These days everyone asks us how the brewery is going, which is a great question, and I love the fact that people are interested! I just wish I had a more exciting answer.
Progress has been ONE. STEP. AT. A. TIME. One small, tiny little step at a time. Feeling like a tortoise in a race. But the tortoise is also trying to go up on an escalator that's going down. There has been progress in several areas - on the business, on our beer, on getting our name out there, but nothing moves as fast as we would like it to. It's like being in a dream where you are being chased, and you know you need to run, but you JUST. CAN'T. MOVE. YOUR. LEGS !!!
One of the major setbacks was finding out that our floor doesn't have the strength rating required for a restaurant-type business, so we are going to have to install steel beams, with new columns and footings in the basement. That was a big blow, that left us scrambling to adjust our budget. It's something I suppose we should have thought about, but since the building is not very old (1987), it never occurred to us.
So, I have been feeling pretty down lately about the fact that progress is just not moving along as fast as I would like it to, and feeling in some ways like I'm failing. And I came across this video of a successful CEO, talking about how, when she was growing up, her father taught her to actually celebrate failure. And the concept was just very refreshing, given the timing. Her father also told her to always look for the "hidden gifts" in a failure.
Lately we've been trying to gather information so that we can make a few key decisions about our layout and our taproom. It's amazing how many different people have helped us out by sharing their knowledge. I'm starting to realize that one of the "hidden gifts" is learning how much support we really have. Our family and friends are always willing to hear us bounce ideas around and give feedback. Our coworkers give great recommendations for professionals who might be able to help us. Even random strangers from brewing forums on the internet, and breweries that I have just called up out of the blue with questions, have been incredibly giving - willing to give a little of their precious time in order to share their knowledge and experience. In a world that can often feel dark, sad, and frightening, the fact that it can also be so warm and welcoming is worth celebrating.