Sunday, July 13, 2014

Roller Coasters

It's been almost four years since the idea of starting a brewery started swirling around in our brains. It was a soggy, cold November afternoon in the dank basement tasting room of the brewers guild in Brussels, Belgium. The words first left our lips and kind of danced above us, giddy with hope and promise. We toasted the future and new adventures and good beer and happiness to come.

Oh my God were we stupid.

Open a brewery, they said! It will be fun, they said! I mean seriously, how hard could it be??  It's almost funny now, looking back on those two idiots with their big ideas and full glasses and positive outlooks. We've certainly come a long way. 

We've attended classes. We've purchased equipment. We've saved and saved and saved. We've read books. Attended more classes. Purchased more equipment. Looked at countless spaces that now look all the same. We've placed offers on 6 locations. Six. SIX. We've been told no 5 times. One just quit responding to us and we still don't know why.

We are being very particular about our location. If we were willing to settle, we'd be open by now. But we've worked too hard for this and settling is not an option. We've learned some hard lessons in our twenty years of marriage. Sticking to our business plan and budget is important. It could be the difference between success and failure. And failure is not an option.

We've had our eye on a specific place for almost a year. But there is a preschool in the same complex. This week we got some very exciting news from the Arizona State Liquor Board. A loophole that would allow us to place an offer on our dream spot. Only to be told within 12 hours that the owner of the complex did not think our brewery fit into the "family atmosphere." This was the 3rd time we were told no because of the nature of our business. People really don't understand what we are trying to do. We say "brewery" and they hear "meth lab" or "brothel" or "underground fight club." Something happens to the words between the time they leave our mouths and enter the recipients ear. They morph and evolve in the air during travel, and become a building owner's worst nightmare. 

But whatever. That space just wasn't meant to be. Luckily there are others. And we hope to have good news for you very soon. We know we are being vague, and we are sorry, but we have jumped the gun so many times in the past and it's embarrassing. We will say this: The past four weeks have been the most productive for us over the last four years. The past four weeks have given us more momentum than we have EVER had. And the past four weeks have catapulted us further toward this dream than we have ever been before. 

The wait is going to be so worth it.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Two stainless steel steps closer....

It has come to our attention that people really enjoy reading our blog.  It has also been mentioned that people really don't like it when we don't update it on a regular basis.  What we realized is that you guys really love knowing what we are up to.  What might seem trivial to us on this long, bumpy road to opening our brewery is entertaining and exciting news to those following our progress.  So with that said, we are going to make a concentrated effort to keep you up to date with our constantly evolving journey.  We hope you're ready, because here it goes.
Lets go back a few months.  Back to the Memorial Day weekend this past May.  While most of you were enjoying many pints of craft beer over the three days, we were making the 1,100 mile round trip from Phoenix to Colorado.  
You see, back in December of 2012 we placed the order for our Boil Kettle.  A beautiful 7 barrel sphere of awesomeness, custom built for us by the master craftsman Tom Bennett at Bennett Forgeworks in Ridgway Colorado.  It felt like a year, but after a quick 5 months, Tom called us to let us know that our new kettle was ready to be picked up.
Opening a brewery is a long and tedious process.  There is always something that needs to be addressed or ordered or paid for.  So we didn't have much time to sit idly by and wait for the months to roll by until we received that call from Tom.  No, no.  We spent those 5 months looking for the many other pieces of equipment that we still need for our brewery.  Fermenters, glycol chillers, kegs, taps, hoses, clamps, etc.  Barrels. It's a never ending search.  But what we found was something that we never could have imagined. 
As most of you know, we come from the fraternity known as The Colorado Boy Family.  There are about 50 of us so far, and a little more than 30 are open and brewing now.  And if you ever get the chance to talk to one of them, ask this question: "What is the one piece of equipment you wish you could have in your brewery?" 
Call it luck.  Call it karma.  Call if favoritism.  We like to call it Tom. Our friend and mentor, Tom Hennessy, owner and founder of Colorado Boy, bequeathed unto us the Holy Grail of Frankenbrew equipment: His precious mash tun.
But more on that later.
Our three day Colorado adventure flew by.  We drove more than 1,200 miles, visited 8 different breweries, met up with some old friends, and picked up 2 vital pieces of equipment for our Brewery.  But what we really achieved was getting just a little closer to completing our brew house.  Which means that we are getting closer to making this dream a reality. 
Things are happening at Mischief Brewing Company. We're happy you want to be a part of it.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Well let's start by addressing the elephant in the room....

