Most of us have been here before: you’re young, don’t have money, and are in desperate need of a vehicle. After getting by in college walking and biking for two years, I finally turned to the good ol’ parents to solve this dilemma. They parted with the family’s 1997 Grand Caravan with relative ease after a little cajoling. It certainly wasn’t my dream car, but beggars can’t be choosers. I humbly drove this monster to many a contra dance and ultimate frisbee tournament as I finished up school, but it was only during construction of the brewery that the van found its true calling.
You see, construction is about bringing resources from all around the country to a single place for a single purpose. For a brewery trying to open on a budget, Nathan and I learned quickly the in’s and outs’ of construction from Sean; and the van turned out to be an excellent way to get us everything we needed. After removing all the back seats, the seemingly cramped van turned into the ‘undercover truck’ as we liked to call it. For eight months, pulling sheets of plywood, rebar, concrete, and everything else from Lowe’s and Watauga Building Supply became the daily routine for us.
Like all good stories, though, the twist comes when the routine is altered. One wintry afternoon, Nathan went on a supply run to Lowe’s in his ’92 Camry—not the van. Upon leaving the car, he was approached by one of the cordial staff at Lowe’s. The employee stopped Nathan and asked incredulously:
“Nathan, where is the Golden Nugget?!?”
Having never heard of said “Golden Nugget,” Nathan was naturally a bit confused. The matter was cleared up shortly, and it turns out that our beloved van had gained a reputation amongst the Lowe’s staff for hauling massive quantities of 8’x4’ ¾” plywood. Once, it was piled up in the rear almost to the ceiling, and the carrying capacity had impressed everyone greatly (including myself—bottoming out the suspension is never a good thing). The Golden Nugget, as the van was a tan/golden color, was the general nickname for our construction van at Lowe’s.
It seemed a natural fit that our Belgian Golden Strong would be named after our humble construction workhorse. With any luck, our cans will eventually show the Golden Nugget at the peak of its glory, dents and all…with flames shooting out the back. Well, that’s Nathan’s idea anyway. Sadly, the Golden Nugget/Undercover Truck/my dingy old van is no longer with us. I was hit one evening on Highway 421 and the damage totaled the car. Perhaps the name should be altered slightly: “RIP, Golden Nugget.”