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The Craft Community

Some of you know that I’m the director of a preschool 40+ hours a week. There are a lot of people that seem surprised by this fact, and the surprise comes with the wonderment – “how can you be both a preschool director and someone who sells beer?” I guess that the two just don’t seem all that at odds to me. You see, the craft beer community is changing the conversation about beer. I’ve talked before about being a part of the “Craft Community”, and I’d like to expand on that a little bit today.

Early this summer, I wrote a piece called Collaboration Not Competition. I focused on an article that was written about Trek and other breweries coming to Licking County. Well meaning friends and family often ask us if we’re concerned about the other breweries, and John and I are actually quite excited that they are also opening. As an industry, we’re working together as a team. We want you to come and experience and enjoy beer from all the local breweries. We’re passionate about expanding craft beer within the broader market. In fact, just this past week ALL the Licking County breweries got together to collaborate on the creation of one amazing beer to feature at a festival. I can’t think of another industry that works side by side with their “competition.”

A craft beer legend is set to retire later this year. Charlie Papazian, founder of the Brewers Association and the Great American Beer Festival, has been a part of the industry as it has evolved over the last four decades. He wrote something astute in his commentary of his 40 year journey for the Brewers Association Magazine:

“Pursuit of craft brewing is not necessarily a business decision. It is not necessarily all about the love and passion for beer. It is a decision based on the core values of the founder. A simple example may provide perspective. A large corporation chooses to locate it’s facility or company based on data, efficiency, and business factors. A small and independent brewery almost always chooses its location because “I live here.” How many times have you been asked about your business, ‘why did you choose to locate your brewery here?’ In the back of your mind you are thinking, ‘That’s a silly question.’ Values matter.” – Charlie Papazian, The New Brewer

As I contemplated that, I realized the profound truth of it. John and I have embarked on this journey because values matter. We moved our family back to Granville because, this is home. We are striving to build a community gathering space in a place that we love. We want our children to grow up in this Midwest world where people come first and strive to support each other. We started Trek Brewing not only because we want our boys to see us do something that we are passionate about, but because we also want them to see us giving back to our community. These values matter to us.

I’ve written before about the philanthropic nature of craft brewers. The craft community gives back in a multitude of ways – often putting people and principles above profit. To me, that seems like a pretty amazing thing to be a part of. It is these values that made John and I realize that this was a journey we wanted to take. We are honored to be a part of this greater conversation.

You can check out more about what we’re planning to do at Trek by reading our Trek Together page, and by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Cheers friends! Have an awesome week!