This is the first official blog post of Descendants Beer & Beverage Co. I hope it’s a good one!Pssst… we’ve been “planning” this blog for a while now but unfortunately there are never enough hours in the day. I (Lee) am writing the blog for us now but, who knows, maybe we will share this outlet in the future. Robin is busy with the logistics of the brewery and doesn’t have time right now. I have decided to take it on as a way to further my Town Crier status within the brewery, share information with our descendants about what is going on with us and maybe as a little bit of therapy. Maybe writing a blog will help me to reflect on our lives right now so in 5 years I will be able to remember this whirlwind.
So here’s a re-cap of who we are, for those who are new to follow/fan us. We are a wife and husband team (notice the switch-we like to keep things equitable around here) of Lee Brooks and Robin Molloy (Lee is female and Robin is male) who decided to switch up our lives and start a brewery. Sounds simple right?! Well… not exactly.
Firstly, we did A LOT of research into the brewing industry. Secondly we did even more research into Brewing Education.Then we did more research into the brewing industry. We decided that it would be wise for us to have brewing knowledge beyond home brewing (one batch of beer can costs thousand and thousands of dollars, off flavours, infection, etc. can be costly. We decided that from a financial and quality control perspective it’s worth a little upfront money to have a Certified Brewmaster on board to keep our beer safe).
After a lot of research we chose the school Robin wanted to go to and moved to Berlin.Robin enrolled in the VLB. I am a Special Education teacher and I took a leave for a semester. I was able to teach at the Berlin British School while we lived there. We loved Berlin more than we can express (I think our love of Berlin will have to be a separate blog post). We met and made many like-minded friends who were becoming Brew masters as well and several friends who were teachers. We had a fantastic life-style there and we truly miss it (direct message me if you want me to gush about how great Berlin is and how you should definitely go and how you should stay longer than a week-we recommend 6 months).
Once Robin graduated we traveled around Europe for a few weeks and then we came home. It was always our intent that we would start an Ontario Craft Brewery of our own and we had researched the OCB before we even left for Berlin. Robin did, however, interview for a job with one of the big breweries. It was that interview that solidified for him that he wanted to brew his own beer, in is own facility, in his own community.
That’s when we started to plan a brewery. Which includes WAY more steps than you can imagine. WAY MORE! So, I’ll be kind and give you the shortened short story. We searched and searched and searched for a location. We bought equipment, we created recipes, we started contract brewing, we hired sales personnel, we (finally) got our Harbinger APA into the LCBO and now we are off to the races. Except for one thing, we still don’t have our location.No word of a lie we have looked at hundreds of locations (hundreds) and we have found a few that fit, as I like to say “our purposes”. Our business plan has been re-molded more times than our sons Play-Doh (oh yeah, during all of this we had a child. He will be 2 years old in September and he is our joy and our reason to keep going on the days when we are beyond exhausted and feel like the universe prefers wine).
Recently our local newspaper, The Record, ran an article featuring us. They had asked us about finding a location because basically people want to know what is taking so long. There is a list of reasons why it has taken so long and I have at least one grey hair for each of them. I can’t go into all of them because frankly, you couldn’t handle the length of the blog post and I couldn’t handle the mental anguish of re-hashing it all.
That leads us (in the super short, shortened version) to where we are now. We are working from home while we try to find out “Forever Home” for the brewery. We are contract brewing with Railway City, and doing One Offs with Bell City. We are resolute that our location will be in the city we love and live in now, Kitchener, and we are plugging away selling great beer to great people (we now have three amazing sales people working with us).
We have a Facebook Page, Twitter account (@Descendantsbeer), Become a Descendant mailing list and Pinterest page that outline the events we are involved in, new beers coming out, One-Offs and all of the other great things going on at Descendants Beer.We are super busy with a nearly two year old and a little boy as well (Descendants was incorporated in September of 2013 and our son was born that same month-a friend of ours sent us a note saying “congratulations on your twins”). We are hoping our little two year old will have a home soon and we will be able to tell everyone where they can buy cans, bottles, kegs, growlers, soap, t-shirts, glassware, etc. Until then you can read these blogs and be (nearly) as up-to-date as we are!
It’s a lot of hard work and long days but to be perfectly honest we love working together, we love building something and we are so bolstered by and appreciative of all of the support the people of Waterloo Region and beyond have given us!This is the end of the first ever Descendants blog post! No that you are all caught up the next one will be shorter.