It started with a drink (several, as happens under such circumstances) at a killer jazz bar in a revitalized industrial area of Santa Barbara, on a weekend visit when Stephanie and I were searching for answers to some vague, frustrating questions. Among them- do we continue down the career paths we're on, plugging away at our day jobs for another 20, 30, 40 years? Or leap (plunge?) off the cliff in search of the next chapter? Neither of us are fond of the easy path, and pretty quickly we were sprinting towards the edge of the abyss.....

Fast forward a couple weeks, and I'm sitting at a bar - one at the heart of the San Diego craft beer revolution - for a chat with a friend, about beer, over a beer. He's solidly embedded in the industry, having worked at every level of beer production - from bartending to keg washing to leading a team producing thousands of barrels of award-winning product every month. My rudimentary amateur questions about starting a brewery weren't nearly as cryptic and mysterious as I had imagined in my mind, and this friend pretty quickly caught on to the idea I was asking about. The conversation continued over another beverage or 3- the beginnings of a partnership & friendship that formed the foundation for J&L Eppig Brewing, LLC.

Now we have a team - 3 partners. 3 wholly different backgrounds, experiences, ideas and approaches, which now are being merged into one focused goal. (We'll get back to that) In the mean time, there is a lengthy laundry list of tasks to accomplish, far too long to list here. It started with creating a business plan and financial projections - the lifeblood of any cash-poor partnership, in a capital-intensive industry. How do we solve the problem of needing upwards of a million dollars, when we have, well, let's just say, significantly less than that million dollars? And so our search for investors commenced - and let me tell you, if you've never searched and scoured for money to launch your dream - it's YOUR dream, not the dream of the people with money. We had the illusion that, as we need money to make beer, and people love beer, obviously they’d offer up their money to help us make beer! As you can imagine things don't quite work that way. Definitely, we do had a collection of close friends who did just that - and we're eternally grateful for that undying support.