My next guest blogger is a young, southern man who has a dream and a big heart. His name is Logan Bryant, and this is his story…
So, what’s the McBryant Mission exactly? “Two guys with a dream to bring quality craft beer right to where you’re going. No need to come find us, because we’re going to bring it right to your favorite bar or restaurant. No joke. Real Amarillo craft. Real beer. Real good. Early stage start-up.”
Now, that right there is our Facebook “about” section, telling you what we are all about, but honestly, there might just be more to say about it. Let’s dig in.
My business partner and long-time friend, Patrick McKnight, and I came across this idea in our dusty, little-big city-town thing called Amarillo, Texas. We entered the sphere of brewing with almost zero collective experience between the two of us, other than a couple other attempts, successful ones, I might add, at him making a few different types of alcohol.
I happened to stop over to his apartment, with whom he shared with his daughter and another roommate, late one night after getting off working at a local pizzeria. You see, I was, I am, and I may still be a pizza guy. I know, I know… tough job, and somebody has got to do it… but, I digress. I can get into that more later.
Mead, moonshine, and then finally beer: These are the alcohols that were experimented with for Patrick to truly learn and absorb the fermentation process. Fermentation is simply the process of microorganisms called yeast, converting the sugars in a wort (the sugar-filled mixture that eventually becomes the alcohol) into carbon-dioxide and alcohol. Neat, huh?
My role in this is simply one of materializing the idea that is now McBryant Brewery. The logo, the money, the marketing, etc. THIS is my domain. I leave making the alcohol, the recipes, the subtle nuances that makes our beer… well, just darn good… to my brewmeister deluxe. Funny story.
So, apparently, you need to take a class or get a certificate or something to become an actual” Brewmaster”, so, I decided to fill the spot with a made-up title for now. Titles are just titles, right? His product that comes from his level of experience blows my mind. He is able to look at a recipe without EVER having tried it once, and tell me exactly what he would change to get the flavor profile he was envisioning.
Hey, whatever works. I get a good product, and he gets some good fun out of it. Win, Win. I touched upon myself just a little bit in the last paragraph, but I didn’t give you a full picture of who I am and what I’m about. That’s what THIS paragraph is for. My name is Logan Bryant, and I am a 22-year-old man born in Lubbock and raised in Amarillo. I’ve been around, can’t you tell? I work at a locally-owned pizza shop (La Bella Pizza on Olsen) here in town, and have been doing so for about the past 3-4 years.
Working for a locally-owned business for so long and seeing the ins and outs of a small business operating had always intrigued me, and is more than likely what spurred me to say “screw it, let’s do it” with McBryant. Now, what exactly spurred me on to brew beer? Well, like I had previously stated, I knew one of my best friends knew how to make pretty decent alcohol, and with minimal accommodation, too. Before I had even thought though, I must tell you the short, simple, and sweet story of what made this come to life.
Yes, I get two paragraphs about myself. What did you think this was? I was a boy who could never seemingly sit still; I was always the class clown. If anyone said anything at all that I could make a witty remark to, it just had to leave my mouth in an attempt to make others laugh. I wasn’t always in trouble, but that may not seem obvious with the preceding statement.
Being that outgoing character helped me stick around longer in service industries, hence my stretch at La Bella pizza, with which I’m still (gratefully) employed until this brewery gets its wings. My outgoing nature plopped me right into a barserver position at work whenever they decided to expand their current small pizza shop into a neighboring building (it’s in a shopping strip, so the buildings are literally RIGHT next door to one another), by cutting a couple of door-sized holes in the wall between our shop and the new expansion.
This was a fun position that didn’t require much effort at first, due to the new nature of the bar-side dining area. Eventually, I had started getting more people coming in and from all over the country too! Some even came from other parts of the world, as Amarillo just so happened to be on their route to where their final destination was. Props to route 66 for that, because one encounter with one customer would end up changing my life, and the life of my brewmeister, fundamentally.
A woman walked in and hurriedly asked me what we had that was local. I responded to her with all of our local Texas brews that we carried, and she simply said “No, I meant from here.” She meant from Amarillo. I had to respond with an unfortunate tone, telling her that we did not carry anything from the local breweries.
See, all of the breweries in town are set up as brew pubs. Brew pubs make their own beer, yes, but they only sell it out of their own storefront, basically forcing people to find them on their own, to get some new craft beer. I, in that moment, came up with the idea to brew our own beer. The pieces all fell into place, and I thought that with my graphic design knowledge, minimal marketing knowledge, and a dash of ambition, that maybe… just maybe… we could start our own little grass-roots operation. Our mission is to get good beer where you already go to get your beer.
Here we are now… 1,100 followers on Instagram, 250 likes on Facebook and ambitious as hell. I won’t say I didn’t pay my way, because… well, I did. Now, I don’t “buy followers” or “buy likes;” I utilize a tool that makes marketing for me just a little bit easier on me personally; it’s called Marketing Tools, and is an app on Play Store and iTunes. This was done so that when we are able to legally sell our products, we already have people looking at us and want to buy. Can you blame me?
SO, we will keep pushing until the dream is realized. Once you figure that out about anything you want to do with yourself, you can make miracles happen.
Even with the seemingly small numbers of support that we’ve garnered over that last few weeks/months, we are overwhelmed with the LEVEL of the support we actually have received, and cannot tell you how blessed we are to be living in this wonderful time with all of you wonderful people.
So, take this stereotypical start with us in my dad’s garage, and make it worldwide. What do you say?
As they say in Texas, “Thank you, pardner.” Thanks for the read, and be sure to go check us out and support what we are doing!
Much love, much beer,
Owner, McBryant Brewery