S3E1: Keith Sherrill from Haint Blue Brewing Company

Transcript:

In this episode of Mobile Alabama Business Podcast, I sit down with Keith Sherrill. Keith is the owner of Haint Blue Brewing in Mobile. You can find Haint Blue on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I really enjoyed getting to learn more about Keith's story and where his desire to bring a brewery to Mobile stems from. He's really a friendly guy that makes a really stellar Porter, so let's dive right in with Keith Sherrill!

Keith:    My name is Keith Sherrill and I am the CEO of Haint Blue Brewing Company.

Marcus:    Well, I'd like to welcome you to the podcast, Keith.

Keith:    Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Marcus:    Yeah. To get started, because people may not be familiar with who you are, did you grow up here in the Mobile area?

Keith:    I didn't. I'm a Alabama native. I grew up in and around Montgomery. Then joined the Army out of there at a fairly young age when I was 17, and have been moving around ever since. This is the first time I've really called Alabama home in 14 years. I've been in Mobile about a year now. Certainly visit a lot over the years as well.

Marcus:    Give us some background about your upbringing. You said you grew up in Montgomery?

Keith:    Yeah. My dad lives in Montgomery, and my mom, Millbrook [inaudible 00:00:50]. I graduated high school at Stanhope Elmore. Great education there.

Marcus:    You mentioned Army. Did you go into that immediately following high school?

Keith:    I did. I was 17. I joined January 28th, 2002, so shortly after 9/11. Watched that whole event in my English class. I think that left an impact, right? I saw that. Didn't really come from a military family necessarily, but, yeah, felt like I wanted to do something.

Marcus:    Just the right thing to do at the time.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    I don't know. I hate to say that [inaudible 00:01:30].

Marcus:    No, I mean, there's nothing ... Please don't take that the wrong way. I have ridiculous amounts of respect for people that make that decision because you are basically putting country first. My father isn't from the U.S.

Keith:    Right on.

Marcus:    I don't take the freedoms that we have lightly.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    I didn't mean it in any way other than just there's a lot that happened around that time period. I was living in DC at the time and had people that I knew personally in the Pentagon when it was hit.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    Like, if I hadn't had kids and a wife at the time I could definitely have seen wanting to go and be in the military.

Keith:    Yeah. Yeah. You know, beyond that, I mean, too, it was perfect for me, right? I didn't have some outlandish plan afterwards. It briefed well to me, too.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    Like, okay, I could be a career military man. Go fight terrorism. That sounds like it might be in my wheelhouse. It was a good life for me. I didn't mean to stay in 14 years either. The idea was I would join, I'd go to Afghanistan. The silly thing is I was in a hurry. I thought I was going to miss the war. I did. I thought I was going to miss the war.

Marcus:    We're still at war, aren't we?

Keith:    Right? I went there a handful of times after that [crosstalk 00:03:07]. Yeah, I was in a hurry to get there. In my head was I was going to go. I was reading John Leppelman's Thirty-Six Months in Vietnam, so I started beefing up on military books.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    Anyway, I thought I was going to go on this tour, the war was going to be over, and I might have a year or two left on assignment. I would go somewhere cool like Germany, get out of Alabama, get some perspective and experience.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    Then I would do something else, and likely that would be go to college like the rest of my friends. They were at Alabama at Auburn [inaudible 00:03:42] or whatever. That didn't happen, man. I stayed. I genuinely liked it. For a 17 year old to all of a sudden have ... I mean, there's still kind of a paternal vibe from the military. In a sense they do own you, but at the same time I'm 17. I got all this autonomy. I was able to buy a house at 20. I was so ... I don't know. I felt like I was growing up.

Marcus:    Well, it definitely makes you grow up.

Keith:    It does.

Marcus:    Very quickly. When you're being shipped overseas and at war, I mean, you were no longer a child.

Keith:    No. Yeah.

Marcus:    You are definitely an adult.

