A Milwaukee Brewer. I thought I could make it as a shortstop, maybe an outfielder. I spent many summers playing Little League and going to as many baseball games at County Stadium as possible. We’d go as a family, but often times it was just my Dad and I. At that time I didn’t even know what a “Brewer” was, to me it was a guy that played baseball for my favorite team and had nothing to do with beer.
As it is for the majority of boys, the dream to become an MLB player has to end eventually. Instead, many of us go to college and get “real” jobs. Engineering sounded like it could provide an interesting and stable career for me (I would soon find it was maybe a little too stable for my personality). My first job took us to Pittsburgh for a couple years. We lived in a fun part of town called the South Side. There were a couple great tap houses with huge selections of beers of all different styles, most of which I knew nothing about at the time. But I knew I liked them. I liked trying all the different varieties and searching out anything that might be new on tap. I was amazed at all the different flavors that were possible and began to learn a bit about the ingredients and styles.
Pittsburgh was fun, but our love for the outdoors drove us to Colorado. I scored a job in Boulder. Jackpot. Not only an outdoor enthusiasts dream, but a craft beer mecca. We would 9-to-5 it during the week, then head out hiking and camping on the weekends, hitting many of the 100-plus breweries in the state along the way. We soon began home brewing. Extract brewing on the stove top at first, but we needed more. We wanted to learn more, brew more, and make great beers, and we ended up getting a Sabco Brew-Magic all-grain brewing system. Many commercial breweries have used this system for recipe formulation and experimentation. We settled on the first house we purchased mainly because it had a basement that we could convert into a dedicated home brewery. And then we brewed. A lot. We started creating our own recipes early on and we would draw from our experiences in the outdoors as inspiration for the direction to take our beers. We also continued to read about beer and brewing, and continued our “research” at many of the great breweries around, the number of which was growing. Early in this process, and like many a homebrewer has before, we thought about what it would be like to make this our lives by opening our own brewery. For several years we would casually talk about what we would want the brewery to be like and how awesome it would be to have that be our jobs until this last year when we started to get serious about it.
It’s taken a lot of work, even to start out very small, and there is plenty more to do over the coming weeks before we will be ready to open. Planning. Paperwork. Regulations. Construction. Not exactly the batting practice and ground balls I imagined it would take to become a Brewer as a kid. But at least as a brewer, there’s always good beer to be found at the end of the day.