Artifacts suggesting evidence of brewing have been dated by archaeologists to around 7,000 B.C. Chemical evidence of beer has been dated to 3,500 B.C. Likely originating in the holy lands of Mesopotamia, mankind has been gathering around beer for thousands of years. Whether they were planning, celebrating, or simply enjoying, it is certain that beer brought folks together.
Seven years ago, my wife and I made a life changing move; we left the metropolitan style of life and pointed a trailer load of our belongings west, landing 2 miles north of our rural Hometown. We would commence to raising our then one-year-old son (and eventually his brothers) in a creaky old farmhouse situated between a big red barn and a dirt road. The landscape and our panorama had changed drastically. So, too, would our appreciations and priorities; all for the better.
It is the confluence of these two thought streams that brings my pen to paper in this instance: the longstanding ability of beer bringing people together, and the appreciation of all the things that life in rural Nebraska has to offer.
We have, in our adventures aboard the ship that is Handlebend, become acquainted with many fun, intelligent, fine and, quite frankly, incredible people from all around our state. The world of small business, entrepreneurship and just thinking outside the proverbial box, we have learned, seems to be intricately interconnected. It is this sort of living, breathing form of life that intertwines the paths of many folks walking the same path of existence. It is inevitable, I suppose, that folks who are of a similar frame-of-mind, facing similar obstacles and experiencing similar successes and failures would gravitate toward one another. In the age of the internet that gravitational force becomes stronger and more prevalent: we’ve never experienced a smaller world as humans on this earth. Physical distances have shrunk and covering them via travel or communication has never been so effortless.
In our time with Handlebend- amidst the careening down the learning curve in a rickety old cart with questionable brakes- we’ve (as I mentioned before) spent time with some downright inspiring people. One such company is Scratchtown Brewing in Ord, NE. Appreciators and makers of beer, their story is more deeply rooted than simply the production of ales. Owners Mike, Caleb, and Shay hold many of the same sentiments that we do regarding life in the working world. The Scratchtown story begins where these three fellas’ “eight-to-five” world ended. Giving up conventional jobs they all rolled up their sleeves to build something different in, and for, their small town. The main operating motive behind Scratchtown Brewing Company was to create a space and a concept that could foster the type of community and values that make rural Nebraska so great in the eyes of it’s residents. They wanted to build a business that would provide a stage of sorts, showcasing the talent, creativity, and capabilities associated with the spirit of Nebraskans. It is these underlying themes that we saw in Scratchtown that seemed so familiar and resonated with us at Handlebend.
The past two years has led us on a path of working toward the very same goals. With the recent restoration of a building on main street of our hometown we’ve navigated the risky and vulnerable trails of opening and operating multiple unconventional business concepts. Like Scratchtown, our main product is tasked with and aimed at bringing folks together. We have recognized that as the world keeps turning, time seems to go by ever faster. The more connected we become, the less apt we are to slow down and enjoy those most important connections. Our copper mugs, just like Scratchtown’s beer, are built on the foundational idea that they can slow that time back down; providing a platform and a reason for gathering with family and friends – a reason to simply enjoy.
It is this shared baseline – this default mode- that drove us to collaborate with the Scratchtown guys. We wanted a beer that represented the very reason we all chose “back home” as our base camp. Coppershop Session Ale is just that; a beer that we took our time with. We knew what we wanted, and we did not rush in getting it right. The Scratchtown guys listened and worked with us in fine tuning the subtle details. They gave us an in depth understanding of how we could achieve the perfect finished product, and they put their unique skillset to work in doing so. The result is a beer we’re proud of; a beer Handlebend can call its own. Full bodied and flavorful enough for any craft beersman, straightforward enough for all who like to stick with the basics. Meant to be enjoyed with those you love the most, we are thrilled to tap into the Handlebend X Scratchtown collaboration that is: Coppershop Session Ale.