Day 50: Playing tennis

It has been 50 days since taking the plunge.

First, I’ll give the only update anyone really cares to read… We do not know the exact location of where the brewery will be and therefore do not know when we’ll be opening a brewpub. But do not despair; we are getting closer.

The support has been consistently positive and has come from a global network of family and friends. Thank you.

Ironically though – despite numerous interactions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – it is a surprisingly very lonely process. I’m typing this in the basement pub of our home; a windowless man-cave, surrounded by bubbling fermenters, empty bottles of beers from around the world and Noel Gallagher playing quietly in the background, while the San Francisco fringe-neighborhood of Noe Valley gently bustles above me in its chilly, overcast Monday way. Alone.

When I walked away from corporate life at the end of May, I did not realize I had timed it with the beginning of the Wimbledon tennis championships in England. Over the last few years it has become a sporting event that I have become quite addicted too… a complete contrast to when I was a child growing up in England and I’d come home from school frustrated to learn that my Mum had taken over the television viewing rights for the better part of 2.5 weeks to watch bloody tennis… placing all children’s after school programming on hold for a while. Now though, I love it. England’s own Tim Henman had started this late interest in me and then, when Andy Murray emerged from Scotland, I was well and truly hooked. As I watched him go through the early rounds at Wimbledon, I realized that he was taking part in what has to be the loneliest sport in the world. Even in boxing (if you consider this a sport to begin with), an athlete can retire to his/her corner at the end of each round; golfers have caddies… granted, long-distance runners are out there on their own – but they’re competing against themselves for the most part – bettering times, distances, etc.

Andy Murray Wins Wimbledon 2013

No… tennis has to be the loneliest sport one competes against another individual at. But for Andy Murray, Wimbledon was something even more surreal. An entire nation willing him to win, cheering him on, but absolutely powerless to help him achieve the goal that has eluded him so long. If he wants to do it, to reach that lifelong dream, he has to do it himself. He’ll have the support of coaches and trainers and loved ones and family and friends… but when it comes down to it, he’s the one who has to make the shots and make them count.

Which leaves me back here in my man-cave. Working on my business plan; identifying potential brewpub locations; meeting with potential investors; going to City Hall to make my case; brewing my beers; refining my recipes. There is no denying the waves of support coming from all sides but what it comes down to is that I have to make it happen on my own. One day, when we open the doors, all of those supporters will be there to raise a glass and celebrate the realization of a dream.

Until then, I promise to keep my eye on the ball and follow through with every shot.


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Filed: ESB Background, Marketing, Operations


Can’t wait!

If you are getting desperate enough, there is an open storefront on a busy section of San Pablo Ave. Downside: you would be in Richmond, but on the border of El Cerrito. Upside: I would be a regular, as that is around the corner from my house!

Posted by: Jeremy Brooks @ 11:22 am // July 22, 2013

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