Don’t Buy This

My Grandpa Powell was a tough man.  Although he passed many years ago while I was still young, stories about him continue to be told with great passion and have certainly become family folklore. A blue collar Polish man with the strength to move a train and a work ethic that would make you tired to watch.  Every time I take a ride in the truck or cut wood with my Dad something triggers his memory and he will share a story about interesting things his Father would do. I was too young when he died to build solid rapport so in many ways my relationship with him lives inside these stories and the few photographs we have around the house (like this one).

If you need something, make it. This is a very simple phrase that comes to mind when I think of him and one that I live by. Back in his time while raising 7 kids in a small northern New York mill town, DIY wasn’t a choice it was a necessity. I’m in love this way of thinking because it’s liberating to know that you don’t need to depend on anyone other than yourself to create the life you want. Sure he didn’t know everything, no one does, but he was fearless and not afraid to roll up his sleeves and figure it out.

A few weeks after he passed, I rode over to his house with my Dad to help clean out his workshop. One thing that struck me was the sight of all of the toolboxes he had built lined up on his workbench.  Each one designed a bit different according to the function and often times made out of scrap wood because he was also extremely resourceful.  This vision has stuck with me and finally resurfaced many years later after I started brewing my own beer.

I brewed my first batch of beer 7 years ago. I wanted a carrier that I could bring to my friends holiday party that looked tough and was heavy duty. I had seen beer caddy’s in big box stores like Marshall’s and TJ Maxx but they were too thin and – if I need something, I make it.  So I thought back to those tool boxes my Grandfather had built and came up with a design that both fit the function and was built tough. I wrote the name of my first brew batch “Highbridge” on the chalkboard end I painted. Long story short, my friends thought it was really cool so I made them each one and gifted it to them the following year. Fast forward 7 years and the Carpenter’s Brew Box is the most popular item sold on this website and still to this day every time my friends get together there is a line of Carpenter’s Brew Boxes on the kitchen island with clever stuff written on the ends.

Although I earn my living off of making things and selling them I encourage you not to buy this and instead make your own. Roll up your sleeves like my Grandpa Powell and I promise you will find great satisfaction and pride in your work. If you want something, make it.