This week’s podcast is different from most. A couple weeks ago, I drove down to Colorado Springs to catch up with Jess and Rich Fierro of Atrevida Beer. Jess was the winner of Season One of the Vice TV show Beerland, and they went on to open their small community-focused brewery in 2018. From the start, Atrevida proudly embraced the slogan “Diversity, it’s what’s on tap,” and over the past five years they’ve lived it—women brewers have outnumbered men in their brewhouse by a ratio of about four-to-one. Atrevida would make an interesting case study all on its own, but the night of November 19, 2022, brought them national attention for completely different reasons.
Jess, Rich, their daughter Kassy, her longtime boyfriend Raymond, and other friends were celebrating a birthday at Club Q in Colorado Springs when a gunman attacked the club, killing five and injuring another 19 before Rich—who retired with the rank of major after 15 years in the Army—charged, disarmed, and subdued the gunman. Raymond was one of the five people killed.
That incident isn’t what this podcast is about. In this episode, we discuss what’s happened since then. Jess, Rich, and Kassy all still work at the brewery. It’s a small business, and they’re isn’t any magical mechanism that automatically keeps the brewery going when an unthinkable tragedy strikes. The outpouring of support for them was intense, and the backlash was also intense. Suddenly, they were thrust into a national spotlight while also having to process such a traumatic personal event. Even now, a few who ostensibly wanted to show support have been harassing them over something as trivial as a delay in shipping T-shirts.
However, as you’ll hear in this conversation, Jess and Rich are special people. We cover a range of subjects, from making creative beers that connect through diverse flavors, to running a values-centered business, and on to managing a business through trauma with all the ups and downs that come with it. Their story is an inspiring one.
This episode is brought to you by:
For years G&D Chillers has chilled the beers you love, partnering with 3,000+ breweries across the country. They are proud of the cool partnerships they’ve built over the past 30 years. They know brewing doesn’t stop at 5 o’clock and nor do they. G&D uses quality components, expert craftsmanship and constant innovation. With 24/7 service and support your brewery will never stop. Remote monitor your chiller for simple and fast access to all the information you need – providing you with the peace of mind your operation is running smoothly. Reach out for a quote today at gdchillers.com or call to discuss your next project.
Sponsored by BSG and their partners HVG, who bring you the very best in German hops. Including Amira, the latest from their hop Breeding Program. With its classic hoppy, slightly herbal, and zesty lemon aromas it’s the ideal hop for those looking to capture the traditional flavor of a classic German lager. Visit BSGCraftbrewing.com to learn more.
If you hear Old Orchard mentioned in the brewing community, don’t be surprised: the flavored craft juice concentrate blends from Old Orchard have shipped to over 46 states. Their new brewing customers often mention discovering Old Orchard through the word-of-mouth recommendation of another brewer. To join the core of Old Orchard’s brewing community, learn more at oldorchard.com/brewer.
Take your brewing to the next level with AccuBrew’s revolutionary fermentation monitoring system, now predicting Specific Gravity! With AccuBrew, you’ll have precise control over the fermentation process and ensure consistent, high-quality results. Their cloud-based app and compact sensor work together to monitor specific gravity, fermentation activity, clarity, and temperature. AccuBrew is CIP-ready and designed to stay out of your way. Their set-it-and-forget-it solution streamlines systems and processes, confirms consistency, and helps detect problems before they ruin a batch. Join the AccuBrew community today and experience 24/7 peace of mind! Visit AccuBrew.io to learn more!
Brewing is currently one of the most innovative, adaptive, and fast-paced industries in the world. With consumer demand shifting to the latest and greatest trend, it can be difficult for production teams to keep up with requirements. The ProFill series of rotary can fillers from ProBrew are accelerating plant production everywhere. These can fillers run at speeds between 100 – 600+ cans per minute while achieving precise and consistent filling volumes not achievable by most inline and mobile fillers. For more information, visit www.probrew.com or email [email protected] to learn exactly how we can take your operations to the next level. ProBrew, brew YOUR beer.
Tabski QR Code Ordering is the future of brewery ordering! With Tabski, your customers can order and pay for their beers right from their phones by scanning a QR Code on the table. Get rid of lengthy lines and increase check size by up to 30%! Tabski is free for operators and integrates seamlessly with popular payment systems like Clover and Square. So why not join the future of brewery ordering and give Tabski a try? Learn how you can get started today at tabski.com.
“Oh you like wildly aromatic IPAs and tropical lagers? Good thing Omega designed Thiolized yeast for just that reason. Thiolized yeast are a new tool for brewers to bring intense guava and passionfruit aromas out of your malt and hops. And wait, there’s more! Omega Yeast makes yeast-to-order with a consistent one week lead time ensuring peak freshness and reliability.”
Keep your brewery running smoothly with Five Star Chemicals. Our cleaning solutions are specifically formulated to meet the unique needs of breweries, ensuring that your equipment stays clean and free of harmful bacteria and contaminants. From cleaning fermenters to kegs, we have a solution for every step of the brewing process. Use Five Star Chemicals today and taste the difference in your brews.
ABS Commercial has been a full-service brewery outfitter for over 10 years. They are proud to offer brewhouses, tanks, keg washers, and small parts to brewers across the country as well as equipment for distilling, cider-making, wine-making, and more! They know the ins and outs of the brewing and installation process and can design the perfect set-up for you, whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand. Contact them today at [email protected] to discuss your customized brewery needs. ABS Commercial. We are brewers.