On Saturday, July 19th, we celebrated the one year anniversary of Crooked Run! One year ago, Lee Rogan and I opened the brewery for the first time. At 25 and 26 years old, we were some of the youngest brewers in the business. We barely had any money, but thanks to the great people that donated to our Kickstarter project, we had built our 1.5 BBL electric system and had just brewed our first two beers. There may not have been much furniture or even paint on the walls, but it was do-or-die time. I had two weeks to make rent, and I was completely broke. I remember the incredible feeling as I drove in to the brewery on that beautiful summer morning. Wow!
Now, a year has passed, and it has been a great one. The support from the community, the town, and visitors has been amazing. I have had the chance to meet so many great people and make new friends. With a lot of help from you all, and a bit of luck, I am so happy to be where I am today!
The anniversary party was, to put it mildly, “off the chain.” It was absolutely packed from open to close, and I have never poured so much beer and washed so many glasses. We had six beers on tap, including our special anniversary beer, Nature’s Wrath, a brett trois triple IPA. Friends brought in some delicious cake and cupcakes made with Summer Night and incredibly good soft pretzels, which we gave out in appreciation for all the great support.
I’d like to thank my mom, who helped me bartend until she moved to Guatemala in January, Sean and Trisha Adams, who have helped build most of the stuff you see in the brewery, Mike Clay, who built the system, the Lost Rhino crew, for helping me out every week, Corey, Brent, and Rick, who have helped brew quite a bit of beer, the folks at Hop & Wine, my great bartenders Buster and MT, virtuoso Tim Dugan, Sten Sellier at Beltway, and my great and supportive girlfriend Brigitte and her family! A big thank you to all you restaurant managers who took a chance on a little beer called Shadow of Truth. Most of all, I want to thank my partner Lee. A man of true character and strength, he has been there from those first days turning wrenches on the system.
There have been some very trying times. Besides the hours and ramen noodles, two points I will really remember are working my butt off with Lyme disease all through November, and bartending on one foot after my motorcycle crash. Fortunately, that stuff knocked me down, but not out, and as long as I have a pulse, I’ll keep trying my hardest.
What’s in store for the future? First, Lee and I are excited to announce that our two flagship beers will be Red Kolsch and True Vision IPA. It was really tough to narrow it down, but it seems you all enjoy these beers, and I am working on offering these beers in six-pack cans in the not-too-distant future. Second, some of you may already know that we are working on expanding. Things are moving along, and I will keep you all posted on our progress.
In the mean time, I look forward to brewing more beer and seeing all of you again, or for the first time if you haven’t had a chance to come by. So, this is year two–let’s make it a great one!