This is a weekend we will always remember! After many years of thinking about a brewery business, three years of planning and design, and two years of construction what a pleasure it was to open the doors of Hopshire Farm & Brewery and pull the taps to serve beer. If no one had shown up for our Grand Opening it still would have marked the culmination of a long haul of building our business. But people did show up. Boy did they! While we were packed on Friday night and much of Saturday it is not the number of people that impressed us the most. No… we are more impressed by the excitement, passion and thirst of our new and old friends.
What a great time we had. If those who attended enjoyed the weekend half as much as we did, then the years of hard work were worth it. The reception we got from our neighbors was humbling. We met neighbors who live close by (some who could walk to the brewery) who were thrilled to see the brewery open. Apparently, we are not alone in our interest in local beers. The words “patient” and “appreciative” best describe our customers. We did our best to keep up with tastings on Friday night and recognize that many of you had to wait to get to the bar. During the rest of the weekend it was great to see so many Hopshire growlers come back for refills.
Your feedback on our beer was informative and rewarding. How interesting it was to see each person go through our mellow-to-mighty progression and find their sweet spot. Those of you are hopheads were especially patient waiting to get to Near Varna. Well…..most of you were. Some could not help themselves and jumped ahead.
You might have guessed that Near Varna IPA was the big favorite based on growler fills. We stuffed as many hops as we could in that beer and it was rewarding to hear it compared to our favorite IPAs. We were less sure what you would think of our malty beers – Daddy-O and Shire Ale. Those also received extremely positive reactions and left in many growlers.
We want to especially note the support of our brewery peers who came to give us a positive send off. Bandwagon, Bacchus, Rogues Harbor and Ithaca Beer all had people in attendance. The owners of both New York Malt and Farmhouse Malt came to toast the growth of New York brewed beer as did John Grazul who grows hops at Rhizome Republic.
Rest assured that our tanks and fermenters still have lots of beer and we will open again at 4:00 on Wednesday to resume the fun.