Recap of the Grandview High Gravity Hullabaloo.
First of all, the three of us (Jamie Gentry, Doug Oldham, Laura Oldham) want to offer a HUGE, heartfelt note of gratitude to all who supported us in our first event. Thank you to the guests who purchased tickets, the volunteers who poured all night for a thirsty crowd, the brewers, the food vendors and the sponsors who made the High Gravity Hullabaloo even possible. We know it’s hard for you to put trust in a new organization, and especially harder to put time and money into it, and we can’t offer enough thank yous for your willingness to support us and our effort to unify and support the growing craft beer scene here in Grandview and all of central Ohio. The breweries especially brought their best, and they dazzled a thirsty crowd of beer geeks.
The Hullabaloo Hiccups
We had a few hiccups, and we sincerely appreciate that you were all willing to work with us on our growing pains. It’s not easy to find an affordable space as a new non-profit, especially as an organization entirely funded out of our own pockets, and Nationwide Realty Investors was incredibly generous to offer us a gorgeous, abandoned warehouse near the growing Grandview Yard. We realized this presented us a few hurdles. We had no parking to offer guests, only fluorescent lighting available, and no real way to gauge how the space would look and feel once we got the keys a few days in advance of our event. We estimated that roughly 250 people would fit nicely into the space and that a few strands of string lights would offer a nicer ambiance than the flickering lights we had to work with in our building, and we hoped that you would work us regarding the parking situation.
So, what this left us with was lighting that some deemed slightly too soft, parking that was confusing and a bottleneck as guests entered the Hullabaloo. Lessons learned on all counts. But thank you again for sticking with us despite these hiccups. I think I spoke to about 20% of the Hullabaloo guests to gauge response, and most were very understanding of these hiccups. Our #1 goal was the safety of our guests, and that’s why the Hyatt was kind enough to provide us with shuttle service throughout the night. Any step we could take to reduce the possibility of drunken driving was a good step in our minds, and we apologize for any headaches it may have caused our guests.
Another big faux pas on our parts was regarding food. We had a 225-pound hog, pies, apps and pork wings. All food vendors went above and beyond in their food preparation, and all were very confident they brought plenty for the crowd. You guys KILLED the pig in less than an hour. Quicker than Barley’s has ever seen before. Quicker than we certainly anticipated as well. Next time we will offer more food as well as a way to make sure everyone gets food throughout the evening. Stick with us on this one, we had no idea how hungry you would all be. I’m not even mad, I’m amazed.
The idea behind the Hullabaloo was to offer beer geeks an opportunity to rub elbows with some of Columbus’ craft beer dignitaries, and as such we provided seating for only 1/4 of the guests at the event assuming folks would be walking around for much of the evening. Surprisingly it seemed as if some people were less interested in walking around and chatting than we had hoped, so next time we will account for this. But again, thank you all for keeping a smile on your face as you stood in groups–it meant the world to us.
The GCBA is a labor of love for us in addition to our real jobs, and we’ve gotta say, it was a blast to put this first event together–but also pretty much a full-time job for all three of us throughout January. We learned lessons regarding food, space, parking, and efficiency. But mostly we learned that you guys are a wonderfully supportive, kind crowd of craft beer lovers. And that warms our hearts more than you can know.
We’re discussing next events, and we’ll keep you posted. Thank you all again for your amazing support as well as willingness to look past a few hiccups in our round 1. We didn’t want to have another tap takeover or regular beer tasting event; we wanted to go huge on our first event. This took a lot of risk on our end, and it was definitely mostly reward as we looked over a happy, responsibly drunk crowd. Thank you.
A huge, happy hug to those of you who used your Internet power to share your love for our hard work. We can’t thank the folks from Drink Up Columbus, Columbus Craft Beer Examiner and the Ohio Beer Podcast enough. And thank you so, so much to the breweries, vendors, sponsors and more who helped make the Hullabaloo possible. And we look forward to delivering on the next one for you, too.
Until next time, let’s keep working together for more better beer.
Huge gratitude to the breweries who literally brought it at the Hullabaloo: The Actual Brewing Company, Barley’s Smokehouse, Buckeye Lake Brewery, Elevator Brewing Company, Four String Brewing, Hoof Hearted Brewing, North High Brewing, Seventh Son Brewing, Wolf’s Ridge Brewing, Zaftig Brewing Company, Catawba Island Brewing Company and Marietta Brewing Company.
Massive thank you to our food vendors Barley’s Smokehouse and Brewpub, Honeykiss Bakery, ManBQue and Matt the Miller’s Tavern.
Huge thank you to Sara Blankemeyer of Shootthescene.com for the photography.