Like so many other breweries, the team at Aslin Beer Company is new to the industry, part of roughly 500 breweries that opened in 2015 and more than 3,000 that have appeared in the last five years.
Alongside many contemporaries, the rise of Aslin can be seen through the lens of what online beer enthusiast communities can do for a small business. In less than two years, Aslin has become a hot commodity on the trading circuit and an unsurprising presence on top beer lists among some of the most popular rating websites. It should come as no surprise, really, when that attention is spurred by creating one beloved New England IPA brand after another. The rotating collection of hazy, hoppy beers coming from Aslin has helped push the brewery to its production limits.
Of all places to have met co-founder Kai Leszkowicz, in a strange way, it felt fitting we crossed paths in another country. I met him while visiting Reykjavik, Iceland, when both of us were in town as part of the annual Icelandic Beer Festival. As a former homebrewer who has quickly made a name for himself and his brewery, it oddly didn’t feel too out of place to first meet him a world away from our home region of the Mid-Atlantic. If there was any time in the history of the beer industry, now would be it when a brewery making 2,000 barrels of beer a year would be on the radar of Scandinavian beer lovers. That’s the power of the internet.
Which is why I found Kai’s perspective as the part-owner of a young business so interesting. The excitement and hardships, the new ideas and challenges he faces, are ones taken on by so many other breweries who have to learn to balance growth with word of mouth fame.