We had the good fortune of connecting with Jonathan Cernanec and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jonathan, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Experimentation and willingness to fail have been crucial to our success. Despite facing many failures, we have continued to stick with it. The beginning of Beer Darts was a chance occurrence, but we saw a need and had the drive and skills to fulfill it. Grit and perseverance have pushed us to innovate every day. We wanted to create a game that could be played discreetly without requiring a backyard, unlike larger games like cornhole boards. Our brand and product are a reflection of our approach to not take things too seriously and to bring joy to others. Whether it’s organized sports or starting a business, having fun is key. It’s easy to keep trying when it’s enjoyable.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I went to school to become an engineer with the goal of inventing and solving meaningful problems or bringing joy through my creativity and technical abilities. However, upon entering the industry, I was disappointed to find that many engineers were just a small part in a larger money-making machine. I decided to leave engineering and return to my home state of Colorado to become a professional ski patroller. I have spent over half a decade serving the outdoor industry and gaining expertise to help improve it. It hasn’t been easy, as many people undervalue the work of seasonal outdoor industry workers, who are dedicated to making the destinations you enjoy possible. But with success comes great reward.
This mentality is what helped us form the brand and invent our product – to bring joy, set down phones and forget about the chaos of the 21st century, and make the most of a single can. We aimed to empower our patrons to do something silly and even a little risky, as that is in line with our background as ski patrollers.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a friend were to visit me, I would take them to some of the local spots in Summit County, Colorado. Known for its natural beauty and access to a wide range of extreme sports and outdoor adventure, it would be hard to pick favorites. Keystone Resort is one of my favorite places, as I know all the secret powder stashes, the nicest people, and the best slice of pizza. After a long day of skiing or riding, we could go to The Steep, a brewery near the base, for some apres-ski and an afternoon IPA. But, despite knowing the best deals on food and the highest quality places to drink, I prefer to invite friends to my home, where we can enjoy conversation and air-fried snacks in front of a crackling fire on our TV (which I swear still makes the room warmer).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a shoutout to my co-creator, who deserves a lot of credit, but I also want to recognize my partner Sarah. She has been with me throughout the entire process, from the beginning of Beer Darts. She has put up with our endless Beer Darts themed diatribes and the constant deliveries and departures. She deserves more credit than anyone else, and our bearded dragon Pancake has also been invaluable to our success.
Olivia Reed Photo