- Published: April 13, 2013
I’ll be posting all day today from the Yellow Springs Brewery, 305 N Walnut St Suite B. It’s a rare and wonderful event to witness. Owners Nate Cornett and Lisa Wolters have done an amazing job standing up the business, but today holds surprises.
What beers and ales will they have on tap? Who will arrive as the business opens?
Mysteries for both customers and operators will be revealed today. The brewery offers seasonal beers so on opening day we will get a taste of what spring offers.
12:05am Back at home again, I hear the roar of the neighbors’ truck as Nate pulls it into their driveway. Get good sleep, Nate and Lisa; you’ve earned it. The brewery will be open again on Sunday 1-5pm. Good night, and sweet dreams.
10:15pm After hours with the staff, the owners and the lead brewer open a few bottles of the good stuff—home brews and top shelf standards—and ask the tasters what makes each sample special.
For all the questions answered today, many persist. Bottled here, with ambition and integrity, are the most important: What intrigues? What satisfies? What robustly sustains?
9:40pm Day is done. As the mops take over the taproom, I retreat into the working brewery. Beyond the tanks, I find an impressive cache of spent kegs from the opening.
9:20pm Lisa had the honor to let in her first customers of the day, and now that honor extends to grace as she thanks her evening customers. Watching her move round the room comfortably entering into conversation with those who remain, I have to remind myself that she has been up since 4:30am.
9:00pm The entrance into the taproom closes. The crowd is enjoying their final sips. The staff disperses from behind the bar and into the lingering crowd in order to mingle among friends.
8:51pm Last call!
8:45pm The line to order is now just a couple people deep, and the bouncer says to me, “Now’s the time.” Indeed. I bring forward my growler be filled. Porter please!
8:30pm I get back to the brewery just after sunset. There is talk of aurora borealis this evening, and the bouncer and I speculate that the MillWorks’ parking lot will be a good viewing spot. Inside the crowd has thinned, but still there are no seats free. I find a flat surface near the front door…the salt barrel I think…and set to typing.
7:25pm Five minutes later, he’s calling me to say the line is 20 people out the door. Hang in there, dear. The wait is worth it.
7:20pm At home, I hand off my camera and ask Jeremy to bring home a growler. What beer? His choice. He has fixed me a plate of spaghetti and, after loading a heaping plate and pouring a glass of milk for me, he heads out to see what the great commotion is about.
7:05pm Another keg is tapped; this one is a smoked brown ale. I catch Lisa’s parents just as they are heading out. Nate joins us looking a little tired. Honestly though, he seems to have paced himself well. The brewery will be open again tomorrow from 1-5pm, but Nate is even thinking ahead to next week wondering aloud what the crowd will be like on Thursday and Friday. I check online and find couples planning dates and several other folks who want to share the brewery experience with others. I feel the same way and call my husband. I tell him one of his good buddies is waiting at the bar for him. We arrange an exchange—he’ll take pictures and provide me with a couple status updates, and I’ll hang with our kids.
6:45pm More neighbors are streaming in now. Several area businesses have closed for the night, and their people have come to toast the new startup. Flying Mouse Farms is in the house as are doula Amy Chavez, AACW organizer Faith Patterson, and woodworker Paul De La Vergne.
6:30pm An old friend leads me in a jig. He shouts to the rafters, “We needed this, and it’s two blocks from my home!”
6:15pm Besides being a family affair, the brewery is also a community effort. The snack bowls are by Naysan McIlhargey from Miami Valley Pottery and the brewery’s bold logos were crafted by DJ and Justin Galvin, the brand designers of Clay + Stan.
6:00pm Good evening, Yellow Springs. Growlers are increasingly popular now. Made of dark brown glass and stamped with the brewery logo, each growler fills about 4 pint glasses. Customers are arriving who intend to take a container or two the home for the evening.
5:45pm The brewery is a family affair with both the members of Wolter and Cornett clans helping out. A second shift of family members is due soon. Lisa’s mom and I spend a few minutes waiting for them and marveling at the day’s events. The community response has been constant and tremendous. Lisa’s niece arrives—a good foot taller than when I last saw her—and is immediately tasked with filling the pretzel bowls.
5:27pm The line is out the door again. We’ve tapped out two varieties of beers: a saison and a belgium pale ale. Seven kegs are still pouring, and there is at least one more brown ale to tap.
5:10pm A television crew is now interviewing owner Nate Cornett among the tanks in the brewery. Hey, the opening may make the 6pm news. Wonderful! The brewery is generating a buzz. I’ve been gratified to see the steady, strong support of both local townspeople and the larger Dayton area.
