The year was 2008. We were so young. We were ambitious. We were a little crazy.
We were five friends all working at the Lost Dog Cafe in Ithaca. The restaurant was going to close and we were all like “What’s next?” Alex started kicking around the idea of opening a brewery to get in on this craft beer movement. We cobbled together some brewing supplies and started making beer in the restaurant on Mondays because the restaurant was closed.
We made some terrible beers. I mean just awful. Want to hear a great story? Ask any of the Bandwagon dudes about the “Firecracker Brown Ale.” Anyhoo, Nick said to his girlfriend (now wife) that he was thinking of coming along on this ride and she said to him “Oh, you’re jumping on THAT bandwagon?” And thus, The Bandwagon Brewery was born.
We were all set to open our production facility and take over the world. Just one thing stood in the way. We were pretty sure we had no idea what we were doing. One epic weekend at a brewer’s retreat at the Dogfish Head brewery confirmed that and the idea to launch as a restaurant and brewery was born. As it turns out, having absolutely no money all stood in the way. We pressed on anyway and on December 8, 2009 the Bandwagon Brewpub opened it’s doors at 114 N. Cayuga St. in Ithaca. On December 10th of 2009 we ran out of our beer, brought in a bunch of guest beer and sometime around Christmas we had our beers again.
More to come….