CRAFT by Under My Host® Issue No. 15 Classics - Page 164

make not only beer, but also cider, perry, mead, wine, and other fermented goods. Our plan was still to do so in a bucolic setting, somewhere within the county’s abundant agricultural land- scape, that would become an agri-tourist desti- nation. We even had what seemed like the per- fect site lined up. We’d announced in June that we would soon be leaving Austin and heading this way, but it wasn’t until seven months later that we began to announce the first details about our proj- ect. “The name Garden Path Fermentation,” we wrote on our newly launched blog, “stems from the idea that a garden path is an indirect way to get from Point A to Point B. It’s the scenic route that, more likely than not, leads you somewhere unexpected.” Thus far, those words have turned out to be far more prophetic than we could have imagined, as has our decision to title this series, which we began writing shortly thereafter, “Ou r Journey Down the Garden Path.” If you’ve been following us, you know that our journey has been a long one, full of obstacles and detours, often taking us in directions that we weren’t necessarily sure we wanted to go. Where we are now is not entirely where we’d envisioned ourselves or where we thought we wanted to be when we set out. Nonetheless, we’ve found ourselves in a beautiful place, poised and excited to explore what lies ahead. In early September, just a few days after send- ing the previous installment of this series to press, we signed a lease with the Port of Skagit for a 5000 square foot industrial building on a roughly 1-acre wooded lot in the same complex as Chuckanut Brewery’s South Nut location, Skagit Valley Malting, Cardinal Craft Brew- ing Academy, and the Skagit outpost of Flyers Restaurant and Brewhouse, with an option to lease an additional 8.5 acres of agricultural land, just over a mile down the road. Immediately after signing the lease, we submit- ted our TTB paperwork and an astounding three weeks later, we received notification that our brewer’s notice had been approved. We were later notified that our federal winery permit had also been approved. As soon as we com- plete our remaining site work and purchase the remaining furniture and equipment we need, we’re told that we’ll receive state licensing, as well, which means, barring any further unfore- seen delays, there’s now a real possibility that we could be fully licensed and operational be- fore the end of the year. With the specific com- bination of licenses, we’ll have, this will allow us not only to start making our own products, but also to start selling some of our favorite beer, wine, cider, perry, mead, and other fermented goods from other, philosophically like-minded producers. The idea that, after all this time and all the struggles and setbacks we’ve faced, we could actually be operating in a mere matter of weeks is beyond exhilarating; it’s nearly impossible to accept as real. As elated as we are to have reached this stage, however, it is still hard not to have some mixed emotions about opening an