We are still very actively looking for a location. It's frustrating. We find a place, it looks almost perfect, but there isn't enough parking, or there is a church or school within so many feet as the crow flies, or the city won't approve anymore liquor sales on that corner, or the costs to make the space brewpub ready are too great and outside of our budget. Whatever. These are the ups and downs of starting a business. We want to set ourselves up for success. And in order to do that, it is imperative we follow our business model and find a location that fits within the plan.

But we will never give up. We know how much our community needs this brewery, we know how much the craft beer lovers on the west side want this brewery, and we know how badly we want this business for ourselves. If that means waiting for all the stars and planets to align properly, we'll wait. Maybe not patiently, but we'll do it.

We've been to many events over the past few months in the valley, and we are always so overwhelmed by the amount of support we receive from the local craft beer community. This is why we continue to work hard to turn this dream into a reality. Because of YOU. So thank you! Your support and encouragement fuels our fire. We will never be able to put into words how much we appreciate that.

Last month we had the pleasure of attending the annual Craft Brewers Conference in Washington DC. We attended seminars on the financial aspects of running a brewery, increasing the value of our
brand through social media, and innovative ways to brew for the consumer's ever changing palate. Sounds like a snoozefest but every minute of it was amazing. We met and reconnected with so many amazing people. People who have stories just like ours, people who encouraged us and related to us and offered us advice. It was a much needed and very valuable experience.

And it may have changed the direction of Mischief. We'll see.

All we know is, we are so thankful you haven't given up on us. The best things in life are worth waiting for. We will eventually have a door to hang the OPEN sign on, and we are so looking forward to it!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Help us help you become famous. Oh and buy a shirt.

Hey hey hey Mischief Makers!

We need your help! We are in the process of updating our website and would love to include pictures of the people who are so generously supporting our hard work to finalize this dream into a reality. Please send us good, clear photos of YOU out and about, representing in your Mischief shirt.

Email them to by Wednesday March 20.

And if you don't have a shirt, what the hell is wrong with you? You can buy one of our new and improved, double sided shirts for just $15 plus tax and shipping. Just click on that link to your right. Your other right. If you don't want to pay tax and shipping, send us a private message and we'll meet you some where for delivery. (Just please don't be a serial killer because that would suck.)

We are so excited to see what kind of crazy photos you guys are going to send! We appreciate your support!

Look! We found Waldo and he was wearing our shirt!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy Brew Year!!

It's been a wild ride these past 12 months. We've had ups and downs and even a few loop de loops on the road to building this brewery. Things have not always worked out the way we had hoped or expected (we REALLY thought we would be open or close to opening by now), but we would not change a thing. Every speedbump along the way has taught us something. And we are so thankful.

We can't get over the opportunities we have been provided, or the amazing people we have met. We're just gonna say it: The Arizona beer community is the BEST in the world. The most supportive, gracious, kind and generous. We can not wait to open our doors and share a pint (or two) with you!

Speaking of opening our doors... We know we have been quiet about our location, but believe us, we are diligently working day and night to make this happen. In the past few months we have purchased some equipment, we ordered our custom made brew kettle, and we booked our tickets to this year's Craft Brewers Conference in Washington DC. Our livers have only recently recovered from last year's CBC, so we'll see how this goes. Wonder what kind of shenanigans we will get into?

We are in the process of revamping our website, thanks to our good friend Erik. Thank God Erik loves beer. We are also fine tuning our new logo. New shirts will be ordered once it is complete and will be available for purchase on the website soon!

