Break Even Beermakers has evolved out of appreciation for diverse formal and informal disciplines: brewing, finance, design, hospitality, kindness (certainly a discipline), sustainability, philosophy.
In terms of a start up business (like ours), the break even point is the moment of crossing over from debt to profit. The arc of business finances does not sit at this break even point, but continues above it, or sinks back below it. Hopefully one day the small beermaking business that we are starting will flirt with this moment in its own evolution.
There are other conceptual applications of a break even point. I am especially entertained by the term as an imagined state of medicine where advances extend the human lifespan past the period of time taken to create those advances. This essentially ushers in perpetual life, in a wave-like patterning of technological achievements. Entertaining and terrifying.
In all applications, the break even point is a transitive one -- you cannot even really call it a “state of being” because its very nature implies its own passing. There is the instant of the break - a moment only exists in terms of the aspirational and the calculable, and is only discoverable through an anticipation of its occurrence or in the accounting for it after it is gone. It is a single transaction lost in an ongoing evolution – a rupture: a passing-through or crossing-of the null-point. There is no standing, or dwelling, or being at the break-even point. Nothing can sit at zero...entropy is the only zero, and things change, man.
So, we make beer. We do a lot of other stuff too, but beer is the most evident gravitational center that holds all the other stuff together - it is our center of mass. Unsurprisingly, Wikipedia doesn’t mention beer in its entry on “break-even,” and so this must be a metaphorical force.
Let me ask — when was the last time a beer broke even with you? When was the last time you even paused when you were drinking a beer?
That’s what we aim to do — to break some of zero-states in beer. We want to create something that is worthy of thought and reflection in all aspects — what it is, how it is made, where it is, who is around. All that stuff.
We hope that when you are drinking our beer you might think “what makes this so…?” And in thinking that, you’d be right on the money. First off, it might be our insistence that beer is, in essence, liquid community. Just like the other communities that we are all involved in, a community requires care and intention to truly thrive. “You get out what you put in,” is a good way to put it.
What we put in, foremost, is a lot of care, deliberation, and intentionality. We oftentimes move forward by looking back. Many of our beers are tinged with inspiration from brewing traditions and practices, but none are executed with the intention of emulating those liquids (however transcendent they might be). To us that wouldn't be very “break eveny”. From the very beginning we have been attentive to where our ingredients come from, their qualities, and how they get to us. This is one of our breaks – that we are trying to carve out our own thing, built on and nurturing to grow the local and regional agricultural economy.
We wouldn’t be very Californian if we weren’t dreamers. We make beer on an old copper system that has been modified and updated to our specs. We revel in both its technology and its patina. In some senses we are nostalgics, but we also recognize a lot of bad stuff happened in these places over the years too, and we don't intend to disrespect any of that history. Are we mystics? Uh-huh. Absolutely. There is a false veil between what is tangible and what is roiling beneath the surface, and every once in awhile you can peak behind the curtain. We believe beer can help.
If you've made it this far, it seems we've piqued your interest. Come on out to the Motherlode and say "Hey!" -- everyone is welcome! The beer is cold, the food is honest, and the people are kind.