Keith:    Yeah, it's a little bit different.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    Certainly different. I mean, still young. It's interesting. My first few deployments where I was arguably an adult at this point, outside of just having been to war, I'm in my 20s at this point. Even from those later deployments in my 20s to a last deployment at 30, oh, it was two completely different individuals. You know what I mean?

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    Experience is one thing, but age is another as well. I learned a lot. I saw things that I thought I'd already learned very, very differently ten years later. It was interesting.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    I mean, I went on a bit of a tangent there.

Marcus:    No, it's totally fine. You did not end up going to college. The education was ... After 14 years in the military you're going to tell me you went to college too?

Keith:    I'm going to try to do this quickly. My first five years I was a ranger. I was enlisted.

Marcus:    Okay.

Keith:    I was a staff sergeant and I'm about to get out of the Army. Decided I would like to fly helicopters. I put in a flight packet. I got accepted. I went to flight school. At that point I was a [inaudible 00:05:34] officer. Then, get back to the education piece. All that training to be an Army aviator, it gave me a quite a bit of college credit toward an aeronautics degree. I took that experience and then finished two years while I was on active duty with [inaudible 00:05:53]. I got a bachelor of science in aeronautics.

Marcus:    Very cool.

Keith:    I'm currently an MBA student at William & Mary as well.

Marcus:    William & Mary in Virginia?

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    Yeah. I have a number of friends, because I grew up in the Washington, DC area, as I mentioned.

Keith:    Nice.

Marcus:    I have a number of friends that went to William & Mary. One of the best schools in the state, but at the time, also had a really bad reputation because they really pushed their students. Kudos to you for taking that on because I know it's probably a pretty rigorous program.

Keith:    Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I'm thinking about it right now. I'm in the last year one class now. I had a residency earlier in the year. Other than that, I've just been picking up ... Education's powerful, man.

Marcus:    Yep.

Keith:    It's powerful. I mean, there's plenty of people. I hear all the time everybody shouldn't go to college. There's trades. That's true, but I learned more about myself. I was able to unpack some experiences that I had professionally into an academic program. Maybe studying some things that I didn't necessarily value as important, to come to find out that they were very important.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    They now make up a big part of who I am now. Then, in business, I wasn't a businessman before this. I know how to execute. I know how to plan. I'm very familiar with operations. I know how to get things done. There's some value in having a rigid or traditional academic business education as well. I went to Stanford University over the summer. They have ... It's called Ignite Program. It's basically entrepreneurial studies, kind of ... It's not all entrepreneurs that go there, but the idea is innovation.

I spent a month out there. It was incredible, man. I never got to sit down. Even when I was finishing undergrad, I was going to work. Then I'm married and later I have my son. That's a lot of peoples' story, but I didn't really get to just kind of completely be a sponge with it.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    That month in California, man, just sitting on campus. It was huge. It was all these people constantly talking about business ideas. We were meeting incredible people like Condoleezza Rice came in, [George Shultz 00:08:11], Jim Mattis. All these people were lecturers during my time there. It was incredible. I couldn't have got that anywhere else. I mean, I could've got some street cred along the way and figured it out, but, I don't know. I'm seeing a lot of value in that. To go back to the education piece, I have a very nontraditional education, but it's not because I don't value it.

Marcus:    Yeah. No, you've mentioned something about ... I think you started to go down the path of education as something even ... You started to go into, well, not everybody's supposed to go or should think about going to college, that trade's ... I've been thinking about this a lot lately because I have three boys and one of them is about two years away from going to college. He knows fairly well what he wants to do.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    It's a job that would not really require him to go to college, right? As parents, we've been kicking around the idea of, well, we very much believe in the education that college provides, but it's really an education in how to learn.

Keith:    Yes.

