Friday, July 24, 2009

More waiting!

I keep telling people... "If I wanted to open a sewing machine repair shop, I would have been in business for a year now." But anytime you involve alcohol, Uncle Sam wants to make sure that he's going to get every penny that's coming to him. And in doing that, slows down the whole process. Damnit.

Construction is 99% done. The gas will be hooked up on Monday. Everything is looking good. I'll be brewing some test batches on the system next week (and by test batches, I mean never to be sold or given away. Probably be destroyed after taste panels). Money is getting tight now and I am no longer affiliated with 75th Street Brewery. So I'm either unemployed or fully self-employed depending on how you look at it. But at least it's all mine.

I'm really thinking that I'll have beer for sale in either Kansas or Missouri by the end of August. It's crazy to think that this all started almost a year ago with me and my wife sitting around our sons playskool plastic table, drinking beer and getting fired up about the idea of starting our own brewery. But I've never really been known to be sane, and until my dieing days I'll say that my wife followed my insanity of her own free will.

Are you ready Kansas City? Let's do this!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Now it's for real

Another month, another update. That seems to be my usual rate of posting stuff here. Construction started this week. The plumber was in installing the drains and running new gas line. All the other construction should be started on Monday. Looks like I'm going to have myself a brewery before the end of July. Now I just need to get all of the licensure and cut through all the red tape. Oh yeah! And I guess I'll need to start brewing some beer.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The ball is rolling now

I talked to the bank and they're saying that the extension of my loan has been approved and I should be able to sign after the holiday weekend. As soon as I leave the bank, I'll call the contractor and tell him that I'm ready to move forward. The current time frame that he's giving me is two weeks from the start of construction.

My brewhouse came in! There was a problem ordering the fermenters, but that's cleared up and they should be arriving in 1-2 weeks. Everything is finally starting to come together. Current estimate for the beer to hit the shelves is July sometime. Of course, last time I tried to pick a date for my beer to be out, I came up with February. Hopefully that won't be the case again.

While at the Craft Brewers Conference in Boston, I went to a seminar about opening a brewery. The owner's first lesson was "Opening a brewery takes three times longer than you think it will, and costs twice as much." Yep, that's what I've been noticing too.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Recent updates

So, I've been pretty bad about updating. So here's the scoops

1. I've added twitter to the blog so I can do the micro blog thing more often and keep everyone more up to date
2. I have to move my brewery location. It's okay though, it's just to the suite right next to where I was before. I'll save a lot of money on construction this way.
3. I'm waiting for the bank (again... crap) to extend my loan. Even with the savings, construction costs are really high and I need some more money to start this up.
4. I spent all of last week in Boston at the Craft Brewers Conference. I learned a lot of interesting things and got to reconnect with some old Harpoon friends. I also have fun stories about fellow brewers and how well they handle large amounts of alcohol.
5. I'll be representing the 75th Street Brewery at the Parkville brew fest this Saturday, but I'll gladly talk to anyone about the Doodle Brewing Company if I'm not busy pouring beers for everyone.

There's probably more, but hopefully this is good enough to start off the new month.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Slow going

I promise I'm doing stuff. I expected to find some various constraints and problems so I buffered some time into my estimated opening. Once again, I'm poised with a phone full of numbers to call as soon as the architect finishes the plans and the city grants the building permits. A friend at 75th street came in and took some pre work pictures that I'll hopefully get to put up sometime so we can have a walk down memory lane in the future.

Thanks to everyone who's stopped and talked to me about the brewery (or had to listen to me talk about it). Support like that is a huge inspiration.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And we're off...

As of Monday, I'm the proud owner of a pretty nice chunk of debt.

As of this morning, I'm the proud leasee of a property in Liberty.

So, obviously, I'm spending all my free time making phone calls, phone calls, emails and phone calls. I'm not complaining though. In fact, it's actually kind of fun to orchestrate the chaos into what sounds like a elementary school recorder band. Maybe I just need to open breweries for a living, or conduct elementary school recorder bands.

On second thought, what's the fun of creating a brewery if you don't get to enjoy the final product? And also, I really don't like recorders.

Friday, February 20, 2009

At last... (hopefully)

First of all, thanks to everyone who's emailed, called or personally talked to me and offered their support for my brewery. After Dan Ryan at put out the word, it spread pretty quickly. Many many emails offering support, including some from the city of Liberty administrators (Awesome by the way. I'm not sure if KC does this kind of thing, but Liberty officials have pretty much accepted me with open arms before I was ever really doing any business in Liberty. To me that says, "Choosing Liberty was a great choice. And it's getting better all the time. Taco's are good." I'm not sure why that last part got in there, but taco's are good. I need to stop this sidenote before it gets anymore out of control).

And now...

Without further sidenotes...

The bank finally called me today and told me that that they have "docs". I have an appointment at 10 AM on Monday to go in and sign all the paperwork necessary. It's kind of nice to start the mad dash on a Monday that I have off.

10 AM: Sign paperwork
11 AM: Call leasing agent and set up appointment to sign lease
11:30 AM: Lunch. Buffalo Wild Wings. 12 Wings, Spicy Garlic, big glass of Boulevard Pale Ale

Afternoon calls:
Brewhouse manufacturer
Fermenter manufacturer
Local business that sells walk in freezers
Contracter to schedule remodeling of brewery
Webmaster to set up email list
And probably many more.

All I can say is... I'm ready.
The time for worrying about this or that is done. I've come to terms with everything that I'm going to be doing. Win-lose, success-failure, Spicy Garlic-Asian Zing, I'm just... Ready

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Yet another waiting game

Waiting... for the bank... again...

I realize the economy is tough and that banks are being a little bit more sure with their money, but damn. If it takes this long to get a loan, I kind of have to wonder how they'll be with the rest of my financial business transactions.

On another note, everything is ready to go. As soon as the bank lets me sign paperwork, I sign papers with the landlord, start a little remodeling, give notice to the federal and state authorities, contact equipment manufacturers blah blah blah... It's a lot to cram into two months, but hopefully by the middle of April we're ready to go.

Just need the bank to fall in line.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Beer choices and selections

While the bank plays "phone tag" with the SBA, I'm started finalizing much of the logistics and strategies about the brewery. One of the more difficult ones to think of was how many and what kinds of beers to brew.

While everyone has their favorite beer style to drink, it may not be a beer style that a majority of beer drinkers like. While I enjoy a good super hopped IIPA or a super sour lambic, the average beer drinker may not. So with that in mind, I have developed Doodle Brewings first beer to be a Belgian Dubbel called "Dubbel Doodle."

Belgian Dubbels, in my opinion, are very easy to drink, have a little bit of a punch to them, and are still a very classy artisian beer. Plus, my wife really likes dubbels, and we all know that the person letting you spend lots of money on beer is someone you have to cater to.

With that said:

The Dubbel Doodle pours a dark mahogany with a slight red at the edges of the glass. The aroma reveals a malt sweetness with hints of toffee and raisin present but not dominating. The first sip fills your tounge with a caramel like sweetness with a slight plum/raisin aftertaste lingering. The last sip leaves you with an empty glass and an empty feeling, until the next time you are able to enjoy another one of these hand crafted artisinal beers.

At least, that's the way the test batches are. I'm sure the final product will be much better after more testing and some various tasting panels.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Another Waiting Game

It's all in the banks hands now. I'm just waiting on that phone call...