Friday, August 26, 2016

Building a Brewery: Week 11

If you haven't heard by now, independent brewers in Texas just regained a constitutional right that was taken away in 2013. The victory has to do with a brewery's distribution rights and when they can be sold or exchanged. I'll let you read the much better and more succinct articles out there if you're interested, but needless to say, this is HUGE news for Texas craft brewers! We've made a little progress of our own.

Brew Session
We decided last minute that we would take the opportunity to brew at Dr. Jeckyll's last Saturday. Okay, it was rainy and I didn't feel like cleaning out the garage to brew inside. Either way, Amanda, Scott, and I brewed up a fresh batch of our American Stout to be ready for the coming cooler months. We were joined for a part of brew day by some of our homebrewing friends, Laura & Shane, who are no strangers to big, dark, heavy beers. If y'all are keeping score at home, Shane & Laura have already helped us with our beer before by donating a few sweet honey porters to help us salvage our overly-bitter IPA. We're excited to see how this batch of our favorite stout comes out, and we're even more excited to get behind the mash paddle again. Many more brews coming in the future, so stay tuned.

Business Stuff
After months of tweaking, writing, reading, re-writing, researching, cross-referencing, more re-writing, I think our business plan is finished. I will be calling a few close friends and confidants over the next week or two to go over it with us to make sure every question can be easily answered. This means we will be getting financials set up in the next month or so, or at least beginning the conversation. Hopefully we will be making some real headway into getting this thing off the ground properly. It's starting to feel pretty damn real around here, folks.

We are still not locked into a lease on a location yet. We have been tapping our personal resources trying to find a suitable location in the Goldilocks zone for breweries, and there is still some good potential out there. At this point we know our first, second, and third choice for locations and all that's left is the negotiation. As I've said a hundred times, starting any business is expensive, and opening a brewery is no exception. We want to make sure the place we get is appropriately priced so we can focus on brewing excellent beer and getting it to you fine people. With the business plan finished, we will have a lot of the answers potential landlords will be looking for, so hopefully we'll have news very soon on this front. 

It's Good to Have Friends
The over-arching theme of our brewery building is getting by with a little help from our friends. We are very fortunate to know some excellent people in the craft beer industry, and we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the people that have helped and inspired us recently. Cristall and Robert at Sleepy Panther Bottle Shop in Fort Worth get a huge shout out for running an awesome business with some of the best selection of craft beer anywhere in DFW. We recently participated in a PokemonGo meetup hosted by Sleepy Panther near Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth, and we had a blast. (we caught so many Magikarp, omg y'all) Make sure to head over to Magnolia in Fort Worth to pick up a mixed six-pack and/or some rare bombers.

We also want to direct your attention over to our fellow brewers coming soon to Arlington, Dirty Job Brewing. They are nearing the end of their own t-shirt sale to support their brewery opening, so take a moment and go show them some love. You can complete your entire Arlington Craft Beer t-shirt collection, adding to Division and Legal Draft, of course. Derek and his bunch make some awesome beer that we've sampled extensively on the Podcast, and we can't wait to be brewing alongside Dirty Job to make Arlington a Craft Beer City. Speaking of the podcast...

______ Podcast
Those of y'all who subscribe and regularly listen to the podcast know that we are about to change things up a great deal. We are in the process of shifting the format of the show to focus more on craft beer, and we'll be bringing new guests on regularly to help you meet the people in DFW who are working hard to bring the nectar of the gods to you. Without giving too much away, we want y'all to get excited about our changes, so make sure you listen to Atypical DFW Podcast while you still can to get hints and inside info before the switch. Once we switch, Atypical is going bye-bye, and you'll have a new show with a new name and a different cast of characters. Don't worry, we'll still make sure to share our updates and shamelessly plug New Main until we're blue in the face. Hope y'all are as excited as we are!

Upcoming Events
Don't forget to mark your calendars for your chances to sample our beer and share it with your friends and family. We will be pouring at Pantegofest Saturday, September 24th alongside some great local breweries. Steak cook-off, all-day live entertainment including Chris Knight, bounce houses for the kiddos, and lots of local artists and vendors - what more could you want from a local small-town event?! Come check us out and show our future home community some love. Click this link to get your $10 tickets for the VIP craft beer tent and avoid the line.

