The Path Forward - A Switchyard Brewing Update

"It's impossible to connect the dots looking forward."

One year ago today, we celebrated together as we smashed our $30,000 goal, closing out our Kickstarter Staff Pick #ShareOurCraft campaign. With 301 backers we raised $42,560. Kickstarter was founded on the idea that communities have the incredible ability to come together to support an idea that needs to be developed and crafted. Still to this day, we are in awe that Switchyard remains one of the most-funded brewery projects on Kickstarter.

It's awful tasting medicine, but what happens after a Kickstarter campaign ends is the beginning of the hard issues; securing a location, organizing investor commitments, locking down trademarks, working with attorneys, and pushing through red tape - just to name a few.

For first-time entrepreneurs like us who have successfully raised money on Kickstarter, it's a sobering reminder that the cash raised isn't really from investors but from folks who simply want to drink our beer. Whereas all rewards have been distributed and we love seeing our backers in their Switchyard tees and filling their stainless steel growlers around town, we remain humble and understand that you donated your hard earned money to help ignite our dream.

Simply put, our dream has shifted direction and we will not be located on the vacant property at 1320 S. Rogers Street.

We individually read and respond to every customer e-Mail. Throughout the summer we kicked around unique ideas and concerns from our Kickstarter Switchyard Starters and have even met with several in person to say thanks and toss around ideas over a few beers. After refocusing our concept and revising the business plan (we're on revision #19) we are so much closer than before.

To us, refocusing is not synonymous with "cutting corners". Steve Jobs once said, "When you're a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you're not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it." For us to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, the customer experience, our culture has to be carried all the way through - we absolutely will not compromise.

So, what's next for Switchyard? Arguably the two most important vehicles to opening day are finances and location. Our investors need to know where we will be located and landlords want to see the money. Both vehicles must coexist and travel at the same speed to stay on the path moving forward. We are actively pursuing several locations around Bloomington and once a lease is signed, you will be the first to know.

Two years ago it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward. At the 2005 Stanford commencement ceremony, Steve said, "You can only connect them looking backwards, so you just have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that makes all the difference." We agree wholeheartedly.

Thank you for continuing to follow and support our startup. We can't wait to share more of our story, our experience, and our craft with you soon.

 

Cheers,

The Switchyard Brewing Team

Cooking With Beer This Thanksgiving

Check out these favorite recipes from members of the Switchyard team!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crumb

2 ¼ lbs. cream cheese
¼ cup Belgian Golden Ale / Belgian Tripel
¾ cup pumpkin puree
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp clove, ground
¼ tsp nutmeg
3 eggs
2 egg yolks

Recipe for graham cracker crumb
¼ cup sugar
2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 oz. melted butter
Combine all ingredients. Press into cheesecake pan to form crust.


Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Assemble recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumbs. Spread cream cheese filling evenly over apricot puree. (Tip before baking: tap pan on table surface to remove air bubbles). Bake in water bath at 350° for 20 minutes.

 

Hoppy Brussel Sprout Hash

1 lb brussel sprouts
1 ½ cups sliced shallots
½ lb butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
12 oz. IPA
2 tbsp cider vinegar
4 tsp sugar

Melt butter in large sauté pan. Add garlic and shallots and sauté until translucent. Add the IPA and reduce by half. Once reduced, add the cider vinegar, sugar and brussel sprouts. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes until most of the beer is gone. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Rosemary and Sage Stuffing with Pale Ale

2 onions, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 large focaccia, staled one day
8 sprigs rosemary, destemmed
¼ cup sage, chopped
3 eggs
½ cup scallion, sliced
Pale Ale or Session IPA (or chicken stock) as needed
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except Helios. Use the beer to moisten the stuffing. Put mixture into a greased baking pan or casserole dish and bake at 325° for about 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

 

Brown Ale Brined Roast Turkey

Ingredients:

  • 10 cups of water
  • 2½ cups kosher or sea salt (do not use iodized table salt)
  • 5 cloves garlic, quartered
  • ¼ cup whole allspice berries
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • 2 large white onions, quartered
  • 22 oz brown ale
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 (12–16-lb) turkey (fresh works best; be sure to thaw it if frozen)
  • 3 celery stalks, cut in half
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt (for seasoning the turkey pre-oven)
  • 2 cups chicken broth, plus 4–6 cups water if needed

