May 24th was the anniversary of our announcement that New Main Brewing was going pro. We've learned a lot about starting a brewery in this last year, but we've also learned that it takes a whole lot more than passion and good beer to get started. Looking back on a year's worth of posts, our goal is the same but our path has changed nearly constantly. We are still committed to this dream, and we are still doing everything in our power to make New Main Brewing Company a reality.
That said, we've hit a few rather sizable bumps on our road to opening. We are very blessed to have received such a warm welcome at each of our tasting events over the last year. The friendships we've forged and fans we've met mean the world to us. We fell short of our crowdfunding goal, but we were able to reach more craft beer fans than ever before thanks to the tireless efforts of our friends and teammates. For those of you who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign, thank you for your contributions and your patience. Ordering and assembling the perk packages to ship out is taking us a little longer than we hoped, but we are working on getting everything shipped by the end of the month.
We spent more than a little time trying to find investors who were interested in our plan as well as seeking funding through various lenders and banks. To pull the curtain back a little bit, any time I said we had stuff going on "behind the scenes," that was pretty much code for trying to find substantial funding for our business plan (which has changed several times now). After several months of speaking with lenders and financial institutions, we kinda get the sense that they don't want to lend you any money unless you don't need it. And despite 30 years of evidence that craft beer isn't a fad (seriously, thirty years of craft beer scraping and clawing its way to more than a quarter of all American beer produced), funding a brewery still seems risky to people outside the industry.
We've learned to be flexible with our means, but rigid in our goals. We've learned how to tell when someone is stalling for time and when someone is genuinely interested. We've also learned that not everyone is as passionate about craft beer as we are. We've learned that no one cares as much about our dream as we do, and that there's really nothing personal about that. We've learned that everyone draws the line between business and personal life very differently.
We've learned that there is no "one way" to open a brewery, and everyone's experience is very different. There are many books that brewers have written about the origin of their brewery, with many similarities, but there is no sure-fire way to make something out of nothing. You kind of have to feel it out for yourself and not be afraid to make some changes to the image in your mind to make it come to fruition. We have been very fortunate to have so many amazing and genuine people giving us advice from their own experience opening breweries in DFW, and the new friendships we've forged throughout this process reassure us that we want to be a part of this community.
The dream of New Main Brewing is to bring interesting and tasty beer to our community in a comfortable, inviting place. We are still very much committed to this dream, but we're going to be building it from a slightly different angle now.
Since brewing equipment is hella expensive, we will be opening our doors as an events center and guest taproom until we can save up enough to commercially produce our own beer. I know that's not what most of you were hoping for (hell, we were hoping to make our own beer right out the gate, too), but cultivating the local craft community is very important to us. It is our hope that we can show you our commitment to Texas craft beer by providing y'all the atmosphere that we have come to know and love in the past 5 years of brewing and drinking across this state. In addition to a curated list of local craft beer, we will be offering non-alcoholic options as well like craft sodas, kombucha, and cold brew coffee.
This is most definitely a longer road than we thought we were setting out on, but who gives a damn when the journey is infinitely more interesting than the destination? We are literally going back to the drawing board to determine our next steps, but we are going to start taking action to make our space an interesting and fun place to visit and/or party.
In order to get our Certificate of Occupancy, we have a few major renovation items to get done. First, we must install a fire sprinkler system, then remodel the bathrooms that were formerly gym locker rooms, then we're going to get busy painting the inside spaces, and finally we're going to build a bad ass bar across which some of the finest liquids in Texas will be served (whether or not it's ours). The support and love that all of you have shown us throughout this process is overwhelming, and we are truly grateful for it. As we get our plan of attack laid out, I'll announce when our work weekends will start up so that you all can volunteer. (By the way, we've never stopped brewing our own beer, so there will be liquid reward at the end of each volunteer activity!)