It seems impossible that it’s almost September. But here we are, with the last weekend of August upon us, and the brewery has been cranking out beers for 3 months already!
I’m sorry for the obscenely long delay in posts but things have been wonderfully busy since we opened our doors on Memorial Day weekend. In an effort to get everyone caught up, I thought we’d recap a bit.
Our first day of pouring at the taproom was Saturday, May 27th. Between Saturday at noon and Monday at 7pm we sold around 2,300 beers and almost 700 items from the kitchen! Luckily, everyone seemed to spread themselves out across the three days. We purposefully waited to post anything about opening until just a couple days beforehand to avoid an onslaught and it’s a good thing we did!
Since opening up we’ve enjoyed a nice steady stream of people from all over. Local support and the regulars have been a huge constituent while each day we meet someone new and continue to expand that base of regulars. Thursdays and Fridays have proven to be a good day to come when it’s not too busy while Saturdays and Sundays tend to get nice and crazy right around 3:30 each day.
Gabe has been hard at work, just barely able to keep up with demand, producing some truly incredible beers. We started with 6 beers on draft and are now up to a steady 10. The variety and quality have been impressive. So far, including the beers on now, we’ve tapped the following:
Idaho 7 Pale Ale
Fine Creek House Saison
Game Winner Citra/Amarillo IPA
Grizzly Wizard Tart Grisette
Azacca Sour Pale Ale
Grilled Peach Grodziskie
Thai Tea Milk Stout
Tractor Juice Belgian Double IPA
Farmhouse Fünke Blueberry Grisette
Citra Wakatu IPA
Turf and Twig Brown Ale
New Zealand Saison
Azacca Pale Ale
Kettle Soured Lemon Zest Cream Ale
Idaho 7 Double IPA
Czech Style Pilsner
Patersbier Belgian Table Beer
There's also many in the works from a Belgian Dubbel and Tripel to Barrel Aged Sours; from a Porter to a Sweet Potato Old Ale; from an Oktoberfest to a Weizenbock.
Given our little 3-barrel system, some of these have only made it through 2 weekends before they’re gone and we’re on to something else. Without any distribution, canning or bottling, we’re relying solely on pint and growler sales in the taproom. Our Crowler machine will be here in around 5-6 weeks which we’re very excited about. In terms of production, it ought to keep Gabe even more on his toes than he already is.
In addition to our beers, Sarah along with Lisa, Chris, Beth and Pierre have been able to create some amazing food out of our small kitchen. Sarah has been able to source locally more than we thought possible, and we’re producing as much as we can out of our own kitchen gardens. Our menu has changed up every weekend with certain mainstays coming back but with new items making their way into the rotation each week. We’ve been pleasantly surprised to see how much of our sales have been made up by food sales.
Daniel already has the taproom running like a well-oiled machine which is amazing to see in action on those busy days. Our entire staff has far exceeded expectations and certainly a big reason folks keep returning week after week.
Our social media presence has no doubt been a big contributor to our success as well which falls into Hannah’s lap. Through her business, To The Fourth, she has been able to convey the image and feel of what we see ourselves as accurately online which is no easy feat. Her photos (all these in this post included) and targeted posts have had people’s mouths watering for the past three months!
With everyone holding down the fort so well at the taproom, it’s freed us up to do things like our first beer festival this past weekend. Gabe, Hannah, Lauren and I all got to pour our Thai Tea Milk Stout and our Tart Grisette to eager festival goers at the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest in Charlottesville. The response was fantastic and definitely encouraged us to look into doing more events.
This weekend we’re wrapping up the summer with our second cookout. The previous one was a whole pig roast, a few weeks back, which resulted in our busiest day to date. Hopefully this Sunday’s Half Chicken Extravaganza replicates that energy. We’re also releasing our Cantaloupe Saison this weekend while Cook County Bluegrass makes their way back to our taproom.
All in all we’ve been extremely happy with turnout and response from everyone and there’s no doubt this will continue as Gabe, Sarah, Dan, Hannah and the entire team continue to help make this brewery a Powhatan mainstay and the intended escape for those in Richmond, Charlottesville and beyond.
I know I promise this every time, and usually end up failing miserably, but the intention truly is to keep up with this blog on a more regular basis. With as many exciting things as we have going on out here there’s definitely not an excuse of a lack of material!
Hope to see everyone out at the taproom soon. Cheers,