Flight Crew

Flight Crew Q&A: Missing Mountain’s Keith McFarlane

What was the inspiration behind opening the brewery?

We became homebrewers in 2008 and had a running joke that we’d one day open our own brewery in the area. In 2011 we created a name for ourselves and six months later had a friend make us a logo. In 2016, we decided to put the brewery idea in action and the rest is history. We were inspired by a lot of the great restaurants and breweries that we’d visited in other states on our travels and wanted to have something like that in our own backyard — a place our community could be proud of and a place that would bring people from out of town to our wonderful city.

Were you guys homebrewers first?

Yes.

What were the owners’ relationships prior to opening? 

Danny, Dave and myself were all friends from college (University Of Akron). We became friends with Dan in 2007, when we were all in the same sports performance workout class.

What’s been the most challenging aspect of opening a brewery?

Any small business owner will agree that owning a business consumes every facet of your life. There comes a lot of stress in figuring out that balance of home life and running/operating the business. I wouldn’t change it for the world though.  It’s created further growth in our relationships as well helped develop us each personally.

What’s been the most fun?

We have been able to provide our guests with an atmosphere and a product that allows people to break away from the day to day, enjoy the company of their friends, family — and in some cases their dogs — and just generally bring more happiness to their life. That’s a great feeling!

How did you determine your location?

The view from the patio had us at first sight, it was a no brainer.

What is most instrumental in getting your team up every morning to go at it again?

Our team sees the hard work that went/goes into making Missing Mountain Brewing Co. what it is. They see the passion that we have for creating the highest quality food and beer while providing incredible customer service, and they’re excited to be part of it and they strive to exemplify these traits. We want all of our employees to feel as we are all family.

How challenging has the pandemic been for your business?

We’ve learned that adaptability is essential to us to continue to be successful. With Covid, we had to change our business model overnight several times. It takes a lot of consideration and teamwork to get everything to run smoothly, and although being adaptable has proven challenging, the hardest part is the uncertainty of what the future may hold. Will we get shut down again? Will we have to further change our business model again?  Are we doing everything we can to keep our employees and guests safe?

What are your cornerstone beers?

Zwickel Trickle, and really anything Hazy for that matter, and fruited ales and sours,  as well as traditional styled ales and lagers.

Is there a beer style you guys really try to excel at?

We try to make the best beer possible, all the time. We don’t skimp on ingredients or use cheaper variations of ingredients to make something more affordable to our bottom line. And we never compromise the fact that we never add anything artificial to save time and money.

How do you come up with new beer styles and names?

We keep a running list of beer style ideas as well as names. Inspirations can come from just about anywhere,  when something calls to us we write it down and do further R & D to make it happen.

What makes your beers different/better?

Only pure, only the best whole and always fresh ingredients are used,  We also allow the beer to take its time and only make it available to our customers when it has passed our sensory evaluation. Quality is always the number one priority. When a beer falls below the threshold of where we want that beer, we dispose of it and don’t allow it to reach the public.

What is your distribution strategy?

We distribute to Canton, the surrounding Akron areas, Cleveland, west of Cleveland to Sandusky, and a small amount to the Columbus area. We hope to begin to make our way out to the Youngstown area in the next year or so.

 

Local Offers

25 E Boardman St, Suite 306, PO Box 714 Youngstown, OH 44501

Phone: 330-744-5023|Fax: 330-744-5838