Why I want to start a brewery in Monterey—Part 2 of 3: This is where I am

In the first post of this series, I wrote about the first reason I want to start a brewery in the Monterey area. Basically, I feel this is an exciting time for craft beer and I want to be a part of it. Heck, it’s an exciting time in the history of beer. A lot people are even calling this a renaissance of beer. History will dictate whether this is truly a renaissance in the traditional sense. In this post I write about why I want to open a brewery specifically in the Monterey area, and I am breaking that into 2 parts. The first reason: This is where I am, in geography, in my life.

Photograph of map and compass.

[NOTE: One purpose behind this series is to help focus my vision about the brewery that I want to create. A few months ago, all of my partners left the project. Through that, I learned that a clear vision is crucially important to help ensure that my partners and I are trying to do the same thing.]

I live on the Monterey Peninsula

I currently live in Pacific Grove, a tiny little town out on the tip of the Monterey Peninsula. I’ve lived in the same home for over 8 years. There have been just 2 other homes that I lived in longer than this one. Only one other town. One other county. No other state have I lived in as long as California. (I did an Excel spreadsheet.)

And this place is pretty special. A few weeks ago I walked up the street, just about a half a block from my house, to get a closer look at our resident twin baby deer. They were cautious of me, and hopped away. At closer investigation I saw that they had hopped off to their momma. I had seen this trio one block over, just a few weeks earlier. So I stopped to watch a while.

The mother kept a cautious eye on me as the babies tried to get to the protection of their mother on the other side of a short picket fence. The babies scurried over to the protection of their mother and the sweet milk of her teet. In how many other urban towns can someone see twin baby deer suckling their mother’s teet!

This place is pretty cool. It’s quiet. The ocean is almost always in view. I like Pacific Grove.

When I quit my job last year, I revaluated how far I was willing to move for a new job. Could I try a year or 3 in Europe? Or maybe South America and finally learn Spanish with fluency?

I decided that I want to stay within an hour from my family in Hollister. I always thought I would make my way back to Santa Cruz. But through that revaluating process, I realized that I’ve grown to love this place. I’d like to stay here.

Geographically, this is where I live. This is also where I am in my life stage.

I’m redefining my life

To start, timing is good for me because I’m in a transition after losing my job last year. I elaborated on that past in my previous post; here, I’m looking forward. Upon entering university I was notified that only 30% of college graduates go on to work in their field of study. In my last year of college, a graduate student advised me that it is good for one to work in one’s field of study as sort of payment to society for the investment made in one’s academic degree. For these two reasons, I have strived to remain employed in the environmental field (as broad as that may be). It’s not a requirement, it’s sort of a guideline I’ve lived by. More than a decade after graduating, I figure that debt might have been paid. Perhaps I’m now free to pursue work in other fields.

Maybe I’m holding on to the idealism of youth, maybe I’m an artistic genius, maybe I’m delusional, maybe I’m just a spoiled brat, but I think I’m called to more than working for the man. There, I said it.

I’ve been in the workforce for a while now. I’ve had several different jobs, both in my field of study and other odd positions. I feel like I’ve had enough experience to realize that I’m never totally fulfilled working for other people. I estimate that working 60 hours a week for myself would be way better than working 40 hours a week for someone else.

Sure, I could find fulfilling work at an existing organization. I felt great about volunteering, and even working paid, for Surfrider Foundation. I also felt good about my work for the air pollution agency. I even had some sense of pride finishing a shift at the dishwashing basin of Pizza Bob’s. (There were a lot of dishes to wash!) Yet no job I’ve held has given me the immense amount of satisfaction that I get from taking my own ideas to fruition.

Maybe I’m one of those entrepreneurial types who is never fulfilled, always looking for the next challenge, never satisfied to stop creating or stop fixing. Maybe it’s a hopeless pursuit to find meaning.

Yet I don’t want to stop trying. I’m too young to give up on a pursuit of meaning. Aren’t I?

In my previous post, I elaborated on why I’m excited about craft beer. I think I can find a niche here.

If you want to follow me on this crazy journey, please subscribe by email. If you think I should throw in the towel and work for the man, or if you want to encourage me not to!, leave your comments below.

In part 3, the last part of this series, I’ll explain the third reason I want to start a brewery in Monterey: Monterey is ready for a progressive craft brewery.


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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.

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