Marcus:    He's not going to go to the college and learn the trade. He's going to go to learn how to learn. This kid is already spending several hours everyday doing what it is, so I'd argue that he's already learned how to learn.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    I wonder as a parent is it wise for him to put off what is going to ultimately take him years to build up, and also is it wise for us to invest over $100,000 in his education?

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    State school nowadays is just ridiculously expensive.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    If you have children, look into it. It's, what? $25,000 to $35,000 for a public school in-state in Alabama.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    To think about that kind of investment, and then have him graduate and really just kind of be where he would be if he was just to start after high school. It's just kind of like ...

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    I don't know. It's just kind of throwing me. I say all that just to wrap that up. Education I believe is something that you do regardless of whether you're in a trade or ... I think that's what you were saying.

Keith:    Yes, absolutely.

Marcus:    Regardless of whether you're in a trade or whether you go to full-time, because I do not want to downplay ... Especially in Mobile, you can be a welder and make six figures and be successful.

Keith:    Sure.

Marcus:    You can continue to hone that craft and to learn and go and take apprenticeships with various people. Learn that, how to be better, or even just how to learn how to be a better businessman.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    Even as a welder. I love Jesse James and what he's doing.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    He basically learned a craft and applies that craft, whether it be through building motorcycles or building cars or having a hit TV series where he was doing outlandish things with these items. Now he runs Jesse James Firearms Unlimited in Austin, Texas.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    The craftsmanship that he does is just absolutely ridiculous. This man took a hunk of steel from the Statue of Liberty and basically made it into a 45 caliber 1911. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of work that I've ever seen.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    I would argue that Jesse James, I don't know this, I'm probably guessing.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    He's never gone to college.

Keith:    Yeah, yeah.

Marcus:    That man has continued to learn and educate himself. That's just [crosstalk 00:11:51].

Keith:    [crosstalk 00:11:51].

Marcus:    This is Marcus stepping off of his soapbox now.

Keith:    I think you're right, man. I appreciate you unpacking it.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    At the end of the day I think maybe I didn't necessarily value lifelong learning.

Marcus:    Yeah. Yeah.

Keith:    That's what I'm trying to do now.

Marcus:    Yeah. Do you still fly?

Keith:    I don't, man.

Marcus:    Come on.

Keith:    I haven't flown, golly, since '15 my last flight. Yeah, it's been a while, '14 maybe. It's been a couple years.

Marcus:    That's not something you unlearn, though.

Keith:    I hope not. I don't know. I don't know, man. I don't know. I had a guy stop at the [ice house 00:12:31] recently. He's a coastguard, a helicopter pilot, and offered to let me get some sim time on a Friday, get in the simulator. Part of me was like, "Ah, I'm going to embarrass myself in there."

Marcus:    Did you take him up on it?

Keith:    Yeah, I certainly want to. Yeah, he was out of town for a little bit doing some training, and then I got busy. I intend on doing that.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    I think it would kind of knock some edge off for me as well. It would be fun to do. Anyway, man, flying's fun, man. Flying's fun.

Marcus:    That's cool. You are starting a brewery. Is it Haint?

Keith:    Haint Blue.

Marcus:    Haint Blue.

Keith:    Yep.

Marcus:    Yeah. I wasn't sure if I was going to pronounce it correctly or not, so Haint Blue. How do you even begin to get started in that? Was this a hobby that somehow morphed into something bigger?

Keith:    A little bit. A little bit of both. Best way to start there, so I'll just say ... I'll start with where the brewery idea came from, and then talk about Haint Blue a little bit and why we chose that. I'm getting out of the Army, I'm living in a suburb outside of Seattle. Like I said, I never meant to spend 14 years in the Army. I was just continually having fun and then it came to a point to where it was time to do something else.

Honestly it came to a point where I'd kind of hit a point where I would be doing this forever or not. You know what I mean? I was kind of on that seesaw a little bit, and I chose to do something else.

