Published: Dec. 29, 2022

Jeff  0:00  
Welcome to Creative Distillation where we distill entrepreneurship research into actionable insights. I'm your host, Jeff York, Research Director at the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado in lovely Boulder, Colorado. And I'm joined as always with my co host. Hey,

Brad  0:17  
Jeff, it's good to see you. I'm Brad Warner. I do a bunch of stuff at the Deming center as well. And can you believe season fricking for

Jeff  0:25  
that? No, that's making me feel really weird and old. This is season four episode one of creative distillation, Brad? Yep, this will be episode number 30. For us.

Brad  0:35  
That's right. It's got to be on our family.

Jeff  0:36  
So that's crazy. If you if you also feel like that's a lot of episodes and you've been listening to creative distillation for awhile, hit that subscribe button or drop us a review or do something to let us know you're out there. You can write to us at CD podcast at C and D is in Charlie David not CD podcast, and let us know. So we are gonna have some changes for season four. This exciting we are committing to a bi weekly release schedule. Brad is sitting in silence. You know

Brad  1:03  
what, though? I was just thinking about I was harping on that. We haven't had anything to drink yet part of

Jeff  1:07  
that. Yeah. So bi weekly. So if you've been like, Hey, I don't know when creative distillation is going to come out. And you know, my life's not complete without these guys. I'm sure that applies to so many people out there. You're lonely, you can't get to sleep at night, whatever is happening to you. You will now have the dulcet tones of Mr. Brad, fall asleep to twice a week. That's our target market, right

Brad  1:29  
people that are alone people,

Jeff  1:30  
they're lonely people that have insomnia, that's mostly our target market. Anyway, it's gonna be awesome. It's gonna be cool. We're gonna be bi weekly, we have a slightly differ more punchy format. It's gonna be exciting. You're gonna love it. It's a way of life. And I'm really excited because we are now an establishment that I've been hearing about for a couple of years, not the normal channels. I hear about breweries. We'll get into that in a minute with Chuck Hickson, who's the founder here at beyond the mountain brewery. Thanks for joining us,

Unknown Speaker  1:56  
Chuck. Happy to be here. Guys.

Jeff  1:58  
This is so awesome. I saw the name of the brewery instantly started to think about the wind from beyond the mountain and started to have all sorts of good memories come in. You guys. The brewery is named after the lyrics of a fish song if I'm not mistaken. Yes,

Chuck  2:13  
it is. And actually even some fish fans don't pick up on that one because that doesn't come to mind right away.

Jeff  2:18  
Well, you know, as Joel our producer knows and loves I got nothing more than to talk about fish. The first time I saw and Trey's new guitar, right, Mike's tone is really improved, and I hadn't seen him in using the drill as much. Know what

Brad  2:33  
I like about this brewery. There are no pumpkin beers on the menu.

Unknown Speaker  2:40  
I'm sure Chuck is smarter than that. That's by intention. We have never sold a pumpkin beer.

Brad  2:45  
I love this brewery.

Jeff  2:48  
actionable insight. Don't like pumpkin beer, then you need to come to beyond the mountain. They're here in Boulder that beyond the Come check them out. So you guys have been here for years. Just over four years now. Yeah. Wow. Congratulations. That's great. So

Unknown Speaker  3:01  
you guys were like founded 2018 December 2017. And you made it through the pandemic, barely holy cow.

Brad  3:08  
Right. Timing is a thing we talk about all the time. That's really bad timing.

Unknown Speaker  3:13  
We were very lucky that we had just are talking to a wild goose candy company about being the test facility for their new canning line that was aimed at smaller breweries. So we were able to transition to packaging beer right when the pandemic hits. So that really saved

Brad  3:25  
us. Unbelievable. That's really, really cool. So Chuck, why don't you just tell us kind of how you got into brewing maybe a little bit about your background. I know, we have a lot of entrepreneurs that listen to this, and would be very curious about your

Jeff  3:34  
story and a lot Phish fans.

Unknown Speaker  3:36  
So I got into brewing when I was 18 because I realized you couldn't legally buy the ingredients make here. So I need to pick it up. I wanted to drink. Yeah, and eventually just got to the point where I was so intrigued by the science of it and just how to make the beer and making all the different kinds. I was like maybe this should be a career. Okay, so yeah, the day after I turned 21 I started working in a brewery.

