We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Evans and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan, what do you attribute your success to?
With Bruz Beers, we laser-focus on one style of beer – Belgian-style. This has enabled us to put all of our efforts and resources towards advancing our skills as Belgian-style brewers, creating a fantastic product. Everything we do is about making our beers better. I learned early on in business that you can do many things, but you can’t do all things well all the time. That being said, our focus on one style has carved out a niche and the market has responded well.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I have always been interested in business. My father is a self-made man, and has taught me a tremendous amount when it comes to not only business but people skills. Having worked hand and hand with him through our families security company, employing over 700 people locally, I learned a great deal about running a business, managing a brand, and working with people. Networking has played a big role in my success as well. Graduating from colleges located in Colorado, both Ft Lewis College in Durango as well as the University of Denver, has created a fantastic network of resources I continually draw from. From professors to class mates to mentors, these programs continue to feed me with incredible resources, and I am so thankful to have had these experiences to draw from. I am most proud of the fact that we have created something unique in an industry that is highly competitive and approaching potential saturation. People drove across town to enjoy our beers, and when you think about the fact that they probably drove past 30+ other breweries just to get to ours, it is very humbling.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would start out in downtown Denver’s Union Station. I absolutely love eating and drinking here. The food options are top notch, and the patios are great for people watching. Breakfast at Snooze, seafood at Stoic and Genuine, and drinks at The Kitchen Nextdoor are a good start. End up at the Cooper Lounge for a great view and a nightcap. Denver’s LoHi neighborhood offers an abundance of options for great food. Brunch at Root Down, patio drinks at Recess Beer Garden, Dinner at LoHi Steakbar, and night caps at Williams and Graham for a start. Of course you will want to fit some ice cream in from Little Man! Breweries – where do I even start?! This town has such an amazing array of breweries you really can’t go wrong. A few of my favorites in town are Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Woods Boss, Black Shirt, Flyte Co, and of course Bruz Beers. You have to check out some attractions while you are in town as well. I suggest Confluence Park and REI Flagship, the Denver Zoo, Cheeseman Park, the Denver Art Museum and Clifford Still, as well as the RiNo Neighborhood. Interesting people, you can head over to Colfax and head east, where dive bars and interesting people go hand in hand. Don’t forget to take some down time for yourself and enjoy the outside by basking in the sun in one of the countless parks within the city. Some of my favorites are Commons Park, Civic Center Park and City Park. Take a run around Wash Park to be amongst fellow fitness enthusiasts that like to be seen, and bring your dog if you have one! Denver is such a diverse place to spend time in. From outside to inside, north to south, you will find small pockets of diversity that will inspire you to continue exploring. Go get lost, pop into the nearest locally owned coffee shop, and start up a conversation with the barista. No doubt they will steer you in a magical direction for whatever you are looking for. Cheers!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Our success at Bruz Beers is directly attributed to two things – our customers and our employees. Our customers continue to not only support us by buying our beers and bringing their friends and family into our tasting rooms, but they also push us to continue to create new beers. Almost everyday I hear someone in the tasting room say something like “you should do another version of xxx beer” or “we love how your Tripel tastes – do you think you could do a fruit version of it?”. They continually inspire us to push the envelope and keep things interesting. Our employees are absolutely amazing! We have never had to put a job ad out. All of our employees have approached us directly and asked to be a part of what we are doing. They are already loyal fans of ours and connect with the brand, which makes my part as an employer easy. Our employees continually come up with ideas on how to improve what we are doing, and I truly enjoy riding the wave with them. My job is to provide them with a stage to perform on, then get out of their way; and man do they perform! Its a really fun group of people who’s hearts are totally into what we are doing, and that makes it a lot of fun to be around.
Chris Austin – austinstudiodenver.com