What do you do then? I've not finished undergrad. This kind of goes back to the education point for me. I found that despite 14 years in the military, I worked my way up nine or so ranks, I'd been overseas nine times, I knew how to fly a helicopter, I'd been in a operations role, that doesn't brief well on a resume either. I didn't necessarily enjoy the job hunt necessarily. I didn't hit it very vigorously. I've always kind of had a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit. I think it is very much an American dream and I've certainly drink the American Kool-Aid.

All throughout my 20s I've had several ideas in my head of, man, I could do that, or this business needs to happen. You know what I mean? Kind of yearn for I've now left a very rigid military chain of command to now I'm the boss of something I created. You know what I mean? That's a huge dichotomy. You know what I mean?

Marcus:    Yeah, the structure and rigidness of the military versus the wild wild west of owning your own business and having to wear many, many hats.

Keith:    Yeah. Yeah. I like experiences, right? I'm the guy at 17 that's like, "All right. I'm going to Afghanistan," or, "I guess I could fly a helicopter." It was kind of the same a approach to why couldn't I start a business? You just got to take the leap. Take the risk. Be willing to stomach it, I guess.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    So I did. Like, okay, I'm going to open a business. Well, then where? I said, "We're in Washington. I love Washington. It's a fantastic place to live. I'm a sucker for the mountains, so I like being in the woods and Rainier. All of that stuff, but listen at me, I mean, I'm not from Washington. All of my family's here. You know? We got a little boy and we had talked about having another kid," which we have one on the way now.

Marcus:    Oh, congratulations.

Keith:    Yeah. Thanks. There was also the big change of being in the military to being a small business owner. It was to being very far away from my family, as I had been for a decade, to move home. Now we're in kind of a compound. There's three or four family members that are within a rock's throw [inaudible 00:16:33] house, so very different.

Marcus:    That's cool.

Keith:    Mobile showed up on the radar. I had visited Savannah and stuff over the years as well. I really liked Savannah. We were looking at Mobile and Savannah, and essentially the big push for Mobile was family. I had visited Mobile over the years. I took my R&R here, actually. I did [inaudible 00:16:57] pilot, Afghanistan. My wife and I were living in New York and I rented a house for here in Midtown while I was gone. I came back here, took a Carnival cruise.

I remember running through the streets, I think I was on Government, morning run the first day. I didn't sleep very well. I just kind of wanted to get some exercise, some fresh air. I don't know. That image stuck in my mind. I don't know how to explain it, but it was a nice image. When I went back overseas I had this image of what did you do on your R&R? How did you unpack? Mine was kind of running on Government Street and seeing these [inaudible 00:17:35] draped over the streets. I think that planted a seed, too.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    I kind of had a bit of affinity for Mobile. I remember seeing the beautiful houses downtown. I was like, "Man, that's a southern life. That's something." We moved here for that as well. We moved in Midtown. I drive that Land Rover down Government Street. I think about it every time.

To get to the point of who I am today is there wasn't a brewery here. At the time, as I'm trying to to figure out what I wanted to do in business or what I wanted to do in life, I'm walking around my backyard in Washington. We have hops growing up our gutters. I'd just gotten back from a brewery that day after going hiking or whatever. I don't know, man. It just seemed like the thing to do.

It was like, okay, I'm moving to Mobile. This is kind of where I want to live. Whoa, there's not a brewery and that's one of my favorite things to do, to visit. I'm very interested in it and I think it improves the quality of life. I think I can get behind that.

Marcus:    Well, if you spend any time in Seattle ... I've traveled to Seattle and Portland. There's a huge community of brewers there that ... I mean, they really have kind of a, I don't know, it's just a fostering of that community.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    There's brewers all over the place.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    We would go the bars and it literally ... There would not be any Miller or Bud or [inaudible 00:19:03] or whatever.

Keith:    [crosstalk 00:19:03].

Marcus:    It would be all these local breweries. It would be 30 or 40 different beers on tap. It would change everyday.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    Yeah. I can see how that would be something that you would want to bring here.

