It started early in the week…we spent our evenings wrestling with white pine boards for the walls of the tap room at the BARn. We knew we needed to just “take a day” and work non-stop on our construction work.
My mom was coming in for a visit, and we knew that we would have a little childcare for Andy available. I also shoved my regular five day a week job into four days this week and took Friday off.
The Piney River Brewing “weekend” started on Thursday evening. Brian, Andy, my mom and I went to the Midway Bar and Grill in Mountain Grove for dinner. The Midway has had our McKinney Eddy Amber Ale on tap for a few weeks, and we wanted to meet the owner and have dinner. First of all, let me say, going into a restaurant and ordering your own beer is NOT overrated. It’s fun!
The Midway had a big McKinney Eddy Amber Ale sign hanging inside, and right next to it was a huge “Support Your Local Brewery” sign. Wow. Thanks, Grellner. (Our distributor hooked them up with the cool signs.) We recommend the homemade Midway “chips” with your McKinney Eddy. Yum! We met the owner, Shari, and of course, it was Andy that really recognized her because he knew her as the mom of one of his classmates. Thanks, Andy. And a BIG thanks to Shari and the staff at the Midway for supporting your local brewery!
Rodney Edwards at Grellner invited us to a meeting with the sales staff at Grellner on Friday morning, so we got up and around early for a 7:30 a.m. meeting in Rolla. We had the opportunity to meet several members of the sales staff, and Piney River Brewing is the featured brewery for the month of February for the Grellner sales staff.
The great news for all of our customers in the Central and South Central Ozarks is that Grellner will be pushing our beer out to ALL retail locations in their sales territory. Lake Ozark, Sedalia, Warrensburg, Lebanon and all of the towns in and around those areas will soon be offered a beer handcrafted in the Ozarks. We’re very excited about offering “Missouri Mule IPA” at the home of the University of Central Missouri Mules. We can’t wait to provide locally brewed Piney Pints to be enjoyed at Lake of the Ozarks and at Bennett Springs State Park and on the Niangua and Gasconade Rivers. Plus, Grellner worked with the corporate folks at Casey’s, and our UPC symbols are now in the Casey’s corporate system. We know there are some towns in the Ozarks where Casey’s may be the only place to buy a craft beer. (If you are one of those folks, ask Casey’s to get some Piney River Beer for you!)
On our way home from Grellner, we stopped in and met the owner at Triplett’s in Licking. He had Piney River beers right there next to the “big guys”. Doug at S&S Package in Houston also chatted with us for a bit. He’s selling Piney River four-packs and as singles which allows people the opportunity to try one before they buy the entire four-pack. And we can’t overlook Houston’s Pit Stop which has supported craft beer in the Ozarks for a long time, and they are thrilled to have a locally crafted beer to sell in their store.
We were home and working in the BARn by 10:30 a.m., hanging more white pine on the walls. With the help of my dad, we about got a 60′ X 8′ wall covered. Whew. He was so tired, he wouldn’t even take any beer home with him as thanks for his help.
We stopped for dinner, went back out to the brewery to set up for being open on Saturday, and headed back out about 7:30. Since we hadn’t been to Rolla in a few hours, we headed back that way and stopped in at The Speakeasy, a new 1920’s style bar that recently opened in downtown Rolla. The Speakeasy was very cool, definitely a good place to spend some time on a Friday night. Currently, our McKinney Eddy Amber Ale is on tap at The Speakeasy, and you may see some more Piney River brews there very soon.
Our evening wasn’t over though, from Rolla we drove to Salem to the Horseshoe Bar and Grill, a new restaurant/bar that opened late last year. Although the owners at the Horseshoe hope to add some more taps, they are currently offering McKinney Eddy Amber Ale in its Piney Pint form, and they are selling a few of them. They have hopes of putting in a set of “local” taps in the near future.
Brian and I finally closed our eyes about 1:30 the following morning…a pretty late night for us. I told Brian that the breweries in urban areas have it easy, just walking a few blocks to find their beer on tap. In rural America, you have to cover a lot of miles between the brewery and the places that have you on tap, but that’s what we love about bringing craft beer to the Ozarks. We know how to celebrate those wonderful places in between us and the stores and restaurants that are serving their local craft beer!
Saturday was another great day at the brewery. We had a lot of “regulars” and a lot of newcomers as well. We love the way people enjoy sitting down with a pint and taking in the tap room in the works, the cows and calves in the pasture, the sunshine and fire pit outside. We are so glad the BARn is place that people want to come back to! Thank you for letting us be a part of the good times in your lives!
Sunday wasn’t a day to sit around either. We had a brite tank full of Missouri Mule India Pale Ale to can. We kegged some of the IPA, then we cranked out 84 cases of beer that already has a destination point in its future…Springfield, MO. That’s right, on Friday Heart of America Beverage Company is sending their first beer truck in. They are taking Missouri Mule IPA and McKinney Eddy Amber Ale to the thirsty people in Southwest Missouri. Lance Forsee and the folks and Heart of America already have a plan in place to distribute our beer to selected locations in Southwest Missouri, and we are looking forward to sharing those locations with you very soon.
About 7:30 tonight Brian and I sat down to a dinner of leftovers and Rompo Red Rye Ale that was brought to us in a growler from Jackalope Brewing in Nashville, TN. The beer was good, but the long weekend of work was even better.
“Heckuva weekend,” I said to Brian.
Brian gave me a high five and quoted a line from Tom Asacker, that has been our mantra since we began this thing called Piney River Brewing Company–“The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”
Cheers to all of you–the distributors, the sales teams, the retail stores, the restaurant and bar owners, the customers that visit us and the places that carry our beer. You are the best, and you give us the inspiration to keep “doing” craft beer in the Ozarks every day!