March 2, 2020

Kristin Ream Talks Trek Brewery Life! - FFYL008

Angie Cherubini |

Are you ready? So ready. Ready as I'll ever be. All right. Okay. Hi everybody. It's Angie from flip flop your life. And I know that it's been way too long since my last one and I apologize, but I promise you this one's going to be worth it. We've rescheduled, I dunno a couple of times my fault. It seems to happen, but that's okay. So I am here with Kristin Ream and your husband is John. Yes, John and they are owners of Trek brewing brew Trek. Brewing why can't I say that here in Newark, Ohio and I probably should let you know kind of what drew me to you, number one. You know, there's a ton of reasons that drew me to you guys. First off that you're a brewery, a craft brewery. I love craft beer. My husband and I both love it and I, I love this place and the hometown feeling that, that we're in.

So that definitely attracted me to, to you guys. And then the other big thing that really, really did, because I followed you guys for quite a while and then I read your, I read your blogs that you post what you do a great job. Thank you. By the way, everybody should be doing that. And you, you guys have a family business. We do. It's, it's your guys' business and your family and her kids are here right now with us, you can't see them right now, but they're here. And that really, you can come around and say hi.

That's one what, what excites me about that? That's the same thing that we did. He, my son who's behind the camera actually also grew up with this. And so Blake and so did Emme. So you know, it's a family affair. Oh, here's the other one. You got to come over here. You got to come with mommy. So you want to say how you can say hi, say go play. So that's why I, that's one thing that I loved was the fact that you guys are okay now go play incorporated your, your family in your business. Absolutely. That's awesome. So why don't you first off you guys, why don't you tell us about you personally and you know, what your family talk about, tell me a little bit about your family. Tell them about your family,

You know. Yeah. so John and I both graduated from Granville high school, so so Ohio is home. And we both graduated from Grandville in 2004. We didn't date until it was horribly convenient and we were at separate colleges. And we were best friends in high school. Go over there, sorry. We were best friends in high school. We graduated, started college, started dating. When we were at separate colleges. He was at UC and I was at Butler. So there are about two and a half hours apart, which is not the end of the world. But the summer that we got engaged I got John a Homebrew kit for his birthday. John at the time. He's, he's an aerospace engineer by trade. He, I did not know that. Yes.

So he's an aerospace engineer. It's what he graduated UC with and he immediately went to work for Boeing corporation. He was designing pilot simulators for aircraft at Boeing. But so I'd got him this homebrew kit because I wanted him to have a hobby other than video games. Yeah. And so either super worked out or backfired depending on how you look at it. But we I would not say that backfired definitely worked out. He, I think brewing for him as that engineer mind is the perfect combination of art and science. And you'll actually find, if you kind of look into it, there's a lot of brewers that are engineers. It's a, it's a common career shift for engineers to go into. Brewing. I Did not know it, but I can see how that would happen.

Absolutely. and so we lived out in Washington state. We were out there for about nine years. John worked for Boeing. He home-brewed he brewed a lot at the beginning. And he was brewing in my kitchen and I kicked him out of the kitchen. Said you gotta figure out somewhere else to do this cause I can't make anything ever. And so he built an electric brewery in our garage. Yeah. So and it's actually the brewery that we use as our pilot system now. So he totally built this from scratch electric brewery. That is interesting. It is. There's a lot of people that don't know that. Maybe. Yeah. So we built this brewery and started really kind of honing his craft. And then you know, we started talking about like, someday we're going to open a brewery, but it was this like far off like, yeah, sure, somebody will do that.

Yeah. Whatever. And then on his 30th birthday, he looked at me and he said I think, I think it's someday. I think we need to take a chance on this. I, I think, you know, our kids are only gonna get bigger and they're only going to get moved into more things. And I'd like to, I'd like to try at this. And so for about six months, we worked without telling anybody. We figured out a business plan and we had like actual numbers and we like, you know, kind of floated lots of scenarios. And then John had me tell his dad our father, my father in law about what we were going to do when it was just me and him and on a car trip for 12 hours. Oh, you're kidding. No.

And so, but instead of saying you're nuts, don't do that. My father in law said you know, I, I could see you guys doing this and you know, it was clear we were serious about it. We had a 50-page business plan that we've kind of said like, this is our plan. This is what we want to do. Business plan. Yeah. You are way more. Listen here to do. All right. So I'm a teacher by trade. I taught special ed, I'm in Washington. So I taught kindergarten and first-grade special ed. And I was an inclusion specialist. And then when we had the boys, I stayed home. And then when we decided to change everything and knock it all upside down, we came back to came back home to do that cause that's a good place to do it.

