About the Brewer
My philosophy is simple. Try to make something good happen. If you don’t, then figure out what you can do better then go again. If you do, then figure out how you can do it better and go again.
Beer is a fun arena to apply this in because making beer involves so many different disciplines. Understanding how flavors are produced in beer involves understanding how Barley is grown and malted, how hops are bred and processed, how minerals affect water chemistry and the metabolic pathways that occur when yeast metabolize fermentable sugars. And this is just a summary. Beer is way more complicated than this.
I began making beer in my carport in 2008 thanks to a generous gift from my brother-in-law… to my wife. Those first few batches were… not good. So, I read, I learned. When I encountered a strangely medicinal band-aid flavor that didn’t belong in beer, I looked it up, figured out how to eliminate the flavor, and adjusted my process. Some time and a lot of bad to mediocre beer later, I began to look for ways to make the beer good rather than just drinkable. How do I get the aroma of new world hops to express better in my IPA? How to I get more clove and less banana in my Belgian Ales? How do I get my beer to be more crisp or more malty?
The process has always been the same. Try to make something good happen. Figure out how to do it better. Go again.
After 8 years of homebrewing I received a near miraculous opportunity to become the brewer for a start-up brewery on O’ahu. It was almost like starting over… the professional system I was brewing on had an exponentially greater level of control then the pots and buckets in my carport. And so I engaged the process again. We made some good beers, and maybe a couple of great ones.
After a couple years brewing professionally, I decided to open my own brewery. I learned to navigate the permitting bureaucracy, how to lead a team, and how to run a business. After 2 years of planning and building, the unthinkable happened. A pandemic. Back to the drawing board. Instead of making a good beer, now it was learning how to make a strong business amidst adversity.
Try to make something good, figure out how to do it better. Go again.
What I’ve learned is that while beer is about ingredients, preparation and process, business is about relationships. We’ve built this understanding into our mission statement: “To improve the vitality of our communities”. We seek to thrive by helping others thrive. We approach every interaction with the mindset that we can improve the situation of those we deal with. We can deliver a better beer. We can meet your needs better. We can make it easier for you to supply us. We can offer you a respectful place to work.
And so we’ve adopted my process of making beer to our model of doing business. Try to make a relationship good. Figure out how to make it better. Go again.
It all started with determination to make great beer. How it ends? Stay tuned.