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Birth of a Beer

From The Iron Horse Brewery Blog

Birth of a Beer


Iron Horse Brewery looks a lot different than it did PreCovid times. We bought a cidery, decided to totally botch the acquisition and management, shut it down and start a cidery basically from scratch. One of the dumber and most expensive ways to approach opening a cidery.  Yet we persist and are now joyously and frustratingly making Cider variants under the new Oddstock label. Our other bigger change is we moved away from using third parties for our marketing, branding, and design work and have brought a huge portion of that work back to where it all started, in the heart of the brewery. In this new world where craft beer is not king we have no choice but to change our perspectives and spending habits to create a future that is sustainable. We couldn’t continue to keep doing things the same way and expect better results. 


So what do things look like now? It means we have a whole bunch of Cousins who have never launched a new beer into the world making things up as we go along and learning way more than we were expecting along the way. It means a certain level of chaos. We might be in the creative destruction phase. One thing we chose not to destroy was Gato Grande. The beer and label was in the works before these major shifts were taking place. We decided to carry on with this vision of a brand and a beer and expand on it. The beer style had already proven a hit in our early trials, a Mexican Dark Lager,. The can had been designed by our design partner  adorned with a golden Jaguar. But does the world really need just another delicious beer with a sexy can to admire? Great question and in all fairness the answer is probably no, but hey, we make and sell beer for a living. What the world does need is for this Big Cat that graces our can is more attention and protection from humans. Our favorite Bosshole started getting wild, as he often does and in doing so stumbled upon The Northern Jaguar Project, a nonprofit group working to preserve the natural habitat of the Jaguar along the US/Mexico border. If you want to learn more about this Big Cat and the it’s importance go here. If not reconsider, then come join us at The Tap Room or your closest tavern and or store carrying Gato Grande and a get a pint or pick up a six-pack and we’ll do the work for you since a portion of the proceeds from this beer will be donated to The Northern Jaguar Project to help keep them doing what they do best.


As the largest cat native to North America and the third largest cat in the world, the jaguar ranges from Arizona to Argentina and has long been esteemed for its unequivocal power and striking beauty.


“Around the campfires of Mexico there is no animal talked about, nor more romanticized and glamorized, than el tigre. The chesty roar of a jaguar in the night causes men to edge toward the blaze and draw serapes tighter. It silences the yapping dogs and starts the tethered horses milling. In announcing its mere presence in the blackness of night, the jaguar puts the animate world on edge. For this very reason it is the most interesting and exciting of all the wild animals of Mexico.”


– A. Starker Leopold, Wildlife of Mexico


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