Starting from scratch…
That’s what they call it when you start at ground zero, with little more than your guts and your drive to build something from next to nothing. And it does take guts, but it takes something more, it takes vision, a dream if you will. To an outsider, it isn’t apparent until after someone has reached the point of “success.” But when you are in the trenches fighting everyday for a chance to breath and push through the day to day grind that drags us all down day after day after day, it can be hard to find who has a chance to make something more of themselves than being just another cog.
I had the opportunity earlier today to sit down with Dan Baker and Tammy Collins from the Barking Cat Brewing Co. The company is still in planning stages, only just beginning the battle that is building a company from nothing.
Even before talking to them today I noticed some things they were doing that stood out. One of the more interesting was their method of helping to raise operating capital. Instead of looking for private investors outright, they turned to the community asking for donations that would be used as future donations to the SPCA from their profits during their first few years of operation.
Community was a common theme throughout our talk today. Dan spoke of how the city of Wayland was working with them to help their start up run as smoothly as possible. Throughout our talk today he remarked several times about the diversity of the people around us (we were at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe). Basically what a pub strives to be, a place for the community to gather.
The support of the brewing community is something that is quite different than what you might expect in any other field. The team at BC have spent quite a bit of their time touring other breweries, and asking questions to learn what others have gone through for their start ups. Using the wisdom of others to your own advantage can be a life saver in the long run.
Dan’s vision for the beers that Barking Cat Brewing Co. will offer revolves around classic styles. When you have good solid beers as the base it is easier to move into experimentals. They will start with a 7 barrel brew system. At the start they will be offering 22oz bombers, growlers, and draft in the pub. They also do plan to offer food but the details pertaining to that are not yet set.
History has shown that the odds of a restaurant or brewery starting and succeeding are stacked against you. Too often we find people moving into the industry that have no clue what it takes to succeed. It is those who prepare and plan and learn from the mistakes of others that stand the best chance when times are tough. The team at Barking Cat have great vision for what they can become and the streetsmarts to know that it will still be work to get there.
As I drink my pint, I toast their future success…