Well, yeah, I completely understand the part about "you don't just wake up and do it", that's why I've been contemplating this for 5 years and even now I realize that to make it work, the earliest it's going to happen is at least 10 years from now. I think that's alot different than trying to make it happen "tomorrow". Personally, I feel as if my idea is one of the more realistic ones in terms of timeline. If it takes 20 years, that's fine too. My experiences has told me that if you don't set some kind of ambitious date for making a goal, it's probably not going to happen at all, so I've just been telling myself my goal is about when I turn 40.
As far as being an expert in two things, that's not my intention at all, I mainly just want to own the place, which I assume is going to mean that I'll have to partially get my feet wet in many areas just so I don't look totally incompetent. I would like to do the brewmaster thing just to have something to do, I wouldn't be doing that part of it for the money, the career just lures me, appeals to me. I do not want to be a food manager or anything like that, I'd hire other people. There's no way one person can do it alone anyway. I have worked in restaurants before but I was never a manager.
As for the investments, yeah there's no way that I would plop down my life's savings in one fell swoop on any one thing, but at the same time, I plan to have my part of it pretty significant without getting too crazy risky. A wise businessman once said that the only time you need a partner is when it's Saturday night and time for dancing. If I do it at all, it's going to be done how I want it. If anybody's going to make any money at all, it's going to be me. I don't want to get involved with a bunch of partners and invest everybody else's money except for my own, I just wouldn't bother if it came to that. Like I said, it's mainly ownership that I'm interested in, I'm not looking to try to work my way up into having a food manager job... brewmaster eventually maybe, but nothing else that is specialized like that. I seriously doubt that Bobby Flay or Emeril are working 80 hours a week working some mediocre job in each of the several restaurants that each of them own.
The biggest problem is experience, there's no microbreweries around here, which is exactly why I want to open one. The town I live in is only about 30,000 people but it sprawls out forever and the area has about 100,000 people, and they live in the country so about the only form of entertainment is going out to eat, so basically every night pretty much every restaurant in town has a 20-60 minute wait, people just flock to this place and eat like crazy. I just can't help but think that offering a nice microbrewery wouldn't be anything short of a big hit because everything else around here is mostly crap like Applebees. Anyway, what I was saying is that the closest microbrewery is an hour and 15 minutes away, and actually they shut down last year, they were trying to offer high dollar brews to broke college kids since it's a college town and it just didn't go over too well, plus they didn't have a restaurant, it was only a bar, and it didn't have pool tables or anything, just expensive beer. I have this evil plan to try to buy their tanks for cheap. :) But anyway, the only other one anywhere near here is an hour and 45 minutes away. I don't want to move there and that's a really long drive. Other than that, I'd have to move to a big city, and that's totally out of the question. So basically, brewmaster school and homebrewing is about my only shot. I could try to get my feet wet in restaurant jobs, but quite honestly, I'd be making about 1/3 of what I am making right now minus benefits and profit sharing if I just up and did that, which would make this dream impossible financially. Because of this, I won't be doing that any time soon, I will continue to do what I am doing and will save my money with the idea that I'll be more like a big investor and corporate officer more than a food manager.
My reasons for wanting this?
1. I've never met a brewmaster that didn't just absolutely love what he does. I've talked to at least a couple dozen. I've met all kinds of people who absolutely hate their career, and those people were involved in everything under the sun except brewing. Obviously, I want a more meaningful way to spend my few hours toiling under God's sun. The microbrew industry has always seemed to me like it was one of the few remaining career paths where people actually truly cared about what they do.
2. I think it would be a hit based on demographics that I outlined above. By "a hit" I mean a great investment with less failure risk, I just think it would be successful. Certain places, it wouldn't fly, but where I live at, it just seems perfect.
3. Breweries have charm and character. I love being in them. I have been to all kinds of them all over the country. I want to bring that kind of place to this area so that people who are in between the white trash and country club status would have a nice clean place to hang out and enjoy a good beer.
4. I will have access to unlimited cheap but awesome beer. :) Enough said.