Updated: Aug 3, 2017
For those of you who couldn't make it to the staff shindig, I wanted to write a summary of what was discussed during the meeting so everyone can be in the know.
First off, thank you to everyone for making Ol Republic what it is. We make good beer, but the staff makes this a company that everyone wants to be a part of. This is the first year we sold more beer through wholesale accounts than through the tap room. After finishing the major expansion of the brewery last year, we focused on making more beer, moving more people into the brew house to make that beer, and creating a strong sales force to sell that beer. We did that, and with the fermenting tanks at capacity, we have had to focus on brewing beer that is in highest demand, and sacrifice brewing some of the beers that we love. We are looking to put in a few more smaller fermenting tanks to allow us to do small runs of old favorites like the Lucky Joe and Pub Ale, and some more Project x beers, which we could put on tap at the taproom.
Second, the #taproom. You may have noticed a few changes in the taproom. Hopefully they have all been good. Thank you to all the taproom people who have made this a hub of the community. People may walk in for the beer, but they keep coming in and staying because of you. None of you are just beer tenders, you are a unique group of individuals from varied backgrounds, and you each bring that into the taproom and give it character and personality. Soon, the taproom will get the facelift it deserves. This includes expanding the walk in to fit more and bigger tanks, adding taps directly from the wall and allowing customers to come sit at the bar and talk to you. This will require the taproom to close for a few weeks, but it won't happen until after the roadhouse is up and running.
Third, the #roadhouse. We know that especially those in the taproom get asked about the 5 mile house ALL THE TIME. So this is where we are: in escrow. If you've ever been in escrow, this can be a frustrating place. We are looking to close by the end of August, and will keep everyone updated if (hopefully not when) that changes. It will be called "The Ol Republic Roadhouse and Brewery." We will have food. We will have beer. We will have liquor. We will probably have music on the patio. We are going to move things around inside. It will be a new and better beast than it was before.
About the food: Continental comfort food. We will be honoring local farms by using the things they provide to us and making them the shine in the best way possible. We will honor blue collar food, food traditionally eaten by those who work with their hands, from any country, but give it the attention it deserves to bring out the best from the ingredients. We will be grinding our meats, baking our own bread, firing pizzas in the pizza oven, stuffing our own sausage. From scratch whenever possible and/or sane.
If anyone comes in asking questions about the roadhouse, feel free to give them Dennis' or Jenn's business card. If they ask a question and you don't know the answer, post it on Facebook and we will answer it so you can be prepared for the next customer who walks in and asks.
Lastly, a lot of great thoughts were tossed around. Sarah asked for a list of what beers were being brewed so we can answer truthfully when someone asks, "When is Clouds of Jupiter coming back? Are you ever going to brew Lucky Joe again?" There is now a sheet in the front of the taproom binder that lists what is being brewed in the brewhouse, and what is going to be brewed in the future. Some ideas were thrown around about increasing everyone's product and general beer knowledge, probably in form of beer school. Look for an announcement about that in the coming week. We have a Facebook page called ORB Insider News that is a great place to post questions or ideas, or other interesting beer specific news. If you haven't been invited yet, friend Dennis Yadroff on Facebook and we will get you added.
I think that's it. After that we made rafts and tried to row across the river, with varying degrees of success.