porchdrinking: Brewers Describe the Value of Brewing Independence
“The United States started as nothing more than an idea, a dream and a determination to overcome perceived empire-driven injustices. For the overwhelming majority of breweries, those values presented by our Founding Fathers echo the idea of independent brewing. Sure, there are brewing empires that could lure one to the economic promised land, but the pursuit of “hoppiness” for independent breweries is best served through self-determination rather than corporate funding. As the nation moves toward celebrating its independence, we at PorchDrinking.com wanted to discuss brewing independence with a few breweries who have thumbed their proverbial noses at the King Georges of the world and exercise their freedom to brew….
Great Divide Brewing | Denver, Colorado
Most famous for its Yeti series and Yeti mascots (#YetiMafia), Great Divide owns a truckload’s worth of awards for its many beers. The brewery came along at a time when Colorado brewing was exploding. Heck, most of the country still hadn’t heard of craft beer when Great Divide opened its doors. To say Great Divide can offer perspective on the changing landscape of craft beer is an understatement. So, let’s hear from Brian Dunn, Founder and President of Great Divide:
I decided in 1993 that I wanted to start a brewery for a couple reasons. 1) I love beer and the culture of beer so I thought that it would be a business that I would be thrilled to be involved in for a long time. I believed that one of the ways to achieve long term happiness is to work in a field that you have a passion for. 2) I wanted to be able to steer the company in directions that I felt strongly about. In the early years, those decisions ended up ranging from choosing a location, choosing art, and deciding the beers that I’d brew and bring to the market. I had strong ideas about how I wanted the brewery to turn out, and I wanted the autonomy to make those decisions, so I knew that I should start my own brewery.
Being independent in today’s terms means that we still make the decisions that we want to make. Typically, that means we do whatever is best for the brewery long term, without another entity’s agenda driving the decision. Not only do we make decisions based on what we think is best for the brewery, but we also heavily weigh what is best for the beer drinker and the craft beer culture.
And Great Divide knows how to have some fun, too.”
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