As I type these words, I am still nursing some bad blisters on the bottoms of both feet. The sunburn on my chest is only bested by the little patch on the back of my neck…. you know, that spot you think you covered with SPF5000 but inevitably kept missing every time you tried to reapply. The cold Watermelon Cream Ale in my glass is helping immensely, and will be refilled a few times over the next few paragraphs. So, yeah, let’s talk about Gobletstock 5 and what begins BGob 3.0.
We knew it was going to be a special day when the fire chief showed up with 2 ladder trucks and told us how excited they were for us to open and that they wanted to roll out the red carpet. It never ceases to amaze us how awesome all the first responders and volunteers are that we have met over the last 5 years. We also knew it was going to be a hot one, and I recall saying to someone, “I sure hope people actually show up in this heat”. HA. 5 hours later, I am STILL in the 3rd overflow parking lot, having a nervous break down about where we will put more cars, and we closed the lots down 3 hours prior. Yep – you all showed up. All 1,600+ of you. We know this by the wrist bands given out, in case you are wondering. And with all those people, and all the logistics, and all the heat, you all were awesome, understanding, gracious, flexible, and we cannot thank you enough. It was a great day, truly, and we could not have asked for a better welcome party. I want to put this in perspective – there are breweries 10x the volume of ours that have 1/10th of the support that you all show us. It is so humbling. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
I really wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to some other very special folks, and do so a little more verbosely. They deserve it. First up – the 35 volunteers we had…. these folks give up a saturday every year (really two, with Hoppy Halloween), but in July, in the beating sun, and they never complain. All they get, literally, is a lousy t-shirt – and our undying gratitude. The parking guys had no tent to retreat to, and were in that sun for hours and hours to try and assist you in any way they could. The folks at the two entrances, including some of our Irregulars, stayed at their posts and never let a line build. Ever. Our relatives at the outside ticket booth were troopers in that heat as well, again keeping the lines moving swiftly for those precious drink tickets. Our friends from Lead the Way Dog Training were out in the heat all day serving from the beer trailers and manning the Geppetto’s Drinking Machines (which seemed to be a smashing success, thank you Kristina and your dad!). Inside, our moms and wives and kids and friends helped run the merch table and the tickets table and the special services table. It truly is a family affair at these events, if you have not noticed. Uncle Bob and Ed rounded out the volunteers by cleaning trash as quickly as it came, once again, in an effort to make your day more enjoyable. We simply could not run these scaled up events with out all of you, and we thank you so very much.
The BGob staff is so freaking good, that I have run out of superlatives to use. Instead, I will use the paraphrased words of another brewery owner who said the following to me – “Your staff is so friendly in these high pressure situations, it’s really impressive. They smile the entire time, they crack jokes, it’s really something to see. I’d like a staff like this”. And that is true – the whole gang is like a family at this point, and these events are becoming old hat to them, which is scary and awesome at the same time.
A party like this at a brewery would not be worth anything, and no one would come, if the beer didn’t deliver – and we are so proud of what Bubba, Dan Long and Justin accomplished in order to bring 50 freaking beers to you for this event. And they weren’t the same NEIPA done 11 different ways. Remember – we were only allowed to brew new beers 12 days before the event – there was no time to whip up an amazing hazy IPA or brand new belgian – they had to work with what they could, and they just did an amazing job. I think you agreed with that sentiment – 3816 pints were poured, actually more since we had 12oz pours as well, but since we cant track that over the day, I think we are ok with saying THREE THOUSAND, EIGHT HUNDRED and SIXTEEN pints of beer poured. Wow.
There is one last person that I want to call out for some special attention – this party takes an incredible amount of planning and logistics, and with the move to the new spot, everything was upended and we had to start from scratch. Without Kate Sweeney, none of this would have happened. It is a monumental task to coordinate all the food trucks, all the volunteers, all the beers, all the small details, but yet, there is Kate and her goddamned binder, on top of everything. Just imagine trying to manage 50 beers on tap lines, lining up styles to assist with line cleanings, timings based on ABV, and keg volumes based on where they would be poured. It’s like calculus – and Kate does it effortlessly. That is just one small piece of the puzzle. She is indispensable and an amazing part of the team, and we love her to death, even if she threatens to kick our asses weekly.
This brings me all the way to the end, which is a beginning – BGob 3.0. Where do we go from here? Up. We go up. We have some incredible events planned for the next several months, we have the kitchen on track to open, and we have some new beers on the horizon that we are so excited to brew – beers we have not been able to do and/or do well. Does that mean more IPAs? Yep, we have to, just look at the marketplace. But we are more excited for the OTHER beers – a Bock and a Dopplebock, this Pilsner we have been waiting to brew for 2 years, several lagers, the Fritz’s Bakery Collaboration Pasty Stout, and a bunch more. Look for some other collabs with breweries around the area as well now that we can finally focus on what we set out to do in the first place – brew beer, have fun events, laugh and make others laugh. We think we are on to something special, and we are glad you are along for the ride.