Opening this brewery has opened up a whole new chapter in my life. I've always been one to give up very easily when things get tough. I think fatherhood has really helped me overcome some of that. The thought of my children giving up on problems as soon as they start makes me sick to my stomach. I'm trying to teach them to do something that I inherently would never do.
This enterprise has changed all of that. I'm so fucking determined that no matter what obstacles I've run across I've managed to mow them down. I don't even think about it anymore. When I say "failure is not an option", that's not some slogan I'm using to pump myself up, it's a statement of fact. I will not fail.
Panic Alarmist Brewing will open and nothing is going to stop me. Nothing.
If I can't afford the system size that I want, I'll go smaller. If I can't afford a canning line, I'll go keg only until I can afford one. If the space I end up leasing is not zoned correctly for a future retail store or tap room, I'll get it rezoned. I'm not hemming and hawing. I'm deciding and I'm executing. Simple.
I have a lot of problems which will require solving in the next couple of months. Big problems. They will be solved and if anyone or anything gets in my way, I'll go above, around, below, or through.
A couple of days ago my wife was telling me about a play that she was asked to audition for (she's a graduate from Depaul University's Theatre School, one of the most prestigious acting/directing programs in the country). Rehearsals would start in the summer and the show would run through the fall. It requires a lot of time. She would be rehearsing 6 days a week including weekends. We have kids. We're very busy. Brewing/brewery stuff is taking up a lot of time. She was worried that it wouldn't be possible. My response? "It's a problem, we'll solve it. Go for it". She cried. That little story isn't to show you how great of a husband I am (but c'mon, right?), it's an example of how this whole project has changed everything for me.
Why am I telling you this? Because I remember when even the thought of opening a brewery was so overwhelming that I'd just shut down and go on with my day job, unsatisfied. Those days are loooooong gone. Here's the takeaway:
Whether your dream is to open a brewery, winning an Oscar, or becoming a high paid prostitute, don't fucking sit there and come up with all the reasons why you can't do it or why it's a bad idea. BREAK THE PROBLEM DOWN INTO SMALL PIECES AND SOLVE THEM. Easy.
That is all. Next posts, when time allows, will have more substance. I've got some great stuff on canning costs, hop market, fermenter designs, glycol, steam. The list goes on.