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  1. Bottled Roger - Episode Uno
    Wednesday, August 15, 2012
  2. The Cause is Lost
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011
  3. Bottled Progress
    Saturday, January 08, 2011
  4. A Brief Interview With Royal Sipe
    Monday, January 03, 2011
  5. A Little History on the Bottled Llama
    Thursday, December 09, 2010
  6. One of the Thousand
    Wednesday, December 08, 2010
  7. The Lost Cause Update
    Wednesday, November 24, 2010
  8. We've Found a Location
    Wednesday, November 10, 2010
  9. Session Lager from Full Sail
    Sunday, August 29, 2010
  10. My Place and My Beer
    Friday, August 06, 2010

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    10/11/2011
  4. Adena Gardner on Welcome
    10/7/2011
  5. The Brother-in-law on Session Lager from Full Sail
    8/29/2010
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Bottled Roger - Episode Uno

Driving while podcasting/Deathcasting

The Cause is Lost

Well, Mohave State Bank has refused to fund our brewery.  The building we were going to use has been sold.  This was in the best interests of the owners. 

For at least half of the Lost Cause, the Cause is finished, over, kaput. 

Now ... on to homebrewing so as to drown the pain ....

Bottled Progress

Starting a business is both exciting and appalling.  The governmental involvement is really aggravating.  A person can't just rent a building and start selling a product.  Oh, no, there's a load of prerequisites.  It's insane, and probably due to the litigious society surrounding us.

It's time to provide an update on the progress of establishing the Lost Cause Brewery and Homebrew Supply Store.  In December, the last two weeks of December to be precise, the financial projections were completed.  We've got two big spreadsheets that we hope give us a decent idea of what kind of sales we can expect.  The brewery will be small to begin with, a nano-brewery with a fifteen gallon capacity.  In fact, here's kind of what we're expecting:

Production volume


1 batch = 15 gallons


Volume after losses (based on efficiency rating)


# of Batches 28 ==> which = 420 gallons



Efficiency 85%
which = 53760 ounces 45696





which = 3360 pints 2856


Yearly Volume 5040 gallons which = 840 growlers 714





which = 4480 bottles 3808





which = 747 six packs 635





which = 28 kegs 23.8


That's right, we want to brew about seven times per week.  What do you know, that's ... daily.  We probably will not sell growlers and kegs right off, but we will be selling pints on site and bottles.  We figured that if we sell at  least sixty-two percent of the above volumes we'll manage to not lose money.  There's a lot more to this spreadsheet, including overhead costs, taxes, ingredients and more.  We feel we've estimated it closely.

In addition to the two financial spreadsheets we also completed an eleven page business plan which outlines our expectations of the business and where it can go in the next five years.  We'd like to be able to sell coffee and tea in addition to beer and maybe even start a distribution company.  Royal is working on putting together a new look for the website and the business plan may be posted there for all to review.

What else?  Well, there's a honey supplier in Tempe that can provide us with various honeys.  That's good news for mead makers out there.  A supplier believed to be in Kingman or the surrounding areas was contacted and a partial message was left with them, but someone neglected to write down their phone number.  So, if you know their number leave a comment on the blog, please.  Or, if anyone from Mohave Honey is reading, give Roger a call at 928-279-9157.  Thanks.  We're working on getting some T-shirts done, too.  Hopefully we'll have some of that available shortly. 

Let's take the time to thank Bret and Heidi Montgomery for all their help.  We'll be leasing the building from them if all goes well and they've been nothing but helpful and patient.  They even took the time to meet with us and the county planners.  We had to do a review of the building and site with the county since we're changing the use of the building.  So, we spent about an hour or so with them and got two more packets full of paperwork to fill out.  The health requirements are probably the most detailed.  The change of use permit seemed to be mostly interested in the number of parking spaces needed and the surface material of the parking lot. 

So that's where we're at now.  We're filling out the paperwork for the county and tracking down a large three compartment sink we'll need to fulfill the environmental requirements.  We've submitted the business plan and financial sheets and more to Mohave State Bank and we await their answer in regard to the rest of the money we need.  It's only $35,000.  Really, most everything hinges on that.  Everything else is in place and ready to go.

The homebrew supply store will be operating first.  A lot of the environmental and health requirements are for the brewery.  We still need to finish getting the paperwork for the microbrewery license done for the state.  So, all that can get accomplished while we run the homebrew store. 

One cool thing about all this is that we've talked to a lot more people about the business lately.  And everyone has been excited that we're trying to open a brewery.  No negative comments yet.  We hope it stays that way.

A Brief Interview With Royal Sipe

Royal Sipe is one of the owners of Bottled Llama Brewing, the company running the Lost Cause Brewery.  He recently acquiesced to a brief interview, sharing some thoughts about what good a brewery would do for Kingman.

********

So, why does your community need a brewery?

Kingman has no local brewery. There is no homebrew supply store. From informal conversations with members of the community, both of these businesses would be welcome and well supported. Craft brewing has gained a great deal of popularity, in part, due to the character of the local environment that is brewed into the beer. The community has no beer that truly reflects that local flavor.

