For someone who painted her own house, I am remarkably lazy. When a friend suggested a 20+ mile bike ride through a hilly part of Seattle, my first reaction was less than enthusiastic.
Then she told me our destination: a friends-and-family beer tasting party for a future brewery.
I was in.
If you’ve ever brewed your own beer, you’ve probably had fantasies of quitting your day job and opening a brewery. For most homebrewers, this goes no further than coming up with a clever name for your home brewery, and maybe labeling your bottles.
Mike, Jerret, and Mark are well on their way to making their craft brewery dream into a reality. Lodge Brewery is still a year or more away from opening its doors, but they’ve already got a serious following — and some damned fine beers.
We kept saying that in an ideal world, we’d open a craft brewery. So we decided to go ahead and do it. If you don’t chase your dreams, why bother having them? Through generous love and support, we’re making it happen.
Mike introduced Jerret to homebrewing a few years ago. Jerret explained, “Mike called me up. He was living in a small apartment, and he knew I had a big kitchen and was interested in making beer… He brought over the equipment and we brewed for 8 hours that day. The kettle boiled over and ruined my stove. It was love.”
The two were soon joined by Mark, another friend and fellow homebrewer. Mark’s love of brewing and business development experience helped to move Lodge Brewing from a hobby to a business venture.
A brewery isn’t the kind of thing you can start as a home business and scale up as demand grows. The business of beer is heavily regulated at the local, state, and federal levels. There are liquor licenses, bonds against tax liability, and location requirements: no more brewing in your garage or basement.
It’s a sizable investment of time and money, long before you sell your first pint. And the craft beer market, while booming, is getting crowded. While they prepare to take the leap, the guys are perfecting their flagship brews and building a substantial community of people who love their beers. Based on what I saw (and drank) at their party, they’re going to do just fine.
The Lodge name referred to a friend’s cabin. “Bill and Michael would invite people over to do what bachelors do: drink beer, watch sports, smoke cigars, play poker, fish… The cabin became a place to gather, a place to escape to and a place to enjoy good company. It quickly took on the moniker of ‘The Lodge.’
“Once the decision was made to open a brewery we wanted to give a throwback to our roots, if you will… The Lodge fostered community, love and support. We want our beer to help facilitate community, no matter where you go. It’s more than just beer — it’s about loving your neighbors, and building relationships that travel with you no matter where you go.”
You can follow Lodge Brewery on Facebook at: facebook.com/LodgeBrewery
The Lodge Brewery beer list:
John Long’s Long John Amber Ale
ABV 5.2% IBUs 39 Original Gravity 1.050
Ryes Over Run Belgian RyePA
ABV 7.9% IBUs 116 Original Gravity 1.072
Fuzzy Buddy IPA
ABV 6.8% IBUs 106 Original Gravity 1.062
Toasted Snowman Winter Warmer
ABV 7.9% IBUs 83 Original Gravity 1.074
Orange Chocolate Mousse Stout
ABV 5.1% IBUs 40 Original Gravity 1.050