I have gotten some really great feedback recently from readers and people following our journey. The recurring feedback from numerous folks after last week’s post about taking a brewing course was that “school learning” is no substitute for hands-on experience. I could not agree with you more. You guys just didn’t give me a chance to tell you about it yet…
I met Chris Winn from Tradesman Brewing this past year. He was one of those guys that would show up in People You Might Know on Facebook. One day I checked out his profile and realized that we had SEVERAL friends in common from SEVERAL different social groups, the most glaring being the cycling community and the local beer community. I was wondering how we had so many mutual friends and had not really crossed paths. As if his ears were burning, I got a friend request from him and accepted that same week.
Not too long after that, I reached out to him and asked if he ever needed any help at the brewery. My schedule was flexible and I was willing to come put in some hours. He told me that I was welcome anytime. The first time I went was a week after Thanksgiving. Pearce was out of town that week so he wasn’t able to make it, but I went ahead. I met Chris at the brewery at the butt-crack of dawn that day, and he and Scott (co-owner and head brewer) proceeded to put me to work. From sun up to sun down, they let me do as much as I was willing, which was everything at that point. Even though the day was long and the work was not easy, I knew that the smell of grains cooking and converting was a future I would be happy with.
So for the past few months, Pearce and I have been putting in hours when we were able. Chris (and Eulie and Scott too) has been teaching and giving us opportunities to learn the business from the ground up. Brewing is such a small part of actually running a brewery and we have been learning about all of the aspects. Crushing, mashing, brewing, cooling, transferring, propagating, pitching, fermenting, harvesting, cleaning, sanitizing, crashing, carbonating, kegging, packaging, distributing, ordering, managing, travelling and especially tasting… I even got to go work the World Beer Festival in Columbia, SC with these guys.
The beer community in Charleston is really awesome and it seems like almost ALL of the brewers and beer folk in this town are great and willing to help each other succeed. I want to thank Chris, Scott and Eulie for giving us the opportunity to get our hands dirty and learn more about the business that we want to be a part of. If you are local readers then please stop in at Tradesman and give a high five to the crew for being so awesome and willing to let us be a part.