Saturday, September 27, 2014

Changes at Blue & Gray

We've long been fans of Blue & Gray Brewing, especially the brewpub. In fact, this post is the 103rd time I've posted about the local brewery. There's been so much Blue & Gray news here that the Musings have frequently been mistaken for a Blue & Gray blog — I've received requests for labels, tour info, and a few complaints. When they opened their brewpub, Lee's Retreat, in 2010, I happened to be working within walking distance. I've spent many a Friday and Saturday evening sitting at the bar since. In fact, I was getting ready to leave my office Friday to head to the brewpub for some Blue & Gray Oktoberfest beer, when this email arrived...
Lee's Retreat Brewpub always experiences it's greatest success during weekend festivals like the recent Oktoberfest, and when we host your family reunion, rehearsal dinners, retirement parties, etc. The focus and format of the brewpub as a venue is therefore adjusting to better serve the local community.

The brewpub will still be open to the general public for lunch every Saturday beginning October 4th in conjunction with the regularly scheduled Saturday tours, so bring your family and friends in for a free taste and tour and enjoy fresh and local pub grub.

We have several private events scheduled on Friday and Saturdays in the near future. The brewpub is therefore unavailable to the general public this weekend and every Friday and Saturday evening thereafter.  Brewpub diners are often overshadowed by large parties and large parties are sometimes out of place among walk in brewpub guests. Neither group leaves satisfied.

We are forced to follow market demands and cater to the larger groups.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  On the bright side, you can now have the brewery as your own personal playground for the evening with a private brewhouse tour and samples straight from the tanks.  Please consider us for your next party.

That's right, Lee's Retreat is converting to a private event venue. The public can enjoy lunch on Saturday only. I can't say I'm not disappointed but I must respect their business decision, and certainly wish Jeff well. On the other hand, if there's enough private party business to keep a brewpub open, that's a good thing. For the brewery that is, not so much for the long-time supporters and fans of the brewery, for us this is a closing.

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