Like a lot of brewers- and publicans-in-planning who want to document their metamorphoses from “consumer with big dreams” to “business owner living the dream”, I am not starting at the true beginning.  We’ve been at the process of learning what it means to open a business brewing and serving our own beer in our own taproom for some time already.  The trouble with a true, near real-time chronicle of this process is knowing when to start writing about it.

I’m not the Voice of Brewery Startups; I can only speak for myself when I write that there was no clear point at which we asserted, boldly and without fear of contradiction “WE SHALL BREW BEER AND SELL IT IN OUR OWN ESTABLISHMENT”, and then turned our backs on our old way of life to run, full steam, at the new.  The truth is, the “beginning” took place over several months and, if we’d started writing down our thoughts at the beginning of that time, there would now be a great number of vague, embarrassing, poorly-informed or factually incorrect ramblings posted on this blog.

Note: I’m not against personal embarrassment; I am a frequent flyer in that category.  I’m only making the point here that those posts wouldn’t have made for very engaging reading for you, our visitor!

I suspect that’s why we don’t see a lot of journals online titled “How I Started My Business: A Painful Up to the Minute Chronology of Events”.

It took a good while to gather enough information about running a business, about making beer at scale (I’m an avid homebrewer, but have limited experience on commercial equipment), about commercial leases et cetera to come to the realization that we were, indeed, building a business.  Obviously there are milestones: forming a company, establishing a tax ID, opening a bank account, writing a business plan and so forth.  None of those things, however, are “point of no return” kinds of moves.  Anyone can do them at very little cost to themselves – a few hundred bucks, actually – and still decide to hang it up if things get too stressful.

In our case and, I think, for most small business owners bootstrapping their own ventures, the differentiator between dilettante and professional business owner in training has been mindset.   When we first realized our thoughts had shifted from “if we start a business…” to “when our business is started…”, and could back those thoughts up with supporting facts and still somehow want to press on despite all the unknowns, we felt like we had truly begun.

There is still a great deal to do.  There will be a lot more about the excitement we’ve felt and the challenges we’ve faced in this process in future posts, but today’s inaugural missive is about when we knew we’d actually begun, and why the first “how we did it” post comes so long after the notional beginning.  Short answer?  So the content doesn’t suck [as much – we’re keeping it real, here].

In following articles, we’ll try to break out some of the mile markers along the way and discuss them in greater detail for those who are interested.  For everyone else, we’ll have more festive content on the progress toward, and activities after, opening our place.

Stay tuned, and cheers!


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