Jason and I attended our first ICBG meeting last night at the Lagunitas compound in Pilsen.
It will be a very long time and a whole lot of self-abuse before I forget walking down that long hallway, the ceilings and floors shifting around me in laser lights and mirror balls while Willie Wonka's "Pure Imagination" played from speakers resting on empty kegs. Even amongst the whole stoner tongue-in-cheekiness of the installation, I'd be lying if I pretended that it didn't still convey a very real - albeit coy - bit of magic.
We've spent a considerable amount of time, energy, and ideas to move down this path to becoming a Chicago Brewery and last night was a pretty lovely milestone. As Jason and I stood on the catwalk and looked down on the dozens and dozens of 750bbl fermenters and the array of 10 hop-backs - any one of which was bigger than our only 5bbl fermenter - it was hard not feel inspired, intimidated, as well as more than a little coerced by the Lagunitas trickster spirit.
If you're reading this now, it's likely that you have supported us in some way on this journey and helped make yesterday possible. From the bottom of all of our black, black hearts, we thank you.