Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Busy Christmas Season of 2013: What are we doing here?!

This Christmas season felt different than normal. We have been more busy than normal, as you can imagine! We have been working on final layout plans and build-out quotes. We have been filling out the federal and state microbrewery license applications. We have been getting final equipment quotes and preparing orders.

We just updated our website with the new location information since we just signed our lease! We also added some functionality to the website to have this blog imbedded directly. We are not PHP code masters, so we have been figuring out this website coding on the fly. Check out the new look and new information on our website!

It is fun to have the opportunity to work on so many things all at once. This is the kind of work we thrive on. However, we did enjoy a break during our family Christmas celebrations. Family is important and having family close is such a blessing. We shared some beer test batches with the family again this year and watched Christmas movie classics like Die Hard and It’s a Wonderful Life. ;-)

Cheers to 2014! May it be a wonderful year!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Christmas Shopping Idea

We have been busy! Not only are we both still working day jobs, but we are trying to start this business (we signed for our commercial space last week!), and for the past month we moved our lives from one apartment to another.

So Christmas rolls around and it is the busiest season of all and we have yet to figure out if we will even be settled in our new apartment by the time it is time to put up a Christmas tree. I got thinking about what I am going to do for Mike’s Christmas present and of course I think of beer… again… Then I get thinking about what he will get me in return. My favorite gift that he ever gave me was a shipping box full of every kind of imperial stout he could find at the local liquor stores.

Then it hit me – the idea to top all other Christmas shopping ideas. What if we went to a store together, set ourselves a budget, and then just picked out all kinds of random craft beer?! I asked Mike what he thought of the idea and he was game. This meant we didn’t have to hide a shopping spree, hide a gift, wrap a gift, and we got to go on a mini date while picking out the gifts! I felt like a kid in a candy store. It was a wonderful trip!

Check out the picture of our loot! The worst part is deciding what to try first! Oh, and the store we went to? 8 Degrees Plato in Ferndale. It was quite the drive, and totally worth it. The place is small, but has so many corners full of fun surprises!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Move

It is time. We are moving. No, our commercial lease space isn’t signed yet, but as some of the readers know, we have been living about 45 minutes away from where we want to set up shop. We have been renting a place close to our current jobs, but since we will need to stick close to our microbrewery as it is built and started, we have been looking for a new place to rent.

We found a place, and we will be official residents of Howell (again) by the end of November! We are excited to be able to be a part of the community again! Wish us luck as we pack up our boxes (some of which were never unpacked) and lug them along I-96. It is an exciting journey, and this is just the beginning!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Government Shutdown

The federal government is shutdown. :-/  Unfortunately, this means we can’t start our application for our federal brewing license just yet. While yes, this kinda stinks, we are taking this time to work on other things. We have a location in mind, but we are still working out the kinks in the lease. We are also working on a layout in that space and working on equipment quotes for the location. While our checklist continues to grow with roadblocks in-between, we are enjoying the journey. We hope that someday soon we can give you more details and get this show on the road!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Family Time and the End of Summer

Family time is important. Even though business plans and financials will be floating around in our heads for the next few days – it is time for some good old fashioned family time. What does that mean? Going up to Wildwood Rush Zip Line Canopy Tour in Boyne City, Michigan! We have never done this before and we are excited to check it out (and also at least one local brewery while we are at it!) After zipping through the forest, we will be heading to the UP for some rustic cabin time and 4-wheeling in the wilderness. While we still need to keep in touch with business advisors and partners, we are excited to enjoy the last bits of summer with family at our side.

I once had a high school teacher at Howell High School that always said, “Above all other things in life, your faith and your family should always come first.” Here’s hoping that the end of your summer, along with ours, finds balance and perspective. J



Friday, August 9, 2013

One Year Anniversary Vacation

Mike and I were married on July 28, 2012. We honeymooned up in Traverse City and toured around all of the breweries and beer bars up there. So, it only made sense for us to celebrate our one year anniversary back in Traverse City. We completed the new Traverse City Ale Trail and got our Silipint souvenirs. We visited a couple of new breweries up there and sampled what they had to offer. Guess what? We loved every second of it! Oh yeah, and we did get to spend a little time on the beach as well!

