Fred Forsley is the co-founder of Shipyard Brewing Company, which in 2014 sold over 18 million bottles of their Pumpkinhead Ale. His story starts at a brewpub in Kennebunk, Maine. Fred was managing the restaurant, booking bands, and bouncing people at the door when he and Alan Pugsley began making beer together in 1992.
As Shipyard grew it caught Miller Brewing Co.'s eye and they purchased part of the company in 1995. Miller's capital and distribution helped for a while though when Miller slowed their promotion of Shipyard, Fred decided to purchase Miller's shares back. He's since expanded Shipyard rapidly with the help of a growing craft beer market and hits such as Pumpkinhead.
We had fun talking with Fred about getting on tap lines at bars (pro tip: send friends to repeatedly order your beer) and how he racked up over $400K in credit card debt (!!!) while starting Shipyard.
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Music: Lady Luck by Richard Swift