It had been a month of setbacks, restarts, product sourcing, printer finding, and collaborative thinking. Nevertheless I was driving with anxious determination toward our meeting place. I would finally get to see our labor of love. Our little book, our Minnesota Craft Beer Passport and Taproom guide! The weather forecast that day was a typical MN shit storm, and since Ryan and I live on opposite ends of the city, Badger Hill seemed the most central, least traffic jam prone location.
Ryan was already there when I arrived, a sea of passport paper spread across the table. He was manually collating our first print run, (yet another lesson learned). Having not found a printer that could drill yet I showed up with my trusty six hole punch in hand. One craft brewery at a time we punched the holes and added the pages to our books.
Sitting back to admire the “finished product” the culmination of a month of work, the custom laser engraving done by a friend of a friend of a friend out of the goodness of his own heart, the slightly offset pages from the manual hole drilling, we couldn’t have been more proud. We had done it!
A flood of “fear” overcame me as we approached the bar, this was the moment, the moment of truth. How would our labor of love be received? Would they like it? Would they laugh at us? Would they want one for themselves? Would they have a stamp or a sticker? What would happen?
The friendly Beer Tender approached us to take our order, right away she noticed our books and asked what they were. A “Beer Passport” we explained, a cool little book that is used to commemorate your visit to the breweries throughout the state of Minnesota. We sat and waited, for what seemed to me like hours as she studied the book, flipped through the pages, examined the product.
Its soooooooooooooo cool!!!!!! She exclaimed! How creative! What good quality, what a great idea! And the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders.
“Wait!” she said – “that’s my cell phone number in your book!” Oh christ I thought, what have we done? What are the chances of that happening? After a good laugh some administrative corrections so all future runs would have the right phone number she left to grab the brewer.
Michael. What a guy, funny, humble, and a brewer of great beer. We spent a half hour or so talking with him what a pleasure!
In the end we left with a stamp, some notes on what we liked, Michael’s signature and a
memory that will live forever.
Thank you Badger Hill for being part of our Inauguration (whether you knew it or not).
Cheers to the adventure of beer!
P.S. Where was the first place you used your Craft Beer Passport and Taproom Guide, we would love to hear your Inauguration story!