He goes by many names - hubby, Mr. Yarnista, and (of course) Mike... - and today he's our guest here on the blog! Mike is very passionate about supporting small businesses and beer, and this year for his birthday he got to do both!
Here he is to tell you all about his special day. Enjoy!
This ended up being way late for a whole bunch of reasons, but mostly because I procrastinate... just like in school. I guess some things never change. I hope my boss doesn't fire me. Anyway, to the blog post:
Well, I did it again. I got older. It almost always seems to happen around this time of year. Summer is coming to an end, kids are going back to school, and I get older. For those of you that might want to send a gift the next time I get older you can reference the contact info on fireflyfibers.com.
When Alisa asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday this year I pretty much had an idea in mind. A couple of years ago an old high school friend opened a brewery in Wisconsin Dells. I’ve been wanting to visit since he opened, but for various reasons it never worked out. Tanner and I were both in the percussion section of the high school band. We also played drums in the jazz band. I was a Senior when he was a Freshman, but it wasn’t long before he was a better drummer than I was. I knew that the percussion section would be in good hands after I graduated. Wait a second…what was I talking about? Oh yeah, the guy with the beer. We invited a couple of good friends to join us, and, as she does every Saturday at 3, Alisa closed up the shop & we were off to Port Huron Brewing Company.
When we arrived we found Tanner sweeping up the tap room floor while his wife worked behind the bar serving up pints and flights. After a quick chat and introductions we sat down at the bar and ordered our first round of drinks. As we drank our beer the tap room continued to fill with people arriving for the 4:30 brewery tour. Then, Tanner grabbed a Pepsi and we were off to see the brewery.
If you’re ever in Wisconsin Dells I definitely recommend stopping by for a tour of the brewery. We’ve been on other brewery tours, but Tanner has a way of explaining the brewing process in plain English that non-brewers can understand. And, he puts a lot of his personality into it. You can really tell that he has a passion for his work.
Not only did we learn how beer is made, we learned how beer is made at Port Huron Brewing Company. PHBC has only one full-time employee, and Tanner is it. The bottling process generally takes 3-4 people to run smoothly. At bottling time he calls on friends and family to help him out. At the end of the tour Tanner talked about how everything got started. He went to school to learn about brewing (which included time in Germany) and then worked for a couple of local breweries, including Capital Brewery in Middleton. It was during this time that the joking from his friends and family started. “You should open your own brewery,” they said. Pretty soon the jokes weren’t so funny anymore as the business plan developed. Financing was obtained through those same friends and family who showed their faith in his desire and ability.
And he’s good at what he does! I don’t consider myself a “beer snob” by any means, but I appreciate a good beer. So, next time you’re out on the town and find yourself in a place that sells Port Huron Beer you should buy a whole bunch of it because it’s delicious and Tanner is awesome.
To find out where you can buy Port Huron beer you can click here, here, or over here and the Engine House Tap Room at Port Huron Brewing Company is currently open Friday's 3-9 PM and Saturdays 2-9PM (days and hours change seasonally, so visit the website before heading out).