And now I'm the preschool director at the Y. Oh, I did not know that. That's true. That's what I do is awesome. So you do that along with, along with this. Yes. That's, that's pretty interesting. Yeah. Pretty interesting. So tell me a little bit about I, I mean I am not an IPA person. I know there's a lot of people out there and stuff and I love your guys's beer because it's a lot more of the stouts and in ales and things like that. I know you guys do IPS. We do absolutely all of it. How do you guys go about deciding what you're going to, what you're going to make it? Yeah. How do you guys get the idea for everything? Well, so John is John has won awards for brews across styles. And that was kind of how we, how we decided to just start those businesses that you know, he can do it and he can do it well.

So did he do that? Did he win the awards before? Yeah, as a, as a homebrewer. And that kind of gave us the confidence to take the leap into professional brewing. And so we knew we could, we had solid recipes for across different styles. And that's kind of the way we wanted to ourselves as a community place. That's, that's for everybody. And it's got a beer for everybody. It's not just IPA is, it's not just stouts. Some of what we decide to brew is seasonal. So, you know, we tend to brew our board skews darker in the wintertime. I'm going a little bit lighter in the summertime. But then honestly John will tell you if he, Brews what he likes and he likes everything. So you know, he'll try to, he tries to brew so that we have something of every style on. That's awesome.

And I would have to say, you know, I've been to, I have, I have been to a lot of craft breweries and I mean I kind of have an idea of what sets you guys apart. What would you say since you guys, apart from other ones, as far as beer, as far as everything, beer, atmosphere, you name it. So

We're definitely extremely family-friendly. I think that's one of the first things that sets us apart. Is that we have little kids. We know that a large portion of people that enjoy craft beer also have little kids. And we wanted to make it a place where everybody could be. We definitely, we want Trek to be the third space. So you've got home, you've got work, and then you've got this third space that you can, you can be, you can be in community. And, and we're, and we're really focused too on giving back to the community. So that was, that's another like huge tenant of our philosophy, memorable story with, with doing that. So my favorite thing that we've done well I've got to, but I don't care to talk about both of them.

Okay. so we do fireworks for good party every year. And we're located in a way that we can see the Ohio state Newark fireworks. Oh yeah. Yeah. So from out on our patio, you can see the Ohio state Newark fireworks. And so good to know. Yes. For 4th of July we've thrown a fireworks party the last two years and it's a fundraiser for we, the first year we did it for habitat for humanity. And last year we did it for the healthy kid's network at the Y. And so we do a dollar per pint sold. That entire night goes to that event. And you know, we have a huge parking lot. So there's, there's a ton of space to be outside. We, you get to stay in the air conditioning until it's time for fireworks.

We've got, you know, this past time we had trivia going on before fireworks. It was so much fun. But then my other favorite event that we've done is the 0.5 K I love them. So so we did explain to everybody what a 0.5K is. Yeah. So,I'm not a runner, but I super love like all of my friends that have, you know, all the five K shirts, all of those things. And so we did the point .5k which was literally a run around our parking lot. Uwe did have a water station in the back just in case you were to famish to get through it. But we raised money for, the all for one camp at the YMCA. Uwe made t-shirts. Uwe did a portion of every ticket,went to the YMCA.

And then we also did a per pint on that, on that day. So that's really neat to those. Those are great. In terms of flip-flopping your life, when would you say yours? When was that moment that it really, that you guys really did the flip? I think the last day that the last Boeing paycheck was like, Oh, there we go. That's the end of that. And you know, I think I'm really, really taking a bet on us. Both both exhilarated and terrified, I think. So and there are still, I mean most days we feel that way. I think the cool part about it is though that you're a small business, you know, your, your people that you were really successful, very successful in your other careers that you had and you know, you still can do it no matter what.

People can make that flip and decide to, to do their dreams to right. To chase their dream. Absolutely. And I think there's a lot of people out there, young and old that think, you know, all week we have to stay in this job that we got out of the, out of college. You know, we have to stay there for so many years in order to be considered successful. And it's just, it, it, you know, I'm, I'm out to prove that it's just not that way. You don't have to do that. That's true. I mean, we're over 22 years going strong and doing what we love. Yeah. And you know, that's why I kind of wanted to do this and share other people's stories too. So what are your goals and aspirations for, you know, for 2020 and then five years from now? So kind of the next step for Trek.

