It all started in my Mom’s basement in Rochester, Michigan. That’s where I got the brewing bug and it has stuck with me ever since.
I started with the standard homebrew kit that just about everyone does. A stainless steel pot, a couple of plastic buckets, a bottling tree, some extract, dry yeast, hop pellets, bottled water, and a lot of excitement and enthusiasm to embark on a hobby that I never thought would end up dominating my life and take me on so many adventures.
The first batch was an extract Irish Red and I have to say, for a first attempt it was not bad. To this day I don’t know why I chose a Red, I don’t rally drink Red’s that much, even to this day. As I got better at brewing the word started to spread and the next thing I new I was getting requests to make special batches for graduation parties, proms, birthdays, and other special events. My friends parents were asking me to make them “The Good Stuff”. That was when I realized that there might be some opportunity to this “brewing stuff” for me.
I spent years hanging out at local breweries and volunteering in any way I could, doing all the jobs that the brewery staff at these places didn’t want to do. My first “job” was cleaning out nasty Party Pigs that had been left in the sun for a few months. YUCK!
Fast forward to 1993 and I decided to take a run and making this a career and decided to attend the American Brewers Guild. After completing my certification my passion and drive was at an all time high. I started to apply at breweries in California to see if I could land something.
After 6 months of trying I finally landed a job in Fullerton, CA at BJ’s Brewhouse. I quickly packed up and moved to California. After some time at BJ’s I had an opportunity to make the move to San Diego and work for Stone Brewing Company. This was a fantastic experience. I got to work with some of the best in the business and I learned a lot about working in a quickly growing, full scale, high pressure production environment.
Even though I LOVED the job, I never let go of the dream to own my own brewery some day and I came to realize that I was not going to achieve this dream by staying where I was so I took a gamble and left brewing to follow another career that would allow me to build up the funds I needed to achieve this dream.
Now, it took a LOT longer than I ever planned. 15 Years in fact. During this time, I met my business partner Steve. We started a marketing company together and that business became the driving force that allowed us to make the decision in 2016 to take a run at starting a brewery and open Suds Monkey.
Through 2016 we hit some roadblocks and stumbled a few times. But we never strayed from the dream, and never took our eyes off the goal. We wanted to build our brewery debt free. We boot strapped the entire set up.
The bar is built from pallets that we received product inventory on for our marketing business. I did this as a symbolic gesture to acknowledge that the marketing company gave us just enough resources to start to build our dream. It is the one place that everyone who tries our beers will see.
In 2017 we are excited that we are finally positioned to open Suds Monkey Brewing Company. We aren’t fancy. We don’t have a lot of frills. What we do offer is a warm and welcoming environment where everyone who wants to enjoy great beer in a fun, laid back, relaxing environment. A great place to have a pint, play some games, watch some sports, and meet other great people.
Suds Monkey is as much Your brewery as it is ours. We started this adventure to meet you, build friendships, and share amazing stories over some really good beer.
We hope you will stop by, check us out, and stay a while.
ARE Y'ALL OLD ENOUGH FOR BEER?