Yes, we had some anxiety about the 4th Aleiversary.
Just like the 3rd Aleiversary, we planned to be overwhelmed.
Two food trucks?
Beer trailer with six taps outside?
ID bracelets and beer tickets?
Had those to.
We even had a brand spanking new deck addition–built just in time.
Everyone knows that the sun always shines on the Aleiversary, so even though we began watching the weather religiously a month in advance, sunshine seemed pretty likely (insert fingers and toes crossed).
On February 13th the construction on our building ground to a halt with snow, cold, snow that melted into ice to be topped by more snow that melted into ice to be topped by more snow that melted into ice. Finally, the weather warmed up on March 7th and the great melt and dry-out began. Only six days to the 4th Aleiversary (insert nervous mud discussions here).
Due to construction, our parking lot was cut down (to a mud pit) the week before the Aleiversary. The week of the Aleiversary, the rebuild of the parking lot began. A couple dozen loads of chat later, hours upon hours of work by Holland Excavating, some additional gravel laid on Walnut Grove Drive by our township, and with some gravel spreading help from Brian in the skid steer, we were ready for the for the 4th Aleiversary.
Of course, it rained up until the morning before the Aleiversary. The yard around the brewery was muddy, but the field (aka additional parking) drained well. A little well-placed gravel, some caution tape and we were ready to go.
Smokey Folk from Springfield and Joshin the Giants from Joplin provided handcrafted tunes that were enjoyed by all ages all day long.
Emma, Lucas and Ian served in the taproom. Pete and Amber served at the beer tent. Tessa and Jonathan sold beer tickets outside. Jamie and Brian handled parking.
I tried to do everything else as needed (no photos of that).
I cannot say enough about our staff and the work they do to help put the Aleiversary on. In addition to helping get everything ready for the day, they arrive early the day of the event and work their butts off until every customer goes home. There is no time for breaks, eating the great food served or even sipping a beer. They put their heads down and poured beer and tried to keep customers happy for seven hours straight. And they did a fabulous job with helping make another wonderful Piney River experience at the 4th Aleiversary.
Asking 21-year olds to wear a wristband and to purchase beer tickets made for a very smooth day for patrons and for our staff. Nobody had to wait very long for a pint at all.
The 2015 Mule Team IPA was delicious and smooth. Several people were proud to take home a four-pack or more.
Both decks and the tap room were filled.
Even the muddy yard became a place to sit and enjoy a beer with family and friends.
Both food trucks had a steady line of customers all day long, but the waits were very reasonable. Mike and Julie’s Smoked Meats and Aviary on the Fly both received rave reviews and even sold out of some food items. We appreciate everyone supporting our local food vendors, too.
At some point about mid-day a customer said to me, “The parking lot is full.”
I thought, “The parking lot????”
“You mean the field?” I asked.
Indeed the field was nearly full of cars, and all day long only one truck needed some assistance in getting out.
One of our neighbors noted to his wife that at about 12 p.m. when cars were pouring down ZZ Highway, it “was like we live in the city”.
And we appreciate our neighbors sharing this little piece of heaven with the hordes of folks that want to celebrate Piney River in the Ozarks. Thank you!
We believe 850 or so people came out and participated in this particular Piney River experience.
As the official “field attendant” for every car that came down the drive last Saturday, Brian had the opportunity to personally greet most folks that joined us. As I wound my way up and down and in and out of the brewery and the grounds, I kept running into friends, family and fans. We were honored to host staff members from three of our distributors, too. I hope we had a chance to say hello, shake a hand, share a smile or laugh with you.
The Aleiversary is not about selling a bunch of beer a the BARn one day a year. The Aleiversary is about celebrating craft beer in the Ozarks with you. Two people that some thought were a little (or a lot!) crazy had a dream about making beer in a barn on farm just up the hill from the Piney River.
We dreamed of making beer that celebrated our home, a great place in the US—the Ozarks. We dreamed of making beer that could be canned for consumption in the beautiful and secluded places of the Ozarks. Four years later, all those dreams and much more have come true.
From Brian and I and our whole Piney River Crew, THANK YOU for four phenomenal, unforgettable, mind-blowing years!