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Messages - phillamb168

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The Pub / Re: Fake Brew Dog pub in China
« on: December 09, 2013, 10:07:37 AM »
At a club meeting a guy shared a Tactical Nuclear Penguin. The small sip of that hot mess of a beer was all I needed. I don't think the trip across the Atlantic was responsible for that.

TNP and those other super-crazy-expensive-extreme beers are pure marketing. They're not worth it at all. 5 AM Saint, Hardcore IPA, Hoppy Christmas, etc etc - those are super great beers. Hardcore IPA is about as close as I can get to a Pliny-type beer without paying out the nose or flying to California.

Equipment and Software / Re: Beer Engine
« on: December 09, 2013, 06:55:44 AM »
I've got one and use it fairly often. The trick is to get a CO2 aspirator and hook that up to the gas post on your corney. That way you don't have to drink everything in a day. That being said the ideal would be a stout tap on nitro, but those are very expensive out here, and very hard to source the gas mix if you're not a professional.

Another consideration is where to put it - these are typically mounted onto a ledge of some sort and need enough room around them to pull all the way through.

The Pub / Re: Fake Brew Dog pub in China
« on: December 09, 2013, 01:44:26 AM »
"screw that, let's just turn it into advertising."

aka BrewDog's solution to everything.

How about if the brew good beer. Dead squirrel on the bottle - no thanks.
Brew dog. Mehh...

In spite of the marketing crap, they do indeed make great beer. Perhaps it suffers from the long voyage across the seas?

The Pub / Re: Fake Brew Dog pub in China
« on: December 05, 2013, 08:10:46 AM »
* which is a pretty smart move on their part.

The Pub / Re: Fake Brew Dog pub in China
« on: December 05, 2013, 08:10:26 AM »
As much as I want to believe they're being high minded and whatnot in not going after these guys, I would put good money on what really happened being more like this: "can we sue them?" "yes, and it will cost a bazillion pounds and will take several years." "screw that, let's just turn it into advertising."

The Pub / Re: Burlington woman charged with selling beer online
« on: December 05, 2013, 08:08:15 AM »
I paid a little bit more than $250 a case for Heady when I got a case for a hop-related party a few years ago. Then again, I'm not anywhere near Vermont.

Wood/Casks / Fernet Porter
« on: November 29, 2013, 02:49:38 AM »
I had seen some publicity about Odell's Fernet Porter and decided it would make a great dessert beer for our Thanksgiving party last Saturday.

I still don't have the basement cleaned or organized so I haven't had space to brew for a long while now, but I was able to do something somewhat homebrew-y for Thanksgiving. A friend of mine had a bunch of vanilla porter that he had brewed and was more than happy to sell me some uncarbonated finished beer, he told me it'd be great to have less to bottle.

Anyway I took a 2.5 gallon soda keg and filled 'er up, put it on ~0.25 PSI for a week. A few days before I had taken about a cup and a half of medium toast virgin American oak chips and put them in a glass jar, adding Fernet until the liquid had just covered the chips. I let that sit for three days and then added the whole thing to the keg before pressurizing and had it on wood for a week. Tapped the keg, ran it through a beer engine w/ sparkler (hence the low carb volume) and I am not kidding, that beer was gone in an hour.

The Pub / Re: Au pair?
« on: October 24, 2013, 10:58:16 PM »
Nice on hokerer :)

Congrats on #3! How long are you looking for the au pair to stick around?

Starting any time Nov-Dec-Jan-Feb going until May at a minimum.

The Pub / Re: Au pair?
« on: October 24, 2013, 08:44:06 AM »
Yeah we signed up for a bunch of those agencies but I'd prefer to find somebody through people I know and/or respect.

The Pub / Re: Baseball 2013
« on: October 24, 2013, 06:36:19 AM »

The Pub / Au pair?
« on: October 24, 2013, 12:59:24 AM »
We're due for baby #3 in April, and my wife and I have been thinking about hiring an au pair to help out around the house. Do any of you guys know someone (male or female, aged between 17 and 30) who would be interested in coming over between now and May 1st? Pay is typically 300 eur/month, basically pocket money. Work is on a part-time (20 hr/week) basis. Here's a good overview of what is involved:

Anybody have a niece or nephew who is super great with kids and wants to learn French?