Brad  3:56  
So you didn't go to school for brewing. You just

Unknown Speaker  3:58  
know I was in college for a history major. So don't get me started on the history of beer. I can talk for hours. That's awesome. Yeah. And then I realized that my real calling was to make beer and run a brewery one day so I transition to that sort of working every part of the industry I could. I've worked a beer bars. I've worked every job in a brewery you can think of and now I finally got this place. Okay, so let

Brad  4:19  
me ask you the question, though, that comes to mind is Boulder has 28 frickin breweries? Why do you pick such a saturated market? Because only

Unknown Speaker  4:26  
20 Something like that. So I moved here 10 years ago, because I wanted to learn from it's such a great renewed area for beer. And the plan was to actually keep moving west and eventually open up on the west coast somewhere. But I just fell in love with the city. I fell in love with the music scene here. Right. You know, I wanted to do a music theme brewery so I was like, what better place to Boulder Colorado.

Brad  4:43  
Yeah, and that and by the way, we were talking beforehand. It's not just beer. It's beer and music here and I look at your bio and your partner's bio. You guys have been friends for a long time. kind of tell us how that kind of weaves into the theme here.

Unknown Speaker  4:54  
Well, we've been friends since we were teenagers we met at a summer camp. And we both have just always loved music. We've seen fish together man The tide ticket. There's a lot of fish involved.

Jeff  5:04  
So here's the thing. Let's just take a quick pause here for a second. Bread is a music fan. Brad has pictures of Mick Jagger and Jimi Hendrix on the walls of his office at the Leeds School. Yet, he doesn't like fish or thinks he doesn't like it. Yeah, just just we have a mission here today. All right, so here on crave distillation, hosted as always by the Deming center. At some point, we have to actually drink some beer to drink some beer and talk beers and promise, Chuck, what do we have here that we're gonna be tasting today?

Unknown Speaker  5:34  
So the lightest beer you have here is our closest coach. That's my go to drinking beer. When I get off of a shift here. I'll just sit down poor. Cheers.

Brad  5:43  
Cheers, Chuck. Thank you.

Jeff  5:44  
Thank you, Chuck.

Brad  5:46  
So how about evolution? Tell people

Jeff  5:49  
a little bit about the history and the culture is a rather unique style. Yes.

Unknown Speaker  5:54  
So it's almost like a lager. But it isn't ale it's just fermented a little bit colder than most ales are. And it comes from the Cologne region of Germany, right. And of course, you know, they had this the temperature for the perfect amount of fermentation for that specific yeast strain. So it became a very unique style back then, when you couldn't replicate it with refrigeration or anything else where my head brewer, and also my partner, Morgan, he is currently married to a German woman. So German styles come into play a lot here. Yeah.

Jeff  6:24  
She's very shy about her opinion.

Unknown Speaker  6:27  
Actually, she loves us beer. And the Klaus that is named after is actually her father also approves a beer. Thankfully, we have some German approval for this beer, which is always great as a German style, right? And it's probably our most awarded beer as well. Just recently won a silver medal at the US Open of beer, which is a pretty big one for us. We were very excited about that's incredible. And will you enter this in the Great American Beer? Yes, we will.

Jeff  6:49  
So kosher, usually brewed with a little bit of wheat, the grain bill, like it's basically a white lager, but a little bit of wheat added to it. And then if I'm not hitting a specific yeast dream, it's an ale yeast.

Unknown Speaker  7:00  
Fermented at around 50 to 55 degrees, not quite lager temperature, but it's like in between an ale and lager. Very crisp.

Brad  7:08  
I like this a lot. This is a session beer, right? You can sit back and you're gonna have a bunch of these two, which is which is awesome. By the way that focus on creative distillation don't know this update about us, Jeff, is that we've been limited to three tastings, those seasons.

Jeff  7:22  
Update format. Yeah. So thank you really, sincerely. Thank you to anyone out there listening. Like apparently, there's quite a few of you. And we really are pleasantly shocked. But that has attracted the attention of our marketing department. Who's now said yes, you may have three samples, or show no more.

