After five years of brewing great beer, we’ve seen a lot–and we’ve learned even more. On the eve of our 5th Beerthday we’d share five “lessons learned” from our first half decade.
Five Lessons from Five Years at Excelsior Brewing
1. If you can only have one beer on tap, make it malt liquor!
When we opened in 2012, we had a few kinks to work out of our brewing system. Kinks that led to an inaugural batch of surprisingly tasty and shockingly potent beer. Bridge Jumper was born and fueled a legendary grand opening for the ages (that no one who drank it remembers).
What this taught us: Only bust out the good stuff for special occasions. Like our fifth Beerthday weekend July 1st, where we are resurrecting original Bridge Jumper for a limited time run.
2. If you build it they will come… even if it is a work in progress
Who would go to a taproom with plastic lawn chairs, no TV and a single bathroom?
Turns out an s-load of people, that’s who.
Prior to our taproom expansion in 2014, that was our value proposition. And yet, people came in such droves that we were forced to more than double our space and seriously up our interior design game.
We added an expansive bar, actual furniture, an outdoor seating area and the novelty of separate bathrooms! It’s still the same five conversations every night, but now they’re happening in a great atmosphere.
What this taught us: Great beer is vital, but what makes this brewery unique is our patrons.
3. The DNR is pretty bad ass
Turns out if you make beer out of zebra mussels and milfoil, you get a ton of media attention. Unfortunately the DNR guys also noticed and harvesting invasive species without a permit is illegal.
What this taught us: You can’t pay a DNR fine in beer. So if you enter our bass tourney on July 22nd, buy a fishing license!
4. Beer lovers are diverse
People show up at the taproom for any number of reasons. It could be the great beer or because we’re dog friendly or bike accessible. Maybe they love our live music, cribbage, yoga, the farmer’s market or myriad other event offerings. The thing is that once they come, they always come back. Even at 2pm on a Tuesday (!) .
What this taught us: What brings you here isn’t important, but what makes you stay is. To that end we offer great beer an awesome location and friendly staff.
5. Everyone wants in
Perhaps the best lesson in five years of brewing beer is that EVERYONE wants to help. This applies when you are building out a taproom, staffing said taproom, constructing a website or anything else.
For a pint and a handshake people will bust their tail for you just to be able to be a part of a collaboration like this.
What this taught us: The Lake Minnetonka community is a special place. We already knew it, but it has been reinforced a million times in a million ways.
To thank you for being a part of it and in honor of your commitment to us, we’d like to invite you to our Beerthday Party on Saturday, July 1st. We’ll not only celebrate the memories, but to begin to build some new ones. We’ll have
· Live music from Bitter Roots, Sonically Speaking and Ipso Facto · A 5k road race
· Original Bridge Jumper on tap
· A few surprises
In lieu of gifts we ask that you bring a canned food item for ICA food shelf.
Join us, it won’t be the same without you. Together we can work to make our next five years even better.