Throughout this entire crazy amazing journey there is one point that needs to be made, many times over - the craft beer industry is incredibly uniquely inclusive. The openness and camaraderie we've experienced is unheard of, and has helped make our progress possible.
From the early days when it was just a quick question, from a drinker to a bartender, on to discreetly quizzing a brewer about the reason they picked a specific brewhouse manufacturer or where they sourced their prized hops, to today. We can now legitimately offer ourselves up as the latest entrants to the trade, eagerly poised to open our doors in a few short months!
Universally, without hesitation -from industry veterans to equally anxious rookies - the response to any variety of inquiries has been: 'Let's pour some beer and we'll talk' - the questions are answered, contact info exchanged and plans made to stay in touch as we make our way through this convoluted maze of our highly-regulated industry. We learned quickly to take those offers sincerely, and have stayed in touch with so many invaluable industry connections.
At first my first thought was 'Wait, what? You'll tell me what went wrong when you did that? And how you solved it? Just to be helpful?' It didn't seem natural. Legal & accounting questions, equipment & material acquisition concerns, timing of permits & licenses - no subject is off-limits. 18+ months since those first questions and conversations, it's something that continues, and continues to amaze- an unimaginable aspect of the industry that is hard to appreciate until one is immersed in it.
It's invigorating (& nearly inconceivable!) to see how our colleagues celebrate our progress with us- not competitors, but teammates, helping strengthen the craft beer industry. Together.