We are looking forward to a very happy and prosperous new year! From the bottom of our hearts, souls and pint glasses, thank you for sharing this journey with us. Cheers to 2013! May it be full of Mischief! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Meet April

Allow me to introduce myself. I'm April. I'm the wife in this husband and wife adventure. I do most of our social media, meaning I write the blog and I update the Facebook page. Unless there are spelling errors. Then Brandon did it.

I'm kind of a newbie to the world of craft beer. I've only been a fan for about three years. A lot of people find it funny that the first beer I fell in love with was Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. Not exactly a gateway beer, if you know what I mean. But if you know me, and you know that beer, you're probably not surprised at all.

I'm bold. I'm loud. I like things that are detailed and ornate. I don't do bland or plain. And I really don't do simple or minimal. I'm totally over the top, sequins blazing, jazz hands extended all the time. I jump in head first. There's usually no hesitation once I make up my mind. Go big or go home. Right?

So when Brandon said to me "I want to start a brewery," I just looked at him and said "Okay. Let's do this." And there has been no turning back. When people said we were crazy, I said "So?" And when they asked what we knew about running a brewery, I said "We'll bust our asses and learn." And when they asked what will happen if it doesn't work out, I said "That's not an option. It will."

I believe in us. I believe in Brandon and his talents and abilities. I believe in his passion for this industry. I believe in our concept for this brewery. And I believe with my whole heart and soul it will bring amazing things to our community. I can't wait to get to know our regulars, to build this Mischief family, and to support this community with charitable events.

We are really looking forward to being a part of your lives, and we are so appreciative of your patience and support. We are always so overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown by the people who have been following our story. If you can in anyway contribute to our CraftFund, which will give us that last little bit needed to bridge the gap to opening, we will be eternally grateful.

And these jazz hands will always reach out to squeeze you. (Did I forget to mention I'm a hugger? You have been warned.)

Monday, November 12, 2012

We put the fun in funding!

We've had a lot of people asking us what's going on with the brewery. They want to know where we are in the process and what kind of a time line we are looking at. Rome wasn't built in a day, my friends. Breweries take time to build. Yes, we thought we would be open by now. Yes, we have faced many hurdles we never anticipated. And yes, this is so much harder than we ever dreamed it would be. But rest assured, we are more determined than ever to make Mischief happen.

When our Kickstarter proved unsuccessful, we took two giant steps back to reevaluate our priorities. We were emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted. It had been a very long and difficult thirty eight days. Even though it didn't turn out as we had hoped, we were so glad it was over. We were tired of the waiting, the wondering, and most of all, begging people for money. We were over it.

The funds we would have raised from Kickstarter were never essential. It wasn't going to make or break us. That money would have allowed us to go bigger as far as purchasing more equipment and start us out on a larger scale than originally planned. It is so easy when you're starting a business to allow your imagination to run wild. This experience made us realize we needed to get back to the basics. Back to what got us into this business. Back to what fueled our passion and drove us to take this risk in the first place.

The beer.

We began to focus on our recipes and develop new ones. We brewed. We sampled. We tweaked and tested and experimented. And we got excited about making beer all over again.

In September, we were contacted by the people at Craft Fund, a new Crowd Funding company specializing in fund raising for the craft beer industry, about possibly doing another fundraising campaign. We winced and politely declined. But they were persistent. And then one of our very good friends and supporters reminded us of all the people who kept asking how they could still give us the money they pledged through Kickstarter. People still wanted to help. Our community still wanted to be a part of bringing this brewery to Peoria. We reluctantly allowed ourselves to be talked into it.

This time, the major difference is we are only hoping to raise $15,000 in 45 days. Every pledge is still rewarded with an appreciation gift, and every pledge gets us one step closer to opening our doors and bringing amazing craft beer to a very thirsty Peoria.

So check it out. You can find us here. We are so thankful for your support and generosity. We can't wait to celebrate our grand opening with you!