5:00pm The taproom is now out of Captain Stardust Saison. The brew proved very popular and left with several customers in the brewery’s 1.89 liter growlers. The lead brewer has just announced that the Hefeweizen is on tap!
4:40pm A Channel 7 camera crew has just arrived. The media truck joins the many cars in the lot—yes, sir, that’s a sea of cars out there—and I am surprised to find a bus marked with the Cincinnati Bengals logos. I’m assuming their football fans—or rather fans of football and beer.
4:05pm I get outside for a bit and talk to the owners of the food cart Harvest Mobile Cuisine. Patrick and Becky Sartin are cooking up burgers, fish tacos, and falafel. They are also offering Chicken Tortilla Soup and fresh baked cookies. I order the fish tacos for lunch, one of my favorite meals. I love these tacos, an upscale version as the Sartins use halibut. The slaw rocks and pairs perfectly with the brewery’s pale ale.
The lunch town crowd is enjoying Harvest’s offerings and bringing their food orders inside to eat at the taproom tables. The bar and tables in the taproom may look familiar to long time Yellow Springs residents. That familiarity is because formally the wooden table tops were lanes at the Xenia Avenue bowling alley south of town. If you look around the room, you’ll find a few bowling pins from those bygone days.
3:05pm Tod Tyslan just stopped by and recommended that I check out the parking lot. He has never seen it so full.
3:00pm Lisa brings a little music to the mix. Wonderful bass rifts add to the warm atmosphere of the room. The transformation from bare concrete garage to welcoming taproom was brilliantly executed. One major concern that remained was the noise level once the crowds came but, though the room is full with conversation, Karen Wintrow and I have been able to chat comfortably—greeting others and comparing notes—for a good piece of the afternoon.
2:50pm I get a taste of the Stardust Saison. It’s my favorite so far. The imagery of the name fits its taste: malt punctuated with a bright burst of citrus.
2:45pm That period of time when the line was short proves short lived. The line is reaching back to the entrance, but the staff is working hard. They are admirably successful at keeping customers moving forward and the beer flowing. Lisa and others are greeting people as they come in, and bar staff are coming out to the line to record orders so folks don’t have to wait until they reach the bar itself. The brewery’s planning for today’s event is evident. They expected a strong response from the community, and both brewery and community seem to be meeting expectation happily.
2:30pm The lead brewer has just announced that a sixth beer is officially tapped. The new arrival Captain Stardust Saison gets whooping applause from the room.
2:10pm The line to order in the taproom is no longer out the door. The room is full of friendly chatter which is good because lots of parties are sharing tables. My family has arrived and, after the kids gave Lisa a quick hug, I station them outside at the food truck. We’re hoping to score tacos.
1:45pm The taproom is packed with people. We overflow into the brewery itself where several folks are leaning on the half wall. We watch Nate work in the brewery filling kegs.
1:30pm Flights are taking off quite literally with lots of folks trying four different brews.
1:00pm Lisa gets the honors of opening the doors and inviting in the outside public. No less than 30 people stream in the door. Wolters and Jeffery are just beaming.
12:40pm The lead brewer Jeffery McElfresh gives the staff a briefing before the doors open up. Everyone is relaxed and feels ready.
12:35pm Lisa finalizes the chalk board displaying today’s menu as her dad looks on. On tap are Wyatt’s Eviction, Towhead Blonde, Floret Saison, Little Bike Brown, and a porter.
12:30pm On the Hook: I am flying live on the brewery’s free WiFi! All right! 30 minutes until the big open.
12:05pm I catch up with Lisa’s mom and dad as they set balloons and signs directing traffic from Dayton Street and the bike path. I arrive on the scene just in time to help them untangle balloons. The wind has picked up and braided six of them together. Luckily, we have a pocket knife among us and we free three to place on Walnut Street.
9:30am Inside, the brewery is quiet but much stands at the ready. Co-owner Lisa Wolters has been at the brewery since 4:30am. She was unable to sleep for the excitement.
The glasses emblazoned with the tagline “Crafting Truth To Power” stand perched above the bar. Preflight, stacks of metal wands will soon hold samples of the brewery’s wares.
7:05am My neighbor’s truck engine roars to life. We often hear Nate leave for work in the morning but today is special. Today Nate and Lisa are opening their new business Yellow Springs Brewery to the public. Doors open at 1pm, and I’m sure they have a ton of things to do.
Today is a big day for the Yellow Springs Brewery. The question is how big?