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The secret to success is lots of little failures

You may have heard the story of how we began brewing in our basement, but did you hear about that one time 5 gallons of our best batch (at the time) dripped down our stairs?

Fellow entrepreneurs recommended we “fail as much as possible as quickly as possible”, and we took note. Tim, our mechanical engineer turned Brewmaster, started brewing in 5 gallon carboys – those large, glass cylindrical vessels with a narrow top often found dispensing water at water coolers. 

When we finished a batch in the basement, we needed to transport that carboy full of 5 gallons of freshly fermented beverage, weighing about 65 pounds, from the basement up a set of stairs to the garage to carbonate. We even bought special carrying straps. 

One day, Tim was rushing up the stairs, carboy in tow, and accidentally gave the glass carboy a bit of an abrupt landing. Unfortunately, the tile floor was not forgiving and whoosh! Shattered glass and 5 gallons of mead rushed down the stairs, covering everything in a wet, sharp and sticky mess. 

After that fail, we vowed not to rush…and we ordered new conical vessels, plastic ones, and firmly attached them to the wall in the basement, in the studs, with screws. We were not repeating that failure. 

A few months later, we invested in a 10-gallon stainless steel fermenter, next it was a 1 barrel (31 gallon) fermenter, and so on, until we landed with 3-5 barrel and 3-3 barrel fermenters in our current space. Want to learn more about our process? Click here.

While we continue to work on moving quickly without rushing, we’re constantly learning from our mistakes. We have loads of stories like this one, both humbling and rich with lessons.

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