We will also be pouring at the Viridian Farmers Market and Craft Beer Experience October 15th in Arlington. Viridian hosts farmers markets regularly bringing the freshest local produce you can find grown right in our own communities by our neighbors and friends. You definitely won't want to miss this one, not only because you can get the finest ingredients for your home cooking, but we will be pouring free samples of our beer for you to try! Fresh fruits and veggies, a pumpkin patch, craft beer. Yep, it's fall in Texas, y'all.

We are so grateful for and proud of our Texas brewers that fought long and hard to have our rights restored, and we want to sincerely thank Peticolas Brewing, Live Oak Brewing, and everyone who was involved in making this week's historic ruling possible. Your hard work in and out of the brewery continues to inspire us, and we can't wait to be a part of the Texas Craft Beer landscape soon. Cheers!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Building a Brewery: Week 10

Don't worry Chicken Little, the sky isn't really falling. There have been a handful of interesting shakeups in the brewing world since last we spoke, but rest assured New Main Brewing is still committed to opening an outstanding craft brewery in the Arlington-Pantego-Dalworthington Gardens area within a year's time. Take a deep breath, crack a beer, and let's dive in.

Our new free episode is available now, so go download it, and tell all your friends, too. This week we took a serious look at some of the brewing industry's latest shockwaves. We touched on MillerCoors buying a majority stake in Granbury's own Revolver Brewing, we were all in agreement that whoever runs the Specs Twitter account should maybe read emails all the way through before claiming Grapevine is closing its doors (it's not, don't worry), and we all giggled in nervous anticipation that Michael Peticolas may actually be affecting change with the TABC in regards to brewers' distributing rights. When thinking of what all these industry shakeups might portend for New Main, I'm reminded of Tyler Durden's ominous closing line from Fight Club, "You met me at a very strange time in my life..." Seems like he had everything under control at that point, so I'm not too worried.

Houston trip
I made the jaunt down I-45 to meet with a few friends and family members this past weekend. I got to hug my nieces and nephews, hang out with my big sister, tickle my friends' babies, and just recharge the batteries a little, ya know? For those of my other friends that I didn't see in Houston, I'm sorry I just breezed through without a word. I didn't want y'all changing plans last minute this close to the start of a new school year, and I promise I'll make it up to y'all with a Houston-only beer party soon. I was also able to sit down with a gentlemen whom many in our friend group regard as a mentor and role model to discuss New Main's business plan and direction. I gained valuable insight, I refocused certain things that I need to communicate better, and took great notes on some things that need a little more attention and thought. In the words of Tony Magee of Lagunitas, "It's good to have friends."

As we continue to refine our business plan and financial projections, I'm basically going through a crash course in business management and planning. One thing that I'm slowly realizing is there are a lot of places to spend money, but some choices are wiser than others. We are still considering a few options for our brewery location, but we've also found a few new prospects that might allow us to spend previously earmarked dollars where they really count (brewing & fermenting equipment). We still don't have an official location locked down yet, but I'll let you know the second we do. I would like to host a few volunteer events before we open so that we may once more rely on our friends to help clean, decorate, build, and organize the brewing facility. Of course, there will be beer.

Upcoming Events
We have a few great local events coming up that I'm excited to share with y'all. We will be at Pantegofest on September 24th pouring samples of our beer and hopefully selling some New Main apparel. We will also be pouring beer at the Viridian for their Farmers Market and Craft Beer Experience event October 15th in Arlington. We'll release a little more information closer to each of these events, but mark your calendars now. We can't wait to meet y'all and pour you some beer!

