A few weeks after moving to Playa El Tunco we have opened the doors (I mean windows) of our teeny tiny Brew Revolution brewery in the sand.
As you would expect, the project is full of challenges. I would rather focus on some of the upsides though. It is these upsides that keep us going, and they dramatically outweigh the difficulties.
No matter where you open a brewery it won’t work without a good team. Our team is small, but we are mighty. We are inexperienced, but we are brave. Each of us are underdogs, but we are passionate. You already know about Andy and I, so let me tell you about our Brew Crew. We had some grand scheme before hiring. We wanted one young man who spoke English and had a background in food, and one woman with great customer service skills. Instead we hired two very bright young women, both of whom are learning English, and neither of whom know much about beer or gourmet food. I like our choices. They are bright, creative, energetic, and problem solvers.
I have heard many people say that building a team here is difficult. So far it seems no different than in the USA. Perhaps we have just had good luck, and had two really cool young women fall out of the sky to kick the company off. Rosie is an absolute gem of a young woman, and CheChe is a cool graphic designer with a knack for this sort of chaos. I have a feeling that as we move forward they will be unstoppable.
After our small but mighty team I have to say that our neighbors and environment are also a huge upside. We are blessed to be located at Hotel Mopelia which is a Restaurant and Hotel with a tremendously patient, flexible, and creative owner. Starting this type of thing has many rough spots. There is plenty for everyone to get irritated about in the chaos of finding good systems. We have been lucky. Another startup restaurant located at Mopelia is a cool little Fresh Chinese Cuisine place with display cooking called Take a Wok. Between the microbrewery, the chinese place, and Mopelias pasta we form a fairly inclusive beach hotel complex. We might need a sunglass hut though (kidding).
Our other neighbors are a huge upside. These neighbors include Horses, Cows, Chickens, Pigs, Ducks and Surfers from around the world. At some point in the day any or all of these can be found leaning on on of our four walls. Here is a pic of a cow who stopped by for some malt just after brew-time. The spent grains normally go home with whoever has animals to feed, and the will power to tote the big buckets back home.
Our brew system was made locally by some guys who knew how to make stuff of metal. It took a lot of work, and rework. We love it. The size is perfect for our tiny building, and it functions well. To many it looks tiny (2.5 Hecalitres) and it is, but the size gives us flexibility and heck…we are a tiny brewery in a surf village. We don’t need to be big. Just awesome.
As we run out of beer constantly, we wish for a bigger system, but then again, I kind of like this little guy. We are not producing at capacity, but when we are, and when we can legally sell to restaurants we will be right back at “running out of beer” again, which is ok. My goals are small right now. I want to feed my family, and those of our team members, by making great beer in a cool place. Anything else is extra.