“Follow your dreams,” they say.
“Find your passion.”
“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
By all accounts, Scott LaFollette did just what the ‘Follow Your Bliss’ playbook told him to do when he opened a local brewery called Blank Slate in 2012. And here’s where it led him on Monday:
Closed abruptly. Social media accounts shut down. No response from Scott to media requests for an interview.
I’m no beer connoisseur, but I’ve tried most of the local brews, and the Blank Slate beers were consistently a notch or three above the competition. Blank Slate got great reviews too.
Other local brewers looked up to him, respected him, admired him.
“We had long talks along the way about life, business and beer. No one has ever done it the way you (LaFollette) have. No one respects the craft the way you do. No one is a better guy in the industry than you, Scott. I wish nothing but the best for you and your family,” — Kevin Moreland, the former head brewer for two local breweries.
“Scott has been a great friend to the brewery since he started. We are two breweries that have always been the underdog. So we have shared a lot of common bumps along the way. We have collaborated on more beers together than I can even remember. He is always willing to put down what he is doing to answer any/all questions someone would have about beer.” — Jason Brewer (yes, real name), GM of Listermann Brewing Co.
“There were few things that weren’t special about Blank Slate,” Breeden said. “Beyond the fact that Scott was a super nice guy, he was also super creative. He was kind of like Cincinnati’s ‘mad beer scientist.’ I would say Cincinnati truly lost one of its most artistic voices when Blank Slate closed down — in beer, art or otherwise.” — Chris Breeden, GM of local bar Arnold’s.
Here’s a tweet from MadTree Brewing:
MadTree recently expanded and opened a gigantic $18 million bar/brewery. Scott closed his doors forever on Monday, probably with a fistful of bills, and likely with tears in his eyes.
What now, O Mighty Dream Peddlers? What do you do when the dream blossoms, and then withers on the vine and dies?
Guess we’ll have to take solace in the words of the Gnarly Gnome, who insists that Blank Slate didn’t fail.