Early Saturday morning, I backed my pickup truck, Rutherford, into a large concrete block in the courtyard of the Carrie Furnace, crushing a tail light. I knew instantly from my complete lack of any emotional response whatsoever that it was going to be one of those days. Total focus. We’d been preparing for our Halloween party for the bulk of October after (along with the whimsical bastards over at The Independent) we came up with the idea less than a month in advance, deciding that if we were going to throw a Halloween party, we were going to throw one of the biggest Halloween parties in the city. So that night, we filled a former iron mill with nearly 1400 people and did just that.
So here’s a few thoughts about our nice little get-together:
1. The Carrie Furnace is an insanely awesome venue that should be used by everyone for everything. Last October, Matt and I attended Jazz Furnace, an awesome performance event located in the same part of the furnace site that we utilized. We were pretty blown away by the space, and we saw an opportunity to use the space similarly for our own events. Throwing a Halloween party in a such a perfect setting was incredible. The folks from Rivers of Steel, the organization that manages the site, were an integral component of putting the event together – we’re really excited to work with them for future projects, and we hope that the event is the first of many cool functions held at the Furnaces.
2. We have some incredible, courteous guests. Packing a sprawling, potentially rather hazardous former industrial edifice with a huge crowd and providing them with both alcohol and an enormous bonfire made us all (justifiably) a wee bit nervous, but the entire thing went down without incident. Dear everyone in attendance: you rock. Your costumes were awesome, your attitudes were terrific, and you kept the place incredibly clean. We saw a lot of new faces as well, and we’re happy to have met you all. Mad respect, folks.
3. The bathroom lines were long, it was really goddamn cold, and there was an out-of-order DJ set which caused a bit of consternation. We went with the number that the company recommended, and it wasn’t enough. We also happened to throw this event on that one insanely cold night sandwiched in between two nonsensically gorgeous weeks (…it hailed. That sucked). And on top of that, a technical snafu caused our DJ rotation to get rearranged last minute, which messed with the vibe of the party. We apologize for all of these issues, and promise that we’ll manage these things better for next year’s party. Which leads me to my next point:
4. Next year will most definitely be both bigger and better. It was a lot of work and a lot of stress, but we had a blast planning and executing this whole thing and we all learned a hell of a lot. Working with The Independent, Bar Marco, and our mobile food family is always excellent, and we’ve already begun bouncing around ideas for next year. Now that we have the inaugural event under our belts, we’ve got a good list of improvements that we’re excited to implement for the future. And yes, we’ve already got a theme.
Now that the insanity of putting together an enormous offsite event has subsided, it’s time for us to turn our focus back to the brewery. We’ve got a lot of awesome new beers coming out over the course of the late fall and winter, and we’ll be buckling down to improve the taproom in a variety of ways. It’s been a wild five months since we opened. Let’s keep things wild.