NHBC Autumn Festival 2016The First Annual Autumn Festival
“No drinking before 3 p.m.!”
“I’m helping Michael test the beer!”
And thus began the first annual Northern Harvest Brewing Company Autumn Festival. Well, not exactly. To leave out the blood, sweat, and tears that went into planning the party wouldn’t be a fair representation of our time. From the blood drawn from Gabe’s hands while building the bar, to the sweat put in by Cassie and her crew of cooks (thanks, Elliot and Wes) to get that delicious chili ready, and the tears from when I had to go pick up the 8 dozen cider and pumpkin donuts from Gunnison’s orchards the day of the party… Tears because I couldn’t eat them on the way home, as they were “for our guests…”
Campers, campees, and partiers began rolling into our field just after noon, eager to start. When we (officially) tapped the kegs, there were six draft lines to choose from: 5 of our own, 1 served through a pumpkin, and a guest tap of Nine Pin Cider for our gluten free friends (which could be made “special” with the addition of a particular cinnamon whiskey). Throughout the day we poured our Marzen-Ale (Octoberfest), Pumpkin Ale, Belgian White, American Wheat, Citra Pale Ale, Double IPA, Hefeweizen, and once darkness fell, our Oatmeal Stout. Chili & mac and cheese, and plenty of snacks were available all day as well. Last, but not least, there was a monstrous bonfire that “would never start.” But did, and kept our guests nice and toasty while they sipped on Octoberfest and Oatmeal Stout.
At one point during the afternoon, Gabe and Cassie filled in for me behind the bar and poured for our guests (“It’s hard work schmoozing!” was followed by Gabe’s requisition to stand behind the bar). I didn’t mind. This allowed me to step back, lean against the apple tree that sheltered the bar, and really take it all in.
To the left of the bar, a “good old boys” club had formed, kids and adults alike were playing ladder golf and beanbag toss, and a large crowd had already gathered around the sizable fire pit. It smelled like autumn. Everything was right with the world.
Despite the craziness that went into planning and holding the party, at the end of the (next) day, the three of us sat down to reflect… The consensus was clear. Throwing a party was a lot of fun! We’re all up for it… And if you’re all up for it next year, we’ll see you October 14, 2017!