MARQUETTE —There was no shortage of ugly sweaters at Blackrocks Brewery’s third anniversary celebration at its production site on Washington Street this weekend. The party gave guests the opportunity to celebrate another year of the brewery’s success, the grand opening of their production site and the winter solstice while sipping on Blackrocks brews.
Tickets for the event went on sale December 11 and were sold out by the 13th. Those who got a ticket enjoyed three beers, a burrito provided by Blue Bike Burrito of Marinette, Wis. and a 22-ounce bottle of specialty beer.
Seven varieties of beer were available to attendees, including the staple 51K IPA, Coconut Brown and Grand Rabbits Cream Ale. Other varieties included a hoppy, drinkable session IPA called Tree Flogger, a holiday spiced ale called Rad’s Red Krampus, an English Ale called Snow Job and a Kolsch.
Local band Frank an Da Beanz provided live music. The band, decked out in Stormy Kromers, cowboy hats, giant belt buckles and flamboyant button-ups, played covers of rock songs. Those listening, including a rather flirtatious Santa, danced while the band played.
Co-owners David Manson and Andy Langlois said the celebration was less about the brewery’s continued success and more to do with the collaboration between all of the people who contribute to the brewery.
“A brewery, unlike a lot of other industries, is a collective,” said Manson. “It’s a collective of our customers, our employees and our suppliers. [Tonight] we’ll have people who helped us to do the electrical work and the plumbing. Another fellow brewer from The Vierling is hoping to show up.
“It’s with all of us that we’re able to make it through the year, whether it’s being able to borrow chemical, or the patrons who are buying the products off of the shelves or in the taproom,” he said. “Really this isn’t so much about our anniversary as it is about the collective.”
The party was an opportunity for the entire collective involved to celebrate each other’s success, as well as for the brewery to thank those who have supported them.
“It’s also to show gratitude that we made it through another year,” added Langlois. “There are so many things that could go wrong throughout the year and knock any business off course, but we made it another year — why not party?”
For the year to come, the Blackrocks crew intends to keep doing what it’s doing and take one step at a time.
“Running a business is so complex that sometimes it’s really good to just focus on the core things, and that’s the quality product, the fun you have with the people you work with, working hard and appreciating the results you end up with,” said Langlois. “If we can find a rhythm and keep that going throughout the next year, I think we’re doing pretty good.”