The Pub / Re: First Beer Sale (sorta)
« on: October 23, 2013, 06:07:33 AM »
We're starting a side club specifically for the purpose of selling our beer. It's legal as long as you follow the Customs office procedures, and as long as the money you make goes back into the club - like a non-profit.

Going Pro / Re: Lifestyle
« on: October 14, 2013, 07:40:17 AM »
Two or three things to add - first, I'm not looking to make a ton of money of course, I am trying to work it out so that my primary income is from my part-time web contract work. That figures into number 2, which is hiring: employees are _incredibly_ expensive here - payroll taxes for a full-time worker are typically 150% of what you pay said employee. No, that's not a typo. For the most part you'll pay your worker X and then you'll pay 2X to the state. There are certain dispensations available if you're a new business and you're in an area without many other options, and I fall under both categories, so that'll help. But it's certainly not 30% like it is in the states. That being said, however, you don't pay people super great either - 2000 / month takehome is considered really good pay for the restaurant biz here.

Third thing, I guess pertaining to lifestyle, my only fear is that I'll turn into some sort of cave-dwelling gollum creature who never ever leaves the bar and I will never see my kids. But of course that's not very realistic, as most places around here don't open until, earliest, 11am for lunch. I suppose I'd be willing to give up on 'calm evenings' M-F if it meant I'd be able to hang out with the kids in the mornings.

Going Pro / Lifestyle
« on: October 14, 2013, 02:37:03 AM »
As mentioned in my other post, the brewery/pub project is picking back up again. The whole process is exciting, as I've been sort of pushing myself into the Paris food and beer scene, I've made a lot of connections and met lots of cool people, and I feel comfortable saying, despite not having yet done a POC/Market test, that a brewpub would work pretty darn well, even if it's in the suburbs.

I am not terribly concerned about income, as the current pub is packed every single weekend and they don't even serve good food, and I'm not terribly concerned about raising money because with a combination of kickstarter, our own funds, and friends helping out, I know we can afford the price he's asking.

My real concern is being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, one which allows me to be with my kids and wife as much as possible. I'll give you an example of the way it is right now: I am less than enthused with my current job, as I have ~3 hours of commute every day, and my coworkers are annoying and the work is boring. But, the pay is great, and I have my weekends to do whatever I want with the wife & kids, plus evenings can be pretty calm. Pretty standard 8-7 (like 9-5 but with crappy commute) living, really. I make enough to allow my wife to not have to have a job so she can take care of the kids at home, and while we don't have a Mercedes, we have a couple nice cars and I really love our moderately-priced house.

The thing that allows us to live like this is the fact that I am a contract worker with my company based in the US. If I was a salaried employee, I'd be lucky to be making 35,000 a year, and that is _not_ enough to continue our lifestyle. So if we do the pub thing, I'd be taking on part-time contract work to make ends meet, getting up a little earlier and going to bed a little earlier to fit in the hours. I've done it before and it's worked out alright. But my concern is, with the pub, how do I balance work and life? The current owners have made the pub their life, and I don't want to do that. I want to hire good talent and farm out whatever I can, but I also want to have 'creative control' over the enterprise as a whole.

Am I just dreaming, is this even possible? I am willing to accept some sleepless nights and a few days of 'when will this day end,' but I DO NOT want that to be my day-to-day. I want to be able to have two consecutive days off and I want to not have to be in the pub every night until close. I figure this will be much easier to do as I live literally next door to the place, but, oof. So many questions...

How do you guys do it, without giving up on family?

Going Pro / Square footage
« on: October 14, 2013, 02:25:30 AM »
The pub next door has decided to close up shop in the next year or so, and the landlord for whatever reason has taking a liking to me and has offered to sell it to me at a reasonable rate: 350k or so for ~800 square feet of dining space plus an additional 1200 sqf above the dining room that is currently his apartment but could be turned into additional dining/activity space. There are also several outbuildings (more like sheds with stone walls), totaling about 400 square feet. My question is this, will 400 square feet allow me to have a brewing system that will not have me in the brewery every hour of every day? The 400 square feet is not a big open space either, it's more of an L shape, with the larger leg being ~ 280 sqf.

Nice to see the project picking back up, but I wanna be super careful.

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