So the first quarter of 2017 is behind us, and this tax day, Saturday, April 15th, 2017, marks our first year open at 111 E. Oak St. We couldn't be happier with the year we've had, and the number of unique, smiling faces we've seen in the past twelve months... Almost 2,200 unique smiling faces, to be exact! It's been a long road to get to this point, so we figured it'd be appropriate to take a quick look back and see how far we've come.
Build out on the brewery began in October 2015. It was cold as winter approached, and the shell of the building had just been finished. There, squeezed between 406 Brewing Company, and the also-to-be-constructed space of Wildrye Distilling, sat a bare, empty room waiting for its facelift.
Luckily, we had master woodworker, international man of mystery, and verifiable sasquatch of a man, Matt Moeller, of Wildrye Distilling, working just within range to give us some frequent and much-needed pointers. With a great deal of his input and guidance, we erected a hall way, a walk-in cooler, and a wall to divide the two spaces.
We worked late into mostly every night/morning, driving hundreds of screws and installing hundreds of square feet of FRP using buckets of glue.
We cut a lot of boards and we sanded a lot of wood. Then we swept and vacuumed hundreds of pounds of sawdust.
We wire-wheeled and stained hundreds of feet of trim, burned dozens of pounds of sage, and sanded more wood until we were probably legally insane.
We built a bar from the ground up using two slabs of beetle-kill Ponderosa pine that were expertly hand-scribed together by DZB Partner, Jesse Barney.
Along the way, Dean took every detail into consideration, including a kid's water-fill station, a hidden under-bar gem shelf, a hanging PA system for bumping tunes and live music, a piece of trim that looks like an alligator, the cherry corner bar support that looks like a giraffe, as well as power outlets, USB ports, and hand-made coat hooks under every bar seat.
It was a marathon and a labor of love that took six and a half months and the help of dozens of capable and generous humans who used their enumerable skills to build us custom tables and chairs, plumbing, electrical, specialty floors, paint, lighting, air flow, and more.
When Wildrye was schedule to "soft-open," we honestly weren't ready to be open for good, but we knew we had to have something on tap for the flood of folks who would be walking by our door. We harvested what we could to have 5 kegs on tap... one of each flavor. It was surreal to finally be pouring Kombucha out of our taps. We were on top of the world!
That is, until those 5 kegs ran out 5 days later. We closed for four days in order to ready four more kegs for the next weekend. When the dust settled Monday morning, those were totally gone too.
In the process of our opening week, we learned that Bozeman loves Kombucha more than we initially thought (but not more than we hoped), and that we had work to do to catch up. So the doors remained locked for over two weeks until our first production batch was done.
When we could finally reopen, we were off to the races to discover that we still couldn't keep up with the overwhelming demand. We sold out 10 times in 2016, closing our doors for 45 total days throughout the year. Since then, we've taken steps to get our production up so that we can continue expanding our and retail outlets and menu of flavors for this year (more on that soon!).
We also learned that lot of folks are excited to learn to brew their own Booch! At this very moment, we're finalizing the curriculum and getting ever so close to hosting the first of many Booch Club events to do just that. We've even been working with the Big Sky County Fair to set the criteria for the fair's first-ever Blue Ribbon for Kombucha Brewing! The future is really bright and we're having so much fun watching the world of Booch grow around us.
So, before we launch headlong into year two without so much as a ceremonial nod to year one, we invite all of you, our beloved friends, family, and fellow Booch Lovers, to join us in the brewery on Saturday to gently commemorate the last year of soft-open business. A "one-year-old-but-not-yet-quite-grand-open-but-hopefully-soonish" party. Please bring your friends, but don't tell too many people or we might sell out... ;)
With love, amazement, gratitude, and joy,
Joe, Dean, Griff & Jesse
The DZB Crew