The three founding partners of Salt Springs Brewery will host a one year anniversary party in their biergarten Aug. 6 and raffle off a substantial list of goods, with the top prize being a chance to collaborate on, and help name, a beer with Brewmaster Ed Brosius.
Salt Springs Brewery is officially one year old, and to mark the occasion the three founding partners are hosting a party in their biergarten Aug. 6, offering up an evening of food, beer, music and fun as a way to say thank you to the loyal customers who have helped make the business the success that it is.
Mark Zadvinskis, Ron Schofield and Ed Brosius collaborated to make Salt Springs a reality, opening their doors to eager diners and drinkers on the final day of July last year.
“It’s Saline’s first brewery’s first year of brewing and we want to celebrate that,” Zadvinskis said. “We really just want to have a big celebration outside and get the community here and have fun with them.”
There will be 75 pre-sale tickets to the event at $40 apiece, which includes four drink tickets, each good for an eight to 12 ounce pour. The size of individual brews depends upon the strength of the specific beer, and Zadvinskis said there just might be a few new beer-related surprises from Brosius.
Admission will also include plenty of the premium food the brewery has come to be known for.
“We’re going to have a full food buffet featuring a lot of our favorites here that we make,” Zadvinskis said.
And then, there are the giveaways.
“Outside we’ll be doing raffles each hour during the event and giving away prizes,” Zadvinskis said, including the grand prize which is an “opportunity to brew on our brewhouse with our brewmaster and get to help name a beer.” Other prizes to be raffled include mug club memberships and growlers, among additional items.
Music will be provided by a band called The Pajamas, which Zadvinskis describes enthusiastically as a jam band in the style of Phish and the Grateful Dead.
All event ticket holders will also receive a Belgian tulip-style glass to take home
Even those who don’t attend the biergarten party are more than welcome to come to Salt Springs that evening and help celebrate, Zadvinskis said. No tickets are required to eat and drink inside, and the brewery will be taking both walk-ins and reservations as they come.
“Inside we’ll have some other specials running and giveaways,” he said.
Guests attending the biergarten event as well as those eating and drinking inside will mutually benefit from the newly installed, 12-tap outdoor bar, which will allow biergarten guests to get refills outside rather than having to head inside to the main bar, a scenario that has been a bit cumbersome in the past.
Zadvinskis said the need for a totally separate bar in the biergarten became obvious when outdoor guests began lining up in large numbers at the indoor counter on crowded evenings.
The willingness to correct these types of issues is emblematic of the guest-focused attitude that has been fostered at Salt Springs over the course of the first year, and Zadvinskis said he and his partners are continuously making little improvements to make certain patrons have the best possible time when they come in.
“We just put up some sounds panels in our space to try to knock down some of the reflectivity because it’s a very big building and it was a church meant to reverberate,” he said. “We’re always doing small projects to make improvements to the flow, function or general guest experience.”
All the effort is well worth it, Zadvinskis said, when guests express gratitude and pleasure with what Salt Springs has to offer.
“People are starting to recognize what we’ve been doing here over the last year, really concentrating on the true-to-style ales,” Zadvinskis said. “The community has been so responsive and so receptive and welcoming, it’s been great. The feedback that we get from our guests in-house and online is mostly positive.”
“Overall, it’s been nothing but fun,” he said. “It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already.”
Schofield said the forthcoming biergarten party will also be about celebrating the excellent job the staff at Salt Springs has done in the first year, working together to get the fledgling brewery off its proverbial feet.
“Most of the staff that’s with us now has been with us for months and months,” he said. “They all really get along well and spend time together when they’re not working. They go out and do things, and I hear from new servers coming in that that’s not always the case in restaurants.”
Both Zadvinskis and Schofield are mixed as to whether the ongoing road construction has either helped or hurt business, given the Henry Street detour now brings Michigan Avenue drivers right by their front door.
Since they have only been open a year, and last summer was unusually busy because of the newness of the brewery, Zadvinskis said he does not have hard numbers to compare against in terms of sales, but added that the recent S. Ann Arbor Street closure was really tough on business for a couple of days.
Schofield said, however, that there have been upswings as well.
“The first week that this (detour) was open, literally the first week, we saw so many new faces in here,” he said. “We found that a lot of people had never been here before and it’s because of the reroute that brought them in.”
Construction or not, Schofield says the primary goal for the brewery heading into year two is to just keep getting better at what they do.
“Our greatest aspiration is to continue to grow the business,” he said.
The forthcoming biergarten anniversary party will act as a resounding community ‘cheers’ to that ambition.
In addition to the 75 pre-sale biergarten tickets being sold at $40 each, 50 tickets will be available at the door for $45 apiece, with an optional $30 price for designated drivers attending the event but not drinking. Designated drivers buying in advance also get a $5 discount, with the ticket currently being $25.
The party starts at 7 p.m. and will run to 10 p.m., after which all are welcome in the biergarten. Tickets can be purchased at Salt Springs, or online at www.saltspringsbrewery.com/store/1st-anniversary-party-tickets.