If you scan the last year of posts on this weblog, you won't find many progress updates. That's because all Jane and I have done since January, aside from finding a location, is try to raise money. So far, we've only been able to raise about 10% of our project cost via investment capital - including our own contributions - and were rejected by eleven lenders (not counting the ones who ignored us). We considered some alternative business plans...
-Reducing the structural changes to the ACME building and replacing the full kitchen with cold appetizers to reduce the total project cost.
-Relocating to the former Blue Lagoon building to reduce the total project cost, allow us to have a full kitchen and provide an incentive for the Bank of Sun Prairie to loan us money (they own the building, which is now completely vacant).
-Relocating to Sauk Prairie, where there may have been additional investment capital.
...but my need to find a job and stabilize my family's finances hasn't allowed me to really follow through on them. Being burnt out hasn't helped either. After two years of working full-time to get this project off the ground, every option seemed like a futile postponement of my brewing career.
The point I'm slowly making is that I'm cutting my losses and walking away from RePublic. Earlier today, I accepted a job offer for a full-time brewing position at Fratello's in Oshkosh and Appleton. I'll be working for Kevin Bowen, a classmate of mine from Siebel, and I'm pretty damn excited about it. Jane is hoping to find a job in a brewery as well; probably in sales and/or marketing. This industry is simply too much fun to walk away from willingly.
Unless I think of some wise things to say over the next few days, this will probably be the last time I post here. Jane and I are going to leave the site online so future brewery owners can benefit from our experience, and I plan to continue updating the File Cabinet independently. Thanks for reading!
Update: I'm currently the QA Manager at Ale Asylum and write the Five Gallons At A Time feature at Madison Beer Review. In between, I wrote a few articles for Oshkosh Beer that you can find by searching for my name on the website. Jane, aka Robyn Klinge, left her job at Epic Systems to bartend, manage off-premise tap accounts, train employees about beer and host beer dinners at Vintage Brewing Company.