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Father’s Day Series | Father-Son Breweries: Living the Dream

Father’s Day Series | Father-Son Breweries: Living the Dream
Scott Grossman

The final brewery in our Father’s Day series of father-son breweries is Living the Dream Brewing, located in one of Denver’s southwest suburbs. The brewery is very involved in the local community, but has still found the time to expand distribution across Colorado in recent months.

Different Path for Living the Dream

In contrast to other father-son breweries, which were family endeavors from the start, father Jason Bell started Living the Dream in 2014 with no expectation that his son Teddy would find his way into the business. Jason had opened the brewery and stopped homebrewing before Teddy turned 21 so they had never even homebrewed together.

Father-son owners of Living the Dream
Jason and Teddy Bell (photo courtesy of Living the Dream)

However after turning 21 and starting a career in a different field, Teddy became interested in the brewery. “He always wanted to be involved ever since he turned 21. He fell in love with beer,” says Jason Bell.

After representing the brewery at festivals for a year, a brewer position opened up and Teddy was selected for the role. The elder Bell was very careful to avoid any indication of favoritism. He made it clear to his head brewer that Teddy had to make it — or not — on his own, telling the brewer, “He is your employee, he is not my employee.”

Rewards of Fatherhood

Watching his son prove himself to the head brewer and take on a full role in the brewing process was extremely fulfilling for Jason. “Brewing put a sparkle in his eye and when all of a sudden it was his beer it was a big deal. I was very proud when that happened.”

Jason explains that it’s also a win-win situation for him as a business owner and father. “It’s been fun for me on both sides. From the business side it’s been great to have a really good brewer we can count on. As a dad it’s been amazing to watch. It’s really given him a confidence.”

While he feels fortunate to have been able to provide the framework for his son to realize his passion, Jason Bell is quick to note that Teddy is responsible for his own success. “He’s succeeded because of him and his hard work,” says Jason.

Family Bond Over Beer

Because Jason is more focused on the business, and Teddy on brewing, the two don’t work closely together day-to-day. However both father and son bond over the satisfaction of a well-made brew. Says Jason, “What Teddy really enjoys and what I do too, is when you make a product that people really enjoy. That’s the fulfilling part.”

Cheers to Dad!

While we can’t all take it to the level of opening a brewery with our father, we can each celebrate our father this coming Sunday by raising a glass of craft beer. For those fortunate enough to live near dad, it’s also a great time to make up for those difficult teenage years by buying him a beer at the local brewery.

Clay and Charles Gridley of Six Bridges Brewing (photo courtesy of Six Bridges Brewing)

Other Father-Son Breweries

While that brings us to the end of our in-depth look at Denver-area father-son breweries, the concept is not unique to Colorado. Successful father-son breweries celebrate that unique bond all across the US.

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