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August 7, 2017

Full-Time Sales to Brewing Ales: When Pursuing Your Passion Pays Off – with David Manson


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Making the transition from a full-time career to a life of business ownership is not an easy road to travel. It takes courage, fortitude and a whole lot of passion for your new line of work.

Entrepreneurial hours can be grueling and at times, the stress can weigh heavily on you and your family. If you’re able to successfully run this new business gauntlet, in the end you’ll have created something that you’re truly proud of. The “work” you’ll do every day will be personally fulfilling and overall, you may just have a happier life.

For the last 8 years, I’ve been able to watch this entire entrepreneurial process from the sidelines. My brother-in-law, David Manson, is the Co-Founder and Ambassador of Fermentology at Blackrocks Brewery based in Marquette, Michigan.

David Manson from Blackrocks Brewery
David Manson, Blackrocks Brewery

In his former life, David had a full-time job in pharmaceutical sales. It was a career like most of us have. It helped him create a living for his family of five, but it wasn’t something he was passionate about.

During the great recession and a downturn in the pharma business, David and his business partner Andy Langlois both lost their full-time jobs. Instead of looking for another 9-5, they decided to turn their hobby of brewing beer in the basement into a real money-making business. They knew the hours would be long, the path to success would be turbulent, but they went for it for anyway!

Related Entrepreneurial Story: How to Become a Millionaire by 30

In 2010, they bought an old house which they converted into a brew pub. On the first night they opened for business, they drew such a large and thirsty crowd that they sold out of all of their beer in the first night. Given that David and Andy had planned for a supply that would last them multiple weeks, they knew the had something exciting brewing.

The Early Days at Blackrocks Brewery
The Early Days at Blackrocks Brewery

The Blackrocks Brewery success continued from there …  

This brew pub has been serving tasty IPAs, stouts and pilsners to locals and tourists alike for the last 7 years. Blackrocks now distributes their canned craft beers throughout the entire state of Michigan and now most of Wisconsin as well. With twenty employees and coverage over two major Midwestern states, this independent brewery is a full fledged business that is truly supporting the local economy.

What are we covering today?

David and I chat about:

  • How he transitioned from full-time employee to full-time employer
  • What type of business he and his partner Andy want to have in the future
  • Advice for budding entrepreneurs who are looking to make the small business plunge like he did

If you like stories about people who have followed their passion and won, you won’t want to miss this episode. David’s ability to pursue his passion, hone his craft and perfect his business is truly inspiring. As a guy who has been watching his journey from day one, I’ve can honestly say that I’ve been inspired the entire time.  

Click the play button above or listen on iTunes, Google Podcasts or Stitcher.

Show Resources

US Legal Forms: Get your Will started today my friends!

US Legal Forms

David Manson’s Recommended Books for Brewers

Brewing up a Business by Sam Calagione

Beer School by Steve Hindy and Tom Potter from Brooklyn Brewery

Blackrocks Brewery: Website with photos, videos and links to social

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I truly appreciate the podcast love everyone!

Carpe Diem Quote

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

– Steve Jobs

What are your entrepreneurial dreams?

Andy Hill

Andy Hill is the award-winning family finance coach behind Marriage Kids and Money - a platform dedicated to helping young families build wealth and happiness. With millions of podcast downloads and video views, Andy’s message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the world. When he's not "talking money", Andy enjoys being a Soccer Dad, singing karaoke with his wife and watching Marvel movies.

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The Marriage Kids and Money Podcast is dedicated to helping young families build wealth and happiness.

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