Keith:    Yeah. You get it. It's the mission behind craft beer that I really got involved in. If I did take a job outside of this I probably would've gone to nonprofits or something social. Craft beer, it's a community gathering place, man. Speaking back to Seattle or Portland, a lot of the cool things that happen in the city or help along, they sponsor everything. You know? They're raising money. They're providing a venue for certain businesses in the area. You know what I mean? I think they help out the community beyond beer. You know?

Marcus:    Sure. Yeah.

Keith:    I heard somebody say the other day that it's kind of like you become the city's pro sports team, too. You know? The brewery from your town.

Marcus:    Right.

Keith:    I like the social aspect of it. You can't do that in every business, but that's certainly one you can. What else? I need to give myself some credentials here beyond my romantic ideas of how to end up here.

Marcus:    Sure. There's hops growing in my backyard. I know, I'll start a brewery.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    Now, what qualifies me to actually do that? The answer to that, I'm not the head brewer. My brother-in-law, Matt Wheeler, is. The guy is, well, he's equal parts artist and scientist, which you need. You know? I can handle the art part, but I get a little annoyed at the science part. I love the end product. He kind of fills that gap. He has the patience for it. I mean, he's a brewer by divine design, man. The guy should've always been a brewer.

Marcus:    Because we've done a number of shows with folks in the food culinary arts industry, a lot of chefs, and I have a lot of friends that I know are restaurateurs, that are chef restaurateurs, and there is something about a person that goes into that realm. They do have to very much be part scientist. They have to know the different tastes and how to combine them, and how to get that end product.

I was at an event the other day with William Stitt, who's been on the show as well. The purveyor of Old 27 Grill and Bill-e's Bacon, so shout out to William. Anyway, he was doing a tasting. He was very intentional, as I imagine you all are with how you combine the various ingredients that go into your beer, knowing what that end product is going to be.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    Once you have something that you can sample, knowing what it is in that you need to tweak in order to get the flavor profile correct.

Keith:    Yeah. Yeah.

Marcus:    Yeah, it's not just dump a bunch of stuff into a vat.

Keith:    That's not it at all.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    In fact, it was not easy, man. He's the head brewer. We spent the entire year ... I got here, we're March now, I got ... I pulled into Mobile January 25th.

Marcus:    Right.

Keith:    We brewed as a company I guess that first week. What that meant was we were brewing in my backyard. We did that all yearlong. These brews that are here now, which is kind of surreal for us, I mean, we worked really hard to get it where it is.

Marcus:    Sure.

Keith:    You know? None of them are first iteration beers, or first generation for that matter. There is some hard work to it. I had home brewed, Matt had home brewed. We had to get some experience under our belts. That coupled with we went up to Colorado. Spent some time in Colorado last year brewing with another brewery up there. Matt and I both flew out. They have a similar size system. We hung out, kind of opened the books, kind of showed us some of the business side of things. Then we actually brewed some beer there as well to kind of see, kind of work out all the processes. Kind of like a consultant role, really.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    It's a good contact to have now as we're ramping things up. Also, went out to Belgium. I wanted to figure out on the business side of things, like, why did Belgium embrace beer so much? You know what I mean? They're known for beer. I wanted to experience that. You can read about it, you can speculate about it, but it's a whole nother thing to be there.

Marcus:    To go and be there and ... Yeah, talk to the people firsthand.

Keith:    Yeah, man. It was insane. I learned more on that trip than I could've ever learned in any class on Belgium or anything. It was just experiential. We did the same thing ... We went to England as well. The idea was to figure out how the pubs were so popular in England. What made England known for that? The thing I figured out there, I'm confident we can be known for beer here in Mobile, Alabama, but I don't know about the pub. I can't compete with that. English pubs are English pubs because they're in England.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    They're older than Alabama. You know?

