OGMA 2020 RECAP
An inspiring lead isn't needed for this years recap. We all know what has transpired. It was hard as hell. People are tired and small businesses are absolutely maxed. If you’re reading this, that alone is inspiring enough.
We have endless gratitude to hospital workers, grocery store staff and other essential workers who never wavered in the face of uncertainty. Especially thankful to everyone who has provided their trades (electrical, plumbing, financial guidance, muscle, etc.) during the buildout of Ogma in this year.
We would be remiss not to mention the respect for those local businesses — especially breweries and bars — that have worked hard and created innovative ways to keep pounding despite all of the chaos and restrictions 2020 presented. Warriors.
Now let’s get into this recap.
Twenty-twenty began with celebration after Ogma was finally approved for our microbrewery license after an initial denial order. It was a strong start and will always be associated with all of the support from you guys during that stressful and confusing appeal process.
We quickly got to set our sights on February 16, 2020 for the final Ogma event before buildout, the music and art focused Artpop 4. Little did we know, this would be one of the final in-person community events in Jackson for a long time. Naturally, and perhaps preemptively, we made the absolute most of it.
Everything got dark for many weeks and months shortly thereafter as frontliners took center stage. The world effectively shut down, life had slowed down and Ogma had to either safely get to work or binge Tiger King.
In what turned out to be the right call, a very isolated demolition had begun in the brewery. It was a bizarre and lonely time in a lot of ways. Kevin and Troy were essentially their own quarantine club in the brewery while Andrew worked on relief grant applications and documenting the progress.
Destroy, make a mess, clean it up, document, post an update and repeat. That was March thru May 2020 for Ogma.
Spring brought more of the same. Productivity. Framing, drywall, plumbing, HVAC work and even a glimmer of humor as we all pushed on through a global pandemic together. One of our favorite projects was blowing out the back wall. A much needed sense of release. We wished you could have all helped.
As summer rolled through, racial justice took the lead across the country. Ogma supported the peaceful protest(s) that took place here in Jackson. This was a proud moment in our community and sparked change that was much needed.
One of the brightest days of 2020 went down on July 1 — our big, shiny SS Brewtech brewhouse had arrived! To see the smile on Troy’s face helped all of us remember what this is all about. Brewhouse day was fun as hell and recharged Ogma quite a bit. Now we just gotta get this thing in our building...
Other 2020 Ogma highlights included:
- Sharing our renderings for the first time
- Releasing alternative Ogma branding designs
- Our kegs arriving
- Installing the brewery drain/pouring floor
- Our new online shop launching
- Our hot liquor tank being set
- Completion of the “Ogma Alley” project
- Installing additional support below the brewery
- Shipping out Ogma holiday merch orders (thank you)!
The hands down most cherished Ogma moment this year was our Mug Club Orientation Event. Despite it being forced into a virtual gathering, it turned out to be a blast. We had so much fun with our mug club members and the special guests who dropped in. It served as a much needed connection with the homies. The ones who took a leap of confidence and became lifetime supporters right out of the gate.
In addition to us fumbling through an excel sheet as we not-so-gracefully (possibly drunkenly) assigned everyone their mug number, this event was topped off by an incredible auction for Ogma mug #001 which yielded a $1,650 donation to the Jackson Interfaith Shelter by Michigan craft beer enthusiast, Chuck Marshall. Six weeks removed, this still seems so surreal. You rock more than you know, Chuck.
It's 2021, Ogma — you opening or what?
Fair question. One lesson learned from 2020 is that you don’t really tell a year “how it’s gonna go.” It doesn’t work that way. A year is a long time and the unknown is simply that — unknown. At best, you make a solid plan, heat it up and curve it around what comes down the line.
Now with that said, this is a snippet of Ogma 2021:
- Wrap up electrical and HVAC buildout
- Focus on the front of house finishings
- Receive, set and plumb our fermentation/brite tanks and brewhouse.
- Begin food sourcing, menu curation
- Begin brewing and dialing in the new system.
- Assemble opening Ogma staff
- Apply finishing touches
- Host private family events, March 2021
- Make adjustments
- Lite opening to the community, April 2021
- Make adjustments
- Grand Opening, May 2021
Ogma pushed to be a force of positivity and productivity in Jackson this year. With so much darkness, we busted our asses trying to be a flame that refused to go out. We hope our supporters felt some of that energy through our process and used it to spark their own.
All things considered, an April/May opening is a tall order — but we have the path laid out before us. More importantly, we have the best damn community of homies in our corner and that is the one constant we will never take for granted. We love you guys!
Wishing you peace, connection, health and good beer in 2021,
Andrew, Kevin and Troy
Ogma Brewing Co.