Brewing commercially has been a dream of mine for over five years. In order to achieve this dream, I started my restaurant, Green Room Burgers & Beer in February of 2012. This was supposed to be a vehicle for my beer ambition, but it has been a monumental task to build and run the restaurant. Building a business from scratch is extremely rewarding, but it has been a very hard road. This has led to something I never could have imagined a few years ago, something bigger than myself. Through the hard work of family, friends, and a few people who took a chance on me, I was given an opportunity to chase my dreams.
I want to achieve two things with these postings: one, to share this experience with my friends; secondly, to help others out there who are researching nano-breweries and have been bitten by the home-brew bug. There are some amazing resources out there if you part of this second group. I really enjoyed the book Brewing Up A Business by Sam Calagione, as well as New Lager Brewing by Greg Noonan. Sam’s book was very upbeat and inspirational, dealing with more of the business side of things. There is also a sobering post by SoundBrew that reflects on the chances of success for nanos (very bad). There are several blogs detailing “the process”, however, I believe this will vary a great deal depending on your situation. Most of all, I want this to be conversation between you and I. Please ask questions, challenge my positions, and all that other stuff so we can brew up a blog together.
None of this could have happened if a few guys hadn’t of taken a chance on me. I just want to say thank you to my architect, Dean Falkender, an amazing man who hand drew my architectural designs. His work ethic and kindness will always stick with me. Plans in hand, I lucked into the best contractor in the city, Tom Winsor. Tom’s experience in the restaurant industry and as an owner were instrumental in developing a foundation for my business. Tom can tackle any problem, and showed me what pinning my ears back and working hard can do for me. My grandfathers, Bill Brownfield and “Papa Louis” Ptacek, shaped my world and teach me how to act respectfully to others. Most importantly, my father Tom Ptacek, has done so much that I can’t begin to put it into words. He is a mentor, a consultant, a best friend, and a role model for me. Although I haven’t named a burger or beer after him (yet), he is the biggest reason for what success I’ve had. And equally most importantly, my beautiful wife, Cindy. She gave me the push I needed to dive in head first all those years ago. She gives my life meaning and allows me to be myself. She is the love of my life.
I won’t be able to recount all the people that helped. From the beginning, this has been a humbling process. Thank you to everybody, my staff, my neighbors, and the community of Kansas City!