Brad  7:41  
Anyway, so enjoy these. Like we need we need larger samples is what I'm thinking.

Jeff  7:45  
Yeah, like Yeah, like you'd go with like this. Hello, set comes in like a 22

Brad  7:52  
pints of boots. Yeah, a couple beats.

Jeff  7:55  
Kosher is nice, because like if you're an ale fan, but you get into the summertime, and you're like, you know, like, I can do that, like 7% over the top IPA by 90 degree de Costa perfect like such a beer. It's got that ale fruitiness I get like a little strawberry. And this is really nice.

Brad  8:13  
I think it's a great drinker. And by the way, you don't know this, Jeff, but actually hanging out with you and doing the podcasts for all these years now. I actually drink more beer than I do bourbon. Excellent. I cannot believe it. And that for me is saying something.

Jeff  8:25  
And so what's gonna happen in about another two years? You're gonna be saying, you know, Jeff, after that podcast episode, we did it beyond the mountain with Chuck. I started to listen to fish. And I realized, you've been right and now I'm gonna go you're gonna get every fish show with me. We're gonna be like buds in the parking lot. We're gonna help kind veggie burrito stand. All right, okay. All right. Well, what's the second beer? Second beer is

Unknown Speaker  8:52  
our headspin Double IPA. Oh, boy. What does that mean? So it's an imperial IPA, high alcohol heavily hopped, and this one. It was originally supposed to be a one time brew as part of our artists series where we brew with collaboration with local bands, but we've loved it so much. We decided to keep making a year round. This was originally agreed with the jaunty who was a great jam band that used to play fish parking lots, right?

Jeff  9:15  
Well, okay, so you just get like the aroma this thing?

Unknown Speaker  9:18  
Big time? Yeah, that's just Citra mosaic hops just really overpower that smell. It's just, oh, they're not now were they from? Who? That's a good question. I believe both of those are sourced from the Pacific Northwest and possibly Idaho or Eastern Oregon.

Jeff  9:33  
That's, that's really good. You guys aiming for more of a man. It's hazy.

Unknown Speaker  9:38  
It's hazy West Coast is the band is originally from the Boston area. So they wanted to do a New England IPA. Make sense? I'm not a huge fan of the hazy IPA movement. It has its place which is not my personal taste. So we decided to be on anytime. So we came down a little bit from the haziness, you know, but still has that same flavor

Jeff  9:56  
profile that actually you posted on fish. dotnet about this at one point. Did you know I believe I did. Yeah, I remember reading this discussion. So fish dotnet is a really great resource if you're interested in learning what's going on in the world of fish, which you should be, but Chuck was posted on there and people were like talking about the Heady Topper like quest. Everybody thinks this like New England beer and get nothing wrong. Alchemist is amazing. It's a fantastic beer. But oh my god, it's not that big of a

Unknown Speaker  10:22  
deal. It's able to pay $20 for a warm Heady Topper on fish lot. Yeah. Let's get back on track here.

Jeff  10:30  
Here's fantastic. We can edit. The one episode we won't do that. I can feel like the warmth of my chest like what's the what's the alcohol on this thing?

Unknown Speaker  10:40  
I won't say 7.8% Off the top of my head.

Brad  10:44  
What I've noticed though, about your selections is not trendy. Right? So tell me about target customers people coming in. Obviously, I love the no pumpkin beers. Mostly, but it says a lot of it says a lot about the culture. Right? So talk about that culture and your philosophy behind beer selection,

Unknown Speaker  11:04  
for the most part was trying to clean beers are strictly to style. We're kind of old school in our approach to brewing and always love that traditional stuff. Like you make a lot of German or European loggers because that's the one where you can't really hide any flaws behind it. Right? It really shows the skill of the brewer. It's not just overwhelming with tons of different fruits, I can hide a thing that went wrong. So you know, it's a challenge as well, just the beers we like to drink. Like, I'll have a very heavily fruit smoothie beer every now and then. But you know, that's not something that I regularly drink. So you won't see a lot of that on our tap walls. Right.

Brad  11:34  
So I'm a big German lager fan myself, I think that they're just

Jeff  11:37  
awesome. We both have been on this like German lager kick lately, and I think upslope is primarily responsible. Oh, yeah. German pills. Yep. That's a good beer.

