Thursday, March 26, 2009

Profesional Brewer...

I have to admit, ever since last Friday as my wife and I were enjoying a craft beer at our local brewery, and I joked to her that I wanted to give up my life in computers to become a brewer it has stuck in my head.

The problem is that brewing is not really a job that is in demand, unless you live in the Pacific Northwest. That means partnering with a restaurant or starting a brewery all by my self. To be very honest, I don't think I have the business sense or big enough balls to start a brewery, nor do I think that I could sacrifice enough in a partnership to make it work long term.
For instance, what if I make the most kickass IPA in the world, but it has enough hops to make nothing but the most strident hopheads go crying to mommy. The restaurant says, you need to dial down the bitterness in this IPA. Somethings are worth going to jail over, and that just might be one of them.
There is a fine line between what makes sense business wise, and sacrificing your integrity. I know many breweries who cross that line all of the time. Their IPAs have BDU ratings in the 20s and their "stouts" are so weak they have me believing that they use food coloring to turn their brew black. BUT they sell brew, and the sheeple think that the beer is awesome. Just go to any Granite City and you will know what I am talking about.
I am well known in all of the companies that I have worked for that I am rather uncomprimising when it comes to matters of speed and convenience over doing the proper thing. I have a feeling that this would cause considerable tension with a restaurant partner.

I have grown very used to having that safe income that comes from being some company's tool. To be honest it is not the failure of the business that frightens me, it is the potential marital problems that come before the fall as the business is hemorrhaging money that really concerns me. I am 100% confident that my marriage could survive the death of several business, BUT the stress, arguments and pain that the failures would cause is not something that I want to go through, let alone put my wife through.

But then I come across some place like Tampa Bay Brewing Company. The place is absolutely dedicated to beer. They serve 9 beers all year round. The have weekly cask ales. Serve IPAs that have BDU ratings in the 80s, Pale Ales that use unmalted barley to give it an extra kick, and 18 different seasonal ales.
They are in a prime location in downtown Tampa, and they seemed to be doing very well when I was there. Just wow. If I owned and operated a brew pub, I would want it to be just like that.

Perhaps I need to take this time during my wife's residency to try my hand at home brewing. Perhaps I don't like to brew. Maybe I am no good at it. I think that when I look for my new house I need to see if I can put a stove or something in the garage or in an outside shed to begin my brewing legacy... Sounds like a plan to me.

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