By Bryan Leavelle
Its been two years and four months since I quit my job and, along with a few good friends, signed a lease at 2810 Larimer St.
Bushy tailed, bright eyed and naive as fuck, I thought I had done all my homework. I knew I didn't know everything, but I had no clue just how little I actually knew. But there I was, arrogant and ignorant, about to jump off a cliff thinking I could use an umbrella for a parachute.
Somehow, it kinda worked. It broke our fall enough to not die on impact, but we were severely handicapped. We made a lot of good beer and a lot of bad beer on a slapped together brewing system that was undersized for the demand our neighborhood would place on us. I learned a lot of valuable lessons, but nothing I hadn't been warned about through blogs and message boards and friends before we even signed the lease. I could write a book-sized list about everything I did wrong, but I want to get to the point:
I am so happy and proud of this place and where we are today because I finally started to listen to the people that know much better than I do how to run a brewery.
There are still a bunch of breweries getting ready to open up in Denver, and if one of you are reading this, please go out and talk to other brewers and LISTEN. Take their advice to heart; there are mistakes you actually never have to make if you just realize that you don't know shit and that they do. Sure, every brewer is different; if you ask ten one question you will get ten answers. But, and I think Walter put this best,
'This is not 'nam... There are rules.'"
Learn them, remember them, apply them, and make rad beer. To do the opposite is exactly how not to start a brewery.