It feels like we are graduating and going pro. After months of searching for the perfect home base for Athletic Brewing, we are happy to announce that we are joining the craft brewing community of Stratford, CT, which was put on the map by our neighbors making incredible beer nearby at Two Roads.
In conversation, launching a brewery appears to be a fun, fairly simple goal. Seems like an easy life. All about being able to make great beer, right?
In reality, it is a wild juggle of venture-threatening obstacles. It is every bit as stressful as the financial world. We have been operating non-stop on about six different channels – 1) Brewery construction (with engineers, architects, contractors, brokers, designers), 2) Fundraising, 3) Planning (sales, distribution, accounting), 4) Branding & Marketing, 5) Quality Control (systems, sanitation), and most importantly, 6) Beer! (method testing, recipe creation, ingredient sourcing). As a general rule, anything you expect to take one day will consume a week, and likewise for weeklong projects lasting months.
We are very fortunate to have such a strong team operating in sync and collaborating. A perfect example of 1+1=3. I can not understate how easy our team has made some foundational tasks and organization look. It is a massive undertaking stocking and setting up everything from ingredients to sanitation to storage and equipment.
Brewery founders and entrepreneurs do an incredible job keeping a stress-free façade to the outside world. The hurdles are only exacerbated when the venture is the first-of-its-kind, trying to reinvent a stagnant, neglected landscape. The vision for Athletic Brewing, and the belief that there are tons of healthy and active beer lovers like us on the search for a delicious, refreshing non-alcoholic craft beer is a total leap of faith. And we would have ceased to exist at just that, a vision, if it weren't for a key community of believers in Athletic's future place in the world.
For that faith, we want to thank our amazing team of Athletic Brewing investors and ambassadors. Everything we do is built on the foundation of your excitement. We are thankful for your support and daily guidance. We know we don't have all the answers, but we know where we are headed. We will always have an open ear to our team and customers for ideas on how to stay on that track.
The Athletic Brewing train left the station immediately when our team jumped aboard. Planning went into overdrive, the path was illuminated, and our goals for our impact grew with the abilities of the team. Our tasting room is bigger than our entire original brewery plan.
This week marked a major milestone - the start of construction and the arrival of our pilot recipe system (thanks Blichmann!). Every day from here on forward will be more about our Athletic beers and less about laying the groundwork. Stay tuned!