For the November 2016 edition of "Entrepreneurs Heart Greater Hartford," we spoke with Ben Braddock, owner of Hog River Brewing Company.
Tell us about Hog River Brewing Company
Hog River Brewing Company is a brewery and taproom experience located in the Parkville section of Hartford. We manufacture a rotating list of draft beers sold exclusively in our taproom to be enjoyed in our industrial taproom or purchased to-go in 64 ounce growlers.
Why did you decide to start your own business in Greater Hartford?
Since starting this project 4 years ago, I always felt Hartford was on the verge of something great. The city has a pulse and it's starting to beat faster year after year. We made the decision early on that we wanted to be part of Hartford's solution instead of feeding into all of the negative commentary.
How does your business impact the community?
We have only been open 6 weeks but we've had the opportunity to participate in many local fundraisers including one with Hands on Hartford, an organization right here in the Parkville neighborhood. It's important for us as a small business in a growling city to support the people and organizations that support us. As we continue to grow we hope to seek out additional opportunities to support the people and organizations in the city of Hartford.
What wise words of wisdom would you give to an entrepreneur who may be hesitant to take the plunge into entrepreneurship?
If you believe in your vision, don't give up on it and keep moving forward. There will be dozens of people that knock you down and tell you that your idea is not good enough or you don't have what it takes to get it done. Prove them wrong by moving forward one day at a time and one day your dream will become a reality.
What is it like being an entrepreneur in Greater Hartford? What difficulties or challenges have you faced?
There is a lot of paperwork and red tape, but in the end, you're running a business so it's to be expected to a certain extent. For the most part, everyone has been supportive and it's been a great experience. I've learned a lot about government, regulation and many other topics I never thought I would need to learn about.
What is your vision for your business venture over the next five years?
We hope to keep growling brand and awareness in Hartford and the surrounding area. We hope to add more brewing capacity in the near future so we can explore the opportunity of putting beer out in the market. We sell everything in the taproom right now and we're turning down other opportunities in the craft beer market because we don't have the equipment to make more beer.
This blog series, posted in partnership between HYPE and reSET, offers a platform to showcase the commitment that the Greater Hartford Region Entrepreneurs have for their work and this City. It will examine how young entrepreneurs have chosen their work, and give examples of the ways in which they are having an impact in their communities.