Catching Up With Tatum Cochran, Compulsive Dancer/General Manager,
Horse & Dragon Brewing Company
My beer story truly started before I was even born. My parents have shared a love for craft beer and the community it creates for their whole lives together, and had always wanted to start their own craft brewery. During travels as a family, we would often go to the local brewery wherever we were and I can remember my dad saying “when we have our brewery, we should include this!” or “once we open our brewery, let’s remember this experience.” Frequently, this happened here in Fort Collins, where my mom has had family since the late 1940s.
In 2012, my parents decided to take the leap and refresh the (years old, at that point) business plan, and move to Fort Collins to begin planning in earnest for what eventually became Horse & Dragon Brewing Company. I moved here at the end of that year and worked in a few different craft beverage and event planning jobs here in Fort Collins. Once H&D opened in May of 2014, I worked here part time around other jobs until I started full time in July of 2020.
Now, I wear a few different hats at the brewery and I feel incredibly grateful to be able to live and work in the wonderful Northern Colorado community. I believe that craft beer plays a huge role in building community, supporting our neighbors, and making Fort Collins a fun place to live and visit! Our team is dedicated to producing great tasting beer, providing a welcoming experience in our tasting room, and providing both quality product and service to our restaurant, bar, and liquor store partners. I’m proud to be a part of the Horse & Dragon family, and be a part of the work we’re doing!
Are there any awards/recognitions you’re particularly proud of? We were the recipients of the Larimer County Environmental Stewardship Award in 2021. Since the very beginning, we’ve tried to incorporate sustainable practices into every aspect of our company. \As a very small brewery, some of the environmentally friendly tools and products that exist aren’t applicable to a system of our size, but we work hard to minimize our negative impact on the environment wherever possible. We believe in the power of beer to bring people together and positively impact our community, and one way we aim to do that is being as sustainable as possible.
If your company culture was a celebrity, who would it be and why? Alicia Keys! Lowkey and fun, but hard working. We both create beautiful products (for her, music and for us, beer!). Her commitment to staying true to herself and her beliefs is something that I think matches our outlook as well.
Who do you consider a mentor in beer and why? This is cheesy, but my mom (Carol). Her dedication to building our company is remarkable. I have always looked up to her, but getting the opportunity to view her as a coworker and friend (not just as “mom”) has been one of the best parts of this journey for me. She can be found doing everything at H&D from watering plants to advocating for small businesses at legislative hearings to giving tours to folks from near and far. Learning about all that she does for our company and community has been an amazing experience, and I often ask her to help me work through challenges in our work. Her commitment to making a positive difference in the world via beer is so incredible, and I look up to her so much.