Missing The Mundane

Let us first start by saying we are very much looking forward to one day writing about emotionally mundane things like cutting concrete and passivating steel. We continue to feel a bit like that bitcoin guy:

Bitcoin - Up
Good day.
Bitcoin - Down
Bad day.
Bitcoin - Roller Coaster
Pretty much every day.

It’s a good thing motion sickness only applies to the physical world; we’d never hold down a lunch. Anyway… We’ve crossed another major milestone: We’ve finalized our brewery and tap room design and secured the funding we need to build it! (Stop us if you’ve heard this before.) Still, we have to admit that we’re feeling pretty great about managing to squeeze a little blood from this stone just one more time. (We’ll save you the horror of posting a .gif for this one!) Let’s take a moment to reflect on what has happened since we last wrote:

  1. We designed two breweries: Best Case and Worst Case. This let us determine how much blood must be squeezed from the stone.
  2. We requested a loan increase through the SBA.
  3. Our request was approved by the SBA.
  4. Our request was approved by the banks using the SBA guarantee.
  5. We secured additional private funding from a few key people.
  6. We finalized the brewery & tap room design. (It’s a very happy medium between Best & Worst Case.)
  7. We got a new tap room rendering to finally share with the world (and we’ve featured it on this blog post!)
  8. We received our pilot brewhouse and our pilot cellar tanks.
  9. One of those cellar tanks was badly dented upon arrival.
  10. We received a few of our production cellar tanks.
  11. We received our glycol chiller, air compressor, and keg washer.
  12. We got our online merch store up and running.
  13. We passed the Montgomery County Liquor Board hearing.
  14. We received our Montgomery County Building Permit and had our Forest Conservation Plan approved.
  15. We’ve applied for our plumbing permits through WSSC.
  16. We’ve put in progress cool things like tap handle, flight carrier, and glassware design.
  17. We brewed a great NE IPA and an absolutely delicious Grisette.

Here are a few photos to offer a little imagery for some of the bullet points above:

Bailey defending our request for a liquor license
Denton the dented fermenter
The pilot cellar tanks
The first batch of production cellar tanks still strapped in the shipping container
Hauling the first production fermenter into the space
Our first three production cellar tanks
Our semi-automatic keg washer

Things are still in progress that may end up delaying this process yet again–but we’ve learned to roll with those punches. This thing is happening and we’re very, very proud of what we’re building. Hopefully the next time you hear from us we’ll be droning on about trench safety, p-traps, and low point drains. Until then…

Cheers!

The True Respite Team

The Final Countdown

Three years of effort comes down to this one day…

(Hit play on this YouTube video for effect before continuing.)

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017.

Three years of dogged battling to get this brewery properly planned and fully funded will have brought us to this one day.

This Wednesday, one critical finance partner will send our loan package to their loan committee to decide whether or not to finance our project. We have several finance partners involved with this project and each requires the other’s commitment. That means one piece falling through will cause this entire deal to collapse.

We’ve slogged tirelessly forward for three years, enduring massive life-changing course adjustments–like getting laid off from a lucrative career and resolving to sell our home to move East and follow our dream; like unexpectedly welcoming two new, incredible, beautiful children into our lives; and like losing a couple family members to injuries and illness when we just weren’t ready to say goodbye.

We’ve suffered devastating setbacks–like being denied business loans over two dozen times for not having enough collateral or personal wealth before we were finally approved by a community development lender that saw real potential in our business. Even after we got our preliminary approval, we lost the real estate we had included in the loan package over a questionable parking dispute. That alone set us back four months.

But despite the heartbreak (and to be quite frank… often in spite of it) we’ve also celebrated huge wins. That local community development lender, Business Finance Group, saw the potential in us and worked patiently with us for months as we built a creative deal that will work. We’ve also managed to bring together a group of investors whose expertise has proven invaluable in navigating the challenges of starting up a small business.

We can tell you right now–we are not sleeping well… and it’s not the 2-month old baby screaming for food and cuddles in the dead of night that’s costing us the most sleep. The anticipation of this decision is weighing heavily on us as we try to act calm and carry on for the next three days.

To be clear: If this decision is a no. We’re hanging up our brewer’s paddles and conceding defeat. We can only take so many body blows.

But if this decision is a yes, the fight for funding takes a massive leap towards the finish line. The SBA is still mulling over our application for a working capital loan and we’re in the process of onboarding a conventional partner to join the capital equipment financing side. But these pieces can’t fall into place without this huge decision coming on Wednesday, and a yes vote will only help to strengthen our position in these approvals as we finalize our financing and move towards construction.

So here we are: The Final Countdown. The loan applications are out and our brewery’s fate has been passed into the hands of the lenders who are considering joining this crazy, beautiful ride.

Check back later this week to see what will become of True Respite Brewing Company.

 

Cheers,

Brendan & Bailey