It is a great time to be a craft beer drinker! Craft breweries are popping up all over the place giving those who love craft beer many options to choose from. But Woggly Square is interested in more than creating another high-quality craft brewery option for beer lovers. We want to create exciting and hand-crafted beers and, at the same time, help to those who need it: specifically, help those who are affected by Autism. It is a cause near and dear to our hearts and we feel that Woggly Square Brewing Co. can make a difference in a variety of ways.
Co-founder John Newton is a proud father of three children. His youngest, Matthew, is autistic. Matt is a high-energy soul who does not have many words. However, Matt did help us name our brewery! One of Matt’s few phrases that has stood the test of time is “Woggly Square.” What that phrase means to Matt is a mystery to us. But what Woggly Square means to us is profound. It means that although autism has impacted our family, we’re going to make an impact on autism!
Woggly Square will help two ways initially. First, we will donate ten percent (10%) of our net profits to autism related charities and research. We intend to work our tails off to be as successful as possible to raise as much as possible for this cause. However, throwing money at this problem is important but it will not solve it. Once those with special needs reach the age of 22 they “age out” and can no longer go to school. Where they will be placed and what they will do with their time is a major concern to families. Will they have skills to have a job? Will they ever be able to support themselves?
While Woggly Square does not claim to have a cure for this problem, we do know that the majority of brewery work is routine work. Most of the work around the brewery involves cleaning, moving inventory and other similar work. Most with autism are capable of doing this type of repetitive work (and some far more capable!). We intend to provide training and experience to those who have autism in the brewery. We are actively working with local organizations to provide an option for those who have aged-out with vocational programs. Ideally, this will provide some skills and meaning to autistic adults as they advance in life.
At Woggly Square, we respect and love classic beer styles and we do OUR best to brew THE best. We also love taking creative liberties to make great beers that might not fit into any style at all. Simply put, we strive to consistently use our brewing knowledge and the best ingredients to make delicious, fun and interesting beer. Below is a list of some of the beers we have created which we will proudly serve.
Autumn Blaze. Seasonal Red Ale with Fall Spices. 6.0% ABV. This red ale is spiced with traditional pumpkin pie seasonings of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and allspice. This beer has a well-balanced malt profile and the warmth of the familiar spices will keep the chill off as the evenings get colder!
Bilingual Bloodfest. Blood Orange IPA (American West Coast Style). 6.3% ABV. This deep red IPA is a hop-forward beer that has fresh blood orange and orange peel added. This beer has a variety of hops that brings a strong hop punch to the party but remains balanced and easy to drink.
Columbus Day. American Pale Ale. 6.3% ABV. Original batch was brewed on Columbus Day and with Columbus hops. The result was a clean and crisp ale with a bright and refreshing hop flavor. We use orange blossom honey which we find comes through in this beer’s amber/orange hues and in its body, aroma and flavor.
Complicated Mess. American Porter. 7% ABV. This is beer is big in flavor and in mouthfeel which we wanted from this dark and beautiful brew. A complex grain bill leads to an equally complex but enjoyable beer. If you’ve been searching for that perfect beer to have with a cigar on the front porch – the search is over. Look for barrel-aged Complicated Mess also.
Derby Day. American Brown Ale. 7.5% ABV. Deep, malty and full of flavor. Derby Day (originally brewed on the day of the 2016 Kentucky Derby) was a recipe designed to hold up well to barrel-aging and it does just that. We also found that the beer shines on its own without barrel-aging. We plan to have both varieties available on a regular basis.
El Guapo. Mole Stout with chocolate and chiles. 7.0%. An American Stout style true to its character with strong bold flavors from start to finish. The malt-forward brew hits your nose with chocolate before the beer hits your lips. It finishes with a satisfying warmth from the chiles.
Flaming Golden Hawk. British Golden Ale. 6.1% ABV. If we have a flagship beer – this is it. This British Golden Ale is hammered with Crystal hops which brings a lot of flavor to the party. Yet, in spite of the strong initial flavors, this beer has a very dry and clean finish making it easy to drink.
Piece of Mind. American IPA (NEIPA). 6.2%. True to this style category, this beer is wonderfully cloudy, fruity and with little to no bitterness. The rising popularity of this style makes sense considering the lack of bitterness (found in West Coast Styles) means you can more easily crush these beers without suffering from extreme face puckering – no one wants to see that.
Simcoe Kid – American IPA (West Coast Style). 6.5%. This American IPA is a West-Coast style with all of its hop flavor and aroma coming from a single, ass-kicking hop variety – Mosaic. Mosaic hops are bred from two other hop varieties: Nugget and Simcoe. So, in our minds, Mosaic is the Simcoe Kid and we love its strong fruity aroma and flavor. The hop punch tells you this beer is a serious IPA.
The Foggy Dew. Irish Stout. 5.5% ABV. Are dry Irish stouts your thing? We got you covered. This beer is black and surprisingly light in body. It has a presence of roast character, good bitterness that is characteristic of the style (but not too much) and has an exceptionally dry and clean finish. We recommend some Irish music with this beer. Cheers!
Viking Funeral. Imperial IPA. 8.5%. Galaxy and Centennial hops are the star of this show. This big beer does all that a good double IPA should. It has intense hop flavor and aroma. It has a solid malt backbone to balance out the hops. The name says it all here – this beer is nothing to joke about!
Okay it may be tacky to start talking business plans. But we feel it’s important to let folks know where we’re going and why.
Phase 1 Open a brewery with the support of our great friends (and great brewers) at 350 Brewing (a big SHOUT OUT to the folks at 350 for making this possible!!!). We will brew on 350’s equipment and get our beer in bars, restaurants and stores. We will donate 10% of net profits to autism-based research and charities. Drink people!! We will work with local organizations to provide vocational opportunities whenever possible. Seriously folks, we cannot thank 350 Brewing enough. They have done more for us than we can possibly list here. Salt of the Earth is their Gose beer (which flat out ROCKS) and it also accurately describes the character of the entire crew at 350!
Phase 2 Once the dream starts to work then we open our own stand-alone, brick and mortar brewery where we continue to donate 10% and where we can routinely have autistic adults assist us in any role possible and desirable to learn vocational skills they can use with us, with other breweries, and elsewhere. This is where things really get exciting for all involved. More opportunity, more creativity and flat-out MORE FUN!
Phase 3 If the dream goes nuts (which we fully expect) we will expand to open multiple Woggly Square breweries in strategic locations nationally to allow the brand to grow and reach more communities. This will allow us to have an even BIGGER impact and provide even more vocational opportunities.
Phase 4 The ultimate dream here – the brewery lottery. We develop our own community (Woggly Square Village) strictly for people affected by autism with 24-hour support for those who need it and less for those who don’t. We envision having a town center in the middle of Woggly Square Village occupied by more employment, vocational and educational opportunities (i.e. silk screening to make T-shirts and hats, a bakery, making buttons, ABA and other therapy, and anything else conceivable that relates to our brewery and our purpose). This is our Woggly Square Utopia and we will gladly pour our hearts into this to get there.