From the origins of ancient civilization lies the primordial brew from which human history intertwines itself with the anthropology of beer. Lesson #1: build on the lessons learned from those before you. In this long lineage and history of beer, lies a story of the second creature behind comforts which will soon be flowing from a tap near you. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce the appropriately named Heisenbrewg of Hotlanta, the Mad Scientist of Sensory Sensations and Co-Brewmaster of Comforts, Adam “A-Plus” Beauchamp.
Certainly no traditionalist, Adam leverages a rich education rooted in the traditional styles, histories and sciences of global brews which have long stood the test of time. When asked where his brewing inspiration comes from Adam replies, “It stems from the beauty of biology and how alcohol has been steeped in the origins of human history for well over 5,000 years; as if almost written into our DNA.” This fundamental appreciation serves as the foundation for future discoveries and has long fueled Adam’s fixation on the studies of science and the artisanal craft of brewing beer.
Similar to his now co-comrade in comforts, David Stein, as a young adult Adam took a pragmatic approach to life and applied his scientific passions and pursuits to both his academic and professional career. It was not long before Adam held a bachelor’s degree in Genetics from the University of Georgia when he found himself fully immersed in the Graduate School program for Genetics and Molecular Biology at Emory University. At last, he was applying his lifelong passion of science to discovering the very roots of our existence; the human genome.
Adam’s graduate studies began to slowly and incrementally payoff, however, after his immersion in the political drudgery of academia Adam felt as if he was moving at a snail’s pace towards to his monumental pursuits. Adam wanted to change the world.
After completing 90% of his course work and proving himself as an accomplished scientist via two peer-reviewed published journals on his laborious findings and advancements of Telomerase, an enzyme strongly linked to cell aging and cancer, Adam hung up his lab coat and told his parents that he would no longer pursue the cure to cancer. Adam knew that his authentic path in life was pulling him in another direction. Lesson #2: whether brewing life lessons or beer, be open to all possibilities.
With formulaic fortitude, Adam embarked on his next journey by applying his scientific background to something that could change the world with tangible, real-time and positive vibrations. It was soon thereafter that Adam arrived on the doorstep of Sweetwater Brewing Company as a graduate school dropout, changing his life’s path forever. Overqualified and overzealous, Adam quickly rose through the ranks as an unpaid volunteer to a fulltime brewer. Adam was on the fast track to success as his love of craft beers coalesced with his exacting scientific standards which paralleled the brewing process so perfectly.
While some may argue that one’s luck steers the direction of life, Adam is a prime example that dedication, perseverance, and devotion are perhaps more important ingredients to the pursuit of greatness. Adam voraciously consumed all the brewing literature he could acquire, including the entire coursework for the Master Brewer’s program at UC Davis. Lesson 3: immerse yourself in what you love.
Remember the lesson from our last blog? “Surround yourself with great people and greatness will ensue.” Adam pulled great wisdom from critical role models during his time at Sweetwater. Seeing the potential in Adam, Kevin McNerney instantly took Adam under his wing during his early years of brewing and gave Adam the support and the tools to succeed. Internally recognized at Sweetwater as the “Champion of the People”, McNerney provided an immense amount of brewing knowledge, but perhaps more importantly, he taught Adam the art form of leading and building a team.
Now ranked as the 24th largest craft brewery in the nation and nationally recognized as the craft beer of the south, Adam took part of the inner-workings and expansion of taking Sweetwater from a 50-barrel brewhouse to a national powerhouse that is producing over 144,000 barrels annually. The experience of riding this wave, working in almost every department at the brewery, and learning so much about growing a brewery was invaluable to Adam’s evolution.
After hearing rumors that his buddy David Stein, another brewer in town, was beginning to capture the hearts and minds of the local craft beer enthusiasts with his homebrewed concoctions known only underground as “Creature Comforts”, Adam was intrigued. He reached out and setup a meeting to discuss their philosophy and approach to brewing. Adam brought a Brett Saison and David brought a Rakau single-hop double IPA. After sampling their latest concoctions and analyzing what they can improve, “It instantly felt right from that first sip,” said Adam. There was something there from the beginning.
Lesson #4: patience is a vital virtue. After this exciting meeting of the minds, they both went their separate ways, hoping their visions would soon align. Their dreams of one day starting their own brewery seemed like a faint light at the end of a long tunnel. It wasn’t until a year later when David called Adam out of the blue and said, “Hey man, want to move to Athens and start a brewery with me?” that their dreams began to take shape. As if analyzing one of their latest beers, they knew within 2-3 minutes that the recipe was right. The Sherrif and Heisenbrewg united!
Over the next two years, Adam and David incrementally toiled over their core lineup of beers as if scientists discovering the code to whom and why we are. During this two year timeline of evolving recipes and after thousands of hours endlessly planning, preparing, forecasting, and organizing the myriad of details intrinsic to starting a business, Adam and David now stand on the verge of their long awaited dream. A dream that exceeds expectations, that is not flashy, just comfortable, classy and delicious. Their inspirations are intrinsic to the fabric of our very existence and fuel the possibilities of what’s to come.
Ladies and Gentleman and Creatures alike, we look forward to the next journey of collaboratively coalescing on the frontier of future comforts to come. Until next time, stay classy and stay comfortable.