3000 pound grain delivery, 3 weeks and 720 gallons of craft beer was the final test of strength after a 9 month culmination of rigorous paperwork licensing craziness. At least, I thought this was the craziness; however, it was only the beginning. Looking back now, the three weeks prior to opening was the most sane moments of Mad Lab. Daphne and I worked 13 hours a day, and we dragged our tired bodies home to recover before the next day began at 6 in the morning. We were definitely working hard, but the stress of this schedule was never going to end.

After 3 weeks of a grueling schedule to prepare for opening day, we visited our first and only account, which was the Bullpen Tavern in Imperial Beach. Our good friend, Evan, was the owner, and he proposed a “Beer Release Party” at his establishment. The three of us sat down and planned the swaray within one hour. Then it happened! I started to breath deep and heavy and look of panic surfaced on my face. Daphne asked, “What is wrong with you?” Evan pointed his finger at me and laughed. I stood there between them in disbelief. It had finally become a reality, and I was so busy that I never processed it. I owned a brewery and people that I did not know were going to order and drink my beer. They were going to have a public opinion about the beer. They were going to tell their friends and family about Mad Lab. It was no longer an aspiration, instead, it was a reality staring me in the face.

The “Beer Release Party” was a success, and Mad Lab still has a tap handle at the “Bullpen Tavern”. 9 months later, it is still a shock to see Mad Lab on a tap lineup; however, I no longer leave the room in a panic when someone orders our beer. Instead, I introduce myself and answer their questions with ease. When we say, “We are excited to serve you.” We really mean it because the journey from grain to glass was filled with Stress, Sweat & Panic.

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