Looking Ahead to 2017

Though we achieved our 1-year mark prior to the expiration of 2016, for all practical purposes, it was the year of our birth. It was during this year that we escaped the curse of 18 guest taps, formalized the many methods and systems that guide our operational procedures, and settled into a rhythm that allowed us to begin looking towards the future instead of scrambling in the present.

That doesn’t tell the whole story though. If you were to compare Four Stacks of a year ago to Four Stacks now, you’d see a tremendously different operation. Here’s a short list of what we were able to achieve last year:


  • The bulk of our staff is now full-time and relies on Four Stacks as their primary source of income
  • Our brewing team increased from 1 person to 4, two of which are full-time
  • We have proudly developed a group of key leaders to fill multiple leadership positions, including a dedicated social media team
  • Our staff can boast of experience gained by a combined 81 months in service

Brewing Operations

  • Upgrades to multiple tanks and vessels, increasing our capacity to almost 3bbl
  • New tanks and vessels that allow us to brew 5 days per week and most importantly, improve the quality of our beer
  • We bought more kegs to hold more beer
  • Crowlers and growlers offered (finally)
  • Finalized our bottling process and began offering bottles of core beer
  • 3 Founders Society beers released, and a fourth brewed and kegged (release party 1/28/17)
  • Brewed our 210th batch
  • Purchased two Four Roses barrels to use for creating bourbon barrel aged (BBA) beers
  • Achieved 17 FSBC brews on tap, and holding steady at 15 with 3 reserved for guest tap, sangria (also ours), and cider
  • We sent our team (and beers) to GABF for the first time


  • The Four Stacks Running Club was born
  • Thursday night trivia is now a thing, and our new Buzztime tablets make it even better
  • Food trucks now on site Wednesday through Sunday
  • We’ve introduced dozens of new musical acts to Apollo Beach
  • Brunch & Brews is an amazing #sundayfunday
  • Our 1-year anniversary party shattered every record we’d held in any category (and showed us that we need more space)
  • Founders Society was born, and delivered
  • We finally got that window tint
  • We finally got those hours on the door
  • Expanded our merchandise selection (when we could keep it in stock)
  • The Creative Life Project has worked with us to host some incredible local art
  • Painting & Pints was born, and has been a blast

While the year was certainly not void of challenges, given the validity of our mission, and the strength of our team, we have never wavered in our belief that we can truly achieve anything we set our minds to, which is why it’s time to talk about 2017.

Founders Society

The Founders Society was a success beyond our wildest imagination. While money was not the primary objective, it would serve as an indicator that we were building something that people would be proud to support. And support us they did. All in all, we welcomed 141 Founders Society members, each new pledge as inspiring as the one that came before it.

Yes, the financial contribution was significantly impactful to our operation, but more importantly, we made a lot of new friends, and it’s these friends that continue to inspire us, motivate us, and give us the confidence to stick to the plan and stay true to who we are.

A Final Bonus

Alas, the final Founders beer has been brewed, bottled, and queued for release, which means we must bid adieu to this program and set our sights on new adventures. However, we do so with one final message.

Instead of retiring the entire set of perks, which had been the initial proposition, we have decided to extend a final gift, and thank you, by converting the Founders Society discount and pours into a lifetime benefit. After all, what’s the point of having a fancy metal membership card if you don’t get the opportunity to use it?

The Next Adventure

As many of you know, we recently announced the Four Stacks Prime Council, a new opportunity for Founders and non-Founders to join together in supporting our mission. The concept may seem familiar, but as it was with the Founders Society, it is not the t-shirt or octopus logo that sets this program apart. Its uniqueness is driven by a bond between company and patron that extends beyond everyday interactions, and represents the journey we take together as the year starts anew.

In joining the Prime Council, you are not just buying membership in a beer club, you are contributing to the growth of a brewery that is 100% bootstrapped, independent, and owner-operated. You’re gaining access at the very same moment we begin to hit our stride, pushing every boundary we’ve ever pushed, and brewing beer that we have never conceived, let alone attempted.

Lastly, you’re pledging to be part of the future, and not just our past. Prime Council membership is the only way to gain access to our special release small batch series, and get first crack at pre-orders on other special release beer and merchandise, including special gifts for 2x members.

2017 and Beyond

December was another record-breaking month for us, but it came with a price. We are brewing more than we ever have, yet kicking kegs faster than we can produce them. From a sales perspective, this is fantastic, but for those of you that enjoy your favorite Four Stacks beer, not so much. Selling out of a beer is not something we want to get in the habit of doing, and we certainly can’t allow our customers to get used to their favorite beers being out of stock.

For example, we recently went through a spell where we ran out of Pinfish, Lou Dog, Iron Eagle, and Martin the Warrior, four beers that make up approximately 34% of our in-house beer sales. This is obviously something we want to rectify, and rectify quickly. Here’s our plan to do so:

  • Complete the conversion of our brew rig to 3 BBL by purchasing a 100 gallon kettle
  • Purchase two additional 55G fermenters, and two 3 BBL fermenters, which will allow us to brew large and/or double batches of our most popular beers
  • Purchase a glycol system and multiple jacketed vessels in order to better manage cold liquor (reducing strain on our cooler), increase the number of beers we can push through conditioning, and give us the opportunity to experiment with lagers
  • Add a 2nd shift to our operation schedule, which will allow us to brew 8-10 batches per week, effectively doubling our production volume
  • Develop a barrel-aging program, which requires the purchase of dozens of new and used barrels, and the equipment necessary to store and maintain them
  • Double the number of kegs on hand in order to begin pushing beer to select distribution channels
  • Purchase a keg washer so that our brew team can be more efficient and productive in cleaning kegs
  • More bottles, labels, and bottling equipment in order to build and maintain an inventory of bottled to-go products
  • Taproom renovations, upgrades, and expansion
  • Upgrades to our current tap system, including the addition of premium flow control faucets

In a perfect world, we would be able to tackle each item on this list without taking on additional debt. Unfortunately, the investment required to do so will more than double that of our 2016 equipment budget. Thus is the curse of a brewery owner, and is a reality we have learned to live with.

However, we are confident that with the continued support of our amazing community, a continuing stream of new visitors to Apollo Beach, and a slow push into distribution, we will be able to achieve all of this and more.

In the interim, the best way to help us get there is by visiting as often as you can, sharing our beer with your friends and family, and considering membership in the Prime Council.

We truly thank you for helping make 2016 great, and look forward to your continued support throughout the new year.