Many of you were at the BARn last weekend. A lot of you were not here, but it was nearly standing room only. And there were so many empty kegs at the end of the day that we wondered what we would serve in the upcoming week.
Even now, I am thinking of this person and that person that came in…and many of you stayed awhile, too. On a fluke, and since it was Labor Day weekend, Brian and I got some brats and grilled them to give away to those that came in, too.
We had two new beers–Honey Basil Ale and Sweet Potato Ale on tap. We didn’t really announce the new beers many hours before the tap room opening, and we definitely didn’t announce anything about the brats until the tap room was almost open on Saturday. In fact, at 2:15 when Brian, Debra, Lucas and I were chilling on the porch, I think I may have uttered something like, “It may be a slow day today.”
We had visitors from Salem, Lebanon, Licking, Cabool, Plato, Mountain Grove, Houston, West Plains, St. Louis, Fort Leonard Wood and everywhere in between. For many people, it was a first visit. For at least as many more it was the second or the third time or more that you visited. Thank you to all of you!
Let me take you back a little bit…when Brian and I started renovating the barn we had the idea that we would build this big bar and a deck off the upstairs.
We thought we might operate a little tap room on the weekends, maybe once a month. We really didn’t think that people would want to drive two miles down a gravel road located in the middle of nowhere to drink beer and look at cows and turkeys and listen to Indie rock and folk music and the birds and the wind blowing through the trees. Boy were we wrong!
You came! And you keep coming back! And you bring your friends! And you bring your family members! Thank you!
We are so honored and humbled to have a place to share with others. Our BARn, our farm out here in the Ozarks is our little piece of heaven that we have the opportunity to share with you and your friends and family for five hours each weekend.
And we’re still trying to figure out how to run a tap room.
In fact, earlier this year at the Craft Brewer’s Conference, I led a panel discussion with some great packaging breweries in attendance–Lucky Bucket Brewing, Sun King Brewing, Odell’s Brewing and Marble Brewery–talking about running a tap room in addition to the packaging side. Talk about a collection of great minds! They shared their wisdom to a packed room of several hundred people in the industry. Turns out that I’m not the only packaging brewery out there that’s trying to figure out running a tap room.
All of the panelists in my tap room discussion, like Brian and I, had a dream to make beer that ended up in bars, restaurants and refrigerators in our local areas. We all quickly learned that our craft beer fans wanted to come to the source to meet us, to drink our beer, to fill growlers. We’re all trying to figure out how to accommodate everyone–from our distributors and the bars and restaurants that serve our beer to the people that come to visit us personally in the tap room. And we appreciate your patience and understanding as we do this.
So we’re making a few tweaks in the tap room at Piney River Brewing as we start the autumn season.
We’ve lowered the price on our pints and 4 oz. pours of Black Walnut Wheat. There was a time when Black Walnut Wheat was a “special” beer that we brewed. We still really believe in the special nature of this beer, and it’s our number one selling beer to our distributors and in tap room. However, we’re lowering the price of the Black Walnut Wheat from here on out. Cheers!
We’re changing the way we handle growlers–our half gallon glass containers that allow you to take fresh draft beer “to go”. Growlers are “to go” only, not to be consumed in the brewery or on the brewery grounds. Likewise, pitchers of beer will no longer be available. In order for Piney River Brewing to have the tap room we have, we must have our beer available in bars and restaurants across the Ozarks. We don’t sell our Piney Pints for less than they are in retail stores, so we’re not going to sell our draft beer for less than it is in area bars and restaurants. We appreciate your understanding that if you’re going to drink beer at the BARn, we’ll gladly pour you a perfect imperial pint in one of our great tap room 22 oz. glasses or you can drink lots of 4 oz. pours. You’ll always get a fresh glass, a great view and smile with every pint or pour we serve to you.
Don’t forget that at Piney River we are happy to fill growlers from other breweries, too! We know that’s not always something that’s available in many brewery tap rooms. And if you have one of those cheap, metal growler caps, we’ll even trade your cap for one of our special poly seal caps to keep all that great draft beer freshness bottled up inside.
Just like our recently introduced Honey Basil Ale and our Sweet Potato Ale, Brian and I are taking the time to play and to create to provide new things for you, our tap room friends.
We’ve got a Chocolate Pumpkin Ale in the works and few more ideas that we’ve dreamed up, too. We can’t wait to brew them and to share them with you…in the BARn.
We promise we’ll add another bathroom..right there where it says “bathroom in planning”. In addition to the cherry wood floor that’s already milled and ready to go down upstairs, we have a few other really special plans for the tap room. And we’re going to get some more tables and chairs, too–for the indoors and the outdoors! It’s obvious that whenever we think we’ve got “enough”, we’re wrong.
Our plan is to continue to stay open on Saturdays from 2 to 7 through the fall and winter, too. We will be open during the Saturdays around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Yes, we heard you loud and clear last year…you want to bring your family and friends to visit the local brewery when they come to visit you!
And…as much as possible, we plan to offer tours on Saturdays, too. When Brian and I are working, we will give them–probably two each Saturday. If we aren’t there, we will try to make arrangements for someone else to give a tour. And tours are free, just like the samples that we pour up each weekend.
Thank you again our craft beer loving friends for your support of your local brewery! We are having so much fun with you, and we appreciate your patience as we grow, too.
See you soon in Brewcyrus!