What I hope to accomplish by starting a brewery in Monterey—Part 1 of 2: I want to help, inspire and create

Part of the reason that I wanted to start a blog, was to gather my thoughts and cast a vision about starting the brewery that I’ve been planning for the last year. When my partners left the project earlier this year, I learned that a clear vision is crucially important. This blogsite is a place to catalog my business ideas and other thoughts on the beer industry. In this post, I’ll explain that one thing I want to accomplish with a new microbrewery in the Monterey area is to help, to inspire and to create.

Banner for Core words for my microbrewery: Help, inspire, create.

After I finished my draft business plan, I asked friends and family for critiques. One friend, Kevin Penner from Green Bean Recording in Los Angeles, strongly suggested that I focus on one to 3 core words that will guide the project.

I had often heard this principle, but sort of ignored it. I was skeptical and I was lazy.

When I called Kevin to see what suggestions he could offer for my business plan. He iterated this principle and gave examples of how he and his wife put it into practice in the music business.

A similarly instructive way that this has been iterated is Entrepreneur On Fire’s emphasis on the importance of an avatar.

This was also around the time I was reading Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.

So I finally dug in and thought about it.

My 3 core words are:

  1. Help
  2. Inspire
  3. Create

These 3 words are dictating what I hope to accomplish by starting a brewery in Monterey.


I want to be helpful. I want to help others or the environment around me. I want to help others be the best version of themselves that they can be.

I think I have always tried to be helpful. But I’ll explain one way here.

In college I volunteered extensively with the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. That was all about helping to keep the ocean clean and healthy. As volunteer coordinator, I helped other people do the same thing. But it was the feeling of helping the natural environment that most motivated and satisfied me.

I did feel some pride from occasional recognition and status of titles like Volunteer Coordinator and Chapter Chairperson. But it was mostly just helping for the sake of helping. It felt good knowing that the ocean, waves, and beach were cleaner and healthier from our work. It was the right thing to do.

Sometimes I felt that stopping pollution of all Earth’s oceans was a losing battle, but I kept doing it.

Julia Butterfly Hill says it very well in her book The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods: We do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of the outcome.


I want to be inspirational. I want to inspire people to live life to the fullest, to go beyond what had thought they could do.

I remember wanting to inspire others at least as early as junior high school.

I grew up on an acre in a rural area. Our family packed extensive gardens and a small ranch onto that property. Adjacent to our property was a creek. Nearby, there were apricot orchards and open fields with occasional trees good for climbing. Many friends in the neighborhood and I were very resourceful at making use of the outdoors.

When I was in junior high school, our family moved into town and I made other friends. Often, they seemed satisfied staying inside playing video games or watching television. Later, it seemed to get worse. I felt like I was often trying to encourage my friends to go outside for skateboarding, bicycling, or anything besides staying in a dark home in the summertime!

My efforts were rarely successful, but I view that more as inability to communicate my vision rather apathy of my friends.


I want to be creative. I want to use creativity to bring something into this world that wasn’t here before and that has lasting impact.

As a child my parents encouraged this by keeping the house well stocked with construction paper, markers, scissors, and glue. I played the guitar for years, formed a band in early high school, and wrote my own songs almost from the beginning. During high school and college I surfed profusely, sometimes 5-10 times a week. For some there is a constant debate about whether surfing is art or sport. I surfed for the art of it. I chose pottery as an elective in high school and catamaran sailing for PE in college. I have done several poetry readings. I have produced binders full of doodles and drawings. I took a painting class and even did a non-commissioned mural in my town. (The property owners or police might’ve been unhappy, but many passersby thanked me while I did my work in broad daylight.)

I think most people who would know me well would consider me to be a creative person. When I compare myself to others, I don’t always feel so creative. Yet it is something that compels me.

I want to be helpful, inspirational and creative in all I do. This brewery should be an extension of me, and therefore, should be helpful, inspirational, and creative. I want this brewery to inspire others to be those 3 things.

In the next post I’ll write the other thing that I want to accomplish through making this brewery: Bring the craft beer renaissance to the Monterey area.


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    Drinks beer, quit his job, planning to start a brewery. I try to write every week about something in my life relating to my pursuit to start a brewery. Topics include: entrepreneurship, beer, leadership, and productivity.