Every once in awhile, we’ve been able to follow a brewer’s journey from the beginning, and I mean waaaaay back when you first see the idea of opening a brewery as a glimmer in their eye. My time with Gary Gulley goes back pretty far, maybe not all the way back, but far enough that I’ve been able to witness that crazy first year when he was still convincing himself it was all possible, that he could have his own brewery. Back when he was making test batches for his pale ale, and writing his business plan, all 12 versions of it. Then there was finding a space, building it out, installing the brewhouse, and firing it up for the first brewday. This week I ran into Gary again at Fountainhead during their “It might get Dark event” and it made my heart sing to see Gary standing gather with a beer in his hand, exhausted, bleary eyed, wearing his overalls and rubber boots and covered in paint and dirt. He’s never looked happier. It’s finally all coming to a head because the system is on, his distribution is in order, and some time in March he’s going to be sending his first beer into market. I’m not worried about it living up the hype — there really hasn’t been any. But it’s going to be a rock-solid english-style pale ale if it kills him.