We’ve been crafting beer in our east Austin warehouse now for about a half of a year. We are a small team of two taking care of everything from brewing, packaging and toilet cleaning. We show up way too early in the morning and stay way too late. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s fantastic. As the owner of Hops & Grain I don’t currently make a penny. I haven’t seen a paycheck in close to 18 months and I work close to 70 hours a week. And again, as far as I’m concerned, it’s fantastic.
So last week Adler and I closed down the brewery, sent over a few pallets of beer to our distributor and hopped on a plane bound for San Diego. Every year the fine folks at the Brewers Association organize and orchestrate one of the finest conferences that I’ve ever attended. For 4 straight days we get to surround ourselves with like minded folks from around the world to learn, imbibe, network and enjoy an all around kick-ass time.
Every other year the World Beer Cup takes place as a culmination to the Craft Brewers Conference. This year over 3,000 craft beer folks were in attendance and we were treated to endless amounts of craft beer from around the world and a killer menu put together from the genius minds behind the Monks Kettle in San Francisco.
We had an absolute blast hearing from vendors and industry peers about the latest and greatest happenings in the world of fermentation and digging deeper into the intricacies of our craft. Being surrounded by men and women that share a common passion and a common goal of bringing more attention to the wonderful art of making beer is truly inspirational. We’re not in it for the money and we’re definitely not in it for the fame. That being said, I think we all felt like celebrities during our stay in San Diego. Being able to tell people that we make beer for a living and hearing the words “that sounds awesome” or “sounds like the best job ever” is a nice reassurance that what we are doing isn’t going unnoticed or unappreciated.
The craft beer culture in San Diego is pretty damn cool as well and it was really nice to sample beers that we may never see in Texas. We got to visit a few breweries, ate at a few killer restaurants and a few of us enjoyed a morning run to prep our metabolism for the feasts of the day.
And the best part of the week, winning a Gold medal for our Alt-eration at the World Beer Cup just 6 months since we began producing beer and opened our doors to the good people of Austin! Also, not a bad way to meet Charlie Papazian for the first time
Come join us in our tap room every Friday from 2-6 and Saturday from 12-4. We’ve always got something new that we’re growing in the Greenhouse and plenty of Alt-eration!