Our House is Getting Bigger

Our House is Getting Bigger

The Martin House crew recently took a break to do our executive retreat out at the lake. It’s pretty hard to find the time to gather all hands on deck, but we managed to corral everyone for a day (and some of us overnight) at the boathouse. Amidst the cool-guy beer drinking, the extreme Frisbee, and gourmet hot dog consumption, we did manage to talk a bit about where we were, and where we are now. Since we started with 3 people on the payroll last year, we have grown to 8. We added a ton of new accounts and expanded all over the place. It’s getting to be a bigger challenge to keep organized. Where once one person did everything, now we’ve got to compartmentalize and specialize. I’m not complaining, especially now that I am not personally doing the majority of deliveries anymore. It’s just sort of a different business. What’s really cool is that through all of this everyone here still manages to retain a sense of family. We all work long days, but sometimes that’s because we tack on a few extra hours to hang out and drink beer together. Or bike together, or just enjoy each other’s company. So far getting bigger hasn’t diluted the soul of the brewery. I think what we took away from the boathouse executive retreat is that we always want to keep being able to do boathouse-type executive retreats. I always want to have a business where I am friends with all my co-workers. This applies to the brewery on a larger scale; we want to be able to keep...
Toadies at Martin House is SOLD OUT. Wow.

Toadies at Martin House is SOLD OUT. Wow.

Wow… 500 tickets sold out in 3 minutes. It’s amazing that so many people were so passionate about this music & beer combo that the tickets practically evaporated as soon as they were available. It makes us feel really good that there is this kind of excitement surrounding the event. However, it saddens us that so many people were unable to get tickets. We’ve had a lot of posts, tweets, calls, and emails from people disappointed that they weren’t able to get tickets. An online ticket sale is an imperfect system, but it is the best one we’ve got. As we are brewers and not IT people, we can’t really comment on what might have happened online, but we can empathize. From personal experience, we know how it feels to try to get tickets to shows that have sold out in the time it takes to log on to the site. It sucks and we are sorry. If you have been out to the brewery before, you know that it’s a pretty cozy (small) place. For that reason, the concert had to be small. Priority #1 was to be safe and enjoyable for the people attending. As much as we would have liked to offer thousands of tickets, logistically it just would have been wrong. Ergo, 500 tickets and selling out in minutes.  Hopefully, we can do another concert at the brewery in the future. The good news is that later this spring, The Toadies will be playing several shows in Texas which can be found here.  Also, there are going to be a ton of Martin House events surrounding...
New Year, New Beer

New Year, New Beer

Happy New Year from Martin House! Around this time of year, it’s only natural to take a step back and do some navel gazing. Who am I? Where am I going? Where’s my beer? Well, here at Martin House we are no exception to the rule.  2013 was really good for us- we’re most proud of fact that we actually managed to get up and running. No small feat considering that we basically built a brewery from scratch with three people and volunteer labor. We launched River House and The Imperial Texan, and soon afterwards got the Pretzel Stout and Day Break to the taps. Canning was a huge as it allowed us to get beer to a whole new group of people. We also opened the doors of the brewery for Saturday tours allowing us to welcome guests to our home and give them a feel for what we are all about.   Over the course of the year, what really surprised me was how awesome “beer people” in our community are. Before we sold anything (or even had beer), we were constantly meeting people who were just about as excited as we were. From service industry members, to press and bloggers, and to our dozens of volunteers, it seemed like every time we rolled out our Mobile Beer Dispensing Unit (MBDU) we were surrounded by great people. To this day, I get a huge smile when I see someone order a Martin House beer. I also appreciate the fact that I’m tolerated when I interrupt their dinner to talk about beer. Of course there were growing pains....
What a Week.

What a Week.

Finally after all the dreaming, scheming, fundraising, searching, investing, leasing, buying, building, plumbing, piping, wiring, planning, prepping, calling, and a billion other adverbs, we launched Martin House Brewing Company this week. Our launch party at the Flying Saucer was surreal. The place was packed with people having a great time drinking Martin House beer. The support we had from our friends and family and the whole community was incredible. Personally, I spent much of the day wandering around in a daze with a goofy grin on my face only partially comprehending what was going on. It was indescribably rewarding to talk with so many people that had come out to try the beer and support their local brewery. Big time thank you to all the people that were able to make it out. The rest of the week was just as rewarding. We finally rolled the truck out and started deliveries to many of the friends we had made in the long lead-up to delivering keg #1. We had a fun time trying to figure out the mechanics of wheeling 300 pounds of beer on a hand truck into the narrow confines of some tight walk-in coolers. My first experiences with draft line cleaning were… interesting. Luckily, we have awesome (and patient) customers that were very accommodating. As I was making deliveries, Cody and Adam were brewing three more batches and the week seemed to simultaneously fly by and crawl by. It was all capped off with The Big Texas Beer Fest on April 6th where we spent 5 frenetic hours pouring beer and meeting hundreds of DFW beer...
Pre-Launch Jitters

Pre-Launch Jitters

As the launch date nears, we seem to be picking up the pace. We’re putting in longer days and checking off projects on the never-ending to-do list at a high velocity- although sometimes it seems like for every thing we cross off, three pop up to take its place. Work has changed. Tasks are no longer broad strokes like “rent a building” or “purchase brewhouse,’ but things like “wire and fine-tune the instrumentation” and “leak test the glycol loop.” We are nearing the end of the list, and we are all almost giddy with anticipation. Since we leased the building, Cody and Adam have been working nearly non-stop with a single-minded focus on all things pertaining to bringing the brewhouse online. For the most part, I was split about 50/50 between sales and marketing and helping out around the brewery. Unlike Cody and Adam, my background is decidedly not technical, so I’m not really able to size up a complex plumbing challenge and come up with a solution. But now, in the final push, that doesn’t really matter- I’m able to help with the thousands of little things like cutting and delivering unistrut , screwing together endless piping assemblies, or even buying Subway so the guys can continue to work uninterrupted. At any rate, if we keep up the pace and single-minded determination, it’s very realistic that we’ll be brewing next week. Although anytime I say something like this I feel like I am tempting fate to knock us back a couple of weeks. That might happen, but if it does, we’ll say a bunch of swear words and then soldier on-...
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