I thought that things couldn’t get much busier than they were last week. I was wrong!
This weekend CBW took up drill and saw and set out to turn an empty space in our brewery into a walk in cooler. It took four days, help from fiveÂ people (our eternal gratitude goes out to Ed, PJ, Scotty, Mike and Kevin) and one trip to the ER, but we have gone from this:
Cool enough... but could it be COOLER? That was a pun. Because we're putting in a cooler.
I title this image, "Four people working, and Dan"
Gimp may have destroyed the EXIF data on that image when I cropped it, but it was taken at 11:11 pm last night. I don’t know about you guys but that’s at least 41 minutes after I’m usually asleep. I was the first to leave, too. I don’t know when the others finally went home. Maybe they never did, and are still cutting 2x4s and screwing them onto the frame with a glass-eyed, zombie-like stare. There’s no way to be sure.
As the pictures show, progress has been made. There’s a thingÂ where before there was no thing. I’ve said in the past that it’s amazing to see the brewery area turn into what it will look like when we’re in production, and it’s an entirely different level when the change is happening through your own hands.
That’s excitement enough. Over the weekend I said to myself, “Thursday’s post will be about construction. That will give me a lot to talk about.” And then the news kept on coming.
The big one, which I hinted at last week, is that CBW is one of three finalists in Crowley Webb’s Twenty-Five Hour Workday. The winner will get 25 hours of ad work from the firm for free. This is, quite obviously, a big deal, especially for us as it will come right when we’re about to open. If you’re reading this then you know about our mission to Embeer Buffalo. We want that meme to spread to every man, woman and child in Western New York. You can make that happen: the winner will be chosen by popular vote, with one vote being cast per email per day.
This means that that gmail address you have counts as one vote. Your work account is a second. The .edu you still have laying around is a third, and maybe there’s still that @yahoo.com from the heady days before Google’s hegemony. All of those count as discrete votes, and can be cast daily. If we’re going to win this, we’re going to need a fully armed and operational voting bloc.
Even if you only want to vote for us once, that’s okay. We’ll take any and all support we can get: friend of the brewery Dan Gigante’s You and Who captured our early lead from us and is currently in first place, and Triad Energy and Recycling could rocket to the top at any time. All three of us are equally deserving of Crowley Webb’s efforts. But, as George Orwell famously said in his how-to book on building a successful society, some are more equal than others. Right? I mean, that’s what I took away from the book. What I’m trying to say is please vote for us.
Then there’s our Kickstarter. Wow. With 27 days to go, we’ve raised $12,440 of our $15,000 goal. As a reminder, if we don’t reach our goal by the ending date then we don’t get any money. At this point I have to believe that’s a “when we’re funded” and not an “if,” but that eventuality will only come about with your help. We are awed and humbled by the outpouring of support we’ve received already and I have no doubt that this exciting stream of love and excitement will continue.
I had intended for bothÂ the construction and the self aggrandizing link sections to be longer. In the end, though, I know that while I enjoy the sound of my own voice the rest of you have a limit. Thank you for reading this far. Allow me to link to the Twenty-Five Hour Workday one more time and, as a reward for reading all of this, please take my thanks and an animated gif of a dog that I found on Reddit.
!) I said this would be sporadic. Â I did not lie.
1) Well, the “OMGThatWasABigFreakinDeal” conference that hit ol’ Buffalo last month is really over and done now, though the chatter and back-patting continues. Â I mean, I am talking about it, right? I got to play tourÂ guideÂ for a few hours and explain what happened in the Perot Malt House down ConcreteAtlantis way. Â Friend of CBW Brian Castnerwrote an interesting piece over at WNYMedia.net, essentially asking “Hey! Did you know Buffalo is staking it’s future on architectural preservation instead of, say, BioMedical Research or Higher Education?” Â I’m not sure sure “we” “did,” but even if we did, I am absolutely sure that prioritizing one thing doesn’t mean other things are off the table. Â Let’s talk Embeering and Architecture for about a paragraph.
Form AND Function, Mr. Sullivan.
Community Beer Works is located in an historic building–part of the Meyer Malting Company complex–which we are adapting (to meet our needs) and re-using (vs., I suppose, tearing it down). Â There was a great article about Meyer in that Beer Issue of The Buffalo Spree earlier this year, by the way. Â Now, in locating in this building, I wouldn’t put us on a par with, say, McMenamin’s, but we’re in the same vein. Â We searched high and low for a good spot and this location combines everything we love: adaptive reuse, space for the present & the future, adjacency to a neighborhood & our target demographic, and of course, proximity to inexpensive but deliciously filling pasta fasool. Â But you wanna see what an old brewery could be? Â See that photo? Â Just click here, here and here. Â Indeed, that very project was given a Board of Advisorsâ€™ Award during the conference in Buffalo. Â JustÂ imagine if Buffalo’s old Lang brewery had not been razed… and half a dozen other great old local breweries, for that matter.
