The Kegs are Named

We’re getting close to launch. All the major purchases have been made and the tanks are all in place. Physically, it’s just a matter of getting them hooked up and making a few test runs. However, on paper we still are at the mercy of licensing- we need our federal license and label approvals before we can sell, but thankfully we are now talking with an actual real person for these items so the light at the end of the tunnel is flickering. Our best guess for the first delivery is early March, give or take a few weeks. We hope it’s give. Or take. Or whatever means earlier. One of the final and most important tasks is naming our kegs. It wouldn’t do to send our precious brews out into the world without a worthy vessel. And now that our kegs have good names and cool paint jobs, they’ve got enough personality to do the job. The following list (in no particular order) contains the name of our kegs. Many thanks to those who submitted ideas- via Facebook, email, in person, or other channels. There’s no real rhyme or reason to the names, we just kind of threw them together. Some are pop-culture references, others funny, meaningful, Texas/Ft Worth-related, or just eyebrow-raising. We had a good time collecting them. We hope that when you order a Martin House brew this spring, you ask your bartender for the name of the keg your beer came from- It could be a name you suggested… Boo Radley Roman the Barbarian Ammy Benetar Roscoe Abby Bain Ron Swanson Pantsuit Zavala Jem Cody...

Why is Designing a Tap Handle so Hard?

We have been spending a lot of time together lately putting in long days inside the warehouse turning it into a brewery. The building is coming together – essentially all of the demolition work is done, and now we just have a few things to do before the final push of installing the brewhouse. I’m quite pleased that we can stop breathing powdered drywall now- demolition is dirty work. It’s actually pretty fun in there most of the time. One of the things that I like about working for Martin House is that I get to work with my friends. It’s also one of the things that can be tough. For example: when I was working with my professional acquaintances at a larger more traditional/corporate business, it was rare that I would get in a heated argument (replete with eye-rolling and deep sighs) regarding tap handle materials and logo placements on said tap handle in a busy restaurant. In case you were wondering, yes, this happened recently.  I don’t think we drew any out of the ordinary attention from lunchtime crowd, but our friend/consultant at the table that was helping us out had a pretty nonplussed look on his face during our discussion. The thing is, Cody, Adam and I are all very comfortable with each other, we all feel confident in our opinions, and we all feel very strongly about making the brewery a success. When you add these ingredients together, sometimes things can get a little testy. We’ve had several instances where we had to hash out some problems under higher than required emotional strain. With passion...

Filling An Empty Warehouse

Now that we have a warehouse to call our own, we are doing a good job a filling it up with stuff. The idea is if we get enough stuff, one day it will magically transform into a brewery. Of course, there are some minor details to take care of so that the stuff will actually coalesce into a functional system, but we’ll worry about that later  constantly. As we are working with the city on permitting and getting our certificate of occupancy, we are filling some of the downtime (not that there is much of it) with scouring the Internet, talking to other brewers, and checking news boards for pieces of the brewery that we will need. It can be pretty fun to parse through all the options we have for our various toys, but it’s also a little nerve-wracking. Are we getting the best price? Is it dimensioned properly for how we are going to use it? Is it going to break down the first time we power it up? It’s one of those situations where you could keep searching and second-guessing yourself into oblivion without ever actually making a purchase- not a great habit to get into if you are time-constrained. Usually, the stuff we acquire is budgeted in the business plan, and we expected to spend money on it. For some of it, we are opportunistic. Our cold liquor tank (Pac-Man) falls into the latter category. What is a cold liquor tank you might ask? Well, in brewing we call water “liquor” and its contents will be cold. After boiling 1,000 gallons of wort, we’ll...

A Home For Martin House

I suppose that every life is marked with important milestones: first birthdays, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, obtaining driver’s licenses, ordering your first beer at a bar, etc. Well, Martin House certainly hit one late last week when we finally signed the lease on a beautiful space that met or exceeded almost all of our criteria. It’s official- we’ll be moving out of the backyard and into a warehouse. The space in question is a 9,000 square foot building just barely outside of downtown situated directly (I mean directly) on the Trinity Trails. As you make your way east on 4th street out of downtown it’ll be the first building on the north side of the street across the river. Check it out on your next ride, but watch out for the trail detour right around Riverside Park. From the garage doors you can watch the sun set against the downtown skyline. 220 South Sylvania Avenue, Fort Worth, TX View Larger Map It wasn’t all sunshine and roses however. We had multiple false starts and prolonged, fruitless attempts at doing deals that were extremely frustrating. Good brewery sites don’t grow on trees, and when we did find an adequate place, someone would come in and buy the building we were trying to rent (or attempt to buy, then back out at the last minute leaving us high and dry.) With the equipment scheduled to arrive in the early part of November, we were feeling pretty stressed. As luck would have it, from the moment we found the place (located by cycling by and looking up the bank of the river) to the...
Building our Stockpiles

Building our Stockpiles

With so much activity going on (buying our brewhouse and attempting to lease a building), our beer stockpiles were getting dangerously low. So, this weekend I headed over to Cody’s place for a backyard brew session. As I write this, I’m sitting on the porch watching Cody bustle about the backyard- my offer to “help” was appreciated, but there’s only so much work to go around. I’m sure when it comes time to clean, there will be plenty to do. Fortunately, it’s actually a pleasant temperature in the shade, and Roscoe the MHB brew dog is excellent company. The “Real Housewives of Martin House Brewing” are putting chicken on the grill, so I am anticipating a sure-to-be-splendid lunch. All in all, it’s got the makings of a good day. The intended fate of the beer we’re brewing (beside personal consumption) is to have samples for all the events and sale calls coming up in the near future. Now that we have made progress in fundraising and building the brewery, our focus can shift more towards getting our name out. The plan is to sit down and figure out what events make the most sense for us to host or sponsor. We’re also planning on putting together a list of places that might be interested in selling our beer, and then paying them a visit. Our theory is now that we have a system on order and an address (knock on wood),  we have the requisite credibility to start promotion in earnest. We should be able to answer the question “when can I get some” with more precision than in...
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