Beer. Fucking Phenomenal Beer.

We still have ‘real’ day jobs, so we often don’t get to work on Eppig Brewing until the sun has set, work well past midnight, holidays, weekends…  It’s surprisingly easy to stay motivated when you you’re following your passion, and lucky for us, that includes brewing and tasting beer! Our recipe test batches have commenced, and some genuinely amazing beer has come through the homebrew pipeline- the first batch, an incredibly tasty stout, was a relief. Not in the sense that 'whoa the beer is good' - we knew that, our partnership was based on exactly that level of expertise. No, it was that, after 12+ months of living and breathing the reincarnation of Eppig Brewing with every decision, dollar and drop of sweat the 3 of us were pouring into this, there is beer. That single focused goal we're working towards. And it is fucking phenomenal.

Reinventing Eppig Brewing

Reinventing Eppig Brewing

It takes more than money- there's actual work to be done to turn our vision into a reality, and to bring our brand to life…

We decided on the name Eppig Brewing months ago- naming the brewery after Stephanie’s family, whom owned and operated breweries in Brooklyn, New York prior to Prohibition (and, discreetly, during). So now begins the process of creating a brand that can build on this history with a modern twist.  After the past few months, naming seems like the easy part. On to forming the legal framework for our company, lots of hours with very skilled attorneys and that is taken care of. Next is the critically-important logo, and after considering nearly 100 variations - this is the one!

 

Paperwork filed to ensure our name and logo were protected, and 7 months later (which makes nearly every other aspect seem speedy) our trademark is now licensed! Then there’s the branded merchandise giveaways - everyone loves freebies. Basic placeholder website, Twitter/Facebook/Instagram accounts- check. The people you absolutely must involve in your dream, it's a crazy diverse collection of industries. A team of lawyers, a CPA, bankers, engineers and construction experts, graphic designers, brokers of real estate & equipment, suppliers of barley & hops, just to name a few. Now we're in need of merchandise samples-thankfully Stephanie considers this “shopping” and took over that task! Moving forward with equipment options,  location scouting, and above all else- beer.

Plunging Off A Cliff

Plunging Off A Cliff

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.