It was fantastic to see so many regulars from over the past 6+ years! Today we told stories, drank great craft beer and told tales of the beers from years gone by. It is humbling to recognize the regard within which the Beer Temple is held. I was told of how welcoming our store was to everyone, how people felt at home, how customers just loved to stop in. Others gave us credit for the resurgence of downtown Matthews and even others told me the Beer Temple played a big role in their decision to continue to live in Matthews.
When I created the concept for the Beer Temple it was to create an atmosphere that was welcoming to everyone…and to tie that to great craft beer and Belgian ales. My long time friend and partner in crime, Russ, capitalized on my vision years ago with ideas of how to make the place even more welcoming by adding a level of fun to the mix that I could not bring and an enduring spirit of making friends. Russ and I over the years have commented on how many friendships the Beer Temple created…I know it is way more than I’ll ever comprehend! I also know some marriages started as first dates at the Beer Temple…how wonderful!
The Beer Temple’s role was to bring people together – all people! We wanted to build relationships in every direction – with our customers, with our neighbors, with local breweries, with Town Hall…with everyone we could. Through relationships we knew we could build a successful business.
I was inspired by trips to Europe…especially Ireland and Belgium, where I saw people across generations having a great time at the local pub. There was a sense of community and a sense that everyone was welcome…that was what I wanted to create in the little town of Matthews.
Everything we set out to accomplish will live on…just in a new building. It’s time to grow, it’s time to take it to the next level…but I know many are sad to see the original location close it’s doors. Many may be surprised by this, but it is hard for me to be sad. I feel both incredible gratitude for all of our wonderful customers over the years who helped make the Beer Temple what it became, while at the same time feeling incredibly excited about this next step. As much as I’ve loved Temple Mojo, it never lived up to its potential…precisely because it did not have all the elements of the Beer Temple (which was deliberate to keep each location a little bit unique). Now we get to bring the best of both into one building and take Carolina Beer Temple to its next exciting phase!
So tonight as we shut the doors for the final time…I did not get nostalgic until the last customer actually left the building (you get the honor, Hampton). At that moment I thought of the TV show Cheers and it’s final episode…which I decided to watch tonight with a cold craft beer in my hand. Yep…this phase is over…but the future remains incredibly bright and I can’t wait for what we’re going to create in the new space!
Cheers to you all…and THANK YOU for 6 years, 8 months and 30 days at Matthews Station St.! I look forward to the next decade and beyond on Trade St. and the next era of the Carolina Beer Temple! Cheers to you, our wonderful customers and cheers to a fantastic team that has helped keep the magic alive!