Friday, April 26, 2013

Meet the Brewery - Owner Edition

This week we met the folks who work at the brewery.  Left to their own devices, they would make beer, sell beer, pay the bills and maybe tip back a pint or two now and then.  They are trustworthy, dependable and a surprising amount of fun to work with every day.  There are, however, a few others involved in the brewery with more amorphous duties, but clear titles - the owners.  Let's take a quick look at those folks.

Ron and Julie Wells - The Wells are not well known as brewery owners, but have a reasonably high profile in the real estate development world and more specifically in the renovation of historic buildings around Spokane.  We have joked as a family that they didn't start Wells and Company with a business plan, but rather just a mission to save old buildings.  They have been doing just that, and creating communities around them, since joining forces in 1980.  Their path into brewery ownership is related because it was the renovation of a building that just demanded a brewery that started them down the trail.

Spencer Stromberg - A local attorney with SullivanStromberg, PLLC and son of Ron and Julie, Spencer was willingly drawn into the beer business through his own love for and appreciation of craft beer.  Attending college and law school at the University of Washington, Spencer had a first row view of the birth of craft brewing in Seattle.  An avid participant in original research starting all those years ago, he has helped formulate recipes and direction for the brewery since our involvement began in 1999.  Married to Tracey and with two girls, Spencer is committed to making Spokane a great community in which to live.

Gage Stromberg - Last, but not least, Gage Stromberg is the other member of the owner group and the one most involved in the day-to-day operation of the brewery.  A partner at Powers Stromberg Pension Consulting (formerly known as NAS Pension Consulting), Gage is also an attorney.  Like his younger brother, he was also in Seattle during the mid-to-late 1980's and not only viewed the burgeoning world of craft beer from the vantage point of barstool, but also had some friends in the business and possessed more than a passing interest in reading anything and everything he could find about the brewing world.  Married with two sons, Gage is involved in many civic activities.  He is also known to ride bikes and motorcycles in his spare time.

As owners, we are proud to be a family business and part of the Spokane business community.  We believe not only in the concept of "Drink Local", but also Eat Local, Shop Local, and be thoughtful in doing what you can to support our local economy.  Every dollar you spend at a local bar, restaurant, shop or with another local business or professional generates much more community return on your dollar, which helps all of have a better community and standard of living.

All of us involved believe that making great beer, with consistent quality and flavor, is our first and foremost mission.  We are proud to use almost exclusively local ingredients, with hops from the Yakima Valley, grain grown regionally and water from the Spokane aquifer.  We also all believe that craft beer should be consumed responsibly.  Thank you for your support of River City Brewing. 

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