When Kara and I first decided to open a brewery in our Barn we hoped that people would at least make the trek down the dirt road to check us out, sample some beer, and maybe take some home. For a little while this is basically what happened and everything was pretty laid back and simple. Eventually more people found out about us so we increased production a bit, built a bigger tasting room, offered oysters and food trucks, etc. Crowds were steadily increasing so we made some changes to try and keep up; expanded brewhouse and capacity, even bigger tasting room, more parking. Recently, however, we have seen a larger increase in people making the trek down our long dirt road to visit the Barn. We couldn't be more appreciative of the support that everyone has shown; both newcomers and long-time regulars alike. We basically open up our home and farm twice a week and, for the most part, everyone is very respectful and has a great time. We've tried to take a laid back approach and not set many "ground rules", however, with the recent crowds and lines we wanted to speak up and try to set some guidelines to make it fair for both us and you guys. This may be a bit long-winded but we appreciate you taking the time to read this as it will lead to a more enjoyable experience for everyone...even the chickens.
1.) Showing Up Early: We get a lot of questions (and support from our customers to respect our privacy!) about when is an OK time to show up and wait in line. We informally put it out there that we would appreciate nobody showing up more than an hour prior to opening. This is not only to respect our privacy but also to make it fair to everyone who plans to show up that day. If 100 people came at 11:00 on Saturday morning to line up then that means people who wait until 1:00 may not get any beer to take home, which we feel is unfair. Therefore, we're officially putting it out there that we would like nobody showing up more than an hour prior to opening on Fridays and Saturdays, or any time at all on days we are closed. We will have a sign at the end of the road stating this for those who don't see this post on our website. We don't want to put a gate up as this seems pretty unwelcoming so please respect this! If you happen to come more than an hour early, please don't park along the driveway or along Route 2 as this will cause traffic issues. Exeter is a beautiful town...take a drive around, grab a coffee, visit some of our neighboring breweries, and then come back. We would appreciate it.
2.) Line Etiquette: We have gotten a few reports about people cutting in line recently. Since we aren't out there we can't really police the line (and don't intend to) so please be respectful. If we do notice this or if someone reports it we will politely ask that the person joins in the back of the line. Again, we just want to make it fair to everyone.
3.) Parking: We have some very handsome and somewhat capable friends and family that help to direct traffic in the parking lot. Please take it slow and work with these guys to make parking safe for everyone.
4.) The Farm: We are happy to have everyone take a walk and check out parts of the farm while you're here. Please be respectful of our home though. Certain areas we like to keep "off-limits" for everyone's safety and our privacy. Feel free to walk around the yard in front of the brewery, the Christmas tree fields by the parking lot, and hopyard. Please do not go down by the pond (for safety reasons) or past the house (for privacy reasons). Thanks.
5.) Kids and Dogs: Kids are more than welcome to visit the brewery and farm, however, they have to be under adult supervision at ALL times! We have had a lot of incidents recently of kids in areas where they shouldn't be, throwing rocks, etc. so please keep them close by. And please don't let them hang on the chicken fence! Dogs, however, are not allowed anywhere on the farm. We have two farm dogs who are very friendly but are protective of our chickens and other animals and can be territorial at times.
6.) Beer: Since we sell out most weekends we realize that some people show up, wait in line, and don't get to take any beer home. We hate this just as much as you do. We try to set limits on beer that are fair, split the allotment each weekend, and always keep some on hand for onsite pours and tastings. We are working on increasing production (yet again!) but for the immediate future, things will be relatively status quo so please bear with us.
7.) Keep it Fun! At the end of the day, we want to provide everyone with some great beer and an even better experience. While we hate to be setting "rules" we feel it's necessary for everyone's sake. Please let us know if you have any questions, comments, or issues (or compliments!) when you're here. We truly appreciate all of your support and are looking forward to what the future brings. Thanks.
Matt and Kara