Goodbye, for now

A year and a half ago, we embarked on a journey to open a brewpub. We enlisted the help of a fabulous chef, Sallie Lardy, and got to work researching and writing a business plan. We read industry reports, books on brewing and restaurants, gathered and analyzed census data, and ran our own survey. We developed a business plan that was focused, detailed, and customized for our area. After a year of writing and research, we had a solid plan to move forward. After all the research, we knew two things: getting a loan for the amount of money we Read More …

Weekly Roundup for April 15

I looked over the list of roundup posts and I realized I skipped from roundup #6 to roundup #8. There is a reason I don’t do math. I have changed the roundup titles to reflect the date instead. It has been a fun week around here in the brewpub that currently exists only in our dreams. Here is what we have been working on: ICYMI (in case you missed it), our fabulous chef, Sallie introduced herself on the blog. She has some wonderful ideas and is overflowing with energy, something we needed. Sallie’s arrival is completely a God thing and Read More …

Weekly Roundup #8

I know, I know. It’s been a long time, but we have been working on things behind the scenes. This is the time of development where the most exciting things that happen involve spreadsheets and numbers. All the engineers just got really excited and the rest of us went to pour another beer. Prost! Without further ado (saving the best for last): Our friends at Texas Beer Refinery opened a tap room down the road from their brewery and down the road from us. Their new space is great, plus is it very family friendly. They have a new Gose Read More …

Weekly Roundup #5

This week, we engaged in the sexy pursuit of research. I am a trained librarian and I find research and books to be two of the best and most fun things around, besides beer. Ries read small business guides, made a list of equipment vendors, and started a to-scale drawing of equipment layout. I read up on serving temperatures and line cleaning. See? So sexy. We tried a Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout from Epic Brewing. It was smooth, with a full mouth feel. It tasted like the perfect cup of coffee on a cold night. It was fabulous and has Read More …

Weekly Update #4

A day late but here it is: This week: Ries visited the guys over at Saloon Door Brewery. Their system is much larger than the one we will have, 10bbl vs. 3bbl. They are building their space from scratch and, while the brewing system is in place, they are still working on the tap room and bar. The gentlemen over there were very friendly and it was nice to make some new brewery friends. Their head brewer, like us, started out as a home brewer who outgrew his home. I am excited to see their finished product and taste their Read More …

Entrepreneurship: Can I do this?

In the midst of all the research we are doing, I keep reading material on starting a business and advice for entrepreneurs.  I’ll admit to being terrified by the prospect.  It is daunting.  I came across the image below from Business for Beginners: From Research and Business Plans to Money, Marketing and the Law by Frances McGuckin  It is not the first such list that I have come across.  You could make a good argument that I don’t have any of these traits.  Maybe #6 as I am passionate about brewing, but I don’t think I could really convince myself Read More …

Weekly Update #3

This week, life happened. I have been sick and Ries had to double up duties. However, we still managed to move ahead with a few things. We bought a Last Straw bottle filler so we can fill bottles from kegs. This will allow us to fill bottles to enter contests. I am also curious if it will be an improved method of filling growlers. We got a quote from Stout Tanks and Kettles for the brewery set-up we want. Ries considered every line item and finalized a brewery equipment plan. Now, all we need is a wad of cash. Hahaha. Not kidding. We Read More …

Weekly Roundup #2

One thing that will be interesting is how we will balance opening the Gnome Hole with our regularly scheduled responsibilities. Many people have asked, and yes, Ries is still working and will do so for as long as possible. I also work part-time, though occasionally, like this week, it is more than full time. I write books and we both have family and ministry responsibilities. All that to say, this is one of those weeks where most of the movement towards our goal was intellectual. This week: Ries made a lot of spreadsheets and updated ones he already had. He Read More …

Four Brewpub Founding Pillars

Early on, we wanted to define who we were as a brewpub and what pillars or aspects define the kind of establishment that we will be creating. This is not to be confused with our guiding principles, which I am sure one of us will write about at a later time. This is more like a description of the product that you will see that was formed out of our principles. I originally sat down to write these as part of our business plan, which is still in the works. Ries asked me to pick four or five things I thought made our Read More …

Weekly Roundup #1

The Weekly Roundup series will be posted, hopefully, every Friday. In it, I plan to give a short summary of what we did this week to prepare for the eventual brewing of beer and opening of doors. I hope this list will help track what we did when. This week we: Launched the official website of Gnome Hole Brewpub. Hooray! Our unleashing of it upon the world means we are serious about this craft beer stuff. It also means all of our family and friends will be hounding us to death until they can sit at a table, drink our Read More …