It's been a good year and a half since I posted my last beerscapade blog post and wanted to start back up. I also intend to start a new "A Brewers Story" podcast going over all life events from beer, yoga, spirituality, entrepreneurship, business, philosophy, psychology, you name it... Most everything will get talked about so be prepared!
In this blog post I am going to re-cap what happened to me after my last blog post from England from May 2018 until now, November 2019. Be prepared for the story to come. I'll try to keep it short.
After Leeds, I went to London and spent 5 days there, went to a beerfest, got some free beer at Beavertown Brewery and made some new friends along the way. Those last 5 days in Europe marked the ending of my 4 month stent in Europe and first time out of the USA. I've done a lot of traveling since then...
I went back to California and stayed with my grandparents and mom and dad and friends couches while looking for a job, which I got from a friend who managed a Stone Brewing location, so I moved to Napa, California and started working as a bartender to pay the bills I had added up while traveling.
Within 2 months of being back to California they had wrote a whole page article about me and my beerscapades in Brew Your Own Magazine.
I decided I wanted to start a brewery in Spain, spent 2 weeks writing a 36 page long business plan to start a brewery there. I reached out to all investors I could manage to find, and after 3 months, I finally got some investors.They paid me some money to do my first consulting operation. After working at Stone for 3 months I told them I have to take 3 weeks off to go back to Spain and possibly start a brewery. They accepted. In October 2018 I flew to Barcelona, spent 2 days at an awesome beerfest put together by my friends at Edge Brewery (who I brewed beer with earlier that year). Then I spent 4 days in Andorra, A small country north of Spain south of France, in the middle of the Pyrenees Mountains. I wrote a 16 page business plan why I didn't think Andorra was a good reason to start a brewery... Ok, so the next step is try Spain...
After spending 2 more weeks traveling to a few cities I haven't had the chance to see in Spain yet, I spent my 27th birthday with my friends from Rio Azul Brewery and owner and friend of Bierkraft taproom in Seville, Spain after waking up dazed from the night before to a rainy morning when I woke up to look at a castle that was featured in Game of Thrones. On this 3 week trip I visited, Barcelona, Andorra, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Seville, Malaga, and back to Barcelona.
I make my way back to Napa and started working back at Stone until the end of December when I was getting restless and told my manager friend that my last day will be the end of January. Let's make a leap of faith. But first, I had to find some more faith, so I booked a one way ticket to Delhi, India. I made reservations for a month long 200hr yoga teacher training certificate class from the birthplace of Yoga, at the base of the Himalayan Mountain Range staying 50m from the great Ganga River.
After spending 1.5 months with my family (bad health, negative energy, not a lot of money) I left to India, first time outside of Europe and US... and I was alone...I found a way.
I spend 4 days with a new friend, taxi driver, who drove me to Agra where the Taj Mahal is and saw that, did some other unspeakable things there muahaha and then went to Jaipur, saw some palaces, delt with monkeys and elephants for the first time, found the miracle which is masala chai and indian food, and then made our way back up to Delhi where Rajeev, the taxi driver, lived and let me stay in his 4 story superrrr small house but they gave me my own room for the night and cooked food for me and was very hospitable. The next morning we drove off in to the sunrise for another 6 hour long adventure up in to the mountains, to Rishikesh.
I made my way to Rishikesh. Spent 1 month as a vegetarian yogi, including no alcohol!, and had a little relationship with a Spanish hottie while learning some yoga.
After the month in India, I flew to Madrid with my Spanish girl, we spent one night there, and then she went to Zaragoza to see her family and I went to Valencia to see my friends and beer. We met up in Valencia, she picked me up in her super small Mercedez and we drove it on the ship to heat to Ibiza, where she lives.
I spent a whole week with her in Ibiza but it rained half the time and I don't like clubbing so it wasn't my vibes too much.
I left back to Barcelona after a week with her. we still talk sometimes still but nothing major, we stopped liking each other as much it seems after the real world came back.
I booked an Air BnB for 2 months near the Arc De Triumf in Barcelona. It was a small room with my own fridge, desk, and bed with shared bathrooms and kitchen for all 8 other inhabitants of that flat. It wasn't the best living but it was ok.
I started a Meetup group for yoga at the park as well as craft beer tours and gave a few people some yoga lessons and craft beer tours while living in Barcelona.
After many talks with my investor, and lawyers, we decided the easiest way for me to move to, and work, in Europe was through The Netherlands. Apparently The Netherlands and the USA have a special treaty together called the "DAFT"
The DAFT basically states that a 18+ US citizen can come over to The Netherlands with minimum proof in a dutch bank account of 4,500 Euro, and start his or own business or continue already existing business from the US. The process takes roughly 3 months which is shorter them most other countries and English is spoken everywhere. We started the application process in July and we received a 2 year self-employed residential visa approved in October.
I made a couple trips back and forth from Barcelona to Amsterdam for government appointments to continue to visa process and it was fairly annoying but not the worst thing I've ever done.
After those 2 months in Barcelona, I made some friends to contract brew with in Navarre, Spain for when the business is legal, which after only 2 months into the visa process, the business was legal, One Life Brewing. I moved to a small town called Zandijk, 25 minutes north of Amsterdam. I booked this on a month to month bases from Air BnB as well
I stayed In Zandijk for a month going to meeting and getting things set up for going to Spain and brew some beer!
After living in Zandijk for a month with my new friend and roomate Danielle, I went to Sesma, Spain (in the north) and lived with the owner of the brewery in the 1,500 people village of Sesma for a month while we brewed my first three batches of beer for One Life, watched the fermentation, and helped bottle and brew when they needed an extra hand.
After living there (stayed on an airmatress in the brewery for 10 days) I decdied to go back to Barcelona and stayed with my 48 year old Bachelor friend whose starting a new 2 story brewery in Barcelona for a little over a week. Sadly, both of these atmospheres in Sesma and in Barcelona with my friend, weren't going to work in the long run.
At this time my investors paid for me to go on a flight to the Seychelles Islands to check out the only brewery on the island for sale. I made the plane flight there with 18 hours notice and a beerfest the whole day prior until 1:30am...
I stayed at one of the top 15th richest guys in Saudia Arabia multiple house property overlooking the whole island it seemed. It was the nicest place I've ever been to...I wrote a 16 page business case to buy the brewery.
After 5 days on the Islands, I find my way back to the Netherlands for 4 days before then getting paid to go do some craft beer consulting out in Bahrain, India, and Dubai. I stayed at some of the nicest hotels I've ever been to and had some good travel experiences I'll never forget on this short week long trip.
Now I'm pretty exhausted from traveling and everything. It definitely takes it toll on me.
I head back to The Netherlands for 5 days and then right back to Barcelona for 2 nights, then back to Sesma for 1.5 weeks. Back to Barcelona for 4 nights for the Mash Beerfest hosted by Edge Brewery again. Then right back to Sesma for another 2.2 weeks.
In this second stint of time in Sesma, One Life brewed 3 more batches of beer and made the decision to go back to the Netherlands to re-group and plan more for future success.
This is a very quick rundown of what happened in my life over the last 1.5 years. Let's continue from this point on ;]