Once upon time, there was a Daddy Brewery that loved a Momma Brewery. And that’s how Brokerage Brewing Company was born! No, wait, that’s a different story…
Ah, yes… it was back in ’15, when I first met Brad Smith and shared with him an article I had read in the Atlantic: Eleven Signs a City Will Succeed by Jamie Fallows. Tucked in at the end was this little nugget “11. They have craft breweries. One final marker, perhaps the most reliable: A city on the way back will have one or more craft breweries, and probably some small distilleries too.” That little statement got me thinking… “Why don’t we have a brewery on the West Side?”
I will concede that we already had two great breweries, Lafayette Brewing Company and People’s Brewing Company and since then Teays River Brewing has opened, BUT there was nothing on OUR side of town. And even more importantly was the idea of another “third space”, another social gathering place separate from home or work. A place to build community.
So, Brad and I began to meet regularly just to discuss the idea of building a brewery here in West Lafayette. His brother, Andrew Smith, was in the process of opening Junk Ditch Brewery in Fort Wayne, IN. Meanwhile, I casually worked the idea into conversations with my business partners - my wife, Laura, my sister, Stacy Grove, and her husband Dustin. “Hey guys, I know we’re busy helping people buy and sell homes, but what if we opened a brewery too?” As craft beer aficionados, they immediately gave the thumbs up and got behind the idea. I mean, who WOULDN’T want to open up a brewery and be able to drink their OWN beer?! So cool!
Thus, we hired Brad, who was working on a Krannert MBA, on as our lead consultant to develop our business plan and do a lot of the leg work to get this idea off the ground. After 2 short years of planning, prepping, demoing, constructing, hiring and creating, we were able to open our doors in Dec 2017 and the rest, as they say, is history…
-Brian Russell, co-owner of BBCo