Holy Cow! What a rush!
We knew we'd be busy......We knew people had been anxious for us to open for a while.....We knew there would a be a learning curve..... but moving from soft opening samplings to full on OPEN for business was the craziest thing we could have imagined...times ten!
I'm currently sitting at the bar in the taproom with a pint of our Cream Lager (the most popular brew of the weekend) to my right, and about fifteen open tabs on my browser window as I scramble to reach back out to all of the social media inquiries that had been sent our way since about 2pm on Friday afternoon. To those of you thinking that the brewery was slacking on social media...you're probably right. And for that, we're sorry. One of our beertenders got a video of me unlocking the doors at 2:59 and holding them open as a slew of wonderful beer lovers came flooding through the door. After that, phones went in pockets and our hands were too busy pouring pints, arranging sampler flights and collecting glassware to pull them back out again. So, a big thank you to all of you fantastic people who snapped a story, grammed an instant and booked some faces while you were here at the tap room! It was truly surreal to see so many people in the space that had been typically populated by Kevin and I and the occasional contractor or helping friend. And to flip through all of our notifications and see the moments roll through again from your perspective was a great encore to finishing up a fantastic three days here at Boathouse Brothers Brewing Company.
Thank you to the City of Prior Lake! And we really mean the whole dang city! From the local residents who followed our progress and eagerly awaited a local craft beer they could be proud of to our neighbors and businesses who put up with almost a years worth of construction and remodeling, right over to the city government as well who helped us navigate the licensing and permitting issues which can be very daunting for a new business, all of you were key factors in keeping us going to this end goal, opening day.
In even just the first few hours, we found plenty of things that we would like to fix. CO2 and carbonation became an issue and we worked frantically to try to correct the situation throughout the night and following day. We'll be improving the carb levels significantly over the next few days so thank you for your patience. We have more stools and chairs on order and our merchandise display for t-shirts and such will be getting a makeover as well. If those are the worst problems we have, then I count myself a lucky man.
Even more impressive than the lack of major problems, was the extremely pleasant surprises. Our staff was fantastic and handled the thirsty crowd like champs. Our family came out to support us and even spent a lot of time collecting glassware so we could clean them up and send them out full of beer asap. Friends we hadn't seen in months caught flights from other states and even countries to come see us for opening weekend. Our Growler Club members were already back for a second fill on some of their beers. The food trucks out front served up hundreds of delicious meals that went great with our beers, local establishments hand
delivered takeout orders right to our guests in the taproom and quite a few beer lovers packed a picnic basket of their own and sat down to enjoy their spread along with our beer. It was also wonderful to see people take that extra half-second pause and look around a building they had known on Main Avenue for decades and realize the whole new face-lift it had gotten a how much work we had put into it.
But best of all was definitely........You all drank A LOT of beer!! I'm not talking, "oh wow, the
recycling bin is kinda full after the family weekend" kinda beer. I'm talking about, "I will be brewing for a week and a half straight, just to make the same about as what we poured yesterday" kinda beer!
So, from the very bottom of my heart, and my now empty pint glass, THANK YOU! You have made over a decade of dreaming, planning, brewing, and building a reality that I could not be happier to share with you all.
Emmett Swartout - Brewer/Owner/Luckiest guy in the world
Boathouse Brothers Brewing Company
Prior Lake, MN