In the middle of the tasting room is a barrel on a pole, with a bell hanging from it. This is our Wishing Barrel. Guests are invited to write a wish onto a piece of paper, put it into the barrel, and ring the bell. When the bell rings, everyone in the room toasts the wish! And by “toast” we would like to emphasize that this means “drink.”
Every year on the Summer Solstice, we will have a festival and burn the wishes in a bonfire, with more wine and best wishes. Shannon came up with the idea, which was directly inspired by Tucson’s famous Day of the Dead Parade, which burns messages filled with the hopes, offerings and wishes of the public for those who have passed.
The barrel itself ended up in the middle of the room for practical reasons: It literally holds up the house!
The building that we use as our tasting room (and future brewery) is an old farmhouse that we converted. Like a lot of houses in Arizona, it was expanded from a small building to a larger one over time, leaving it with a lot of small rooms. Naturally, we wanted to have a large, welcoming space for our tasters, but you can’t just go knocking out walls in old farmhouses! So we added several architectural details to make the building nice and stable.
So in a way, our Wishing Barrel not only holds the wishes of our guests, it’s holding our wishes, as well.