So our tasting room has been open for nearly three weeks. I have to say I’m humbled and excited by the reception we’ve received thus far. We’ve met so many awesome people, and it’s even more encouraging when we see those people coming back a second and third time.
When you put so much of yourself into a project like this–four years of planning, ten months of construction, and now three weeks being open–there is inevitably a level of anxiety that comes from anticipating the overall reception we will get. You really want to connect with everyone, to create a beer for everyone, something they will like, to create a space that people enjoy, but realistically that is not possible. You can’t satisfy everyone, though we will continue to try.
For example, there is method to our beer selection, but it will take some time to cover all the taste profiles we may encounter.
We started with six beers:
- Friendly Aviator German Pils
- Pretty Penny Pale Ale
- Dove Runner Red Wheat
- Bingo’s IPA
- Pride of the Island, Irish Red
- Concourse Porter
However, that leaves another eleven taps open, so we’ll be working some more experimental beers into our brew schedule. The challenge is balancing the recurring/repeat brews of our regular offering with the new recipes. It will just take time. In the meantime, we hope the hop-heads and beer lovers who dance on the fringes of beer flavors have patience. I’ve recently purchased some more exotic hops and have connected with Blend Tech to secure some exciting spices and other natural flavor additives. We’ll see what we can do with that. (Did you know high-quality vanilla is $180 per gallon…four gallon minimum order???!!!???)
Another area we are working to improve in order to satisfy all of our new customers is our patio area. We put in the barrels, lights and picnic tables to establish a simple outdoor seating area. Our building front faces east, so it is ideal for that purpose with the sun setting behind our building, providing natural shade. People have really enjoyed it, and the weather has been exceptionally cooperative too. We also bought a corn-hole game, and at customer requests are building a super-sized Jenga set. We are putting in our sound system too, which includes outdoor speakers. We are also waiting on the glass for our custom-made overhead door that will finally connect our indoor tasting area with the outdoor patio.
I have to offer congratulations to Brent on our first gallery showing. Final Friday–a concept that Brent was instrumental in bringing to life in the early 90’s when he owned Evo Art Gallery–was a great success. We enjoyed seeing people walk the floor of our gallery, stopping at various works, discussing composition and emotions with their friends. Aero Plains Brewing is committed to being more than a place to hang paintings. We want to be benefactors of artists in Wichita. We have some great ideas on how we can do that, and we’ll let you in on that soon.
Thanks to everyone who has been in to taste our beer and enjoy our space. We value your time and attention, and we value your comments and suggestions. In addition to the customer support we’ve received, I want to extend a warm thanks to our neighbors, particularly All-Things-Barbecue, Bicycle X-Change, and Picasso’s Pizza. All-Things-Barbecue and Bicycle X-Change allow you to use their parking spaces, and Picasso’s Pizza sent over free pizzas for our “grand” opening two Saturday’s ago when we couldn’t line up any food trucks. Spectrum Records, Delano Barbecue, The Monarch, and La Gallette have also been super supportive. It’s great to be part of such a cool community.
The next step is to expand our reach across more of the Wichita community by releasing our beers through House of Schwan to bars, liquor stores, and restaurants. Bingo’s IPA and Dove Runner Red Wheat will be available on-tap to select bars and restaurants mid November. We are installing out bottling line 1 Nov, and should have six-packs of Bingo and Dove Runner in liquor stores the second or third week of December. Ask for Aero Plains Beer at your favorite bar/restaurant/liquor store.
All and all, these last three weeks have been amazing. I hope the rest of the year yields the same level of success. The truth is that all the paintings on the wall, the cool furniture, the patio, the size of the space means nothing if the beer isn’t good. We will strive to maintain the highest quality beer–exploring traditional and more experimental recipes–and we hope you continue to join us on this journey.