As we come to the end of 2015, we want to take a moment to reflect on this rollercoaster year we’ve had and to send a word of thanks to all the people who have supported us thus far (and if you’re reading this, then that means you!).
January this year marked the beginning of our journey down a path that has become our fledgling startup. In a little more than a year, we’ve gone from asking questions like, “so to make wine, do you have to, like, own a vineyard?” or “do you think wine would taste better in a jar?” to holding sit-down meetings with wineries across California and fielding questions about our capital structure strategy from potential investors.
And over the course of this growing process, we’ve made some good memories. Here are just a handful of the best memories: We spent a Saturday morning in 0-degree weather waiting outside a home-brewing store to experiment with CO2 tanks. We drank the bottle of wine we had used in our first-ever successful pitch. We sliced our fingers zesting many, many citrus fruits. We watched the sun rise over Dempster Street on countless morning drives to wait for Binny’s Beverage Depot to open its doors for us. We took over my apartment refrigerator with our keg for a week (and made some roommates very upset in the process). We hosted a party and found that people actually liked what we were making. We made more, we experimented. We bought equipment. We watched lots of YouTube kegging tutorials. We visited spice shops, consulted with sommeliers, read through every homemade cola recipe the internet has to offer. We competed in a business pitch competition and walked away with a really big check (literally, the check itself was huge). We graduated from college and moved to San Francisco and New York City. We founded an LLC, turned my garage into a registered alcohol business address. We laughed a lot, yelled a bit, and met some really great people.
It’s been quite a year really, one that’ll particularly memorable for the rest of our lives. And we can’t end 2015 without thanking some incredible people who have helped us along the way, including: Our parents, who have supported us and believed in us in so many ways so far; Adarsh Shah who helped start this crazy thing with us; Jim Yang, Aniket Lila, Kathy Zhang and Lizzie Johnson who made big contributions along the way; our professors who have supported us, particularly Professor Verinder Syal who continues to provide us with sage guidance; our designer Julia Kent who endured ups and downs with us for far too long; our friends at Northwestern who we subjected to countless questions, taste tests, focus groups and more; Christian Miller of WineOpinions who allows us ask the most basic of questions; Jared Saunders of Chicago’s BrewCamp who let us into his shop to help us on that cold Saturday morning; Eric Steigelman of Bonfire Wines who’s answered many questions at critical junctures; and everyone else, including all our readers, followers and anyone who has encouraged us along on our venture. We thank you so much and hope you continue to follow us on our journey.
We hope your year was just as wild, exciting, unpredictable and fun as our’s has been. We hope 2016 has more of the same. Thanks for reading and happy holidays.