But seriously though, we had fun writing our contest submission, and we thought you might have fun reading it. Much of it will sound pretty familiar to regular readers of our blog (both of you), but here it is anyway for your reading pleasure (bonus points if you can spot the moment in the narrative when we said "to hell with it, we're not gonna win anyway. We might as well enjoy writing it").
Bone Up Brewing: Made From Ingredients.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves (where are our manners?). We’re Liz and Jared Kiraly, the founders of Bone Up Brewing Company! We’re an easygoing husband and wife duo that loves brewing - and drinking - delicious beer. Having lived and worked in the Boston area for nearly a decade, we’re proud to call it home and are thrilled to add our fermentables to the burgeoning beer scene. Though Bone Up Brewing Company isn't quite open for business just yet, we’re well on our way (we've received our federal brewing permits and our Massachusetts permits are underway), and we've got some big ideas.
Our branding - like our beer, the fixtures in our taproom, and our head brewer's "lazy pants" that might just be stapled-together blankets - is handmade by us. And, like our beer (but not so much the pants), we're pretty durn proud of it. Most of our artwork centers around our logo character, who is a dapper mustachioed skeleton named Horatio (though often, as in the logo itself, you just see his face). The choice to use a skeleton is inspired in part by a literal interpretation of the name of our flagship beer, Extra Naked, though it was also inspired by the fact that we think skeletons are cool. We've concocted a McDonaldLand-esque world that Horatio inhabits - and if you’ll bear with us, we’ll bring you there on the Ship of Imagination...
Imagine if you will, a land where the tributaries flow freely with beer and one can lounge lazily in a lake lousy with meringue whilst sipping a refreshing Key Lime White. A world where the scent of freshly hopped wort wafts down the avenues and alleys and all the bars have free chips. It's here in that we see our hirsute hero, Horatio Skellingham, commute to work in a hollowed out orange, zesting his way through a rich Chocolate Stout river. After a full day’s work, he likes to round out the afternoon with a brisk constitutional accompanied by El Pulpo, his pet octopus, who is keen to chase the many fermentation goblins that shimmy through the shadows. At the end of this walk is, of course, the Bone Up Brewing Company taproom where he can enjoy the company of his neighbors and reflect on the day's events over a pint of Wasted Life IPA (or, if he's in the mood for a pint that nigh-on demands he follow it with a second one, Extra Naked Premium Ale). If it's a warm enough evening in scenic Everett, Massachusetts, he may take his glass to the twinkling beer garden outside, where the background noise of children playing ladder ball and the soft clinks of pints meeting over bright chatter all but silence the pervasive thought of "before Bone Up, this place was such a dump."
Sure, we make tasty beer. The best, in fact (hence our slogan, “Made from Ingredients”). But we're firmly aware that, in the bulk of our best beer experiences, the beer isn't center-stage. What's most memorable is the company, or the events of the night, or even the food. Much like the host of a good party, beer should guide the night in subtle but noticeable ways instead of calling all the attention to itself. And that sums up our first and foremost goal - we want to make beer that facilitates relaxing and having a good time (after all, the best possible compliment a beer can get is “can I have more?”), and provide a space that encourages doing so. In a lot of ways, we’re trying to make our own version of The Moon Under Water (our version, incidentally, will be almost exactly nothing like Orwell’s).
In order to create the welcoming atmosphere we’re looking for, we’re going to need to do a little more than just serve pints and fill growlers. As we mentioned previously, pubs aren't quite the community meeting place they once were, so we've got to convince people that we’re in it for the greater good. To (mis)quote the great Ray Smuckles: "we got to dodge this crazy stigma that a bar is a bad place to spend your time. A bar is a place where drunk people smoke and say things they haven't thought about. This is a ‘public house,’ you know? It's kind of just a room where life happens, and you can eat tasty food and put back a few pints. It's like your childhood, but with pints."
We first need to breathe life into a place was until recently in a state of total neglect: we’re creating a beer garden out of a dirt patch that's currently occupied by a broken cement mixer, some old rebar, and - perplexingly - the bench seats from a quarter dozen minivans. Our taproom (formerly an industrial laundry) will comfortably seat several dozen fine folks and offer flights and pints of our four flagships, as well as taproom exclusives and one-offs. We’ll have a few lawn games, a couple books to read, some coloring books for the kiddies, local food trucks on weekends, and oh but it will be ever so much fun!
Once that’s up and running, we've got some cool ideas for events to host for our local community: small music performances, charity events, chili cook-offs, trivia nights, food truck festivals, beer education events, and more (Jared is lobbying pretty hard to have “more” in this context mean “Mario Kart”). The brewery’s urban location also allows us to create private label brews for the dozens of craft beer bars and restaurants nearby. And what’s more, if the government will allow it, we'd like to focus part of our business on crafting personalized beers for weddings, charity fundraisers, and other events (preference will be given to those of the taco-related variety). And since we have an in-house design team (i.e. Liz), we’ll be able to offer custom glasses to go with those custom beers! Sure, it’ll be a lot of hands-on time with our customers, but why wouldn't we want to get to know our adoring fans? And in the unlikely scenario that the aforementioned event can’t drink up a whole tank of beer, we can always put some of it on draft in our taproom so any Johnny-come-latelies can still join in the festivities! After all, what better way to cap off a celebration than to share the spoils with your neighbors?