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Beer Mecca: Turning Pro Part 34

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In the grand scheme of things, I really haven’t been a beer geek for very long, but I remember back when I first got geeky about beer, the places people dreamed of going to visit on beer holidays were exclusively in Europe.

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Tasteless: Turning Pro Part 33

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I don’t hide the fact that I am not a fan of pouring beer at public beer festivals.

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Risk and Reward and Risk and Reward: Turning Pro Part 32

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I’m not sure exactly what I was thinking, but somehow I had this idea in my head that I’d take all my risk up front in getting Heretic off the ground and once it was past a certain point, there would be a lot less
risk. Ah, poor, simple fool.

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Uncertain Barrels: Turning Pro Part 31

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“A barrel full of certainties won’t roll very far.” – Gerd de Ley
From the beginning, I was certain that we would make barrel-aged beers at Heretic. We are close to Napa so it is easy to obtain used wine barrels and I really like the interesting character that develops from aging beer in a barrel.

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Brewery Nightmares: Turning Pro Part 30

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A reader asked me, “At what point does someone have enough knowledge to become a [professional] brewer?

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The Price is Right?: Turning Pro Part 29

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The current craft beer market is booming. Passionate beer lovers seek out new beers and are willing to pay a premium price for new experiences.

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It Makes Cents: Turning Pro Part 28

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Before we sold our first kegs of beer, I spent a tremendous amount of time investigating what similar products were selling for in our markets. I wrote about this in an earlier post, about the need to be careful
about under or overpricing your product for a given market.

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The Rhythm Method: Turning Pro Part 27

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We’ve finally gotten onto a rhythm in our brewing and bottling.

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Kegs Revisited: Turning Pro Part 26

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Float is that portion of your kegs that are out in the market. Generally, the number of kegs you need for every tap handle you want to support is somewhere around three or four.

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Year Two: Turning Pro Part 25

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So, one year of entries down. Normally I need to think long and hard about committing to another year of writing anything, but this writing is different for me. I get to say just about anything I want. I get to ramble on about random thoughts, and as long as the topic somehow relates to beer, everyone seems to be OK with it. Cool gig, huh?

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The Sum of the Parts: Turning Pro Part 24

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Over the past year or so I’ve lost five friends. About one every two or three months and it sucks. I don’t want to bring you down, but every so often I think about those friends and what they meant to me.

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The Three IPA Lunch: Turning Pro Part 23

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"The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?" — President Gerald R Ford

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Half a Bag of Common Sense: Turning Pro Part 22

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People who have known me as a homebrewer for a long time often ask me what I think of professional brewing.

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Finding a Distributor: Turning Pro Part 21

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I knew distributing beer would be hard work and I wanted to sign up with distributors as soon as possible.

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The Passion and the Perfection: Turning Pro Part 20

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Most brewers will tell you that attending the Great American Beer Festival is one of the highlights of the year for them. It is a big spectacle of beer, brewers, and beer lovers. It is something for every beer
geek’s bucket list.

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Living the Dream: Turning Pro Part 19

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I received an email from a homebrewer dreaming of becoming a commercial brewer and he asked, “How late is too late for a determined fool to chase an old dream?”

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Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat: Turning Pro Part 18

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I’ve always wondered what the secret is to creating a successful brewery.

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The Lifespan of Beer: Turning Pro Part 17

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I think most brewers would agree, a beer’s life begins the moment the yeast are finished with fermentation.

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Lack of Keg-sight: Turning Pro Part 16

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We’ve been spending a lot of time lately scrubbing some used kegs we bought.

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Harder Than It Looks: Turning Pro Part 15

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It all seems so simple on paper. You brew the beer, stick it in some packaging, then sell it to the thirsty hoards. How hard could it be? It isn’t rocket science, right?

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Batch #2: The Adventure Continues: Turning Pro Part 14

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We nearly didn’t get to brew out a second batch of beer.

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Somewhere Between Fairytales and Hell: Turning Pro Part 13

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OK, so the long awaited day arrived and we brewed our first batch of Heretic beer.

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Ready to Brew: Turning Pro Part 12

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In a way, I can’t believe we will be brewing our first batch in just a couple days.

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Anybody Can Brew Beer: Turning Pro Part 11

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There are a lot of little and not so little things to do before your brewery is ready to produce beer.

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Our Own Little Hop Crisis: Turning Pro Part 10

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We haven’t brewed a drop of beer yet, but we’ve already run out of the hops we need to brew the beers we are planning to brew.

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Honesty and Motivation: Turning Pro Part 9

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Even before I began the process of opening Heretic Brewing Company, homebrewers would ask me what it took to open a brewery.

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Kegs: Turning Pro Part 8

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When you think about starting a brewery, you know you will need kegs to package some portion of your beer, but that is about as far as the thinking goes.

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The Bar is High: Turning Pro Part 7

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Not long ago, it was a special treat to find great craft beer. You could travel extensively without finding any craft beer and often what you did find was just OK.

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Joining the Good Fight: Turning Pro Part 6

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Where I live every grocery store has been expanding their craft beer section. In some of them, the craft beer shelf space is now bigger than that dedicated to the large lager brewers.

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Don’t Fence Me In: Turning Pro Part 5

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The first thing people ask when you tell them you are opening a brewery is, “What kind of beer are you going to brew?”

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Beer, Beer Everywhere, but Not a Drop to Drink: Turning Pro Part 4

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I must say the toughest part about starting a brewery is coordinating all the little parts. Sure, the paperwork is enormous. I think I killed a couple of trees trying to perfect my TTB application.

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Hard Work, Karma, or Just Dumb Luck?: Turning Pro Part 3

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I’ve always been lucky. Ask my wife. Ask anybody that knows me. Things just work out well for me.

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Birth of a Heretic: Turning Pro Part 1

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When you finally realize you are going to open a brewery, it is an exciting time. However, the brewery just doesn’t seem real until you give it a name.

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The Opportunity: Turning Pro Part 2

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Like everyone else, I entertained that dream myself, but I
never thought I’d make it a reality.