As our first calendar year comes to a close, we paused amid the chaos of growth to look back at all the “firsts” we accomplished in the 16 months we’ve been open. It’s been a wild ride, and as we sit here writing this--with beers in hand--the taproom is bustling with energy, pint glasses and growlers are getting filled and the brewery is humming along in the background.
In no particular order, a few of the “firsts” we’re most proud about:
- We hired our first employee, Andy, a Waukesha native. Shortly after joining us as a beertender he joined the team full-time as an apprentice brewer. We have since grown our team to 19 people.
- We sold a keg of beer to our first account, Bernie’s Taproom, in Downtown Waukesha. After the first keg rolled out of the brewery, we’ve added over 50 accounts and our beer can be found throughout Waukesha and Milwaukee.
- We brewed our first 100 barrels of beer in early January, followed shortly thereafter by our second, third, fourth and fifth hundred barrels of beer and counting. So far, we’ve brewed 99 batches of beer. Our 100th brew will be on January 2nd, and you can expect something extraordinary!
- We completed our first brewery expansion in May, adding two more fermenters and a brite tank. This 30% expansion was necessary to help us keep up with demand for our beers both in our taproom and the accounts we have in the Waukesha and Milwaukee areas.
- We won our first award, a Gold Medal for our Paradocs Red IIPA at the North American Beer Awards, then our second and third medals. The year was capped off by a Gold Medal at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival®, again for our Paradocs Red.
- We celebrated our first anniversary, joined by over 1,500 of our very closest friends that helped us kick 21 half barrels in a single day.
- We served our first pizza out of our very own food truck. Food was highly requested, and with no room to put a kitchen, we built out a food truck (really, an amazing kitchen) parked out semi-permanently behind the brewery.
- Our first bottles rolled off the line and will be seen on retailers shelves in the area. We ran out sooner than we expected and are scurrying to get more Paradocs Red ready to bottle.
2017 will be another year of dizzying growth. We will continue to expand our distribution footprint, so you’ll be able to order your favorite Raised Grain beer at a growing number of bars and restaurants. You’ll be able to grab bottles at any number of liquor stores as we continue to spin up our bottling program.
And you’ll be able to count on an amazing variety of Boldly Brewed Beers whenever you join us at our taproom and brewery. We have 13 beers on tap, and we’re always rotating new beers on. Grab a brewery-exclusive bottle of something new we whip up or take a growler with you of any of the beers we have on tap.
-Nick, Scott, Jimmy and Kevin