What will draw people to the brewery?

To put it bluntly, beer. The beverage itself is popular. But, the Lost Cause brewery will have Kingman beer. Beers completely different from any commercial beer will be available. This is something unique that can be acquired no where else on the planet. I have lived in Kingman for over twenty years, and it seems that Kingman “never gets the popular shops and restaurants that other communities in the county get”. A local craft brewery would serve to partially fill that void and would be a local attraction.

What will your brewery do for the community?

The brewery will be a source of “beer culture”. Beer has served civilization since the beginning of time. Many people think only of “getting blitzed on light beer”. There is really much more to beer. Beer is rich with history and has impacted the social development of many nations. The Lost Cause brewery will embody that culture, while supplying its own version of a diverse staple of humanity.

What will make it different from other breweries in the surrounding area?

The Lost Cause Brewery is different in many of the ways already discussed. The brewery will provide truly local beer. Beer brewed with Kingman water, in a Kingman building, by long-time Kingman residents. Even the individual beers from our brewery will have names that reflect the area around Kingman, names that have meaning to Kingman residents. It will be the “home town” brewery.

A Little History on the Bottled Llama

As some may know, Bottled Llama Brewing is the entity that owns the Lost Cause.  Just what is this ... bottled llama? 

Well, it is a strange creature.  You see, once upon a time several years ago, Royal and Roger had monotonous jobs.  They were at these jobs at the wee hours of the morning, 2 and 3 am.  Now, most people might be smart enough to go to bed early when working these hours.  But, not these guys.  Nope.  They went to work on three or four hours of sleep and worked for ten or twelve and then had lots of other responsibilities after work. 

They were quite strung out.  Well, the mind has to protect itself.  Roger likes to think he's something of a writer (this is a lie that people allow him to believe).  So his brain protected itself from the damage of sleep deprivation by going to an imaginary place called the Eternal Forest.  The body ran on instinct, the mind jogged in the Meadow That Never Gets Dark and hiked the hills called Over There and swam in the River Bimm.  Yeah, see he had spent too long working weird hours, reading fantasy novels and drinking beer.  It all came together in this place.  For whatever weird reason, he started writing about it.

One of the creatures in the Forest is ... that's right, the bottled llama.  In fact, there are those who say it was the first.  The Forest grew and grew and grew.  Royal even had a hand in writing parts of the chronicles of the Forest.  Now, Roger has corrupted his children and made them think the Forest is legendary.  And so the Forest continues to grow in all its strange glory.  You can read about the Forest here.  There's also a link on the sidebar.  If you read carefully, you'll find a description of the bottled llama.

Most people have taken well to the bottled llama.  There may even be a sculpture of one someday in the brewery.   

One of the Thousand

In the Lost Cause Brewery we're going to have a shelf for pint glasses.  Really, you say, in that Tina-Fey-hey-you're-an-idiot-cuz-that's-obvious tone. 

These particular pint glasses will be special.  There will be one thousand of them.  And they will all have names printed on them and will belong to only one person.  That person can drink from their own glass whenever they come into the Lost Cause.  In order to have a glass on the Shelf of a Thousand Pints, contribute $30 to the Lost Cause.  This will help us get started and get you a glass.  And if there are other ways we can say thanks to the thousand as we go along, we will. 

Check out this logo, it would look cool on a pint glass.


The Lost Cause Update

What's been happening since we found a location?  Well ...

Financial plans are being completed.  Roger has spent this week calling brewing supply companies and collecting current costs and putting this all into spreadsheets that will, hopefully, make bankers more prone to loaning money to this particular lost cause.  Forms for the Arizona Department of Liquor have been downloaded, printed and are in the process of being filled out.  Royal has finalized his IT plans for the brewery.  And he's busy pounding out the operational agreement for the LLC.  Lots of behind the scenes stuff.

Maybe that all doesn't sound like a lot, but it's important.  One must 'count the cost' prior to jumping into an endeavor. 

We're also working on designs for t-shirts and hats and the like, which will be available in the store, so that everyone can advertise the brewery and the store.  Oh, and for all you wine lovers out there, we will have wine supplies on hand in the store.  We're even formulating ideas for some whiskey. 

Well, join the resistance or get lost ...

(Don't get offended, those are some tag lines we're gonna use ... more on that later!)



 

We've Found a Location

Lost Cause has found a building that we feel will work.  It has plenty of space.  Even when the business expands the building will be large enough.  Plus, it's an affordable price - truly, it's a beautiful deal.  It's three times as big as any place we've looked at on Airway Avenue and Stockton Hill Road (the two main thoroughfare's in Kingman, for those of you who don't reside here) and half the cost.  The owners are a couple of fabulous people who are behind the homebrew shop and brewery idea and are willing to work with us.  We couldn't ask for better people.

