Posts tagged beer
A master craftsman on the making of his craft brewery — with Kevin Ely

"I brew beer that I like to drink, and I like to share that. Not that we won't have 12 percent alcohol beers that knock you over, but that's not our forte. We're trying to brew delicate beers. I think simple and subtle can be very powerful."

 

KEVIN ELY, Founder & Brewmaster, The Wooly Pig Farm Brewery 

Kevin Ely knows beer. And now he knows how to build a brewery — quite literally by hand.

Kevin's story is a pivot of a different nature. Previously the brewmaster at Uinta Brewing, a nationally recognized craft brewery in Salt Lake City, Kevin and his wife Jael Malenke decided to move back to her hometown in Fresno and purchase a farm.

Fresno, Ohio that is.   

Armed with a degree in brewing science from UC Davis (yes, there is such a degree), Kevin is no hobbyist. Beer is indeed his career and he's a recurring judge at the annual Great American Beer Festival. Kevin shares with us his decision to start his own brewery in Ohio, the importance that family and community played in that decision, and why starting a farm brewery in a rural patch of rolling hills just made sense. Curly haired mangalitsa pigs ("wooly" pigs) that inspired the name actually roam his farmland and are visible from his taproom patio with cold beer in hand. It's both idyllic and intentional; it's also indicative of everything about this brewery. From the quirky name to the German-Bavarian style of beers he chooses to brew, down to his hand-made and hand-planed taproom — all of it is crafted with purpose and a story behind it.  

Wooly Pig Farm Brewery

Building the Wooly Pig brand

Bikes, brews & the things that move you — with Chris Bishop

“I never worked in a bike shop until I owned one. My first day on the job I was reporting to myself. Sometimes we fear what we don’t know but forget to celebrate or praise what we do know. There's this really awesome saying: we fail at the margins of our experience. When we do, great. We grew. We don’t grow by having a cushy, comfortable life.”

CHRIS BISHOP, Founder, Backroom Coffee Roasters and hop merchant 

Pulling up to Chris’s airplane hangar turned “workshop” — where he roasts beans for Backroom Coffee Roasters today — is a much different setting for his business compared to when he was fueling his coffee fix out of the back room of a bike shop, hence the company name.

Chris is far from being stuck in the same gear. He’s the kind of guy who has multiple interests and a willingness to pursue them as far as they will go. He’s also a guy who avoids getting too comfortable with any venture, knowing that comfort has a way of stunting growth and breeding complacency. 

Chris charts his entrepreneurial path and insatiable desire for discovery, from motor sports to bicycles and from coffee to beer. And he believes in doing the kind of work you’re passionate about and can pour yourself into. It’s how he has turned his passions into paychecks and immensely enjoyable work.

Chris’s story will encourage you to go for it — whatever your “it” might be.   

Backroom Coffee Roasters  |  Crosby Hop Farm