When the ‘Crowd Rules,’ Beer Wins

mystery brewing-cnbc-crowd rules-hillsborough

A funny thing happened on the way to the modern American Dream. It got knocked around.

But this post isn’t about politics or economics. This post is about how maybe that dream hasn’t quite been knocked down … or out. It’s alive – sometimes you just have to look for it.

Especially in the world of beer. For as much as I harp on the idea of a “craft beer bubble” here’s an important fact: the reason the number of breweries around the country has skyrocketed in recent years is because of the American Dream. It’s because men and women who are passionate about beer decided to pursue their love and hope for the best.

It’s because sometimes a shot in the dark leads to the light at the end of your tunnel.

I was reminded of that this week when Mystery Brewing, just down the road in Hillsborough, North Carolina, won an episode of “Crowd Rules,” a entrepreneurial-based game show on CNBC. Aside from winning $50,000 to put toward his business, Mystery’s owner, Erik Lars Myers, showed yet again that passion can lead to success with some help from others.

Yet again? Well, let me explain…

erik lars myers-mystery brewing-beer
Erik Lars Myers dropping some beer knowledge bombs.

It would be silly to consider the modern American Dream without considering the modern time we live in. We once used our hands to “pick ourselves up by the bootstraps,” but now we’ve got the Internet to do some heavy lifting.

In 2010, Myers partially funded Mystery Brewing through Kickstarter, the first brewery to utilize the crowdfunding website to start a beer business. A lot of people got involved.

While the first year in business wasn’t all roses and rainbows, Mystery did alright. I loved visiting the brewery and chatting with Myers about his passion that took him from homebrewer to pro.

Now Myers has done it again, convincing a crowd and panelists to back his dream … and he’s not done yet:

“We need to grow in order to realize the potential of the brewery,” he said, adding that he hopes to continue to grow the business by adding more brewing capacity, as well as bottling equipment. He wants to raise additional investment.

What does all this mean?

Sure, I harp on bubbles and potential business troubles, but isn’t it kind of wonderful when we see something like this happen? When we see real people get behind those in the beer industry who want to do something great?

While the Crowd Rules outcome may not explicitly show it, it’s clear there’s an appreciation for those who want to provide us the great beer we seek in shops, bars and brewpubs. If anything, Mystery Brewing’s success shows what can be done when you go after your passion.

Hopefully it’s just the start.

+Bryan Roth
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac


2 thoughts on “When the ‘Crowd Rules,’ Beer Wins

  1. mouldsbeerblog May 24, 2013 — 11:45 am

    That’s certainly great news for Mystery Brewing. Think it will air on TV?

    Stories like these with Mystery Brewing are very motivational to me. If you have a real passion to get something done, you will have a much higher chance of success.

    1. Their episode aired this week, although from what I’ve read about the show, not many people typically tune in…

      However, you can check out their poorly maintained website (considering poor ratings) and watch one-minute, randomly selected clips!

      I should point out in addition to being a successful brewer and game show winner, Erik Lars Myers is also the author of a NC-centric beer book.

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