This Saturday at 10:37am (give or take 20 minutes) Bryan, Amanda, and I sat and listened to the announcement that Firestone Walker had won bronze on the 5th and final category we had entered beer into at this years Great American Beer Festival. 

"Well... That's that." 

You don't realize the elasticity of time until you think about moments that have happened and how you remember 3 years of thinking in a matter of 3 seconds, OR minutes go by and you have no memory whatsoever. 

All I remember was hearing Firestone Walker and then everyone around us suddenly start screaming in our faces.

Hi Charlie! (Photo 2015 © Jason E. Kaplan)

Hi Charlie! (Photo 2015 © Jason E. Kaplan)



The next 12 hours were a blur. I may or may not have cried while standing in the porta toilet, texting my wife (I heard a hot tip from a friend that it was the only place with useable cell signal). AND THEN we did our best to get as much 24FPS into peoples little 1oz tasters as possible.

Since we opened in 2012, everything has been a rollercoaster. We thought (very naively) that we could build our own VERY scrappy 1 barrel setup. Wrong. In spite of our spectacularly rough start, we had a lot of support from a lot of people who drank our beer because they liked us. They kept coming in. They were honest about our missteps, but champions of our gains.

We eventually made enough money to buy our 3 barrel brewhouse, and not long after that a 7 barrel brewhouse. It certainly elevated our quality, but we still had a lot of work to do. In 2015 we've had some incredible humans join our little family (David, Michele, Nico) and everyone (including Jan, Mitch, and Bryan) have been working long hours to make OMF the best brewery it can be from self education to taproom and brewhouse improvements. 

Winning a medal is proof to us that we are doing something right. But after the dust of this weekend has settled, it is more than anything a bar set in front of us. It puts a little voice in our heads saying "silver is good, but..." and "imagine the possibilities and potential in front of you." and "whoa. hopefully you can get all the ingredients you need to make a lot of that beer that just won." 

This win is a culmination of nearly 3 years of figuring out who we are and what we want to do about it. That couldn't happen without all of you, who have supported us with the feedback and encouragement that provokes us to make/serve the best beer we possibly can every day. Thank you.

With Gratitude,