Hob Knob Brewing Company

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Brewery That Refused To Die...

Oh Hob Knob, Hob Knob where for art thou Hob Knob?! The blog has almost 10,000 views. The facebook page has a couple hundred likes. It would seem there is a lot of interest in Hob Knob, and for that, we thank you! :)

We were going to start, then we weren't, then we were, then we weren't, then we were going to do a distillery, then we weren't. Such ambivalence!

I'm a person that believes things happen for a reason. When we first looked at the small 1200sq ft space in Cornelius, we had no clue what we were doing, just that we wanted to make good beer. Well, in order to make good beer, you have to learn to make good beer. We hadn't even duplicated any of our favorite recipes up to that point, lol. That was more than a bit naive, but we were fired up! It just wasn't the right time.

After about a year, building brewsnbbq.com, giving classes on brewing, learning everything I could about the art of brewing, and 40+ batches of beer later, Hob Knob made a reemergence. This time, a building two blocks up from the call center where I work opened up in Statesville, NC. Well, rather than just signing the lease for $1200, I decided to be cheap and only offered $1150....I know... :rolleyes: Uncle C's BBQ Joint moved in a month later. Again, I think it just wasn't the right time.

Hob Knob just refused to die. The idea for a brewery faded, but was reborn anew with the concept for a craft distillery. I knew that with my added obligations to my job that I could never do it by myself, so I brought one of my friends on board to help with the project, Shawn. As soon as we had selected the commercial still and location we would be using, my wife broke the (wonderful!) news to me that we were expecting our first child. Though I was ecstatic about the news, I knew it would be the end of Hob Knob. Funds dried up, and it was tough telling Shawn that we just weren't going to be able to do anything at the current time. What was supposed to be the death knell for Hob Knob just wasn't. Hob Knob's become the itch that I just can't scratch.

So now, I'm still running a small company, working 70+ hours a week, and am in the midst of designing some of the most complex software I've ever taken on. Is now the time? The wife is just as pregnant as ever and due in December (we just found out we're having a boy - "Noah" :) ). Is now the time to just cut the purse strings, and go for it? The craft beer market is quickly becoming saturated. Olde Meck is moving to a new, ginormous location. NoDa is bursting at the seams. Assclown's operation has come together nicely. Birdsong & 4 Friends continue making some great brews. Heist opened in the last few months. District 9 I've heard is going through the legal processes, and will open soon. Did we miss our window of opportunity?

Unfortunately, I don't think so. We will remain a quaint little garage brewery content with offering brewing classes to those interested in getting started in the craft. Maybe sometime in the next 4 or 5 years we will be able to put something together. I sure hope so, because Hob Knob is an itch I haven't been able to scratch for a long, long time.

It would be a tremendous source of pride to be able to say to my little boy that, against all odds, your father was able to build something incredible. Your father never let his lack of time, money, dealing with the government, the naysayers, the blown deals, the failures time after time, and everything else stop him. There's one reason your father was able to accomplish what he set out to do - he never gave up.

In other beer news, our hop garden has been doing really, really well. Just check out all those beautiful cascade, fuggle, and centennial hops! I see a few english browns and pale ales in my near future :)

So that's the latest on Hob Knob. :) I wish the news was better, and I could tell you we will finally get this brewery of the ground. I can tell you, while we may delay, we won't give up. In the meantime, I'll continue to post the latest happenings with our classes, get togethers, and brewing here as time permits :) Cheers! Jeff