In a years time, I should be taking my Comps (comprehensive exams) for my PhD program in Counselor Education. I have been in college with since Fall 2001 (Illinois State 3.5 years & UofL 2005-2007 (Masters) and PhD ( 2008-Present) and I am ready to be done. I recently looked at my old ISU transcript to review some of the courses I took and could barely remember taking them or what I learned/sat through/tried to remember what happened the night prior. I am not, though, ready to start the student loan payoff process. Damnit. College was expensive. A lot of people ask me what I am going to do job-wise once I finish my PhD and my answer is generally followed by a shoulder shrug.
People tell me sometimes, you should start a brewery once your done. I want to say “sure, mind lending me a few hundred grand to a million dollars, expertise in brewing, and cover my ass if it doesn’t work out?”. I generally just say “yea, that would be cool”. I’m a realist, I know what is feasible and what is not feasible. Everybody and their brother is starting a brewery in the over-saturated East Coast (where we propose to head back to in some years), you gotta find your niche to be successful, gotta stay local and do what works.
I’ve been sitting on this story for a while. I read about this back in May and was intrigued about the concept. I would love to do something similar someday. I can envision it and for some reason, Oompa Loompas come to my mind. When I brew, all of my spent grain goes into my compost pile (some is saved for my pet mouse, Grist) which eventually goes into the ground where I plant my vegetables in my minuscule backyard garden (which I then eat or the damn rabbits do). It would be my dream, which Ashley hates, to be able to have a small brewpub which would use all the grains to feed pigs, cows, and fish (for eating purposes) for the restaurant and have a large garden/small farm to supply some vegetables. Farm to table baby! Kinda like if the new Louisville restaurant, Harvest, was a made their own beer. Hell, Sierra Nevada grows some of their own hops and Stone grows a bunch of stuff….but those are HUGE breweries. That’s what I want to do, Harvest with beer. Ashley quickly nixed the idea of farm animals/living on a small farm. If Chevy Chase could do it, why not me?
I grew up on a farm for 18 years. I take pride in my small backyard garden, building things, and supporting local farmers markets. It’s a part of me. You can put the boy in the city but you can never take the country out of the boy unfortunately. Below is a half bourbon barrel coffee table I made. The table is re-finished tongue-and-groove floorboards which are between 80-100 years old. Some beers (on coasters of course) will be had on this table.
Well either way, once we move and I get more land. The garden will grow larger. Once I earn my PhD and get paid more, the brewing might get larger. That is, unless we have kids and I can piss all those plans away.