Life After UC Davis: Weeks 33-38
I’m not sure how many of you have been to Las Vegas or any other city that has a casino with a craps table. I personally try to stay away from table games these days. But in my younger years I’ve put some money down on the pass line a time or two. When someone is rolling the dice and has gotten hot, there’s nothing quite like the roar of the people standing around as everyone is winning and high fiving each other. Then people start doubling their bets and letting it ride. More risk equals more reward right? But at some point, there will be a 7 or 11 rolled... and that is when it gets quiet.
Well my friends, I experienced a moment similar to “crapping out” a few weeks ago. I checked my email one morning prior to going to work at the Firehouse brewery and saw that I had something from the President of the company. Much to my dismay he stated that due to the insurmountable level of debt that the new management team had discovered over the past couple months, along with multiple financial lawsuits, that they had no choice but to file for bankruptcy. All employees were terminated. Effective immediately.
I’m sure I paraphrased a bit of that, but you get the idea. Going into this I knew that I was walking into a rebuilding phase. I didn’t know they were in THAT bad of shape though. To their credit, I think the guys that hired me tried very hard to undo the damage that was done by the people that were previously running the place. I also believe they didn’t truly know the extent of what they were getting into bed with until they pulled back the covers so to speak. I don’t hold any ill will towards them, but regardless I still feel like the wool got pulled over my eyes just a little bit.
There is still a chance that a group of investors may come along and try to revive the Firehouse Brewing Company once the dust settles. These things can take a long time and I am certainly taking the skeptical approach on this one. I truly, will only believe it when I see it.
Enough about all of that. Onward and upward I say. The same day I was let go, I contacted a gentleman that I had communicated with multiple times prior to getting this last gig about possibly doing some consulting for him and his partners. They recently had acquired assets from a defunct brewery up in the sierra foothills near Yosemite, California. He was sad to hear what happened, but was excited that I was available to work with them. The following week, I took a trip up there and met with 2 of the 5 guys that now owned the brewery.
We discussed everything from potential layout, to projected production, beer styles and the vision they had for the brewery. It was a very worthwhile trip. These guys know a lot about business, but not much in terms of beer production, so they need the help of a specialist. I have been happy to fill the role for them so far and things are going very well at the moment. Right now they’re trying to sell some equipment that will allow them to buy a small new or used brewing system. (The one that was there previously used extracts!) They seem committed to making quality beer and it didn’t take much convincing to get them to realize that all grain is the only way to go. Once that is accomplished, there could be an opportunity for me to be the man that’s in charge of beer production. I find this very exciting.
When one door closes, another one opens. I’m going to keep my eyes open for any other opportunities that may be of interest. It would be stupid for me not too. At present, I’m just happy that I’m not sitting here with idle hands.