Tell us a story from your early days that set the path for your venture.
I was 21 and living in the Czech Republic when I fell in love with beer culture. It was there that I learned to not only identify and appreciate quality beer, but also understand just how important breweries and beer halls are to local communities all around the world.
As I traveled from town to town throughout Europe, I continued to find the largest concentrations of social gatherings and community hubs to be located around beer in one way or another. Many of the old castles had breweries within them and everyone ate and drank together in large communal beer halls, no matter your age.
There was no stigma behind drinking beer with or around your family. They respected beer as a way to unite one another, rather than divide (or just get drunk) as it is often perceived in the United States. I wanted to bring that culture home!
WHY DID YOU START ASLAN BREWING?
As you can imagine, there were a thousand reasons why we started Aslan, but there were definitely some major drivers. As an economist, beer has great margins and is a recession-proof industry. As an artist, craft beer is creativity-based and limitless in innovative opportunities. As a community member, I just wanted to be involved in Bellingham.
I did not want to sit in a cubicle either.
WHAT'S YOUR HOPE FOR THE FUTURE OF ASLAN BREWING?
I hope to create a hub in our local community and pump out some of the best beers the state has to offer.
If we can create a business that makes money, allows us and our employees to raise a family, all while giving back to our community then I think we've done our job.
Do you have any advice for someone who is starting something?
Don't do it alone.
You probably don't have all the answers, and if you do, you probably don't have the time to get to all the questions.
Build a support team to help you achieve your goals.
It's a lot more fun and a lot less stressful when you surround yourself with the right people.
What is the one piece of career advice that everyone should know?
I was told once that fast money makes fast friends. You will often need extra support from vendors, contractors, and the local community to succeed, and if you have outstanding debts throughout the industry, even slight delays in delivering compensation, it will be difficult for someone to go above and beyond for you.
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