Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Acetaminophen, coffee, and 115 degrees.

Another installment that is I, Jonathan Buford, reporting what's happening in the world of Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.

The build-out is looking feasible.  That is, the estimates we have received won't break the budget.  Yay. OK, YAY!  The direction we take things will certainly take some work, but nothing seems out of the ordinary.  * A side note: please remember to not open fridges of previously abandoned restaurants.  A free tip that my stomach would prefer others not go through.*  Anyways, when you are plugging away at a business plan and dreaming up a vision you might, how do I say this, be an idiot at times.  The elephants and midgets may not be feasible, nor will the garden in the middle where you can "pick your own" sandwich toppings (so sad about that one, health code shmealth code).  With some great advice, and lets be honest, other peoples money, the vision for the atmosphere inside starts to take shape.  I love the outdoors, and I love it more in Arizona than any other state.  So we want to bring a little of that to 721 N Arizona Ave. without it looking like Zsa Zsa Gabor and the southwest made a turquoise love child.  After many o' travels and asking for wisdom from publicans, I have said vision for our place.  Natural wood, rusted ribbed sheet metal, photography of AZ, a rock wall (not to be confused with a rock wall that you can actually climb), a trail system, and many other artistic touches of this state. The menu will take you from Belgium to Germany (Schnitzel!)to England, and back to the USA.  That's where my brewing influences come from, so why not cook that way as well?  The brew system itself must be engaging to the viewing audience.  Why else are we throwing our souls into an abyss like this if we can't show patrons how we do it?  Viewing bearded, sweaty, and smelly men throwing  grains and hot water together will be perfect for a romantic lunch!  My point is, expect something unique. Something different.  I like people, I want to make beer for people who want to be made, err, uh, huh? I just want to enjoy myself and have everyone do the same.  I certainly understand why some pub owners stay in the back, its mind numbing to try and make a buck in this business and then you have to explain "what an IBU is", or "whats floating in my beer?" after a 12 hour shift. Call me naive, but that excites me.  It will be my personality inside a 4000sq ft building ( I think that's a positive?).  Once the lease has been negotiated we then will start construction.  Hopefully next time, we are talking about that.

Swag is slowly coming in.  Kickstarter rewards aren't easy to decide on. These are part of a marketing plan and I would prefer they don't offend people.  I hope we can have an opening gala to host a majority of you generous folks and then you can leave with some swag on that day.  Of course I can send them by snail, but it sure would be amazing to have everyone start us off with a bang while flashing our gear.  I want to have the party in 2012, that is the goal.

Finally, I hope to see you all at made in the shade.  I will be the one with the wort in my backpack as I want to do an open ferment in the cool pines of AZ.  Many of the deciduous and conifer trees secrete a sugar source perfect for our little yeasty boys to thrive in.  I will simply take some unfermented wort, let it open all night while we celebrate.... it being Saturday.  Then hopefully come home and analyze some healthy organisms!

Till next time.

Jonathan, husband of the wonderful Katie Buford.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Look! Over here! BEER NEWS!

Well, our state and city licence is now null and void as far as Queen Creek goes.  We have turned in our new application tot he state for Gilbert and life moves on again.   A lease should be locked up soon and we will now digress down the spiral that is making yeast and sugar dance.  I will be venting, crying, giggling and enlightening all with the progress from here on out as it should get interesting (again).

I am typing with 13 hrs of driving from Paso Robles, California behind me.  First off let it be known the the reason Firestone Walker Brewing Company is so successful is their complete and total love of the brewing community. I will always try and emulate the "Everyone is family policy" I receive from them. That followed by the best organization I've ever seen and , oh BTW, Mathew Brynildson is a fine brewer/human being. He enjoys people with passion as I do and we bounced that energy off of each other. They have been there for us during our Kickstarter campaign, all the advice on opening, and offering us some specs on our beer from their state of the art QC lab. Many other breweries out there have similar stories as I do. They deserve all the greatness they are experiencing. No brown nosing here, just some respect!

We will be hiring a head brewer in the coming months.  I will let you know when we will be taking resumes for that and a few other positions.  We are eyeing  January 2013 to begin brewing with the restaurant opening this September/October.  Excitement is upon us.  I have been lining up several out of state collaborations, in state, and one from the moon.  Our menu is going to be made for taste buds and bellies who need a new twist on pairing beer with gnosh.  Starting next month, our test batches will be moving back towards the Belgian influence.  A bier de mars, a coffee saison, and a basil/lime witt are on the docket.  We will be waiting for our wine barrels to arrive to commence with experiments on other eclectic and eccentric beers after bouncing idea's between our friends at Nebraska Brewing Co and Russian River Brewing Co. on working with wine barrels. Lot to lean as these beers take time to perfect so lets brew baby brew.

In cool, and downright purdy Pine, Arizona moves are being made in the AZ beer scene. The ownership is the same but the name "rimside grill" has been laid to rest and "That Brewery" is the new vision.    We stopped in after a exhausting backpack and were nourished with, well, beer.   The brewer was said to be in Colorado purchasing some brewing equipment but we were able to check out the 5 bbl system.  The menu is a good ol' pub menu and the burger I had was a beauty paired with a beer. San Tan was representing their too with the Hefe.   They should be brewing and selling at the pub sometime soon.  Northward bound is always a good thing!