Doug Reiser is one of the three founders of Burial Beer Company in Asheville NC, which was launched from scratch in 2013 with his wife, Jess, and friend, Tim Gormley. All three had completely different jobs before making the decision to turn a love of all things beer into a full-fledged business. Jess worked in development for a non-profit, Tim was working in marketing and Doug was a lawyer – all in the Seattle area.
Doug started to realize that the life he was living in Seattle was not the one that he wanted for a lifetime, so he began to reassess not just what he wanted to do, but where he wanted to be – personally and geographically. In order to make that change, he and Jess really put a lot of thought into the life they wanted for themselves and their son(s) – and used that as the catalyst to launch their dream of opening a brewery.
Burial started as a small nano-brewery, which gave them the freedom to experiment, an opportunity to get to know their community of loyal followers and a space to get meaningful feedback. The name of the beer company comes from the idea that they “find the glory in the things that once were.” I love how this beautiful concept speaks so well to this season’s theme of change – how we can find beauty in what was, while still moving forward to what is next. It is all about celebrating the cycle of life – each and every chapter of it.
In the podcast episode we talk about his decision to make a life change, how the freedom to experiment grew the brewery and how he balances three businesses (yes, THREE – the hustle is real!) while also raising his two sons with his wife, Jess! Listen below to learn more about Doug’s Chapter Be story…
CHAPTER BE QUESTIONNAIRE…
In Love With What You Do
What’s your favorite quote, story or fact?
My Pops – “Make a decision and make it the right one.”
Worst work experience?
My first clerking job while still in law school. We handled some iffy situations and it made me worried about whether I had made a mistake investing in a career in law. Great people, totally unsatisfying work. But perhaps one of the most valuable experiences, because it pushed me to find a space where I could be happy, early on.
What is your definition of success?
Being unabashedly proud of your end product. If I am proud to share my product with anyone, I’ve hit the apex.
How do you tap into your creative energies – especially when you are feeling drained?
I like the late night. If I struggle during the day, I wait until after midnight. Something kicks in right around then (and no, not the beer) when everything else finally gets blocked out. The darkness and a little music typically help me get fired up about ideas.
What does “to be” mean to you?
Coming to grips with what you want for yourself. I think that you become what you want for yourself. The goal, the work to get there, the bumps in the road, the minor victories, and the attainment. That whole journey shapes the person. I don’t believe it is just the being that you are today – its the before and after.
How do you spend your time when you are procrastinating?
Firing up new ideas. Oddly enough, the tangents are the most inspiring. Sometimes I will start in a beer idea and end up in a software idea. I love following the organic and natural pathways of conversation. When people try to reel me back in I can only think: “If I relent, what masterpiece will I miss.”
Ideal READING LIST – books, websites, blogs, podcasts, magazines, etc. that you would want on your Swiss Family Robinson deserted island?
I am the worst book reader on the planet. Quite literally. I enjoy navigating the twists and turns of the internet. I could not live without Wikipedia – and I can spend 24 hours reading that alone. I am from Ohio, so I have a major sports problem as well. That means that the bulk of my personal reading involves ESPN, Grantland, SI, The Undefeated and other sports columns. I am a simple man.
Favorite song with “be” in the title?
I would pick Be Above It by Tame Impala. It’s great track that serves as one of my favorite intros to an album, ever. It’s all about staying head up.
LINKS & RESOURCES…
Images via Doug Reiser & Burial Beer Co.