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    Couldn't necessarily recreate that. Going back to the community gathering place, kind of seeing what they were doing there in Europe, and be able to implement some of that, or kind of borrow some things to try here in town. It was really cool as well. Of course, went out west and Haint Blue ... That Stanford program was picked as a finalist. I got a team of five for a month to just try to figure out how best to execute Haint Blue in terms of product and just the business itself. We've been trying to get smart all year through experiences, trial and error, and actual education. That's gotten us to where we're at now.

Marcus:    Wow.

Keith:    A little more of a harebrained idea than hops in a backyard. I like to tell that part because, again, that goes back to the art side. I like the art and that part of the story more than the science, which is the actual rubber meeting the road of what we did.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    We worked hard last year. We really did. It's nice to see that if you put in the work you can eventually put that product out in the market.

Marcus:    Get there. I'm going to rapid fire a couple of things for you. One of the things that we like to get from folks that are on the show is if you were talking to somebody that was looking at starting a business, what's the one bit of wisdom that you would share with them?

Keith:    Take action. I could've easily kicked this around, and sometimes I wanted to, because it's very stressful being an entrepreneur. Even if you don't have a financial worry, and I'm certainly not saying I don't, because I do, but it's tough. It's tough. There's nobody. You are the person. You have to make the decision. That actually requires you to do so, so take action.

I read a parable the other day, The Bear and the Marmot. Idea was there was a study that bears had been hunting marmots for a long time, tens of thousand of years or whatever. I'm probably messing that up. It was found that it might be inefficient because the bear burns more calories kind of digging for these marmots and searching them out than they actually gain ...

Marcus:    From consuming them.

Keith:    From consuming the marmot. But, the fact that they've been doing it for tens of thousand of years means that something about it had to work. In other words, there's some byproducts, such as sharpening claws. I like to think about that in terms of taking action, too. Your failures ... I hear all the time fail early, fail fast, or fail often or whatever. They're not always failures. They could be sharpening your claws for that next challenge that you have to [crosstalk 00:26:58].

Marcus:    Sure. It's not failure for the sake of failure. The understood comment or undertone of that is that if you're failing then you're trying something, right?

Keith:    That's it. Yeah.

Marcus:    You're doing something. You're taking that action.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    You're not just being passive and letting it happen to you. You're going out and being active.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    I dig it. Be the bear. Be the bear.

Marcus:    There's your wisdom, so be the bear. What are the last two books that you've read that you found helpful?

Keith:    Oh, last two books that I read that have been helpful? Honestly, honestly I wish I had something more entertaining. Again, I'm an MBA student.

Marcus:    Sure.

Keith:    I guess the Managerial Economics and Operations and Supply Chain Management.

Marcus:    You heard it here, folks. Run right out to Amazon and order those two books.

Keith:    [crosstalk 00:27:52] the 2013 and 2016 copies.

Marcus:    Yeah, make sure it's the latest versions of those books.

Keith:    Isn't that terrible? That is terrible. Might even cut that out.

Marcus:    Yeah. I'm not going to suggest that people get those. Just from the title alone I know that those ...

Keith:    I used to be a more interesting person [inaudible 00:28:08]. I swear.

Marcus:    That's too funny. Well, I mean, if you're in the midst of it then I can completely understand. What do you like to do in your free time?

Keith:    Again, I like to hike and I like to drink beer. I'm trying to do less of that because I'm starting to look like I own a brewery.

Marcus:    Sure.

Keith:    You know what I mean?

Marcus:    Yeah, yeah.

Keith:    I would say I'm trying to find that niche for me here in Mobile. Trying to turn in my hiking shoes and maybe get some boat shoes. Haven't done that yet. Haint Blue's kind of consumed me, so basically most of my time is at home or at the [ice house 00:28:40]. If I had to pick an activity for a day it'd be to hike somewhere beautiful.

Marcus:    Get out in some mountains.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    Yeah. Fortunately we're not too terribly far away from that. All right. Tell us where people can find you, and in your case specifically if they want to try your beer, where are some local places that have it?

