The Brew-B-Q Experience

The Brew-B-Q Experience

It’s been a bit quiet here at the Martin House blog over the last couple weeks.  We do what we can to keep our virtual presence updated, but over the past few weeks, we’ve shifted our efforts from concentrating on the virtual realm to our real-life presence.  We feel like it’s been going pretty well too. Over the past several weeks I’ve been volunteering (interning, apprenticing, whatever you want to call it) at Deep Ellum Brewing Company two to three days a week.  This is truly a win-win for both of us.  Deep Ellum gets a part-time keg washer that works for beer, and I’ve been able to get some serious face time with head brewer Drew Huerter.  He’s been a saint when it comes to answering my non-stop questions, and I’ve been a saint by not complaining about filling kegs or milling-in (I’m happy to do it).  Speaking seriously, I’ve been able to get my rubber boots dirty with just about every aspect of producing great beer on a commercial-scale. So, a big thank you goes out to Drew and the rest of the guys at Deep Ellum — you’ve been instrumental in helping Martin House get off the ground.  The relationship Martin House and Deep Ellum have formed is something not possible in many other industries. The Martin House / Deep Ellum friendship recently came through during the Deep Ellum Brewing Company’s 2nd Annual Brew-B-Q.  Along with Deep Ellum, Martin House joined (512) Brewing Company of Austin and Denton brewery in planning Armadillo Ale Works.  It was humbling to be in such great company.  The event had a great...
Craft Brewers Conference

Craft Brewers Conference

David and I made our way out to San Diego this past Friday.  We are spending these first few days with our lovely wives exploring San Diego, but the real reason we came begins Wednesday.  Craft Brewers Conference (#CBC12) begins for us with the Central City brewery tour and then the welcome reception at the San Diego zoo.  The conference ends Saturday with The World Beer Cup awards ceremony where  our friends at Deep Ellum Brewing Company have a few beers entered — we will be rooting for them.   In between, David and I will be attending seminars with subjects ranging from bottle conditioning to multicultural marketing.  We’ll be checking out the expo carefully and using the opportunity to find out more about the manufacturers and suppliers that we’ll be doing business with shortly.  However, probably the most important thing we hope to gain from CBC is the opportunity to make new industry friends.  As I understand from talking to brewers around DFW, having plenty of good friends in the brewing industry will be invaluable as we get closer to opening our doors. So, starting Wednesday, David and I will be live tweeting the #CBC12 with plenty of photos and great info from the conference.  Follow along here. There’s always time for Frisbee...

The Business Plan is Done.

Now we can move on to the fun stuff. Here at Martin House Brewing Company we took a bit of time to celebrate our Business Plan completion this week.  Writing the plan was a big task, but luckily we had a talented group of folks that enthusiastically offered up their time and expertise to make it perfect.  Starting a successful brewery is an intricate process, and we investigated every detail during the business plan process.  We took our love of the craft beer lifestyle and our ideas about what a company and brand should be, and we created a document that will guide us toward getting great beer in to the hands of our fans.  We are very proud of this document, and we think our potential funding sources will feel the same way.  If you’re interested in taking a look, contact us. This puts us firmly in to the second phase of our brewery formation – fundraising.  Six months or so after we have secured funds you’ll be able to buy Martin House in your favorite bar or beer store. Although we think our business plan is pretty outstanding, we are even more proud of our beer.  Over the next couple months we’ll be ramping up production to get more product out in the market for sampling.  We’ll be spreading the good word about Martin House right here in the blog and out and about in the market place.  Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we start releasing descriptions of our beers and the label artwork done by our friends at 9 digit productions....

Craft Brew Community

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...

Increasing Capacity

I’ve been back in the area for two weeks now.  I’ve got no job except to get this brewery going and I’ve had two primary goals. First, was to give mountain bike a tune-up and get back out on the awesome singletrack DFW has to offer.  If you’ve never been to South Florida (where we’ve been for the past 3 years) let me give you a quick geography summary: flat.  Seriously, the highest elevation in the area is a landfill.  If you want to ride hills in Florida you’ll be riding highway overpasses.   We’re staying with friends who live in Flower Mound while we find a more permanent home in Fort Worth, and they luckily live a stone’s throw from Northshore Trail along Lake Grapevine.  So my mountain biking craving has been filled thoroughly. Second, and more seriously, I knew I’d need an ample supply of Martin House product to spread the message and get folks excited.  I started from the ground up designing a direct-fired, semi-automatic, all-grain HERMS system capable of 20 gallon batches.  It took about a week from the first piece of graph paper until it was running smoothly.  I’m pretty proud of myself from this one. You can see from the photo that the day leading up to our inaugural start-up was a long one: I fell asleep while standing, but I was happy.  I did every weld, wire, and fitting.  It runs like a dream. We’ll be sharing the final product by the New...
X