Unknown Speaker  11:46  
And that's one of my frequent breweries to visit. Yeah.

Jeff  11:49  
I bought all of it. There was and then like, there was no more I said, Here's fantastic. Our other guests just arrived. All right, Ethan paws cancer, who is a assistant professor joining us elite school of business. So Ethan, just finished his PhD at some like, Community College up in Boston. All complications. Yeah. So small, small technical university. So either you guys are wondering into this because as a New Englander, or at least a student, well, yeah, you are, you're you consider yourself a New Englander. I'm a New Yorker. 100%. All right. Yeah. So you're a New Englander, right. Being from the south, I consider that was

Brad  12:27  
in upstate New York, upstate New York. All right, there's a different distinction, right. So we want to make sure we get

Jeff  12:32  
your expert opinion as a northeast inner. What do you think of this imperial IPA? It's not a Jenny Cream Ale, but it's alright. It's still good. I'll take it. Words of wisdom for Mr. Either or Dr. Ethan Bosco. Thank you. We'll be coming back to him in the second half of this episode, talking about some research talks, but he's gonna

Brad  12:53  
stick around and drink with us. Stick around drink. All right, another great beer though.

Jeff  12:57  
This is fantastic. So I get like all kinds of like fruit esters in this thing. I mean, I'm picking up the hops are just like, way out there. But here's the thing. This beer doesn't have that burning bitterness that a lot of the Imperial IPAs have, you know, where they? I think it's when people put in the hops too early. And it just becomes this like, yeah, there's a lot of hops here. And boy, there's a ton of bitterness to and it's gonna hurt you. None of that this is really smooth.

Unknown Speaker  13:23  
That's not too high on the IBUs. It's around 6570 IBUs. So it's not gonna be overwhelmingly bitter. Most of the competition is coming very late on so he was getting all that floral and fruity flavors from the hops. It's fantastic.

Brad  13:33  
Speaking of Genesee, did they have the beer ball? But didn't they have a plastic ball once? I don't know if I've ever seen that? Yeah, I think I'm aging myself. But I think like in the early 80s or late 70s. It looked like a ping pong ball, but would hold five gallons. That sounds like a great product.

Unknown Speaker  13:49  
I'd also like to add this beer is delicious. I was I was

Jeff  13:53  
really Yes. Fantastic. We're like just a spoiled and bolder like you're saying like, I mean, yeah, it'd be tough. If you were looking to be part of a craft brewing scene and you gotten older. It'd be pretty hard to say yeah, I'm I'll push on to California. Yeah.

Brad  14:07  
What about the collaborative effects of Boulder and brewing? Is there some sort of collaboration between growers? I mean, you were just so

Unknown Speaker  14:13  
absolutely the burn community in general is very collaborative. That's one thing I've always loved about it here, especially in the boulder, Denver area. Some of my best friends are brewers, breweries, and we always talk and trade secrets and whatnot. There really are no secrets of being brewers. It's like magicians, you know? Yeah, that's

Brad  14:27  
so cool. That's I'm from Chicago when people would slit your throat for some

Jeff  14:31  
same thing in New York.

Unknown Speaker  14:33  
Good example of how collaborative is both myself my partner used to work at Twisted pine brewing, right. And we both brewed under chi, he was the head brewer there at the time, and he has moved on to 10 barrel brewing in Denver. And he has came up a few weeks ago just to brew beer with us for fun, you know, nothing fancy just he missed hanging out with us and brewing together. So we've got so we've got that beer coming out next week. Actually. That's awesome cashmere tank top. Oh.

Brad  14:57  
So tell us about your establishment here. Can you only find certain beers here versus for

Unknown Speaker  15:02  
the most part, you're gonna find the majority of beers just here. We are distributing to stores but it's a very slow rollout. It's very difficult to get that shelf space. So we're only in a handful of stores around. Yeah.

Jeff  15:11  
Where are you in Boulder?

Unknown Speaker  15:13  
Boulder Loveland. I believe that's it right now. Okay, we're expanding to Denver. Hopefully soon.

Jeff  15:18  
We're in. We're in Boulder. Can we pick up your beers?

