Who Wants to Live Forever
I've been kind procrastinating on this post. It's one of those sharing innermost dreams kinds of things that my life has taught me to be uncomfortable with. I might go so far as to say "be afraid of". So as usual, it is time to say "fuck it," and plow ahead.
My scheme, built on the foundations I laid out in my previous post, revolves around the simple principle of living my work. Every piece of paid work I have done has been completed in an environment of strict separation between work life and everything else. It comes down to this: I am not a programmer, I write code to make money. That is rather sad, I think. A person who writes to make money tells you they're a writer. Another artist will tell you they're a painter or sculptor or what-have-you. And perhaps if I wanted to be a brewer, I could simply go work for a brewery. That's not good enough for me.
In broad strokes, my vision is to find a piece of land (1-2 acres ish) in the proper zoning, buy it, build a small house on it (roughly 500 square feet), build a brewing operation on it, and sell some beer. As the master says: easy to say, hard to do. That's how I know it's good. The things that are easy to get are worthless. The only things worth having are the things worth working for.
In addition to your typical brewery and tap room in an atypical (for this area) setting, I want also to have a fairly large barrel aging and cellar operation. I realized that all of my favorite beers are those that have some age to them. Including the ones I've made. Ideally, I'd have several acres in underground caverns to age beer in. I think that's in pretty short supply around here and would be terribly expensive in any case. Awesome, though. If you know of any chalk caves in Cabarrus County that are going for a steal, send me an email.
I want to support some plant life, too. So I'll grow a few dozen hop bines. Enough to do a seasonal fresh hop beer. Nothing big because I don't want to be [primarily] a farmer. Plus, it would take far more space than I want to manage to support a small sized brewery for a year. And forget farming barley. It takes a lot of space. And then a malting operation on top of that...no thanks. There are plenty of experts doing that in these parts anyway. And hops smell better, IMO. Plus, we can age hops and make some even more authentic Lambic style beers.
And just because that's not enough madness for me, I've recently fallen in love with the idea of an inn made up of tiny houses. It's been done in Portland. I have a different aesthetic in mind. Thirsty Nomad style.
That's a pie in the sky thing at this point. I'm still chewing on the idea to see if I like the taste. We'll see where it goes, but I like how it feels.
That's not enough, of course. I plan to build as much of it as possible from reclaimed materials and what the land can provide. I've been looking into building with used shipping containers, reclaimed materials from old or abandoned sites, and Earth friendly materials like cob. I also want to install wind and solar power to supplement and eventually completely offset grid power. I want to catch, filter, and store rainwater for irrigation, cleaning, and other needs.
There are many issues still to be worked out on the actual building side. Zoning, permitting, and ordinances for a start. Barring bureaucratic hold ups...OK, seriously. It's going to take a lot of work, a lot of arguing with local and state authorities, and a lot of help to make this happen. It can be built. It will be built. Or it might kill me. Who knows. But we'll have fun along the way.
Why do all this? Why build what amounts to a winery that produces beer and has a niche resort attached to it? For all the reasons described in my previous post. For fun. For challenge. For glory. But really - if I'm honest with myself - for a legacy. To leave something behind that says, "This is who I was. This is why I lived." Something that I can pass on to someone else, that can continue to grow and give joy to people long after I'm dead. I have no children, and never will. None except for this.
And you can help. Plenty of people tell me they want a brewery in Cabarrus County. I'm offering you one and more. I'll need help finding land, convincing the government(s) that this is a good thing for them to permit and support, and I will need help building it. And, of course, you get beer. How do you know if you want to support my beer? Follow Thirsty Nomad on Facebook and/or Twitter. I will let you know when I have some of my beer to share and where you can get it. For free, no less. I'll let my work speak for itself. If you like it, spread the word. If you're simply fascinated by this scheme, spread the word. I think you get the idea.