Now of course, we could build a brewery just anywhere, or go into any ol’ space what was available and met our need. Â The modern brewery is far more likely to look like this than like the aforementioned Lang brewery did, no question. Â Cheaper, I’m sure, and depite it’s banal exterior, Lagunitas makes impressively awesome beer. Â But we’re contributing not just beer, but also to neighborhood revitalization here, and it is thus more broadly consistent with our philosophy and ethos. Â If we were in a quonset hut, we’d make the same amazing beers we aim to make on Lafayette, but I hazard to say our Embeering would be less-than-complete. Â But hey, that’s us. Â What other up-and-coming brewey startups in the area do is up to them, and we support them regardless. Â Still, can you imagine if beer was rolling out of the old Simon Pure building again some day? Â Don’t laugh: I’ll give you double nickles on the dimeÂ that it does one day, not too distant even.
2) Stanford MBAs + beer + The Economist = this. Â Course, I don’t have to tell anyone reading this blog that drinking goes well with endeavors actuarial & fiduciary. Â And that, my friends, is the kind of vocabulary to you can have if you read The Economist regularly. Â Other coolÂ featuresÂ this week? Â America could use a political middle right about now (er, ok; I’d settle for a middle class, thanks); Qaddafi–like Osama and Sadam before him–gets an obituaryÂ (I know it’s from 22nd October, but hey, I’m catching up on back issues here, mm’k?); What’sÂ happeningÂ in Greece, explained; So how did those Vikings navigate, anyway? Â I know: I just didn’t talk about beer for a second there- hold on, it’s coming.
3) Did you catch all the furor, the rending of clothes, the nail-biting andÂ vehemenceÂ that accompanied the release of the Oxford Companion To Beer? Â No? Â Oh. Â Well… all those links will certainly get you up to speed- don’t skip the comments, they are where all the fun is really at, I would say. Â <sigh.> Â Now, I do spend a lot of time thinking about, reading about, drinking about beer- so I feel I’m as far down the rabbit hole as anyone else, frankly. Â But some of commentary takes things a bit too far, at least in terms of making it personal. Â Sorry, you seem to be right when you say the book is imperfect… though it is hardly shocking that a book with 1100 entries would have errors. You might still be right to say that some of the myths it purpetuates about the history of beer would not have taken much energy to correct. Â You can even be right that, of all imprints, the Oxford University PressÂ really ought to have done a better job, being the voice of authority that it is. Â I don’t diasgree with any of that.
Who's Your Daddy?
But the tone of some of the detractors, to me, isÂ impertinent,Â unnecessary,Â uncivil, and makes me want to say: Relax, folks, and have a beer. Â I am sure further editions will be better, and in the meanwhile A Good Beer Blog‘s Alan McLeod has set up an excellent wiki, so you can feel free to read an entry in the Companion, and double-chceck to see if anyone’s called it out yet, and if so, their references and authority in so doing. Â I will bet double nickles on the dime (damn Minutemen reference again!) you’ll find very few corrections on the technical entries. As for the history… it can (like all things historical) take its sweet time coming unto perfection, if indeed perfection is possible. Â Yes, it’s scholarship, and yes, scholars get snippy… but this is beer scholarship. Â Let’s keep it classy and casual, as we like our pubs.
5) The 5th and obligatory Squib sometimes is an obscure reference, a link to a strange YouTube video search (like ‘beer metal‘), or other minutae… but y’know, we do have our Kickstarter on, and so it seems like somewhere in public–and in bolditalics!–we ought to give thanks and praise to Marc Odien of WNYMedia.net for helping us with the oh-so-clever-and-meta-video we’re using to convince folks we’re for real. Â So: hey! Marc! THANKS! Â Now remember, Tuesday is election day, so get on out there and vote for something, k? Â If any kind of beer-maker were running, we’d endorse them, but since none are (locally anyway, we do support Paul Dyster For Mayor in Niagara Falls) we simply endorse taking the time to have a beer after the heavy lifting that is your civil responsibility. Â Cheers!
Ok, so that’s an in-joke, probably, or not- the title refers to Chris Smith’s lamentedÂ columnÂ at WNYMedia.net, The Morning Grumpy. Â Like him, I spend probably a little too much time scanning news & views, and it seems perfectly squibbish to rack a few from the fermenter, so to speak, from time to time. Â Look, I even used a sensible Category AND tag here. Â Watchout!
