This week, my column on the Hop Press features an interview with the founder of Rising Tide, Maine’s newest craft brewery.
What were the driving factors behind you opening your own microbrewery?
I kind of fell into a job in book design and letter-press printing when I came back east in 1998. That lead to working for a publisher for a number of years, and finally to running my own graphic design and web development business after I was laid off by the publisher in 2003. The trouble was, I was never really that interested or passionate about working in design. When I started brewing again after my son was born I started mulling the idea of opening a brewery. Not in any serious way, but I did a bit of research and was constantly getting pressure from people who tried my beer. Having someone try your beer and say that they like it is one thing; having someone try your beer and ask why you haven’t opened a brewery is a little different. Combining those factors eventually led me to more serious consideration of the possibility of opening a nano-brewery. The final push came after having lunch with Dan Kleban of Maine Beer Company. He and his brother were doing pretty much exactly what I was considering and he was both positive about his experience and supportive of my loose plan. That was in, I believe, November of 2009. By February of 2010 I had my business plan well under way and I signed a lease in late March.
Ultimately, the factors that lead to the opening of the brewery were a feeling of disenchantment with what I was doing combined with a passion for craft beer. I suppose that’s not a very original sentiment, but it’s a fantastic feeling to finally be working at something that is truly personally exciting and fulfilling.