Thursday, January 29, 2009


The Arthritis Foundation recently asked us if we're interested in serving our beer at their annual craft beer fundraiser, FestivAle. We'd love to, but we're not sure about the legality of it. Regardless of whether or not we end up participating, you should check it out. It sounds like a lot of fun, it's for a great cause, and being at the High Noon for a non-musical event should be pretty surreal.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Not My Space

Trying to figure out if vacant-looking properties are occupied has led me to several Myspace sites. That means it's going to take me longer to research sites online than it took for me to travel around town and find them in the first place. If you must use Myspace, please don't do any of the following:

-Add music or videos to the page (unless you're a band).
-Place pictures in any area that isn't the default picture location.
-Allow any form of media to start playing on its own.
-Change the initial display settings in any way.

I deleted my Myspace account in mid-2007. It's not the best decision I've ever made, but it's probably in my top ten.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wisconsin Hops!

They're in my freezer: five ounces of Gorst Valley Cascades. I'll be brewing a pilot batch of House Ale with them this Saturday, which promises to give "cold brewed" a literal connotation. I hopped my last batch of House Ale with organic Cascades from New Zealand, so having a direct comparison should be informative.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

First Contact

I'm very regimented when it comes to email. When I receive a message, I'll ask myself "does it warrant a response?" If so, and it's not urgent, I'll wait a few hours to reply so I don't come across as a compulsive no-life loser. To ensure that I don't forget about the message, I'll star it or mark it as 'unread'. If the message asks me something that I don't want to answer right away, I'll reply with something like "I'll think about it and get back to you." Then I'll actually do it. I don't have much to be cocky about, so I feel like I've earned the right to designate myself A Damn Reliable Emailer.

For whatever reasons, a lot of the people I communicate with are not. I sometimes admire it and occasionally get steaming mad about it, but I usually just find it mildly impolite (my friend Amy once defined 'endearing' as "when somebody you like does something annoying"). However, it could present a huge problem in my quest to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So why not just make some phone calls and avoid the problem altogether? Because I like to follow the Golden Rule, and my preferred method of being asked for money, by far, would be via email. It wouldn't matter if the person asking is a casual acquaintance or my own mother, or whether my eventual answer would be 'yes' or 'no' - an email would give me a chance to sort out my thoughts without being put on the spot, and it would let me do it at a time that's convenient for me. It's not a coincidence that I think telemarketers are the lowest form of life to ever exist.

My concern is that emailing people to gauge investment interest will inevitably lead to awkward phone calls and run-ins where I pretend to bring up the subject for the first time. If people start avoiding me because I send them emails about money, cold calling may be less detrimental to my relationships with them. Hopefully I'll still have friends when this is all said and done.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lawyers and Money. No Guns.

Jane and I opened a money market account yesterday so we'll have somewhere to hold capital contributions until they clear escrow. After making a few last-minute tweaks to our formal investment offering, I spent most of today sending it to people who've expressed interest in investing. That's right: we're officially moving forward with something besides making plans. Woohoo!

Legal disclaimer: this weblog is not an advertisement to invest. If I've never met you, I probably can't take your money. I find that unfortunate, but the laws are the laws.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Art Department

It's time to meet our creative team: Kathryn Falde, aka sonrisa creative, and Megan Coleman (self-titled). Kate is faced with the daunting task of creating an artistic identity from the word 'RePublic' and the non-visual concept of forming personal relationships with customers. I figured we were setting her up for failure, but the preliminary logos look great. Once the artwork is finished, we'll give Megan the thumbs-up to design our website. Simplicity is the name of the game, but Megan has a knack for elegance. Won't it be nice when our weblog doesn't hurt your eyes?

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Wife is a Brewer

Rachel brewed her first solo batch of beer last Sunday: a 2-Liter yeast starter. It only took me six years to emerge victorious. She enjoyed herself, but claims it's because the cleanup was easier than full-size batches.

The starter was for a batch of Cardamom Coffee Stout that I brewed with Kevin Revolinski on Wednesday. The idea was Kevin's - he wanted to brew the beer equivalent of Arabic coffee - but I'm willing to steal it for commercial gain. Cardamom is beastly stuff; one gram in the 5-gallon batch seemed like plenty when we tasted the post-boil sample. I'm going to add whole espresso beans directly to the beer early next week. Cold infusion flips the bird at sanitation, but it's the best way to impart a beautiful coffee flavor without any harsh bitterness. Drink a bottle of Oscura if you don't believe me.