It's funny, when your dreaming in your garage thinking, "Wow, one day I'll be serving beer to so many people getting pats on the back and hugs for changing people lives". Then you turn the burner off, throw into a fermentor, clean a little, and move on. Oh those were the days :). Yes we still brew 10-20 gallon test batches of homebrew every week. Sure the joy and passion are still there (strong). What's changed is the amount of advice, people, and knowledge of how much this will really take. I am re reading books for the 3rd and fourth time. Visiting as many breweries as possible (and nagging them). Our business plan has changed 100 times, for 100 different reasons. I have hit refresh on probrewer.com at least 25 times in the past ten minutes alone looking for that perfectly priced brewing system for sale. I have so many business cards in front of me I could start a bonfire! My point here is, besides a caffeine buzz on the strongest cup o' coffee in a while, that we are going through the motions that many others before us already have, continue to do, and others to follow. If we are lucky enough, we too can say one day, "Do you have enough money?" or, "Do you even know what it takes?". That's why its easy for established brewers to say , "Go get em, we need more good beer in this state". They earned the right to watch you squirm a little! We press on, no looking back now.
Onto building/lease news: There is a second city in the mix and I can't tell if that's good or bad. Queen Creek has been good to us, but devoting that much time, money, and effort warrants a listen to others. Negotiations are usually between a jaded party and an ambitious one saying, "Sell us your lease and we are going to gut this place". Then a huge number is passed across the table, and bam, the month long "waiting for them to budge" session begins (we are mostly talking to restaurants that are on the market). Remember, we had already been approved by the city and state before the fitness center said no. We can do this all over again. The architect will be happy to take our money yet again. I have really devoted our time this week to making something happen. It's a full time job at this point (and we all already have our jobs to deal with as well). For the best news yet: we are buying a commercial smoker after talking with the Alpine Beer Co. guys. Yes, smoked meats!
A sledge hammer awaits, we just need some walls to knock down.
Take this travel tip:
Noble Hops in Oro Valley just north of Tucson. I have only been twice, but both times I really enjoyed myself. The views of the Santa Catalina mountains are as good as seeing the wall of taps. They describe it as, "A 30 foot indoor/outdoor bar and patio offers breathtaking views of the mountains and is just about the perfect place to relax and refresh." It's a multipurpose gastropub where you can grab a beer after a hike alone Pusch Ridge, go on a first date, Friday night with the friends, or take the out of town family for lunch kind of place. Overall, It comes off as casual joint where anyone looking for a good craft beer will fit in, but it surely could pose as classy dining experience if needed (AKA a gastropub). The food is simply amazing and with that much beer pairing isn't an issue. Just plan on everyone ordering a different item, and share away. Oh, and BTW, they have several local AZ beers on draft.