Unknown Speaker  15:21  
You can pick it up that Hazel's awesome. I believe that's it. Right? All right. It fluctuates between what stores we're in. Currently we are only in Hazel's in Boulder. And we are in whites in Longmont. Okay, and one more in Loveland is escaping me right now.

Brad  15:35  
Hazel's is a great place they know Jeff by name by the way. Yeah.

Jeff  15:38  
Are you talking about do you have like a weekly delivery? I love that little delivery truck with a small wheels. I was going to sponsor this podcast as well and I don't know but tehsils if you're listening out there, creative distillation can be brought to you by the dinning center for entrepreneurship as well as Hazel's fine beverages.

Brad  15:54  
They could pull up my account and they might change their mind Hazel's is

Jeff  15:57  
pretty awesome. Well, we got one more beer to try. And you know, our last episode we had the Boston versus boulder beer off, which boulder absolutely dominated and we're going to do this again at the Academy management conference coming up. The only Boston Beer I could find in Hazel's was that Sam Adams lager? No way. That was the most disgusting thing I think, ever. By the way.

Brad  16:19  
I've gotten messages from that last podcast about how can you dis Boston Beer so badly?

Jeff  16:23  
Oh, Boston Beer. So I'm laying down the gauntlet right here right now. We will be at the Academy of Management meeting a year from now. Anybody out there, bring your Boston Beer. We'll bring our bolder beer. We will dominate you. All we gotta do is bring from beyond the mountains beers and we will restrict ourselves to one brewery. We'll just pick one brewery in Boulder. Well, we should try this last week. All right.

Unknown Speaker  16:50  
So phobia is a little out there as little gimmicky but a lot of fun to make. Plus daddy nice is an Imperial Stout made with Reese's puffs cereal. What there's two boxes of response cereal per barrel. So that comes out to one box per keg. Right? And then we add other chocolate and peanut butter to supplement the flavor as well. So it's like a peanut butter cup beer. Yes.

Brad  17:10  
So you're really sticking to the German tradition here.

Jeff  17:14  
We got a little out there with German disco pounders wine like the grape,

Unknown Speaker  17:19  
grape and fish like to provide some time to time. So this is more of an improvisation. So So I was a homebrew forever.

Jeff  17:25  
Like I was like Tennessee State homebrew or the year for a couple of years. All this stuff. We gotta get him that T shirt. All right now that you've undermined my credentials, but I always wanted to make a peanut butter cup beer and it always sucked. So here we go. This smells like a peanut butter cup. What do you think Brad?

Brad  17:42  
For me personally, my taste I think it's probably a good beer but I'm back to one and two.

Jeff  17:49  
I think this is awesome. The creativity in it. It's an imperial Yes. It doesn't come across like a period it's not hot. You don't have that like old Rasputin kind of fighting

Unknown Speaker  17:58  
that's what we aim for with all our so really we don't want you to be tasting just the alcohol

Jeff  18:02  
All right. This is awesome. So you get like a really big like coffee chocolate on the front end and it's followed by the peanut butter kind of aftertaste

Unknown Speaker  18:12  
This is really good. This is the one where I'm waiting for a cease and desist from Kellogg's hadn't made as a very until he got a cease and desist letter so I'm thinking this will be the one that gets it for us. So So what's the serial again? It's Reese's puffs cereal we just never heard of

Jeff  18:26  
it have you should do like an E T. They just released et again an IMAX cinema. Oh really? It's like a 40th anniversary or whatever it was. Anyway, this was fantastic. It was really the perfect beer to drink. When you go see that at IMAX.

Brad  18:37  
What's your biggest seller?

Unknown Speaker  18:39  
Our biggest sellers definitely our flagship, our BTM IPA, just most breweries you walk into that's going to be the IPA most popular style by far.

Jeff  18:48  
So Chuck, like what every other over these four years, what do you think the most the thing you've learned about being an entrepreneur that you might not have known when you started that you would advise people are thinking about just going into business for themselves or maybe going and starting a brewery because we have so many of our students who are passionate about craft industries have a wide variety but craft brewing for sure.

Unknown Speaker  19:06  
So I definitely have learned I ask questions from anyone you possibly can. You might think you're prepared and know things but there's always gonna be so many things you don't know and it's great to be able to reach out and just never be ashamed to be like I don't know what I'm doing right now. I need someone to give me some pointers

Brad  19:20  
right so what was your biggest surprise and opening a brewery?

