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Asked why, he lists several reasons. First, he worried that any problems he had with Empire would only be exacerbated if he made his complaints formal. Second, he was holding out hope for a last-minute infusion of cash that would tide him over -- cash that never came. Third, without that cash, he doubts he could have survived the months-long process that appealing to the state would have involved.
In the end, he says, it would have been too late. "I honestly don't think that would have saved us."
Brian Buckowski´s day job is brewer at Five Seasons brewpub on Roswell Road, but his dream is to one day open his own brewery. He and John Cochran are co-owners of Terrapin Beer Co., out of Athens. For six years, they've been talking patiently with investors, perfecting their recipes and devising a business model.
Two-and-a-half years ago, they brewed some of their first beer on a large scale. It was at Dogwood Brewery. Six months later, the beer -- a rye pale ale -- won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.
"We were like, 'OK, the product has legs,'" Buckowski recalls. From there, they scouted out contract brewers along the East Coast that make beer to exact specifications for other clients. Fans of jam bands, the partners hired Richard Biffle, who's illustrated Grateful Dead art, to draw the label of a turtle wearing Jerry Garcia glasses.
"You have to be in tune with your market," Buckowski says. "In the case of Dogwood, I don't know who their market was. I don't know what their marketing strategy was, because I wasn't there. With Sweetwater, I know. It's like us. We go after music people, people who like Widespread Panic, outdoors, sports, kayaking. It's a package deal."
With Dogwood out of the picture, leaving a brewery available, it's natural to wonder if Terrapin may have found a home. Buckowski won't comment. But the death of Dogwood provides a strong cautionary example.
Moran, meanwhile, has been cleaning out his brewery.
"It's like when you clean out the attic. Everything's a memory. I feel like Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life. People have been coming up to me telling me how much the beer's meant to them. They say my friends will get me through this. I say, yeah, my friends and a whole lotta beer."
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"I'm buying two Hummers."
Keep your sex life to yourself, buddy.