grievances and/of feats of strength with us in the comments below, or through social media. Use the hashtag #SFBCfestivus to make sure that we see it.

Happy Festivus everyone; a donation has been made in your name to the Human Fund.

Drink Good Beer,



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