The Business of 1623 Brewing Company


Why 1623?

Naturally, I get asked that question often. The quick and easy answer is that it’s the distance between my home in Maryland and Zac’s in Colorado. But the real answer is deeper, as is the question, Why 1623 and why now?

1623 started with a phone call in the summer of 2017. I was sitting around the island in our kitchen with friends talking about the successes of Old Westminster Winery and how hard the Baker family continues to work towards their dreams when an idea popped into my head. Without telling anyone I walked to the front of the house and called Zac with one question, “How hard would it be to bring the thriving Colorado beer culture to Maryland?” Zac’s answer, and the answer I have heard far too often, “It is so difficult to do in Maryland. Have you thought about Pennsylvania?”

In that moment, 1623 was born. Zac didn’t know it then (and to be honest neither did I) but there was an opportunity right in front of us.

Zac’s brewing resume is stellar. He has the medals, awards, and printed accolades lining his resume. The “what’s next?” moment for Zac is building a brand that is uniquely his.  When you talk with him you will hear the passion and drive of a true traditionalist with a creative side that will deliver 1623 its unique character and style.

As for me, the successes and failures of business are what drive me. I’ve committed all the textbook errors in business, but 2009, 10 and 11 taught me things about people, economies and myself that are indelibly etched in my mind. There are no perfect business plans. Economic forecasts are worse than weather forecasts.

At 1623 Brewing, people are our greatest asset.

1623 does not have the fancy business plan color-coded charts, we have a tribe of colorful humans to execute our simple business plan: build a great team and brew great beer. Our promise is to deliver high quality, creative beer styles steeped in tradition.

This is the beginning of what we hope will be a fabulous journey with family and friends. Welcome to the #1623family.

—Mike McKelvin

Aaron Sprengeler