This has nothing to do with beer, really
1) The beer-blog-o-verse is all atwitter today about this WaPo article reporting on the illegal sale, via eBay at least, of rare beers. Â Look for some serious self-loathing to follow, as we/beer bloggers/beer-enthusiasts accuse one another of “wine-ifying” beer and bringing it to this level, food-pairing is evil, “it’s just beer”, &c. Â Meh. Â As far as the practice itself goes, well… First, I think beer traders are doing it right- quid pro quo. As well, I know real friendships start to spring up though trading circles, which is such a part of beer anyway- it is a very friendly industry as a whole. Â I suppose it might yet be illegal, but profiteering it mostÂ certainlyÂ is not. Â Secondly, to me the big appeal of beer is as a pretext for–or at least anÂ accompanimentÂ to–travel. Â (e.g., See Rudy’s post of last week, and also point 1.) Â So whileÂ RussianÂ River release events might seem absurd to some, if it is the kind of beer-geekery you go for (I do!), at least you could roll your 2012 Dark Lord Day into… seeing a show & some great breweries in Chicago, or a longer road trip visiting relatives in Nebraska, or… some kind of travel, exploration, horizon-busting. Â Go, enjoy the beer on-site or in the intended context, and then be done with it. Â And the reverse for us: CBW hopes people come to our awesome ci-tay and drink the beer here, by and large.
2) Searching for a shared-file solution, with automatic updating and security plug-ins as well? Â Community Beer Works endorses Dropbox! Â That is all, but no, we don’t work for them or anything.
You should see what I didn't choose from the Google Image Search
3) Speaking of the Washington Post, actually… If you know me, you know I’m not likely to be a huge fan of anything George Will writes, but you know what? Â When a man’s right, he’s right. Â So it was a pleasant surprise to get thisÂ link from my Dad and to actuallyÂ prettyÂ much dig the article. Â John Hickenlooper For President, 2016? Â I like the idea quite a bit, frankly. Â Brewers as politicians might not always work, but at the very least, they’ll always bring beer and excellent facial hair, so how bad can that be? Â Note to local people: Our very own Pearl Street Brewery wasÂ initiallyÂ an offshoot of the Pearl Street brewpub Hickenlooper started in Colorado, iirc, though he was also bought-out so long ago now as to be no more than wee footnote to the whole story. Â Unless he runs, I add cynically; Hickenlooper on one of those wrought-iron railings would make a great photo-op. Â NB: The Franklin quotation will not die, but it should.
4) In ridiculous label news, Funkwerks (of, in fact, Colorado) had to change a beer name/label–nice of them, but seriously?–and Clown Shoes (Of Massachusetts) stayed very far from risque on their latest release, the awesomely-themed Blaecorn Unidragon Russian Imperial Stout. Â I will check that out, but sadly, Funkwerks is not in our distribution area, alas.
5) The Morning Grumpy often included a Youtube clip of one sort or another so The Afternoon “Cheerio!” will thus present: searches for “beer” plus a random word. Â Today, it was squirrel. Â You really can’t go wrong with Andrew W.K., ever, but the squirrel doesn’t really drink the beer, which is a bit disappointing. Â To the extent that he does, though, he’s getting Harpoon, it seems to me- good call.
Then, finally, after the Blue Monk intrepid local blogger Aaron Chapnick wrote about our event as well as an earlier event Flying Bison put on in conjunction with the UB Graduate Student Association. Now, I’m just saying, I have a graduate degree from UB, and they didn’t have Flying Bison events when I went there. Also, stairs in Baldy went uphill both ways. Regardless, give “Local is always better” a read.
Yes, the CBW Words With Friends tournament is still going. It’s slowed down considerably, but there’s only one game older than a week going on right now. Android folks: is the WWF app still kicking for your OS? Ethan can no longer find it, which means I’m going to win our game by default.
So, there you have it: all the news that’s fit to blog. And that’s the way it is. Good day and may the good beer be yours.
Your intrepid blogger is out of town this week, and probably not even drinking too much beer besides a trip to the Cambridge Brewing Company! A pity, we know. As such, this was either composed via the new 802.11m standard, the m standing for ‘mind,’ it being transcribed entirely via thoughts, or it was written a week ago.
We’ll let you decide!
Apologies for the shortness, but we do come bearing some news! The Buffalo Spree beer issue we mentioned two weeks back is now largely available online, or at least the parts we’re in are (no profiles of CBW’s homebrewing friends, for some reason, but then the features have been trickling in steadily, and hey: this was written a week ago)
Image from the Buffalo Spree
So, you can read Phoenix Rising: A Hoppy History by Jay Pawlowski, which details the brewing history of Buffalo and includes a bit on CBW (and a quote from me, no less!) at the end.