Welcome to our Cabin.
We are Cabin Brewing Company, a band of beer fanatics who have thrown in the 9-to-5 life to chase a dream.
This blog will document the formation, building and opening of Cabin. It will capture the exhilaration and the heartache, the laughter and the sleepless nights that goes with it.
For those interested in opening a brewery - or even just chasing your own dream, whatever that may be – the insights we’ll share in this blog will be of interest. It will be a collection of ideas and observations, of life lessons, a rough back-of-the-envelope map of what to do and what not to do.
A lot goes into starting a brewery, more than we could ever have thought. We knew it was going to be hard work, but man… It’s not all pints and parties. There is some of that - and those events are normally a ton of fun as are the people that go - but it's predominantly time-sucking work upon more work, with even more work on the side.
We tip our brewery logo hats to every other brewery that has gone before us, paving the way for others to succeed in their wake. We appreciate your hard work, your passion and your determination to build something that you love. You are truly living the dream, and helping us to live ours.
After a particularly gruelling week of setbacks and disappointments a few months back, we joked about calling this journal How to Build a Brewery the Hard Way. Upon sober thought, we realized that we weren’t doing it the hard way, we were simply doing it the only way.
So why, if it is so hard, have we committed to writing this blog at the same time as taking on the largest task of our lives?
While we have had many, many friends, brewery owners, colleagues and family members along the way who have helped make our journey easier, we never did find a comprehensive source of information outlining the full process as it relates to Alberta.
We’re going to attempt to spell that out throughout the course of this blog in the hope that it will ease the path of others and shed some light on the painstaking process that is involved in starting a brewery in Alberta.
While we think we’ve done a pretty good job of navigating landmines, we know our process has been far from perfect and we’ve stepped on probably more our fair share. But we now know where those turds lie and won’t step in them again – for every calamity, there is a lesson learned.
So what can you expect from this blog? For one, we won’t tell you what to do – that is entirely up to you. Each of us who have set off on this journey meander a different way. That's human nature.
What we will tell you is what we did, and why we think that was the right thing to do. You can take our advice or ignore it. That’s the fun thing about starting your own business, you can do what the hell you want.
We'll share some of the rough times we had and try and describe the churn that makes you feel like you are swimming in a sea of red tape and rules with sharks snapping at your toes and you can't come up for air and the sun has gone behind a cloud and you've lost hold of your buoy and... you get the picture.
But we'll also share the triumphs. The fun. The little successes that you put in the win column. The moments when you get goosebumps. The bursts of happiness where you pump your fist, whoop involuntarily and just know that you're on the path to doing something awesome.
Like any good story, ours began with beer. We’ll talk about that in Chapter 1, when we introduce ourselves.