Here we are. On September 19th we opened our doors and exposed ourselves to the world for the first time. Any fly on the wall that may have overheard any of the conversations leading up to the decision to open on that day would have been convinced that we didn’t want to open at all. It’s an odd feeling, being torn between the excitement of finally seeing your dream come to life and being scared to death that the public will tell you that you have wasted your time. But the doors opened and we poured our beers for family, friends and many of the locals who wandered in. As the day progressed we got the sense that people were really enjoying the space we have built and the beer we have brewed. When the evening came to an end and the last person left we stood in silence for a few moments processing what just happened. We opened a brewery. Even if it only lasted for one day, we opened a brewery and that cannot ever be taken away from us.
Over the last few weeks we have dumped much more beer down the drain then we ever thought we would. Maybe that’s the price of inexperience and a shoestring budget. It’s never a good day when we make the decision to toss a batch, but we tell ourselves these are just growing pains and just like all things we’ll make it through to a better day. Recently I was telling someone about all of the beer we have tossed away and the feeling of failure that comes with each ruined batch. They stopped me and said “If you are dumping the beer then that means you’re not serving bad beer to people, and that’s a good thing.” I guess he is right.
We’ve been open for about 4 weekends and we have been meeting a lot of amazing people. We set out to build a brewery based on the values of community and we see that coming to life every day. Frequently we have customers come in and offer to donate furniture, services and their time to the brewery. We have people who tell us how happy they are that we chose their town to open in, others tell us that we have inspired them to follow their own dreams. There are days that we are baffled at the reaction and emotion we seem to be stirring in people. We just make beer. But then we remember the inspiration we found in other breweries and the stories they told that made us chase our dreams. It all starts to make a little sense.
We get a lot of questions about expansion plans, when we will be in bars, restaurants, stores and if we want to be the next Sam Adams. We have plans for the future, they’re not very big, but they’re there. Things don’t always have to be bigger to be better. Right now we are taking a moment and enjoying the fact that we have succeeded in our first goal to simply open our doors and make people happy.
Even if those doors were to close tomorrow we have succeeded. Cheers!