November 14, 2012

Interview with a Brewer: Fund Mischief Brewing. Fund Peoria.

We had a chance to ask Brandon Richter about Mischief Brewing and Peoria, AZ.  Mischief is currently running a campaign on CraftFund to help get great beer to the Peoria area market.  You can help fund Mischief and Peoria by donating to their campaign.

CraftFund: Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about Mischief Brewing and Peoria.  We’re excited about what you are doing.  First off though, I need to know more about this husband-wife business partnership.  Talk about a beer centric relationship. Did you both develop a love for craft beer around the same time?

Mischief:  I couldn’t be doing this without my wife April.  Aside from being my wife, she is my best friend.  She has been my strongest supporter during this journey.  I couldn’t be doing this without her.  My love of craft beer started much quicker than April’s.  It was love at first pint for me.  Even though she would always taste whatever I was drinking at the time, cider is what she loved.  It took a few years, but her passion for beer took over about three years ago.  I think she drinks more beer than I do now.    

CraftFund: How do you divide the business responsibilities?

Mischief:  Finding a happy medium has been important.  We really share most of the responsibilities when it comes to the business side.  By that, I mean while I’m having all the fun creating amazing beers people will love, she will be stuck in the office doing the books, managing the Mischief crew, and sweeping the floors.  She says she is so excited for that.  Especially the floors.

CraftFund: How would you describe your beers?  Are you influenced by a particular style or brewery?

Mischief:  Our beers are a little different.  I’m not interested in rolling out the same pale ale you can get just about anywhere.  I want to push the envelope. I want to make beers that I like and enjoy more than anything.  I’m really influenced by the different styles of beer made around the world.  My love affair with beer really started in England.  English Ale was like nothing I’ve ever had before.  It went to the next level when I was in Germany.  I didn’t want to leave.  But once I experienced the beers of Belgium,  I was addicted.  It was a religious experience.  An experience that started this journey I’m on.  Each of the countries has their own style of beer.  Even though they are all so different, they were all amazing in different ways.  I want to bring those flavors to our beer.

CraftFund: There is always room for good beer, but as you know competition for shelf space can be an issue. Describe your brand a little more and what sets you apart.  Why the name Mischief?

Mischief:  Being Mischief isn’t just a name, its a culture.  We don’t wear bow ties, we don’t drink champagne, and we don’t go to banquets.  We make Mischief, and were good at it.  We chose the name Mischief because it’s a common word in our house.  We like to have a good time and stir things up a bit.  We want people to know that the beer they are drinking isn’t a regular beer.  It’s not the kind of beer they’re used to.  We want them to get out of their comfort zone and challenge their opinion of what American beer is, and can be. 

CraftFund: We love experiencing places through beer.  You can get real sense of a place by structuring a visit around the craft beer scene. If I understand your story correctly, it seems like travel had a big impact on your love for craft beer.  What are some of your favorite cities or places to visit from a beer standpoint?

Mischief:  Travel really has shaped my love of beer.  From Oregon to Colorado, and from London to Munich.  Every city has had something to offer.  Drinking a pint in an old dark pub in London is something every beer fan needs to experience. However, to sit under the trees of a Munich beer garden is as close to Heaven as you can get.  I think it’s the way God intended.  

CraftFund:  Tell me more about your local place, Peoria, AZ.  How long have you lived there? What do you like about it and what makes it unique?

Mischief:  Peoria is my home.  I’ve lived my entire life in the greater Peoria area.  It’s a great community that deserves to have a craft beer they can call their own.  It’s a community that has welcomed us with open arms and reminds us how excited they are to have us.  Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t ask us about the brewery. We aren’t going to be just another chain restaurant in Peoria.  We’re going to be Peoria’s Brewpub. 

CraftFund: What is the beer scene like?  Do you have any favorite craft beer bars?

Mischief:  The craft beer scene in Peoria is really lacking.  It’s really in need of improvement.  There are very few places that serve a variety of craft beer.  Aside from a couple beer chains, there isn’t anyplace that sells it’s own locally brewed beer.  The same can be said for the west valley of Phoenix.  When we want a locally brewed beer, we have to make a 30 minute drive across town.  But someone has to drive home.  Our favorite place in Peoria for craft beer is our local Rock Bottom.  I have a great relationship with the head brewer Jeff Yade.  He is a really talented brewer who has been so supportive. 

CraftFund: We at CraftFund are big on the impact quality beer can have on a community. How do you think Mischief will enhance Peoria?

Mischief:  It’s really important for us to be involved in the community.  We’re starting a new company.  We are going to be employing people who live in the area. We’re bringing craft beer to the thirsty residents of the desert.  We really want to make Peoria a craft beer destination.   

CraftFund: What’s your timeline?  When can we expect Mischief in Peoria bars?

Mischief:  ASAP!  It’s hard to establish a timeline.  If it was up to us, we would have been opened and brewing 4 months ago.  But anyone who has started a brewery knows that the timeline never goes according to plan.  We are at the mercy of equipment manufacturers, city, state, and federal organizations, inspectors, investors, leasing agents, and the list goes on.  But we are moving closer and closer everyday.  So to answer your questions, and everyone else who asks us from now on, when that big Mischief Brewing Company sign is lit up, that means we are open.   

CraftFund: Well we won’t take up anymore of your time especially since you’ve got a campaign to run.  Thanks for answering our questions and best of luck.  I hope to travel to and experience Peoria with a Mischief beer in hand!

Mischief:  Thanks for the time guys.  We are really excited about our future as well as yours.  I can tell you that raising money for a brewery is not a fun or easy process.  The other crowd funding services have worked for some, but not all.  To have one that is solely intent on serving the exciting and growing community of craft beer is very cool.  Hopefully it helps get us and the other breweries some much needed funds to get craft beer into the hands of the thirsty.  Cheers.


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