In June of 2017 I formed the LLC for Alma Mader. It was a birthday gift to myself and more importantly it was a target on the wall. I did not think that fifteen months later I would be writing this post with the progress that has been made.
Two weeks after I registered the LLC, Tania (my wife) came across a job in Kansas City that caught her interest. I encouraged her to apply for it and the next day she was scheduling a phone interview. The following week she was being flown out to Kansas City and little did we know that she just jumped into the final round of interviews. Three weeks later, she was offered the job and was set to start in seven weeks. What...the....f&$k.....
I've always been one to make self-imposed timelines in my head and this was way ahead of schedule. It didn't take long to sink in. I started to realize how much I loved living in Seattle, working at Fremont, getting my daily coffee(s) at Milstead, and all of the wonderful people we had become friends with. Like most folks making a quick move, there was a building sense of doubt and fear of the unknown.
Ask a brewer their ultimate goal and you'll often get "to start my own brewery." That freshly painted target on the wall was suddenly front and center and here was my opportunity. For the last 6.5 years I went through revision after revision of my business plan, I worked at three of the best breweries in the world (with some of the brightest minds in the industry), and I completed Heriot Watt's MSc program on a brewer's salary. Looking back I realize how fast life moves when you're passionate about your career and how limiting self-imposed timelines can be on your trajectory.
With that said, I'm proud to announce how far we've come in the last year. Not only do we have a small group of investors, but also we have a great relationship with a local bank that will finance our small business loan. Additionally, we signed a lease in a very inspirational part of town at 2635 Southwest Boulevard and I am incredibly excited to be a part of that neighborhood. In September we were issued our building permit, and initial construction started last week!
Needless to say all of this has come with a lot of stress, rejection, fear, and doubt. The minutiae of starting a brewery is something that you don't worry about as a naive brewer ordering the juiciest hops and the most rustic heirloom grain. To say "I want to start my own brewery" does not capture the deepest layers of thought and self-belief that you need to have in your idea and your passion.
Thank you all for taking the time to read through this first post. I look forward to using our Blog to archive our progress and I will also be sending out updates via our newsletter so please make sure you subscribe if you'd like a steady (but not annoying) flow of information.
It's good to be home, Kansas City.