Every once in a while during the long process of putting together the MHB business plan, it’s nice to emerge from the writing cave (the spare bedroom) and interact with the rest of the world. Specifically, it’s nice to interact with key people from around DFW who have created the buzz around local craft brewing. In the past couple of days Cody and I have had the pleasure of meeting folks from Peticolas, Rahr, and Deep Ellum. After each of these meetings, I left with a renewed sense of purpose, and an almost giddy feeling. Seeing these guys in their element- on the brewing floor, or the midst of the people having a great time at their brewery- really makes it real. It shows that all the spreadsheets, word docs, charts and graphs eventually can turn into something real, and something greater than what you can describe in a business plan.
Each one of the people we talked to had unique experience.
Michael from Peticolas has been up and running for only a few months, but his impressive knowledge made it sound like he had been doing it for years. His story about living his dream and doing it “his way” at his family brewery really resonated with me.
Fritz from Rahr started his brewery before craft had really picked up steam, and worked his butt off to turn the corner to get where they are today. He told stories of brutal hours and personal sacrifice, especially in the early days, but I have a strong feeling he wouldn’t take it back if he could.
Drew from Deep Ellum and Cody really seemed to be speaking each other’s language as we got the personal tour of the brewery. It seemed to be a lucky twist of fate that Drew and his wife ended up in Dallas, but among the tanks it was clear that Drew found a place he belonged.
Common to all the people we talked to was the theme of community. Each one of these guys was under absolutely no obligation to make time to talk to a start-up brewery, much less offer valuable coaching on
what to expect on our journey. In fact, in almost any other industry, it would be certifiably insane to provide your potential competition with the information these guys gave so freely. Not the case at all with these guys.
I can only hope that in the future (hopefully near-term), Cody and I have the opportunity to provide the same type of mentoring to the next brewery in planning. Prior to that, I look forward to getting to know all the Texas breweries better, and really starting to get more involved with the rest of the craft brew community in DFW. It’s great to see that all the stuff we want MHB to stand for- community, friendship, adventure, passion for great beer- are easy to find in the outstanding people who generously gave us some of their valuable time.
Anyway, in closing, bigthanks to Peticolas, Rahr, and Deep Ellum- here’s to working towards a common goal- let’s get more of those taps pouring local.