It's located in the industrial park, near the new distillery, in fact.  This is one of those locations that Royal and I have debated over the years.  We partly wanted to be out there and partly didn't.  Well, the building decided the debate for us.  It's hoped that homebrew supply sales will be go well, in store and Internet.  The industrial park location will be good for shipping purposes.  That's true not just for the brewing supplies, but once distribution can begin for the beer we'll also be in a good center for that.

My 'end of the year' statement about the brewery may not be totally accurate but at least it served as an impetus for me to get myself in gear.   So, let's get moving, right?  Right!

Session Lager from Full Sail

It's about time to write about beer.  It's been a long while since I've done it so I may be a little out of practice.  That being the case, I'll start with what should be an easy beer, Full Sail's Session Lager.

It's a cute bottle, which is one of the reasons I like it.  It's only eleven ounces, but it comes in a twelve pack and the cost is approximately $10.  That seemed like a decent deal.  You're only getting eleven bottles, sure, even though it's a twelve pack (you know, because each bottle is missing a traditional ounce, so twelve bottles multiplied by one ounce equals twelve ounces missing) but it's not really noticeable.  Out here in Arizona some good craft beers, like Dogfish Head and Samuel Adams Imperial series to name a couple of examples, go for $10 or more for a four-pack.  So, suffice to say, I'm happy with eleven beers for ten dollars.

On to the beer.  I poured it straight down the center of a pilsner glass and it yielded a nice head.  It was very white and foamy.  The head leaves a good amount of lace on the glass.  The white collar makes a beautiful contrast with the light golden color of the body.  The bubbles frantically tried to escape the glass. 





Speaking of the body, I'd say it was light to medium.  It does have some weight on the tongue and the taste of malt.  Other Full Sail brews I've had contained a good deal of hops, but I didn't notice them in this beer.  It's a 5.1% alcohol content, which is about average.   
The brewery states that it wants to bring back pre-Prohibition beer, an easy to drink lager that is not character-compromised.  Session Lager is incredibly easy to drink, the proverbial 'lawnmower' beer (or, in my case this weekend, the 'help your brother in law take the engine out of one of the sisters in law's car' beer).  It can be consumed quickly, without thinking too much about it, and no guilt - it's not a soulless beer from one of the big beer corporations.  It's what a Budweiser type of beer should be.

Yes, the next beer will be the Stella in the picture above.

My Place and My Beer

Bottled Llama Brewing's contribution to The Session:

I hope this fits the spirit of this Session, focusing on beer and places.

Coors Extra Dry.
  I drank this in New Mexico when I was young, though I find it difficult and humiliating to admit.  I stress that I was young, then, and I knew not what I was imbibing.  This is the libation that those around me preferred and consumed and their opinions were imprinted upon me.  Thus I was introduced to the social aspect of beer.  It is a drink meant to be drunk with friends.  Their influence can be good or bad.  Alas, my youthful experience was, in the hindsight of craft beer goggles, bad.  These people were all rural, cowboy hat wearing types.  I must go cleanse myself now.

Boiler Room Red Lager and various homebrews.  The Boiler Room is a local-ish brewpub.  I live in Kingman, AZ and the Boiler Room is in Laughlin, NV, a mere forty-five minutes away.  Circa 1997, the brewer there produced an award-winning and tasty beer called Red Lager.  It was the brewery's flagship beer and an integral part of the signature dish.  This dish was affectionately called the Sweet 16; it was a 16 ounce T-bone steak, fries and a pint of Red.  This dinner and that place produced many fond memories of good friends and live bands.  I had a young family at the time, was making my own beer, playing in a band.  I thought things were going well in my world.  With the help of a couple of friends many legendary homebrews were also produced in this era.  And, yes, beer snobbery began.  I thought I knew what "real" beer was and did not tire of telling it to others.  Again the socialism of beer comes into play.  Good beer was enjoyed with good friends.  This time it really was good beer.  And did I just admit to being a beer socialist?

AmberBock.  The dark years.  Children grew older, responsibilities grew heavier, time moved faster, homebrew diminished along with funds.  The band fell apart.  I began to realize that I was just another loser on this big train of life.  These were the Years of Pretending, wherein I drank AmberBock.  It was mass produced, sure, but it tasted like a craft beer.  It was some kind of sick hybrid that allowed me to feel good about myself.  It's like the nicotine patch or something.  That bridge between what was and what is. 

Mothership Wit.  Then came 2007.  The Great American Beer Festival.  One of the sessions was cheese tasting with a variety of beers.  The first beer was Mothership Wit.  Now, I'd had wit beers prior to this, I knew the style, I'd been drinking craft beers for several years.  But something about Mothership just made things click in my brain.  I finally understood what beer could be.  A social drink, to be sure, here I was amidst thousands of people I didn't know, united by love of beer.  It could be a refined, sophisticated thing, too, allowing a person to experience the joy of friends and food.  My Beer Enlightenment began.  Schlitz and Miller and other beers of that nature were also at the GABF and one of them even won an award!  There was room for all at the Big Bar!  Yes, snobbery needed to be ousted, co-existence embraced.  I knew my place, my beer and many others knew theirs, too.