EP-103 Central State Brewing with Jake Koeneman, Josh Hambright, and Chris Bly

EP-103 Central State Brewing with Jake Koeneman, Josh Hambright, and Chris Bly

Back in April of 2014, I got an email from Jake Koeneman, Josh Hambright, and Chris Bly about a concept they were starting up in Indianapolis called Central State Brewing. They had their collective mind set on being a 100% Brett brewery, they had a plan in place, they wanted help with the branding side of things, and before long GBH was working alongside them to bring the concept to life.

Now it's 2016 and, like most brewery plans, things have shifted dramatically from some of that early planning. They’re still a Brett brewery, but after some real estate issues early on, they decided to go gypsy for awhile, which changed the model entirely. Subsequently we helped them open a bar called the Koelschip that serves their beers as well as those brewed by friends or people they admire, and it’s since been named one of 100 best bars in america by DRAFT Magazine after only a few months of being open.

These days, they’re on the precipice of getting their own production space and opening a second bar devoted to german lagers. So needless to say, these guys are opportunistic, and some of the most adaptable people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. And through all of that, we’ve been able to build a brand that captures their humor, their seriousness, and their desire to fuck with just about any system that we put in place. So with so much crazy history behind them already, and with them about to take some major new steps into even more unknowns, it seemed like a perfect time to capture their story. These are some of the best people you will ever meet making beer. They’re funny, honest, and not afraid to tackle some of the more challenging questions around brewing beer, being a small business owner, and managing relationships under serious financial pressures to perform. That might sound like a bummer, and they’ll be the first to tell you it can be at times. But what I admire most about these guys is their openness, their ability to article complexities, and a crazy resilience to becoming jaded.  I can’t wait for the year ahead.