Catching Up with Angie Grenz, Owner, Verboten Brewing
My story is probably similar to many others. My husband, Josh, and I founded the brewery in 2012. I wanted to start a business of our own and he was obsessed with beer. When our travels began to focus on which breweries we would visit, I should have known we were in trouble, but then a friend taught Josh how to brew and it was all over after that. My husband doesn’t do something unless he can do it well and making beer was just something he understood in his bones.
We were fortunate to have the circumstances and the timing right to start Verboten Brewing. We started it with the idea that there were no limitations with what we could do making beer; from unique styles to barrel aging, we wanted to try everything once… and we have! But we also try hard to never sacrifice quality for novelty, so we still love traditional styles, and we try to only put out beer that makes us proud. That is a drive we have had from day one and it holds true nine years later. (Can you believe we are nine years old now?!) We have been around to see a lot of changes in our industry in nine years but we love it just the same and can’t imagine doing anything else.
Of course, with this being our first business, we have had to learn that side as much as anything else, and that is something I have found I truly enjoy as well. Weathering the ups and downs of our business and making it through the last couple of crazy years makes me so proud, as does knowing that we have an engaged staff who loves what they do and gets to make a living from it, too. I just love that. And I love seeing people enjoy the fruits of our labor. I find these parts of our business so fulfilling and it makes all the hard stuff worth it.
If your company culture was a celebrity, who would it be and why? We would be Paul Rudd… unassuming, easy going and always, always a good time. We fly under the radar sometimes, but we make dang good beer and once in a while we get noticed for it! Kinda like Paul Rudd’s Sexiest Man Alive recognition.
Describe your taproom atmosphere: Comfortable, fun and still serious about the beer. We have the absolute best staff. They love to meet new people, hang out with regulars and, best of all, they take their beer knowledge very seriously. We are so fortunate to have each one of them and they are never satisfied with just good enough. They want everyone who walks in our doors to enjoy themselves, learn something and leave happy. That is pretty cool.
What does craft beer mean to you? Community. I know that is probably what everyone would say, but it is so true. We have a young mom who comes in every Thursday with her three kids, bringing them dinner, and hangs out while the kids take turns in dance class. We have a retired couple who own every piece of wearable merchandise we have ever brought in and always dress up for our themed nights. And we have countless stories of people who met and fell in love at the brewery. Along with that, we love our brewery neighbors and look at all our success as a greater whole. And our story is not unique. Craft beer brings us together. Without that community, I really think the craft beer movement would be something entirely less. That we get to have such an amazing community while making a product we love—it doesn’t get much better than that.