Keith:    Oh, man. I hope I don't get burned at the stake for this because I'm going to forget [crosstalk 00:29:04].

Marcus:    Yeah, just caveat, he's not going to list everybody. He's going to give us, like, three, give us three places.

Keith:    Yeah, in no particular order.

Marcus:    No particular order.

Keith:    Callaghan's, Old Shell Growlers, Haberdasher, Loda BierGarten, Old 27, Felix's, [inaudible 00:29:23].

Marcus:    All right. I'm going to cut him off there.

Keith:    Thank you.

Marcus:    Yeah. [crosstalk 00:29:28].

Keith:    I was going to say all of them but I got cut off.

Marcus:    Yeah, yeah.

Keith:    [crosstalk 00:29:31].

Marcus:    [crosstalk 00:29:31]. I don't have time and they're not sponsors of the show.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    If you'd like to have your name listed on that we'll record them afterwards.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    If you send us money then we'll add them back into the audio. Anyway, I kid. I understand the complexities of trying to remember the 50 different places where you're probably selling your beer.

Keith:    Quite a bit.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    I mean, we have 20 plus accounts throughout Mobile.

Marcus:    Yeah. Yeah.

Keith:    And a handful [crosstalk 00:29:58].

Marcus:    Well, I had a chance ... I'll just say this as kind of to wrap up. I had a chance to try your porter at Old 27 the other day. It was fantastic.

Keith:    Nice. Thank you.

Marcus:    You're definitely onto something. I'm not an IPA fan. That's why I went the porter route.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    For those of you that are IPA fans, if it's half as good as the porter was then you won't be disappointed.

Keith:    I got a real big plug. Are we out of time? Are we completely out of time?

Marcus:    We got a couple minutes, yeah.

Keith:    All right. We're about to release ... It's a few weeks out, potentially a month, saison.

Marcus:    Oh, wow.

Keith:    There's a couple of things compelling about that saison. One is part of our supply chain, our [saffron 00:30:38] supplier, so we put [saffron 00:30:40] in this beer. If you're not familiar, [saffron 00:30:42] is the most expensive spice in the world.

Marcus:    Yeah.

Keith:    We pay a premium for this particular [saffron 00:30:48] as well. It's sourced from Afghanistan.

Marcus:    Oh, wow.

Keith:    Our supplier's a veteran-owned company. Three engineers that I know of, and there may be some other founders in there, we're just kind of getting aquatinted. They basically saw that there were actually people in Afghanistan trying to grow something other than poppy or opium, which of course goes to the Taliban eventually. They're just trying to make a living.

Marcus:    Sure.

Keith:    What they did was gave them access to world markets. They now have 100 farmers. They're selling at [inaudible 00:31:25] restaurants up and down the East Coast. I think they may have some wholesalers as well. We're going to put it in the beer. We're fighting terrorism with beer right now.

Marcus:    Oh my gosh.

Keith:    Which is a [crosstalk 00:31:36].

Marcus:    That has got to be the coolest thing ever.

Keith:    Dude, it is.

Marcus:    That is so cool.

Keith:    It's so real too, man. I mean, to be able to tie my past to Haint Blue's future is incredible.

Marcus:    That's full circle. Yeah.

Keith:    We are. We're going to brew it at the end of this month [crosstalk 00:31:53].

Marcus:    I just got goosebumps. That is so cool.

Keith:    Yeah, you're the first. You get the scoop on that.

Marcus:    There you go.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    Well, we better edit this podcast and get it out quick.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    Keith, I want to thank you for coming on the podcast. I really appreciate your willingness to sit with us and kind of share your journey.

Keith:    Yeah.

Marcus:    I just wanted to say thank you.

Keith:    Yeah. No, thanks, man. Thanks for keeping me relevant. Thanks for inviting me into your space. I appreciate it.

Marcus:    Absolutely.