Labor of love
There is nothing more satisfying than being able to share something I’ve made and have other people enjoy it.
My first experience at a craft brewery came about 8 years ago. I had been to brewpubs that seemed to be more restaurant than brewery. They enticed people to dine first and drink beer as an afterthought. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing. Food and beer belong together. However, up to that point, I never knew a small brewery could exist without a restaurant. I had toured the Coors Brewery in Colorado and as someone who loves to see how things are made, the tour was awesome. But there was something about the big brewing tanks that made it appear making beer was out of reach for the average person. I was mistaken. Upon entering that first microbrewery I was amazed. The tanks were no more than 20 feet away from where they served the beer and where people sat. There was also something about the atmosphere that felt inclusive. Families could bring their children, large groups of people chatted at long benches and dogs were interspersed throughout the space. I then tried the beer and it was full of the kind of flavor the big beer brands lacked.
From then on, I was hooked. I wouldn’t say I wanted to open a brewery or even try brewing at that point, but I did start to research how beer was made. It was fascinating to me that just four ingredients (water, malt, hops and yeast) could create so many different styles of beer. There is a plethora of books, websites, articles and scientific papers dedicated to understanding and brewing beer and I tried to read as much as possible before I decided to take the next step… brew.
My first brewing experience was at a class at the local home brew supply store. We did a brew-in-bag beer. This is a method of only using one pot to steep your grains and boil the beer. Liquid malt extract is used to get all your fermentable sugars and malted barley is put in a bag and steeped for a set period before boiling the wort. It was a fun experience and I quickly put together a single pot brewing system of my own. More research then led to more equipment and eventually all grain brewing. I then started making more beer and having all my friends and family over to try my latest brew. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than being able to share something I’ve made and have other people enjoy it.
At this point, I pretty much knew I wanted to open a brewery. However, it was crazy to think about leaving my very stable and good job to take on the tremendous load of work it would take to get a brewery up and running. I guess it was time to be crazy and take the risk. I also knew I could not do it alone. My friend Matt had been brewing with me for a while and I thought it might be fun to mention it to him. To my surprise, he was thinking the same thing. Ever since then, it’s been almost nonstop planning, refining recipes, and learning.
Brewing is definitely a labor of love. It takes a lot of time and work to make a good beer, let alone create a space where people can enjoy it. But being able to share our beer with people and serve our community will make the whole experience worthwhile. We can’t wait until you can come join us for a pint.
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