We kind of took a break for the week and enjoyed our time on vacation. I say “kind of” because we did still talk with realtors and answered some important emails. As always, when we visited each establishment we took notes on our favorite beers, the general atmosphere, and talked about which ideas we want to incorporate into our own brewery.

Now we are back. And where does that leave us? We are still working on finding a location and financing. We talked with our financial advisor recently and we are in good spirits about moving forward soon. We just need to find a location that will work for us…
Follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook to stay up to date with our progress and news in the beer world. We also are working on our website and will keep updating that as we move closer to our opening date!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The BJCP Tasting Exam (Beer Judging Exam)

BJCP stands for “Beer Judge Certification Program”. Mike and I have been taking classes for the past year, tasting classic beers in every beer style and judging them based on 5 categories – Aroma, Appearance, Flavor, Mouthfeel, and Overall Impression. We started the class as beer snobs, knowing we liked good beer, but not always knowing how to articulate WHY we like certain styles or brand names compared with others. Throughout the class we learned how to verbalize flavors and aromas (whether good or “off”) and how to score beers based on the basic categories.

Yesterday we took the “final exam” to become provisional judges (so we can judge homebrew competitions). The exam consists of 6 different beers administered by the exam coordinator in 15 minute intervals. I thought mechanical engineering exams were intense… but the 1.5 hours of swirling, sniffing, and sipping turned out to be just as intense!

We will not know how well we did for several months. Our papers need to be scanned, graded, double checked, and finally approved for grade distribution.
With the beer knowledge that we have acquired through this class, we are excited to put together tasting classes like this at our own place once we are up and running!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Real Estate Shopping and Beer Judging

We are still looking for real estate. We are finishing up our business plan with the financial information and the last piece to the puzzle is the lease price and square foot size. Ideas keep falling through for one reason or another. It is hard to sit still and not get anxious. With the holiday week upon us, the real estate shopping is slow. It has been a strange week. So, instead of real estate shopping, we will be studying and practicing our judging skills for our upcoming Beer Judge Certification Exam next week!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Who are "we"?

The "we" I keep referring to as I type this blog is me and my husband. We are homebrewers and craft beer lovers and we are working on this company to share our passion with others. I (Dayna Tran) have been brewing commercially for a while now and I am starting to branch out to work on my own thing. No, we don't have a location yet, but we are currently working to resolve that! Hopefully you can enjoy these blog posts as we set out on this journey together. There is a long road ahead, but we are so excited to continue along!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Beer Judge Certification Program

We are in the midst of taking our BJCP (beer judge certification program) exams to become certified beer judges. For the past few months we have been taking classes to prepare. These classes have been a wealth of knowledge about beer styles, flavors, and aromas. We both passed part 1 of the exam process (a 200 question exam within 1 hour). Within the next month we will take part 2, the tasting exam. The results from part 2 will take several months to get back, but we look forward to positive results!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thanks to Wikipedia:

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May.[1] Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces

We cannot forget the fact that yes, local breweries are closed, but it is not just to make sure we grill outside and enjoy craft beer from a can instead.

We are free to be outside drinking craft beer from a can for a reason. I think we can all lift our glasses (or cans if you really prefer...) to that!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

It has been a crazy week. As Friday approaches, we have new people to contact and more work for the weekend piles up. We are getting more and more busy with plans and loving every minute of it!

It is important to keep family towards the top of your priority list in life. We are planning a fun Memorial Day with the fam and we are looking forward to it! There will of course be homebrew and craft beer in the plans though!

Monday, May 20, 2013

We are still fixing up the business plan and financial model. It takes a lot of time to get it all just right! It is so hot tonight and we don't have AC, so things are working extra slow I think! We are still working on our dream though, so I guess that is all that matters.

New Blog!

We will be starting to post in a blog so that everyone can follow our progress as we get this brewery off the ground. Stay tuned to watch our progress!