Ogma Brewing turns one year old and celebrates with sweet deals for customers and a look back at the making of this great little brewery.
Ogma Brewing Turns One Year Old
Kids grow up so fast, don’t they? Our kids over at Ogma Brewing are now one year old. Yeah, I know that Kevin Craft, Troy Craft, and Andrew Volk are grown-ass men, but everyone is a kid at my age. It seems like only yesterday we were watching Troy jamming at 4 Elf. Next thing you know, we were kick-starting Ogma Brewing with Troy, Kevin, and Andrew in February 2019. Then we all got slapped in the face by a pandemic as our heroes at Ogma fought through adversity to open their doors on November 24th, 2021. I felt very proud of our kids and pumped to enjoy beers from my very own tower of power mug at the soft opening.
While the beer and the food are certainly reasons enough to visit Ogma Brewing, there is no denying the aspect of community and support for the arts adds to the intrigue. As the guys stated during their Kickstarter, they wanted their brewery to be a community spot where people could share a beer, check out local art, and enjoy local music. Over this first year, Ogma has nailed the community aspect along with their beer and food.
In addition to awesome food and beer specials, Ogma’s One-year anniversary celebration included an exhibit of Andrew’s photography of their build-out. If you follow Ogma’s social media, you know that between Andrew and good friend/videographer/photographer David Buchanan (Coefficient Media), they rock at capturing the moments at Ogma Brewing.
A selection of photos from the build-out now graces the walls near the kitchen heading toward the brew room. These black-and-white images capture the hard work of the Ogma team, along with their families and friends. Picture books were floating around, offering a more extensive sampling of photos showing the creation of Ogma Brewing.
Q&A with Andrew, Kevin, and Troy
Part of the Ogma’s One Year celebration included a question and answer session with Andrew, Kevin, and Troy hosted by David. It was a time to share thanks and memories. David kicked things off by asking at what point did Ogma Brewing become real for them.
When Was Ogma a Reality
Andrew started, “Oh, we just talked about that this morning when we blew the back wall out of the building. That was like the moment where it’s like, okay, we’re going to, there’s not really a clean exit strategy at this point, and we’re not going to go back. No, it was before that, though. Well, let’s be perfectly honest. Some of you might remember our Kickstarter campaign, and some of you gave us some money for that. So, once you accept money or something like that, there’s a bunch of motivation to go forward. And really, it wasn’t about the money; it was more about people communicating with us at that moment that they want something like this.”
Andrew asked Troy his thoughts on the question of the brewery becoming real, and he laughed, “When we signed our banknote.” We all laughed. Troy continued, “No, I think for me, man, it still doesn’t feel like it’s reality. It’s happening, but I’ve always said it feels more about the journey we’re on, and I’m just really grateful to be a part of, you know, this journey and see where it goes.”
Troy then handed it off to Kevin, who replied, “I mean, the bank loan man, like you said, ’cause that allowed us to actually do everything that we needed to do to open in this place. That was when it was like, okay, you’re able to actually do this. We have the money. We could move forward.”
Climbing The Mountain
Dave asked the guys about the challenges. They mentioned the physical and emotional obstacles they had to overcome, including meeting city regulations, making the space work for a brew house, and getting equipment overseas during a pandemic. There was also an emotional impact on them and their families as they tirelessly worked to turn the dream of Ogma Brewing into a reality.
As Kevin, Troy, and Andrew discussed the work and struggles, Pantera’s “A New Level” queues up in my mind with Phil spitting, “New life in place of old life, Unscarred by trials. A new level, Of confidence, And power.” Eventually, the mosh pit in my mind subsided. I looked around the pub as folks cheered when Andrew added, “We work through that stuff (regarding the emotional energy spent), and it was rough, but we are here. We are here.”
Dave asked, “This place, the spirit of this place, has been around for a long time…I feel like you are the next custodian to bring this kind of creativity and this style to a central location for people. So what are some of the things you’ve kept in mind that you wanted to bring to Jackson and hold close?”
Andrew replied, “Well, Troy hit it earlier. This is a special spot for us, and it’s a lot to do with that dude right there, John Hart (applause from the crowd). If anyone remembers, this (Ogma Brewing’s location) was formerly the Thunderbird Cafe. So it was a creative spot; it was a place of expression and community. We wanted to carry over the art. We wanted to carry over the conversations. We wanted to carry over the coffee, although we haven’t figured out how to do that yet.”
For you Jackson metal history buffs and trivia nerds, Andrew and Troy played at the Thunderbird Cafe with their band Hope For August. Their music reminds me of Taproot and Sevendust, with maybe a bit of 30 Seconds to Mars. Check out this video if you want to take a ride in the way-back machine.
Keeping it Old School
The space at Ogma is intimate and stays true to the style of a vintage pub. Dave asked Kevin what he hoped people would experience. Kevin replied, “Just keeping it kind of old school, man. Not anything new. Just letting it feel like it was here for a long time. Like no fresh, crispy, brand new, feel, you know, modernized. Just try to let it fit the mold that it was and what it used to be. That really was my main goal.”
The Ogma Crew
The staff working at Ogma Brewing are top-shelf. You know it when you sit at a table or belly up to the bar. Dave asked about the staff. Troy replied, “I don’t get to spend as much time with everybody, but I’m grateful and honored to have a such dedicated and amazing staff that care about what they do.”
Andrew followed up, “A few people were with us before we opened for a while cause none of us have done this before. So we relied heavily on people that have. So having Courtney (Trowbridge – Front of House Manager) just step in and be like, alright, this is how you set a team up, and we’re going to work the schedule out—and having Thomas (Cale – Chef) on board (everyone cheers for Courtney and Thomas). He was here rolling paint on the walls. Like the kitchen didn’t exist when he started helping us out. So people have been here way more than a year, even though we’ve been open a year, and we’re thankful for that.”
What’s On Tap
The Q&A session wrapped up with plans for the coming year at Ogma Brewing. The adventures in beer will continue as the Ogma team works to secure warehouse space, allowing them to do some barrel aging and short canning runs. From a community standpoint, Ogma is looking to secure the empty lot next to them for a beer garden. The garden will include a stage for live music and events. With all the beautiful Bright Walls murals, this beer garden is going to rock. There is also talk of putting on a Skate Jam in the new beer garden next summer featuring local skaters and a couple of pro skaters. Who knows, maybe we’ll see Tony Hawk or Nyjah Huston enjoying a beverage at Ogma Brewing next summer.
We’ve got a few more shots from Ogma Brewing’s One year anniversary in our gallery. Please take a peek and let us know what you think. Leave a comment and show some love by sharing this post.
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