As much fun as it is to talk about planning our brewery, our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the people affected by the recent flooding in Louisiana. We can only imagine how difficult life must be for y'all right now. If you have the means to help, please consider supporting the relief efforts of the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, United Way, and all of the other angels helping in Louisiana's time of need. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Building a Brewery: Week 9

Funny thing, when you're building a brewery - or starting any business for that matter - you don't really see your free time the same way anymore. Those precious hours between responsibilities and plans that used to be carefree and recharging now become guilt-soaked periods of "you should be doing xyz..." Still, the good thing about working on your passion nearly 24/7 is that it leaves you with just enough fatigue to justify actually doing nothing with some of your free time. And that is the over-thought and weakly-justified reason that I didn't write or post this update last week. :-P

Tasting at J R Bentley's
Our free tasting at J R Bentley's English Pub could not have gone any better. We were thrilled to see some of our fans again that have followed us from the beginning, and we were further encouraged by just how many of y'all were meeting New Main Brewing for the first time. Thanks to some networking on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we were able to add our tasting party to an impressive list of events going down that Friday. 

I want to especially thank those of y'all who found out about our tasting in the Facebook group DFW Let's Talk Craft Beer, Matt Dixon of NTX Beer Week and the Dallas Brew Bus and Brian Brown's site Beer in Big D. The folks behind these sites keep running tabs on all of the craft beer industry's news and tirelessly churn out exhaustive lists of events for the inquisitive craft beer drinker. Thanks for doing what you do, folks! We're planning our next tasting at the moment, but once we have a date and location we will let y'all know through our social media.

Finally on Untappd!
After fumbling around for a few hours, I've finally uploaded our beer to our very own brewery page on Untappd. Previously, all of our homebrew was uploaded to my homebrewery page, New Main Brewing, but we've joined the craft brewing industry by adding "Company" on our new page. We have the following beers ready for you to check-in: Victory or Death Pale Ale, Gone Toobin' IPA, Runaway Scrape Porter, and Prairie Sky Saison. We are keeping with the theme that makes the most sense to our brewery staff and crew, all of us having lived all over the great state of Texas. It just makes sense to capture what we love about Texas in our beer, from its incredible history, to its natural beauty, to the ways we Texans have our fun. We will be adding the rest of our beers as we continue the brewery-opening journey, so make sure to "Like" our brewery so you can brag about having tried all of our beer before everyone else. 

Atypical DFW Podcast
We got back to beer basics last week on Atypical DFW Podcast with Certified Cicerone Ryan Martin. Talking about beer is one of my favorite things to do, second only to brewing beer. Whenever we have Ryan and other beer-centric guests on the show, I immensely enjoy the content we put out. This week was no exception as we delved into the impact of AB Imbev/Moulson-Coors/SAB Miller/Miller-Coors/blahblahblahbigbeer's recent merger on the craft beer industry. We also turn the tables on our resident Cicerone as we ask him to critique the abomination that is Smirnoff Ice's alcohol-infused sports drink. As you would imagine, colorful language and hilarity ensued.

Pantegofest, September 24th
We are proud to announce we will be participating in Pantegofest on Saturday, September 24th in beautiful Pantego, Texas. This awesome community event celebrates the diverse town-within-a-town with all kinds of festivities, featuring live music, a steak cook-off, a VIP Craft Beer sampling tent, and several inflatable attractions for the kiddos. We will be pouring free samples of our beer like we do at our tastings, and we will also be selling some awesome shirts and other apparel to help out with the Texas summer heat (that we all know carries on well into October). Mark your calendars now because this event should be a freaking blast. We are going to be brewing like crazy to make sure to have plenty for everyone to sample. See y'all there!

Brewing with Division
On Sunday, I was granted a rare and valuable opportunity to brew with the big boys at Division Brewing in Arlington, Texas. Sean Cooley invited me to share in brewday responsibilities alongside cellarman Chris Morgan as we brewed Division's English dark mild, Distant Cousin. The joys of homebrewing are amplified not only by the *MUCH* larger batch size, but also by the prospect of thousands of DFW residents enjoying the fruits of our labor soon. Brewers bring beer to the people, and it's experiences like this one that reinforce the notion that I am in fact doing what I love to do. Immense thanks to Sean, Wade, Chris, and everyone at Division for allowing me to help y'all create craft beer in Arlington. If you haven't been to Division Brewing yet, quit wasting your life and get there ASAP to discover the wide array of amazing hand-crafted beer they brew and pour just for you!

That's all for this week (or last week, if you're keeping score). As previously mentioned, we will be brewing again very soon, so keep an eye out for some action shots on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Don't forget to log our beer on your Untappd profile as well! Cheers!