In the last post, I talked about the brewing process and shared our experience brewing on our future brewhouse with the gentlemen over at Hidden Springs Ale Works. In this final installment, I'll document the trip home back in October 2016.
I caught a Sunday morning Allegient flight from Youngstown to Tampa with nothing more than a backpack full of tow straps and a sheet of starter checks from our local bank. The plan was to fly in, pick up a Penske rental truck, drive it to Hidden Springs, catch the tail end of their indie flea market, load up the goods and hit the road.
It's safe to say I was the only one on the flight traveling for business, which was otherwise packed full of Mahoning Valleyites and Yinzers destined for a respite from gray skies and crisp autumn air. It was good to see people, mostly young families and retirees, taking advantage of our modest regional airport!
Aside from a two hour wait for the Penske rental truck, I was able to more or less stick to the plan. The wait meant that I missed perusing the indie flea market, unfortunately. Hidden Springs is located in a transitioning neighborhood called Tampa Heights. The brewery is anchoring a cultural renaissance in the area that is attracting young people, artists, and urban pioneers seeking cheap space to live and work. There are clear parallels for what's happening in downtown Warren (including pop up events similar to our art hops), so I was eager to check out the neighborhood and pick Austin and Josh's brain about how they're tapping into that energy. I arrived in time to see the various artists and local makers packing up their wares into 70s- and 80s-era vans and chat with a few. The energy was still high among the dispersing crowd. It was encouraging to see how beer was playing a central role in the scene.
Within an hour, Austin, Josh, and I had the brewery loaded up. I then wrote the biggest check of my life, we shook hands, I picked up a growler of their delicious kettle soured Berliner Weiss, Tropic Thunder, and I was on my way.
The drive was, thankfully, fairly uneventful. My phone completely died at one point (not the battery, but the entire phone), resulting in an unsuccessful two-hour stay at a Waffle House somewhere in South Carolina to try to revive it. I slept a few hours at a rest stop in Yamassee, SC. The 16-foot moving truck looked silly next to all the camped out semi rigs.
Not having a phone made coordinating the moving crew back in Warren slightly more difficult, but by 4pm on Tuesday, we had a crew ready to unload.