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot add the water, salt, garlic, allspice, cloves, and one of the onions.
  2. Just as the water starts to boil, remove from heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the salt. Add the beer and ice; stir. Cool to room temp, refrigerating if necessary. (If the brine is too hot, the turkey will start to cook, which can allow bacteria to grow.)
  3. Rinse the turkey and remove any items from the cavity. Place one oven bag inside the other and then place the turkey inside those. Pour the brine over the turkey. Remove as much air as possible and tie bags to seal as tightly as possible. Place turkey bag on the roasting rack inside the roasting pan. Place in the refrigerator.
  4. Brine for 16–18 hours. Rotate the turkey every 6–8 hours to ensure it marinates evenly. Remove from the brine and rinse, inside and out. Discard the brine and the bags.
  5. Place turkey back on the roasting rack inside the roasting pan. Place in the fridge, uncovered, for 12–18 hours to dry the skin. (This will give you a nice crispy skin to go along with your juicy bird.)
  6. Preheat oven to 400°. Stuff the remaining quartered onion and the celery stalks inside the cavity of the bird. Truss turkey if desired. Brush the entire turkey with olive oil; sprinkle with salt.
  7. Add the broth to the bottom of the roasting pan. If the pan starts to dry out as it roasts, add more water to the bottom of the pan. Do not allow the broth/water in the roasting pan to touch the turkey. Cook until your turkey reaches about 165°, and then test the temperature with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (it will continue to cook and its internal temperature will continue to rise once it’s out of the oven). Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Serves: 6–8

Choose the Right Brew
Look for a rich, nutty brown ale with notes of nuts, spices, and cloves. Select a low-hop profile; a high-hop profile will leave a slightly bitter taste.

Approximate Roasting Times Per Weight

8–12 pounds > > > 2–3½ hours
12–16 pounds > > > 3–4 hours
16–20 pounds > > > 4–5 hours
20–25 pounds > > > 5–6 hours
25–30 pounds > > > 6+ hours

 

Roasted Garlic Pale Ale Whipped Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2½ lb red potatoes, peeled and chopped into quarters
  • ¾ cup IPA
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Cut the pointed tip off the head of garlic, exposing the cloves. Place the garlic head on a small sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and fold into a tight packet. Place garlic packet in a baking dish and roast at 425° for 25–30 minutes, or until soft and the cloves have turned an amber color.
  3. Add potatoes to a pot and cover with cold water and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until fork tender, 15–20 minutes after water begins to boil, drain.
  4. Add potatoes and remaining ingredients to a stand mixer. Squeeze the head of garlic until the soft cloves push out. Add just the cloves to the stand mixer; discard the remaining head.
  5. Whip the potatoes on high until well combined. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Yields: 4 cups

 
 
 

Upcoming Switchyard Tasting Events & Updates

Upcoming Switchyard Tasting Events & Updates

A little under a month ago we posted our last blog entry... it's amazing to look back and see all that has happened since then! 

A few days ago, we crossed the milestone of 1,500 "Likes" to our Facebook page, and 1,300 followers on Twitter. Along that same direction, we were amazed by the collaboration we entered into with seniors from the IU School of Informatics, who selected our start-up business to build a custom iOS & Android App and a new website for their capstone final. 

Location, Location, Location

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It's funny, as we look back on our journey in opening Switchyard Brewing Company, we have found ourselves answering the same two questions……over and over.

1) What’s your name? and 2) Where will you be located? 

At first, it was frustrating when friends and fans of our beer would ask, "So what's your brewery name?" After months of brainstorming and countless searches through the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) database for available names, we finally discovered that Switchyard was seemingly not taken.

It was clear, concise, local, catchy, and not trademarked by anyone else!  We registered our website www.switchyardbrewing.com, registered our Twitter, Facebook, and other social media accounts, and submitted trademark and servicemark applications for our name and logo. It’s about a 6 month process before we get a final answer. Just one more thing we’ve found can take a long, long, long time.

Naturally, the next question was always regarding our location. Initially, we had plans in motion to locate alongside the B-Line trail in a beautiful (in the eye of the beer holder), abandoned, building on a brownfield site.  We felt it would be great to help out our community to bring life back to a blighted and forgotten building that was an eyesore on the trail. A site plan was developed, architects were brought in to bounce around ideas, and the cleanup of the site was progressing each day.  Unfortunately, there was a pretty major snag with this whole scenario. There were actually a couple of snags, but one was a complete non-starter.

In 1933, a post-prohibition law was written to keep "children and church-going people away from the evils of alcohol". This law,  IC 7.1-3-21-11 does not allow an establishment to open within 200 feet of a church or school. The beautiful brick, historic building we convinced ourselves would be the perfect home of Switchyard was too close to an existing church.

So, as we continue our search for another site for Switchyard, we are keeping in the forefront of our minds the principles that matter to us most; community, family (including the furry ones), and customer experience. We have looked into numerous spaces around Bloomington, but nothing has felt like the perfect fit. 

 Until now!

In the coming week, we will again be collaborating with architects to work on designs for a brewpub that Bloomington will be proud of and will hold true to our principles of community, family and our customer experience. We hope to attract a large audience, giving residents and tourists of Bloomington a place to come relax, meet with friends, and enjoy great conversation.

We will continue to blog through our journey in opening Bloomington's next brewpub. Check back for updates in the coming weeks, and until you can drink one with us, enjoy a pint from and support one of our local Bloomington breweries.

Indiana On Tap: 50+ Planned Indiana Breweries

Indiana On Tap: 50+ Planned Indiana Breweries

Our friends at Indiana On Tap worked hard to compile a list of Indiana breweries that are in some stage of development, with a target opening date in 2015. Switchyard made the list as the only brewery in planning in South-Central Indiana!