Irrigation Ales is now 10 months old and ready for 2023! Jennifer and I are truly in awe of all that 2022 brought and the things we've learned. Consider this post as our business Christmas card yearly recap to family and friends.
We started last January by installing our milk tanks turned brew kettles, pouring a concrete bar, getting our new sign, got licensed to brew, and continued side-stepping the question "When are you guys opening"?
February allowed us to brew six beers in 11 days, finalize food/liquor licenses, and FINALLY on Friday, February 25th, 2022 we hosted our grand opening!
We were blown away by the local and state-wide support we received that weekend! To start we were only open Fridays and Saturdays. Even then Bill and I could hardly keep up with beer demand and I had a full-time job to juggle. A lot of afternoons turned into late nights brewing in the dark. Luckily dad retired from KS Bostwick Irrigation District that winter and was a lifesaver in the brewery with his help brewing, kegging, canning, and cleaning.
March brought KU a national championship and Tanner Johnson the title of "Irrigator of the Year".
In May I stepped down from my county economic development role to become a full-time brewer/janitor/bartender/charcuterie artist/quick books rookie/website maintainer/beer namer. Jennifer still is the true hero for being a full-time all-star in her teaching field while sharing many of my duties mentioned before. She's our rock for front-of-house service, staff scheduling, food curation, and taproom ambiance.
May gave us some breathing room to catch up on beer production and we expanded hours to include Thursdays, thankfully Andrew calls dibs on that day each week. By this time we had Jacob, Jaid, Andrew, and Ashleigh on our beertender squad. This allowed Jennifer and I to attend our first beer festival in Hays, America!
June brought us warm weather and an outdoor patio!
In late July we released Billy Beer with the ALES for ALS project to honor my grandpa Bill Mahin Sr. contributing nearly $1,000 to their cause. We worked with the City of Courtland and Adri's to create a downtown consumption district for Courtland Fun Day.
August allowed us to create some "slow tv" of our irrigation canals with our friend Dakota. We picked some grapes with our friends Dave and Leanne.
September brought us our first book signing thanks to Michael Travis for including us in Celebrating Kansas Breweries: People, Places, and Stories and on the back cover! We attended our second beer festival in Wichita hosted by the Kansas Craft Brewers Guild. We graduated from our 6-tap kegerator (thank you Riverbank Brewing) to our 12-tap kegerator (thank you Boiler Room Brewing). This allowed us to serve 8 beers on tap, our root beer, and two kombuchas from Morning Light Kombucha (plus a secret menu beer).
We tested Sundays in October to align with the Depot Market's end-of-the-year fall activities. Jitters and Wood Fired pizza food trucks and the build-your-own bloody mary beer bar was a hit! Look for more of this when the weather gets nicer this spring.
In November we released Saison DeJoia.
[Lists of brewing stats]