5 years back, a few friends wanted to get together for some craft beer. Their options were clear; head 5 hours East, or 3 hours West. Not wanting to take the drive, they chose instead to do Kenora a favour, and turn an old brick fire station into Lake of the Woods Brewing Company. “If you build it, they will come.”
I’ve been working with these visionary folks for only about a year now, yet I’ve picked up on constant examples of this go for it attitude. It permeates all things LOWBrewCo, and has really put the brewery on the map. Knowing all this, I really should not have been surprised when they asked me to start writing for the brewery, and eight days later sent me on a plane to Virginia for the Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference.
Intimidating? Yes. Go hang out with the best beer writers, tasters, brewers and marketers in the United States. That should give you a rough idea how to get started. I’ve never written for anyone, other than my grandma and perhaps the odd sweetheart… but Taras, Audrey, Frank, Rob and Gene weren’t experts either when they decided to open a brewery. They didn’t get shy about their lack of experience, or whether the community would embrace them. They rolled up their sleeves, took the risk and made it happen. The rest figured itself out as they progressed.
Hanging out in Kenora, I have to admit that the owners don’t get all the credit for this “style” of getting things done. It’s a way of life here in the boat access bays of the Lake of the Woods region. If the motor breaks, you’re paddling home, or fixing it yourself. None of this “hire an expert” or “youtube tutorial” business. Sure, maybe you could reach for the manual, but it’s probably rotten and disintegrating in the bottom of the boat. Actually, Rob Dokuchie claims that back when the brewing equipment first arrived at the firehouse, all the associated manuals were in German! Meh, they just removed the packaging and got to work.
All that to say, it is my pleasure to take on bringing the world my written, unprofessional perspective of the behind the scenes stories and adventures of Lake of the Woods Brewing company. I have volumes to learn about writing and the craft beer industry, (though I did get a fantastic head start, being immersed in the Beer Bloggers Conference,) and I really believe writing for LOWBrewCo will be an exciting journey to share. When I imagine the startup days of the brewery, and the five visionaries diving right into craft beer and doing a good thing for their hometown, I see the ways I too, can cannonball into action. I don’t have to be a pro to capture the spirit of this small town brewery, and share that story with you. #GoForIt
Go hang out with the best beer writers, tasters, brewers and marketers in the United States. That should give you a rough idea how to get started.