Sorry to leave you on the edge of your seat in the previous piece. I sat down to write this thinking it would be about 300 words about beer and blogs filled with lots of SEO tag words about Tallahassee, breweries, bars, and craft beer.... Like how I did that? Yes, at long last we have arrived at the final installment of this nearly-about beer series. We left off in the middle of our conversation about shifting from professional diving to brewer...
You might ask "How does one jump to a completely different career?" The answer is "Slowly. And with great support from family and friends." I decided to stop working as a diver full time in order to be more present for my (at the time) 18 month old son and to begin planning the brewery. I didn't know anything about making beer, so I bought and studied several books on both home and professional beer brewing, purchased a boat load of homebrewing equipment, and began experimenting with brewing beer on the balcony of our 17th floor condo in downtown Miami, Florida.
Once I decided that the beer I was making didn't suck, I decided to enter them into homebrewing competitions. I won a silver medal for the first beer I ever entered, which was a Belgian Dubbel inspired by Rochefort 8. This early success inspired me to brew more and bolder beers, experiment with more styles, win more medals, become a certified beer judge, and then come to the ultimate realization that I still knew nothing about turning this into an actual business. Time to invest in more books!
I have always been a fan of self education, a concept which has significantly aided in my getting to this point in life without the burdensome load of student debt. For the last year I have been somewhat diligently teaching myself about business concepts like management, finance, supply chains, manufacturing, marketing, and sales all while building out a business plan for the brewery and doing bits of contract diving here and there. I've looked at the whole process as an accelerated MBA with concentration in brewery operations and a minor in malting and fermentation science. The number of resources we have access to outside of the traditional education system is astounding and it takes some effort to weed through the crap to make sure you aren't wasting your valuable time. I'll work on providing links to some of these materials in the future, for progeny.
As we begin to approach the date of implementation for my brewery business plan, I have been consuming more and more information on marketing concepts while at the same time learning about the Tallahassee beer market. After experiencing the rise of craft beer in South Florida, being jealous of the advancement of breweries in Tampa/St. Pete, and following the progress of brewing friends in Gainesville, Jacksonville, and the Florida Keys... I've decided I could offer something more to the culture of good beer in Tallahassee than just opening another great brewery. That's what this blog is about.
In time, we plan to make the DEEP THOUGHTS Blog a public hub (Pub? Ha!) for information about what is going on with great beer in Tallahassee and at DEEP Brewing Company.
As the brewery comes closer to opening, we'll be working to bring together articles on pairing beer with food, beer reviews, technical articles, interviews with "beer celebrities," and information on beer-centric current events. Make sure you follow us on the various social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) or at the very least, sign up for our mailing list to get the coldest, freshest news delivered directly to your inbox.
Thanks for reading,
Ryan S LaPete
Owner / Head Brewer @ Deep Brewing Co.