Wow! What a crazy year! As 2016 draws to a close there’s a ton to reflect on. From fundraising to fighting through the permitting process to finally be able to brew, the first quarter of the year flew by. Then, after filling barrels as quickly as we could, launching in the market with some draft only beer for the summer until our real focus, barrel-aged beer, was ready in August. And from there, getting through a wild GABF, a second release, and all the trials and tribulations of trying to build a country brewery, 2016 has been quite a roller coaster learning experience for all of us! And although we didn’t accomplish anywhere close to everything we set out to do, we’re still standing, we’re making and selling beer, and most importantly having fun doing it!
Starting a brewery is a big undertaking and at times it is totally overwhelming, but when the dust settles it’s good to look back and realize we have a ton to be thankful for from this past year:
- Beer! This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget how lucky we are. We love beer! All types of beer! Dark, light, bitter, sweet, tart, malty, spicy… the list goes on and on. We’re in love with our product and are thrilled to get to keep experimenting, improving and drinking it every day!
- Festivals and Travel! From local festivals in Eugene, to CBC in Philly, to Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp in Seattle, to What the Funk and GABF in Denver, to What’s Brewing in Norway, this adventure has given us plenty of opportunity to travel to cool places and meet amazing people who are as passionate about beer as we are!
- Barrels! French and American oak and acacia, pinot noir and chardonnay, used barrels from Oregon and California wineries, Kentucky bourbon barrels, Jamaican rum barrels and a handful of whiskey, wine and gin barrels… Our wonderful and growing collection of barrels gives us more to work with on each blend.
- Oregon’s bounty! The access we have to amazing local ingredients can’t be overlooked. It’s important to us to source locally as much as possible and having the ability this year to work with local farmers to get things like blueberries, peaches, and cherries all grown a short drive away is a true blessing for a brewery like ours!
- People! Support from our friends and family through everything, fellow brewers and the brewing industry helping us out with knowledge, advice and collaborations, the local community here in Eugene and throughout Oregon, and of course, our amazing customers who share our passion for this craft! It’s impossible to put into words how much support we’ve gotten and how that matters more than pretty much anything else!
Cheers to a great start in 2016 and look forward to even better things to come in 2017!
Doug, Brian, and Matt
P.S. Despite a million delays, we now have building permits in hand for our country tasting room and brewery, so already something exciting to look forward to in 2017!