We learned a lot from that, and other early failures. But with Will's guidance, we all learned a ton about making beer and eventually we got pretty good at it. Our little brewing system changed locations several times over the next few years, it went from Scott's to Paul's, back to Scott's, then to Rich's before settling in Rich and Andy's shop in Petaluma. We built out a pretty sweet little brewing operation there, complete with a walk-in fridge and climate controlled (barely) room for fermenting. We bought equipment when we could afford it and continued to experiment with different styles.
Since all of us have pretty demanding jobs and family lives (the jobs are demanding, not the families) we tried to brew on Friday nights whenever we could, which wasn't often, but often enough to keep us in personal supply. But what we really wanted to do was share our creations with other people. We threw a couple of "Oktoberfests" for friends and family that were a ton of fun (Rich's party throwing skills are truly next level). The beer was well received and we were getting more consistent results so we figured it was time to see what the general public might think.
In 2015 we entered the Santa Rosa Battle of the Brews with no idea what to expect. It went really well. We ran out of beer and ended up winning the PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD, which was an awesome surprise. Later that year we attended the California Beer Festival where our winning streak came to a quick end. I think some little outfit called Stone Brewing won best beer. Anyway, these events were great for a little exposure, and we got lots of positive feedback. We also got invited to pour at The Santa Rosa Wednesday Night Market where we met a lot of awesome people and had a great time for a couple of weeks. More importantly, we learned that we had gotten ridiculously good at one thing... giving away free beer.
As fun as giving away beer can be, it's a mildly flawed business model. So, while we were making and giving away free beer, we were also slowly working on all the legal stuff that allows you to sell it. Which brings us to where we are now, the same group of guys that started in this thing in Scott's garage, but this time we all chipped in to buy a 10 Barrel System and since it wouldn't fit in anyone's garage or shop we built out a pretty cool space to hold it. We all hope to see you there...often.