Unknown Speaker  19:23  
biggest surprise how much probably like little things that come up you know that just snowball until all of a sudden your to do as is just 100 small things it's not one big thing you know, it's not like a tank needs repairing it's just this outlets. Wiggly, you know, this door is not shutting properly, right.

Jeff  19:39  
Just like little operational yams. I mean, here's the thing always fascinates me and I think it's because of the collaborative environment here in Boulder. But there is Brad pointed out earlier, there's so many breweries. And yet here we are. It's Thursday afternoon you guys are packed.

Unknown Speaker  19:56  
We have a really great Happy Hour crowd here were stationed around A lot of businesses, this is a great spot for revenue. You know, they get off work, they come on over. Yeah, that's one thing that we're really proud of is our happy hours a very strong time of day for us.

Jeff  20:06  
And you're a huge live music fan. Do you have live music in the brewery as well?

Unknown Speaker  20:10  
Yes, we have live music on Saturdays. We always have a band on Saturdays, occasionally on Fridays as well. And then Wednesdays we have a bluegrass pick and choose as we have an open mic night. Yep, dude, as hosted by members of the sweet lilies, which is a great way. I'm coming up here. That's awesome. They're also our first band collaboration. For our soft opening. We brewed a beer with them with

Jeff  20:31  
this band collaboration that we're trying to have

Unknown Speaker  20:33  
one on tap at all times where we reach out to a local band say, Hey, do you want to make a beer? They pick the style and they pick a charity that $1 From every pint we sell or four pack we sell that beer actually goes to that charity that they pick at some local charity to help out the community.

Brad  20:46  
That's awesome. That is awesome.

Jeff  20:48  
I've never heard of anyone doing that. That's really cool.

Unknown Speaker  20:50  
And it's also I get to hang out with bands that I like to work with.

Jeff  20:54  
Well, man, we found out about some fantastic beers we found out about new bluegrass pick. This is great. We have not found out how we're going to convert Brad into a fish fan though. We can work on that. Brad, we're gonna get you convert into being a fish fan. So we'll see what

Brad  21:09  
happens but bottom line is Chuck is a great guy. Chuck and team make awesome beer. Absolutely. And if you just want to come and hang out at behind the mountain I would highly recommend Yeah,

Jeff  21:18  
it's a great space. It's beautiful. Like I see they got big garage doors here about live music on Saturdays live bluegrass on Wednesdays get out to beyond the mountain if you're coming to Boulder on your beer tour. If you live in Boulder definitely get out here as a really nice not overpack scene. You don't have to wait in line to get a beer. You'll be able to actually go to the bar and get some nice delicious beers. This culture is fantastic. And

Brad  21:38  
yeah, traditional German styles. Nope.

Jeff  21:41  
Well, unless you have the Reese's cup up here, which is delicious. I know. Brad's Not a fan but I think it's fantastic. Really creative. Really well done. I know you said it's a gimmick beer, but it just tastes like a fantastic dessert beer that would go awesome with like a piece of chocolate cake or something like that, for sure. Absolutely. Yeah. Chuck. Thanks so much for checking them out beyond the And join us our next episode where we're gonna continue our conversation from here on Beyond the mountain. But we will be joined for a research discussion with Dr. Ethan paws cancer of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado. Once again, my name is Jeff York. I'm the Research Director at the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship joined by my co host,

Brad  22:18  
I'm Brad Warner, it was great talking to all of you looking forward to talking to Ethan too, and figuring out the work that he's doing and how it's helping entrepreneurs. I'm not even to talk about it. I did read the the first paragraph of his paper. Wow. Big commitment for a paper you read the first paragraph this paragraph the whole time I've done it. Yeah. All right. Ethan is part of our team, so why not?

Jeff  22:37  
Awesome. So if you enjoyed the podcast, hit subscribe, give us a review. And I was like, Man, I hate that guy bread. Get him out of there and just let Jeff talk about fishing. It'd be a great podcast. Thanks a lot for listening. We'll see you next time. Thanks again, Chuck. We really appreciate it. Thanks, guys.