The pixelated graphics of Oregon Trail are a powerful memory from my childhood. There were so many decisions. I had to decide what time of year to start, when to hunt, how fast to go, what to buy and where, and how to cross the river. Everyone always died of cholera or dysentery. Caulking the wagon and floating never worked. One time I actually stranded myself after all my oxen died. I was always mad when the bell rang or the teacher said it was time to go because I never got to beat the game! Decisions with life and death consequences. Deciding between aggression and caution. Go too fast or too hard and you will die from exhaustion. Go too slow or not buy enough supplies you will die. Hard choices had to be made in Oregon Trail. Now it is real life and, as it turns out, hard choices and decisions exist outside of the virtual world.
I’ve made the decision to open a brewery. There, yes, I said it. Now I have to make decisions. Just as I did in Oregon Trail, I have to make the difficult decisions.
I want a patio with a view. I want to work from that patio, with a beer in hand as I plan both brewing and production. The patio has to be dog friendly so that people can bring their dogs. The brew house will be dog friendly so I can bring my dog. In addition to a lady’s night, I want a dog’s night, where I invite Great Plains, KC Pet Project, or Wayside Waifs to have dogs out to adopt. Could you imagine the puppy cuddles paired with beers?!
I want music to be playing all the time! I have an eclectic taste. I want Kendrick Lamar or Lupe Fiasco blaring that will make my mother wonder where her son got his taste in music. The next song will be Frank Sinatra, the Beatles, or Elvis Presley and my mother will know exactly where I got that taste in music from. Mash rest will be accompanied by Pink Floyd and Beethoven. Boiling, of course, by Rage Against the Machine and Led Zeppelin. I know there is going to be a lot of Joe Bonamassa, BB King, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughn guitar solos wailing throughout the brewery.
I love to watch the rain and snow fall and I love to see people walk by. I feel like a trapped animal without windows or access to the outside world. I want lots of natural light shining into the brewery to keep this feeling from happening. Windows full of natural light will shine in the brew house and in the tap room.
I want to serve beer directly from a line of brite tanks and package only kegs to start off with. I want a tap room where people can gather and where they can drink my beer. I want to go to bars around the city and see, among the tap handles being used, tap handles that are serving my beer. I want to take trips to different cities and show off the beer I have made. I want to make great year round beer while making room for special brewery releases. I want a brewery full of beer nerds and beer novices and I want them to be enjoying beer together. I know there will be regulars but also people trying the brewery for the first time.
I know it will be hard work, owning a brewery, and know I will spend my life there, but hell, I might want to live at the brewery.