So we're going to continue to establish our community involvement. So we now have it where almost every night we've got something going on at Trek. Come. Mondays are my club. Mondays and Wednesdays we've got trivia and Thursday is our community night. Every week. Friday we've started to have live music come through. And so we're kind of building up those days. And so I want to see that continue to build. And then we're also gonna start into local distribution. So tried to get into restaurants and kind of not currently in any, we have one account currently. And so we'd like to see that grow slowly and a manageable way. It's hard. It's John and I and we have five bartenders. And that's the entire staff at Trek.

John really is does everything hands-on. John really does edge or anything. So he's head brewer, had accountant, head janitor. I mean Doug's it all. And so I think we're looking at some slow growth as far as our team goes in this next year. And distribution within five years we'd like to be local pretty good, pretty established locally. You know, in most restaurants. And we'd like to do some, some bottling so that we could be in. That would be cool. I love your logo too. Thank you. It's fun. So I mean, I'm sure you guys probably, I know you do, you go and you visit other craft breweries, absolute stuff like that all across the country. Where are your favorite places? That's how that, that's a great question. Well, so I am actually, it turns out that when you own a brewery, you go to a lot fewer breweries, which is kind of a bummer.

So we just don't have a whole lot of time to leave here. So locally there are a ton of great craft breweries, which like in Licking County, what's your fav? Oh, of course, we know what your favorite is, your second favorite. So, you know, I think all of, I think it's, it's really hard to choose one of them in Licking County because they're all so great. Yes. They're also different and great. I definitely, I don't think I could choose one in Licking County. We do we get to Columbus a little bit. A favorite in Columbus is Seventh sun. That's where our brewing system came from. So our big brewery system came from seventh son. And we've established a relationship with those guys. The craft community though in general is just super awesome. I've heard that everybody's pretty close and everybody pushes everybody else, right?

We are. And so it's not me. We're not in competition with each other. You know, we're in a competition with big beer. So you know, a rising tide lifts all boats. And the craft community really really believes that they're just a great group of people to work with. So we had absolute favorites in Washington. Yeah. So Fremont brewing and Rubens brews and yeah. But those are, you know, far away and speaking of far away… I always ask everybody this question. If you were wearing flip flops and they could take you anywhere you wanted to go, where would you go and Y, you know, I think John and I both have so much wanderlust like a, we want to go everywhere. Yes. and my kid, yeah. You know, and we've traveled. We've traveled a lot.

And it's, it's just so fun to explore that. That's like a non-answer. Like I want to go everywhere. I'm really big on both of our lists. Sometimes we want to get to Australia both of us. I think I think there's something exotic about it, but, and it's like super far and it just sounds like a really cool place to be. I would love to do that. But the far thing, that plane flight, yeah. What's the plane fight? It's like 13 or 14 hours long. But I think if I did it, I'd want to be in first-class. If I'm going to go, I think I would want to make sure that I would be going first-class. So I have all that room. Oh, absolutely. If you're, I mean, and if you get to be magic, you can do that. Yeah.

Well that's true. You go to the slippers you don't need to worry about. Right. You don't even need to worry about the plane. Yeah. All right. So is there anything else that, that you want to tell people about, about this place or anything else that you want people to know and then how to get in touch with you guys? Yeah. so the easiest way to find us as you've just come to trek we're here. Either John or I are here almost every time that we're open about our staff is super great. Also. I just, we're excited to be here were a part of the community and we want to continue to be a building block for the community. Facebook, we've got Facebook, we've got Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all at Trek Brewing. Our website is Trek beer.com.

And I'll make sure that there are links below the video for you guys to get to them because you, you really also need to not only follow them but then read their reader blog. I mean you, you do that. Is it once a week or once weekly? Yeah, weekly. I kind of regret committing to that is a smart thing. We're, we're a marketing advertising company and that's very good that you do that. You people should be listening to this and doing it. Actually, it's a great read. So you really do need to check it out, go to their website, subscribe to it and follow them. Cause the stories are, the stories are great. You do a great job writing. Thank you. I enjoy writing and most of the time the blogs come easy, but every once in a while it's like, Oh man, this week is a struggle. I get it because I have to do it all the time too. You sit there, you're like, well what do I talk about? And everybody says easier calendar content to go. This is not my life right now. Eventually though, don't you have to find,

Absolutely. You start talking normally again. Yes. That's what I've started to do in all my posts and things like that. I, I'm trying to just talk normally and that's the best thing. And you do a great job. Oh, thank you. Great job. So if you haven't checked them out, definitely do so. And I want to thank you again, Kristen, so much. Thanks for being here. Thanks for listening or watching and we'll talk to you next time. See ya. See ya.

Visit their website at: https://trekbeer.com/
Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trekbrewing/

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