Craft Brew Bar StoryFrom Beanie Babies To Craft Beer (An Entrepreneur’s Journey)


I never had a lemonade stand. That wasn’t my thing.

Instead I traded and sold beanie babies in my neighborhood. I remember my dad helping me bring the fold out table outside and all the kids would come over to buy my beanie babies. Whether it was to my parents satisfaction or dissatisfaction, I turned a profit beyond what they spent on getting me the beanie babies in the first place.

During the school year, I bartered with lead pencils and gel pens.

It wasn’t long until my dad got me into his vending machine business and we had arcade games and gumball machines in a variety of shops around town.

Since my childhood there has always been a part of me that loved making people’s day. And if I made money doing so, that just made it easier to make more people’s day.

An Entrepreneur Is An Idea Generator

Entrepreneurs get paid for their ideas.

They make more money on the good ones and that supports the investment of more ideas. The bad ones, well, they’re just cool stories.

I knew I wanted to run my own business one day (as in, something filed with the state, not run in the backyard of my parent’s house).

There was the idea of owning and operating an ice cream truck in my neighborhood.

An idea of starting a website that wrongly attributed quotes to certain people that would make that quote so much funnier.

An idea of running my dads painting and remodeling business.

Here are two ridiculous ideas I blogged about years ago.

I kept ideating business ideas until I finally landed on one I was ready to be my first real business.

Helping Breweries Thrive And People Truly Experience Craft Beer

I’m a marketer and a journalist by trade, which means I love stories and spotlighting the people who have them.

I started writing about beer by launching the What’s On Tap beer column in the UW-Madison school newspaper, the Badger Herald.

There I had the privilege of highlighting all the craft beer happenings in the area to a younger demographic. Despite the school being known for Natty Ice and Hamm’s, the column cultivated a following.

I then graduated and jumped to writing about the Madison beer scene in the city newspaper, the Cap Times where I shared stories from bar, brewery, beer supply and bottle shop owners.

I’m actually writing this from Working Draft Beer Company whose owner has remarkable tenacity, a huge heart and an understanding of how beer brings so many people together.

In other words, he has passion.

Contagious passion that unfortunately goes unnoticed by a lot of people.

Knowing who I wanted to help, I kept ideating business concepts while working at a marketing firm in town, fine tuning my storytelling skills.

I thought I could make a bigger impact than simply writing about owners and their beer because content people read is quickly forgotten. An experience, however, if done intentionally and carefully, could be one to remember.

Thoughts of opening a brewery popped in my mind. Thoughts of starting a state specific beer magazine or podcast was another idea.

I ultimately decided on a craft beer bar that I could use to help breweries thrive and people truly experience American craft beer.

By fusing my expertise as a marketer and writer, I could use the sale of a beer as a chance to share knowledge about beer styles, about the brewery behind the beer, about the people who made the ingredients and the people who used them to craft the beer.

It’s about the people. It always has been.

And here we are.

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