What is inspiration? According to someone named Webster, inspiration is, “something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create : a force or influence that inspires someone.” Karl Marx once said, “Everyone has a goal which appears to be great, at least to himself, and is great when deepest conviction, the innermost voice of the heart, pronounces it great. … This voice, however, is easily drowned out, and what we thought to be inspiration may have been created by the fleeting moment and again perhaps destroyed by it. … We must seriously ask ourselves, therefore, whether we are really inspired about a vocation, whether an inner voice approves of it, or whether the inspiration was a deception, whether that which we took as the Deity’s calling to us was self-deceit. But how else could we recognize this except by searching for the source of our inspiration?” This is probably a proper place to start this examination.
I was recently asked in an interview for an up-coming article in a favorite Pittsburgh publication, “Where do you find your inspiration?” I was stumped and hence provided what I recount as a very poor answer. I believe it was along the lines of, “I’m inspired by what I drink from other breweries around the country.” Well, no shit Sherlock.
Grandma Moses was quoted in her obituary as saying, “I’ll get an inspiration and start painting; then I’ll forget everything, everything except how things used to be and how to paint it so people will know how we used to live.” Looking back, I think this properly explains my answer. In brewing, we have a habit of getting lost. In the science. In the art. In the process. But more than anything, in the end product. Sometimes tracing the inspiration back is a futile task. I’ll start brewing; then I’ll forget everything, everything except the brewing process.
Inspiration for CoStar Brewing comes from everything, everywhere. We’ve brewed a Cream Ale inspired by early memories of what Dad used to drink. We draw on experiences from a yearly Mountain Bike trip to Asheville and the western side of North Carolina. Outside of our labor of love, we love the outdoors. We love cooking and finding new, fresh, and local ingredients. We enjoy building things whether out of clay and earth, through a piece of wood, or pen/pencil/paint and paper. We love music. We love craft. And I don’t think this is an uncommon portrait in the Craft brewing community. But you can see, there is A LOT to get lost in here.
So having said that, I keep coming back to the idea that the inspiration for brewing comes from this idea of getting lost. It’s an addiction. We’re inspired by the opportunity to forget everything we know and obsess over a process of creation. Grandma Moses nailed it. We’re inspired by getting lost and attempting to leave something so you know that CoStar Brewing existed. We did it by hand. We got lost and tried to give you a little bit of an experience from that laundry list of passion. We just hope you enjoy.