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The Slow Down

Things might be a little more mellow around here for a while, my wife Sarah is due tomorrow, and as it is our first kiddo, I'm kind of expecting to put everything else on the back-burner while we figure our some basics like, can you still legally drive on 2 hours of sleep? and why shouldn't the milk go in the pantry? It's weird to face a day that many refer to as "the best day of your life." High expectations but I imagine it won't, and she won't, disappoint. Good momentum in the past weeks though on the brewery front: Sent the first round of fundraising letters out, finalized the logo (merch coming soon), had very productive meetings with bankers who are very excited about our vision, just need a way to fit the nonprofit peg into the square business hole before they give us money.

Life is just really good right now. Thankful for that.

it's going to be a really big year

It's that time of the year when you spend a good amount of time reflecting and dreaming - yet in practicality there isn't a whole lot to look forward to here in the NW. The month-long friends and family holiday whirlwind is over, there is no longer any excuse to have a beer or a whisky at 2:30 in the afternoon, it's cold and dreary, and you stream whole seasons of mediocre TV shows on Netflix without blinking an eye; it's back to real life folks. As for me, I don't quite know what that means right now - I don't have 'the man' to keep me in line or on a schedule, I'm kind of on my own in this unemployed start-up business frontier. Scary cool stuff. In the interest of making lists (it's a major blogging faux pas to not make lists around the new year), here are some things that will likely occur in the next 3 months that I find exciting:

1.) Sarah and I will no longer just be Sarah and I. Baby girl is coming, she's coming, she's coming. It's inevitable and imminent and yet not really real to me at this point other than knowing it in a way that I know physics or BREWING. I'm going to be a dad, and she's going to break my heart.

2.) Ex Novo is going to be something the state of Oregon knows about. Mostly the Secretary of State. We're going to incorporate this thing hopefully in the next month or so - plenty of nauseating paperwork to fill out and decisions on how we want to word our By-Laws, etc., but it will be a tangible step toward legitimacy. We could all use a little legitimacy around here.

3.) I'm going to wrangle some people into forming a Board of Directors for a brewery. Who would've ever thought that would be a thing?

4.) I'm going to persuade some really savvy and level-headed people to invest in what we're doing with chunks of cash.

5.) I'm (hopefully) going to rehab/sell a home in the area to provide for #1 and stave away conventional employment.

All in all I think 2013 is going to be amazing; the more I talk about the brewery plans with friends and strangers alike, the more I feel like it's actually going to happen and the vision gets a little clearer. All aboard!

Here's a cool pic of my family - WARNING - not beer related at all.


New Developments

New Developments


Due to my recent unemployed state, I've had a lot of extra time and motivation to hone the alluded-to-before brewery idea. If you've heard my pitch before, I've told you how I wanted to open a brewery in Portland with great beer and use it as a tool to raise money for non-profits out there in the world kicking ass and needing funds. I haven't known exactly how this would look, but recent conversations with friends and people excited about this vision have steered us into thinking of going full nonprofit, whether or not we're able to get a 501(c)(3). I've had my head buried in this for the last week: handbook And have really been thinking it's the right move. A LOT of details still need to be figured out, but it does look a bit different than my original plan on account  of the board of directors piece and moving from 'owner' to 'founder', etc. (Did you know that non-profits don't have owners?) But I'm stoked to get others involved and have a broader level of buy-in. I've also got a good buddy (who will remain nameless until he gives me the OK) who's indicated he wants to be more involved on the ground level; this is good. Really good.

If you're reading this and thinking "I've got a million dollars I've been really wanting to give away to an amazing startup," go ahead and click here to get in touch with us. Same if you have some retail/restaurant space with high ceilings that needs leasing at a supremely low rate. Or you just have some brilliant idea that you're itching to share - sock it to me.

More on this later as it comes into focus...

Bad News is Good News?

In a non-surprising move, I was informed Friday that my company was shutting down my division - that in the near future I will be jobless. We'd been hearing rumors for weeks, and planning accordingly, so the shock was replaced by relief that something was concrete and it's time to move in another direction. I should mention that I wasn't much of a fan of this job. Or the last 3 engineering jobs I've had for that matter...I think it's kind of a 'it's not you it's me' scenario: plenty of folks could be perfectly happy doing what I'm doing. So at a time when I have more responsibility than ever (bambino #1 expected in March), I'm exploring avenues other than conventional employment. Sounds crazy. May be crazy.

I still have a ton to learn about the beer industry and running a successful business, so the time is not quite ripe for me to jump into opening a brewery, which is the long-term plan. Anyone planning on being thirsty summer of 2014? All in all I'm feeling quite a bit of freedom with my new jobless sentence - it's an adventure, one which will likely come with  its sacrifices, but it could also be the defining moment when all the historians look back on my life.

Any advice from those who have walked in these shoes?