It's always great to get away for a holiday weekend - especially with family. I've always said that I must've missed out on the creativity allotment in my family gene pool - with my brother & sister getting the majority of the good stuff. My creativity flows through my brewing, but it pretty much stops there - unless you count writing, but that's freakin' boring, eh? Anyways, with the palpable creative energy crammed into a quick family visit is combined with a couple great meetings held with potential investors and supporters of GrassLands, that means it's time to dive back into the sea of paperwork that it'll take to get this thing going.
Starting any business is a major undertaking. If you're like me and you don't have your MBA nor have you officially enrolled/passed any business courses, it can get overwhelming in a freakin' heartbeat. However, there are a ton of resources at your disposal, some better and more interactive than others of course, so you can only be as successful as you set out to be. In replacement of an MBA, we're actively involved with the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council, Florida State University's Entrepreneurship Program, FAMU's Small Business Center, Sustainable Tallahassee, etc. etc. etc. These organizations and the programs/services they offer are of paramount to any business in-planning - especially one focused on providing a product/service (like us). Add in our planned shadowing/assisting with regional commercial brewers and we're confident we can get this thing up & running effectively.
That doesn't, however, prevent the tedious hours you've got to put in regarding paperwork. Over the past 2-3 weeks, we've been gradually treading water in a rough sea of paperwork. From pro-formas to business plans to budgets to tax certificate applications to funding requests - I could now major in small business paperwork. As a brewery, one could argue that the spotlight is even brighter on us since we'll be involved in the manufacturing and provision of alcoholic beverages. We certainly are getting our fair share (perhaps a little more) of forms to fill out, but it's all good. In the end, it'll be worth it to have the opportunity to bring great craft beer to Tallahassee (in addition to what's already offered). We're on the precipice folks - it's coming soon!
We cannot state enough how important your support has been throughout this entire endeavor. We understand and have come to grips with the threats to any small business, which makes it all the more important for us to do this thing right. It's not enough that we make awesome beer on a commercial system, it's the successful and efficient (and practical) steps we need to take to operate the business so that GrassLands always exists as an independent craft brewing company. ALWAYS. Our promise to you (and to ourselves) is that we'll give it absolutely 110% to make sure that happens. We won't be able to do it alone, no sir-ee, but we'll do our absolute best. That we can promise. What we're happy about is that this sea of paperwork is looking more and more like a lake now-adays, which is a good thing. When it starts to look like a pond/puddle, I'll breathe a little easier :D
So why don't we close on a high note, shall we? If you've been getting our Fermentation Fridays email newsletters (many, many thanks to the 327 of you that continue to at least give it a looksee every now & then), you'll know that we've got a bunch of beers about to be put on tap and served at the Green Lion Festival in (San Marco) Jacksonville the first weekend of August. We'll be serving/pairing our beers with the awesome, hand-crafted cheeses made by Sweet Grass Dairy - so absolutely share that event with your friends & family! We're also slated to do two collaboration brews in the next couple months with both our friends at Fermentation Lounge (awesome that their brew-schedule is officially back up & running) and our buddies at Canopy Roads Brewing (Tallahassee's next craft brewery behind us)! Psyched! We'll be looking to collab, if possible, with Proof prior to launching the taproom. Let's make it happen, Byron & Larry! :)
With that, we wish you the best! Have an absolute blast of a weekend, my dear readers, because you definitely deserve it.