We hit some pretty rad milestones over the past month. As mentioned in our last blog, we received our federal permit earlier this year. Since that memorable day, we have also received our Massachusetts license as well as town approval for our pouring permit. On the surface it’s just a pile of paper, but these wonderful, government-stamped papers mean we are now fully licensed to operate a brewery and pour full-size, insanely fresh, flavor-bursting beers in our taproom! Put your hand up right now, because we’re giving you a virtual high five in 3, 2, 1…
It’s been a hell of a year. We started 2016 with a business plan, some lofty goals and lots of ambition, but that’s about it. Everything we “created” was just abstract ideas written on paper and there wasn’t much else in terms of tangible progress or results. Fast forward 12 months and we have a real company, a construction site, and a much clearer vision of what this brewery is going to be.
“Stop trying to make everyone happy all the time. You’re not beer.” -A brewer (probably)
In all of our excitement over getting this brewery open, we’ve been ignoring a very important subject in our blog posts so far: the beer. While I’m sure most of you are fascinated by things such as our floor plan, permitting, and state distribution laws, my guess is you’re probably more interested in what you’ll be able to drink once we’re open. So let’s actually talk beer!
There has been a lot of activity around the brewery over the last month, although our current work has been very different in nature from our previous work. We spent months writing a business plan, raising money, spending money, and ultimately putting our vision for the brewery into the hands of very talented builders, architects, equipment manufacturers, and government officials. Well, now we’re letting these individuals do their thing. And in most cases, their “thing” involves lots of phone calls, discussions about draft plans, and permitting. It’s not the sexiest part of opening a brewery, but it’s a necessary step so one day soon we can pour that first beer from our taps. While all of these important activities are happening behind the scenes, we wanted to quickly touch on another important issue that is being discussed in the craft beer world and in the Massachusetts Legislature: distribution.
More and more people have been asking me what it’s like to open a brewery. I always tell them it’s awesome, and that’s not a lie. It is awesome. I’ve been dreaming about doing this for years and to finally be following through on this dream feels really, really great. There is still a lot of work left before we open, but the craft beer industry is so amazing and special that even with so much on my plate, most days it doesn’t actually feel like work.
Often I think of the beautiful town
That is seated by the sea;
Often in thought go up and down
The pleasant streets of that dear old town,
And my youth comes back to me.
-My Lost Youth, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When I first decided to open a brewery, I talked to a lot of brewery owners to set my expectations. Many of them told me that finding a good location took much longer than they had anticipated and was a huge bottleneck affecting everything else. Well, I can now confirm these statements as accurate.
And so it begins. I have to be honest, I’ve been thinking about this moment for a long time. It’s always been my dream to open a brewery (said everyone who’s ever had a late night drinking with friends), and even when I quit my desk job in 2014 to become a brewer, I often thought of the day when I would formally announce my plans to open my own brewery.