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Why the hell would you open a brewery?

Quick note: This week’s entry is a guest post from Chris Creech at Fortnight Brewing in Raleigh/Durham. Chris and his team are a great group of people and blazing a path toward opening the newest brewery in the area. They’re focused on English inspired beers and are constantly out in the community working toward their goal of bettering the local beer culture.

Meet the team

(L to R) Mo Mercado, David Wilkinson, Stuart Arnold, and Chris Creech

Why the hell would you open a brewery?

-Chris Creech

I have heard that question, often phrased a little less bluntly, a lot over the past few months.  And to be honest, it was a while before I really sat down and thought about the actual answer to the question.

At first, I just said, “Well, I’ve been brewing beer for a while – I enjoy it and I think the beer is pretty good, and I’ve been given a great opportunity, so we’re going for it.”

While that is all true, it doesn’t really answer the core of the question.  Why are so many people quitting their good day jobs to open a small business to produce beer – a highly regulated product with razor-slim profit margins?

Passion.

The craft beer industry is an industry of passion.  There are so many great people involved in the production, distribution, selling and promotion of craft beer, and they all have one thing in common – passion.  It’s a passion for a unique product, a passion for the fellowship and community that beer promotes, and a passion for sharing their passion with others.

Sure, there are some super-stars in the beer industry, from Jim Koch (Boston Beer Company/Sam Adams) to Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head Brewery), but for the most part, you don’t brew beer for fame or fortune.  Most of us will spend long hours brewing beer, and then spend our nights and weekends selling and promoting our beer at bars, restaurants, festivals and events.  And what’s the pay-off?  It’s not often a huge paycheck, but it comes back to that passion.

Not only are the people involved with the supply-side of beer passionate about it – the beer consumers are also passionate, and it is their passion that drives us.

As the interest in craft beer grows, more and more folks are becoming craft and local beer enthusiasts.  And when you can hand someone a beer, or see them ordering your beer at a bar or restaurant, and see, hear and feel their reaction to your creation, it is a fantastic moment.  To then see these people become passionate about your product, becoming ambassadors for what you’re doing, gives you great pride and sense of accomplishment.  That is the pay-off, and that passion is why we are opening a brewery.

So, if you are as passionate as I am about craft and local beer, then I would encourage you all to continue to drink local, support your local breweries, and keep an eye out for some great new breweries coming to NC in the near future, including Fortnight Brewing Company.

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