Piney River Brewing Company

The Fun of Microbrewery Ownership

In Start up on August 20, 2011 at 10:04 pm

If you read our blog regularly, you know that microbrewery ownership is a lot of planning, risk taking, sweating and late nights.  AKA…work.  And in our case, we already have day jobs and a small farm.

This Saturday was another great example of why microbrewery ownership is so much fun even when it’s so much work.  We had been closed for three Saturdays–two because we were traveling on vacation and at a wedding and one because we had no beer.  We hated to be closed for three weekends, but we didn’t have a choice.

We opened little earlier than usual this Saturday…at noon.  As we anticipated, our customers were pretty darn thirsty.  It wasn’t too long after noon that the cars and trucks began to roll up the driveway…and they rolled in and out all day long.  Friends, neighbors, people from St. Louis, Indiana, Virginia, Texas, Washington, Roby, Cabool, Licking, Mountain Grove, Bucyrus, Houston, Elk Creek, Edgar Springs, Springfield…am I forgetting anyone?  (Probably…sorry!)

Visitors to the brewery today were able to see some new, cool stainless steel–our new brewhouse–and our new neon signs.  More about both of those in a later blog post.

Two really neat things happened today.  First, at last year’s TCMH Healthcare Foundation Chili Cookoff auction, I won (in a fierce bidding war) a small painting by local artist, Lanie Frick.  The painting is of a mule, looking out of a barn window.  Last year we didn’t even have a Missouri Mule IPA, but I had to have that painting for the BARn I was working on.  While hanging neon on Thursday, I found a spot for my mule painting.  It was just in time, too.  A member of Lanie Frick’s family visited the BARn today and saw the painting.  Although I had contacted Frick to tell her that I got the painting at the auction and where I was going to hang it, I was really pleased to be able to meet someone that could personally tell her that the picture was hanging in the BARn…not too far from kegs of Missouri Mule IPA.

Second, Piney River Brewing Company is very close to one of the largest military installations in the US–Fort Leonard Wood.  Fort Leonard Wood has been referred to as “Fort Lost in the Woods” due to its somewhat remote location in the Ozarks, but it’s amazing how many people have spent time on the base, especially for basic training.  I grew up with friends whose parents were stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, driving through the base to get to I-44 on the way to St. Louis and trying to avoid military convoys that were “practicing” their driving on our curvy roads.  Today, Fort Leonard Wood is a city within itself.   People from all over the world go to Fort Leonard Wood to train, and there are many people from all over the US that spend time stationed at the Fort.  Some of those people decide to return to the area to retire, some decide they don’t want to leave and some are just looking for a place to have a good time while they are stationed at Fort Leonard Wood.  We had three such groups of people visit the brewery today.

Our new Fort Leonard Wood friends were very excited to make it out to the brewery, and they are also excited to share the news with their friends.  (And we’re excited about that, too!).  Our Fort Leonard Wood customers always have interesting stories, diverse backgrounds, and some of them do really unusual jobs, too.  I’m not sure if everyone at Fort Leonard Wood realizes it, but the Big Piney River runs right through the base, so it only makes sense that our beer should end up in the hands of the folks that serve our country there!

As we finally sat down at the close of the day, we found ourselves laughing and telling stories that each one of us were part of today as we carried on many conversations, shared samples, served pints and filled growlers.  It was fun.  This microbrewery thing may be a lot of work, but days like this make it so much fun!

If you were one of our customers today–THANK YOU for supporting your local craft brewery!

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