[ the tap room ] exists, for reasons.
Wow, ok. The last time we updated this little thimble full of internet about a physical beer drinking location manifested directly by us, the year was 2021, and we were still making kind of empty promises.
Good thing it’s 2023 now. New year, new us and whatnot. In case this blog is your only source of information on our progress, we’re sorry, it’s not very reliable. But what we lack in predictable publishing cadence, we’ve sort of made up for by finally opening a space where WE CAN HAVE PINTS WITH OUR FRIENDS AGAIN. We’re still excited enough about this to be a little shouty.
Here are the nocks and arrows if you want to plan sending it with pints and friends at [ the tap room ] located at IHB Worldwide HQ, which softly and then more firmly opened in June of 2022.
Now that everyone has a shared understanding of the basics, it’s high time to get a little existential up in here. Which means, we are about to go with bosshole in chief Greg Parker, on a vision quest. This vision quest will have nothing to do with training to be a high school wrestler, nor seeking clarity from an animal spirit, but suffice it to say, we’re gonna go way beyond the digital menu and hours of operation of the former office space turned [ the tap room ]. Actually, there will be some wildlife references.
Visioning with Greg
I believe beer is a unique and magical social fuel of humanity.Greg Parker
What’s a Vision? A delusional state caused by entheogens, extreme exertion or hunger? Or something that comes from the creative, imaginative state of human desire for something beautiful to come into this world? Both?
I have a vision for [ the tap room ] at the brewery. It shifts at times but there are central themes. Our previous retail operation, [ The Pub ], informs my vision. As with so many things we took for granted, or didn’t, “the virus” took [ The Pub ] away. Life, death, life. So, [ the tap room ] is the Salmon Alevin finding its way to the ocean: just a baby looking for the pathway to adult life, to keep the cycle alive.
[ The Pub ] was a gathering place. We didn’t have television sets in [ The Pub ]. That was an intentional move. My vision was that people would not show up to zone out with a beer in hand, but show up to have a beer with others. That people would show up to be present with whoever joined [ The Pub ] community at that time. Why? Because to me, Iron Horse is here to do more than sell beer to make money. Iron Horse is here to Create Human Connection with Fermentation. Beer is the gateway and money is the fuel, but those are vital ingredients not the focus, nor the goals. Actually, beer is a pretty big focus because it is magic, but it is in service to a far greater cause. I believe beer is a unique and magical social fuel of humanity.
VISION SIDE-QUEST: COMMUNITY EVENTS
This vision was supported by the events we created during [ The Pub ] era. The .5k was a great example of what I envision for the Iron Horse public space. The .5k was created to bring people together in service of a greater purpose of raising funds for a local non-profit organization in a way that encouraged participation and fun. Nearly anyone can complete a .33 mile foot race and have fun doing it. Kids, adults, elders, all were welcome to participate and come side by side with each other for fun and giving. It was also a light kick to the trending aspirational achievement culture of racing and performance, if you didn’t already pick up on that. Irreverence is a theme that can’t be banished from my being nor the brand.
BACK TO [ the tap room ] VIEW
So what is [ the tap room ] here for? Just like the salmon returning to its natal stream, our retail outlet now shares walls with the facility in which the magic elixir is brewed. If you are one of the originals, you’ll remember the Tasting Room, a magical 380 square feet looking into the 1300 square feet of brewery on Prospect Street. If there was a moment that encapsulated the Tasting Room, it was when I walked in and Duane Harbick was playing and singing Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” on the acoustic guitar and nearly everyone in the place was singing along, beers in hands, smiles on faces. The whole place was singing together. The whole place was singing.
[ the tap room ] has a new song to sing and I think it includes more beings. I see it including more spaces and more community groups. I see it including people gathering for reasons other than beer, cider and singing. I see a place that has blurrier boundaries between commerce and community, where it’s hard to tell who are customers, cousins or community members. I see a place where people skate, and join drumming circles, swap homemade fermented foods, knit, meet with their parents to hand off the grandchildren.
I see [ the tap room ] as a place to gather for the sake of gathering, not for the sake of consuming or showing up to show off for the anti-social media. I want [ the tap room ] to be a place where our community members fill their cup of life, whether or not they fill a glass with beer. I dream of a place where we notice what we have in common: this place, love, children or parents, movement, rhythm, dreams, laments and longings, fear and hope for all that we love. Sure we have differences but my vision for [ the tap room ], which will obviously have to grow in square footage to become a reality, will be a place where we find that those differences are really small compared to what we have in common.
Is this an unrealistic vision? That Iron Horse becomes a center for community gathering, from which emanates greater human connection and bridging of divides? Potentially resulting in individual and community healing? It may be delusional, but I’m sticking with it until a bigger vision reveals itself.
THIS ENDS GREG’S VISION
It doesn’t, but for our purposes today, and the state of the human attention span, we’ll cap it there. Come back for more visioning, next with Christina, new to the cousinhood as Community Outreach and [ the tap room ] Events Coordinator. She is due for an internet intro, and fits IHB perfectly in terms of being someone with a cool, compatible vision for [ the tap room ] and the community we want to support and build.
And then…Greg is going to do some more wordsing about what IHB is about, namely holacracy. Spoiler alert, and to make sure we’re all on the same page, it has nothing to do with holes and everything to do with the brewery’s adopted management system.
A word from our sponsors: To catch up on the last 7.03 months of [ the tap room ] fun if you feel out of the loop, visit and follow #thetaproomexists on IG. Devin’s pic from Halloween is alone worth the scroll.