Jul 19, 2009

Maximum MicroBrew

Grandpa used to say, "Shake and shake the ketchup bottle; none will come, and then a lot'll." As I child, I could never understand most of the nonsense he told me - I just figured he had eaten one too many fortune cookies! Now that I am older, I see the profound wisdom of his words - or maybe he just got lucky and accidentally made sense for once!

Although Grandpa liked putting ketchup on everything (even watermelon), I believe he was referring to the strange "feast or famine" way that Life sends opportunities to us.

I have been involved in video and computer art for about 15 years. In 2005 I won a couple awards for a documentary about a trip to Egypt with my father when I was 8. (This can be found at http://www.youtube.com/ErikJorgensen ) In the fall of 2007 I decided to make a documentary series, Maximum MicroBrew, about the many wonderful microbreweries here in California's Wine Country. I also thought it would be a great opportunity to get advice about opening my own brewpub some day.

I figured the best place in the world to start was at Russian River Brewing Company - and by strange coincidence, it is just a short walk from my house! I interviewed Vinnie Cilurzo at his brewpub, but I knew any documentary would not be complete without an interview at his new production and bottling facility, which was still under construction at the time.

I placed my documentary on the back burner and had many strange and wonderful adventures - which are chronicled in my autobiography, Stories I Made Up to Sound Cool. There were delays in opening the production facility, Vinnie went out of town several times, but finally in November of 2008 (over a year after I began the documentary) I finally interviewed him in at the new facility - and even videotaped the first bottling of Pliny the Elder! It was worth the wait!

Sometimes when Opportunity knocks, you are still asleep, or in the shower, and miss it. This time, I already had the Door wide open - and Opportunity punched me right in the face! Less than 48 hours after videotaping the final interview of my documentary, I found out that my hometown of Logan, Utah was going to allow brewpubs! Once again, the documentary went onto the back burner.

When I first began my documentary, I contacted my BrewMaster friend and told him of my plan to ask different microbrewers for their advice about opening a microbrewery. We agreed on a 5-year plan to open a brewpub in Logan - we figured it would take at least that long to get approval from the City Council! I began contacting our old high school friends, and they all agreed: Logan was over-ripe for a brewpub, but the City Council would never allow it! As it turns out, they were wrong.

Opportunity is funny - I would never have heard the news about Logan's City Council allowing brewpubs if we hadn't already been working on our 5-year plan! (Special thanks to our classmates Gene Needham and Mark Fjeldsted of the Downtown Alliance of Business Owners for convincing the City Council to make this historic decision!)

A couple weeks ago I was informed that the deadline for the video contest (which I won before) is coming up, so the documentary is off the back burner once again. Yesterday I found out that Vinnie's birthday is the day after the deadline - yet another reason to turn up the heat! Now the Maximum MicroBrew documentary series has a new chapter - an autobiographical "How-To" video for opening a brewpub.

Like Grandpa said, "You are never given a Dream without also being given the Power to make it come true - but you may have to work for it!" Grandpa was actually right this time - shaking ketchup bottles is a lot of work!

1 comment:

  1. Please brew us something more than Root Beer...what was Beehive thinking???