: A buddy of mine and I, our freshman year of college, figured out we could brew our own beer. So, we started doing that in the dorm rooms. It was just something that fascinated me. As far apart automotive engineering is from brewing beer. All my classes were statistical process engineering and material science. This just brought in some biochem, and stuff like that. Brewing beer is intensely science and engineering.
My Mom and Dad grew up in Hemlock, and my Dad joined the Army. I was born in Missouri, we moved to Washington State and New York State. When he retired, we came back here. I went to Hemlock High School, then on to Ferris for automotive engineering, and ended up right back here after graduating.
Chris Younk, co-owner: I was born in Saginaw, my parents moved and grew up in Sanford. I went to Meridian Schools, then to Saginaw Valley where I got my degree in mechanical engineering. I’ve always stuck around in the area and always had family here. It was around that time we got together and kind of had the idea for the brewery and now we're here.
Cody: Oracle Brewing opened in Old Town in the summer of 2017.
When I was in college, I was always looking for a spot to open a brewery. There were a bunch of spaces down here that were available, and the vibe downtown was really cool too. That was the original location that we were kind of aiming for. We looked all around the tri-cities and didn't really find much worthwhile for us.
When we met Donna and Larson here, they were actually talking about the space that Artisan is in now, they had just rented it out for somebody to do a pizza place. This space was occupied, but they said, if you guys want to do a brewery, we can make this space happen. As soon as we saw the space, we knew it was a perfect fit for everything we needed space-wise and the building has really good features.
Chris: Our customer base is people that know us and people that are from the area. Having that sense of community, especially during this pandemic time, is crucial. People are coming to get to Pasongs and they'll stop in and grab beers. Even before that, it got to the point where people were getting food from other places, and they would come over, sit and wait, have a beer at our place. Or, they'd have their food delivered here. It kind of ends up working into almost an extension. For all the businesses, you know, kind of sharing the area, sharing the assets that we all have, which is really nice. Everyone's really good to work with.
Cody: When we first opened Oracle Brewing, we wanted to take the idea of the pub as a space of community gathering, like it used to be back in the day. We just want this to be a community hub, where everybody feels welcome to come into the space and be able to use it for their own needs as well.
One of our favorite things that we miss doing right now is all the monthly/quarterly nonprofit events that we would hold. That tied us a little bit more into the community. A little more widespread, outside of the Old Town area.
Chris Younk, co-owner: The inspiration for Our Pints for Change program came from a combination of a couple things. Part of our goal from the beginning, is to be a part of the community. How do we do that? How do we support this? Then also on the marketing side, how do we generate an event that is authentic and still features us but also represents our values.
We had ideas, trying to come up with a new beer each time and it ended up kicking off. The first person we had was actually a young lady who was raising money for United Way. She stopped in and said, Hey, could you guys kick us, 50 bucks to hit our goal? I said, Well, actually, we're trying to do this Pints for Change thing. She was like, Okay! It's been great, because that kind of kicked everything off from there.
The more we do it, it seems like just about everybody that's involved in charity, or any sort of community based event, there's a lot of overlap. As soon as one person gets on board, they might also know this person who runs this organization. It got to the point where we had a lot of opportunities to do this. We ended up going just about every two months with each organization. That seems to be good. To keep it fresh, and drive people in to support each event. Without continuously supporting the same people or organizations. It's neat, to have that variety. Everything from faith based organizations to local cultural things that we end up supporting. Hopefully, we'll get people coming back in again and we’ll find new opportunities, potentially with some of the other groups that focus on the downtown area too.