Congrats on your first cook. IF the food was edible i would consider it a success.
First and most important, will the beer tap keep beer cold being that close to the pit?
I haven't seen anything like that before. That might be a stroke of genius.
Back to cooking, there are some great videos here considering stickburners and brisket.
I would search for pitmastert and look at his videos on brisket and weeping ribs.
Also Franklins video on brisket is a nice place to learn. He uses water bowl to increase moisture in pit, brown paper to keep a brisket from burning up, fat towards the fire, lots of small things that add up to success.
I continue to learn every time i fire up the stickburner.
I haven't had any success with mesquite. Its hard to get in KY.
I burnt up the last set of ribs i cooked so Im not going to offer any help on them.