Beer is Freedom: Flying Dog Brewery | Part 2

Beer is Freedom: Flying Dog Brewery | Part 2


(upbeat music) – We’re walking toward the packaging area. This facility’s about 50,000 square feet on the first floor plus
we have a mezzanine. Gets pretty noisy back here. We bottle at the rate of
250 bottles per minute, about four bottles per second. We label at the same rate. This is Truth. We do hold these Truths
to be self evident. – So why’s it cold? – You have to bottle beer cold. Otherwise, the CO2 comes out as solution. We want the CO2 in the beer. So, we bottle almost at a mid 30 degrees so the CO2 stays in there. It’s very stable. The truth about the full
disclosure on this beer is that we saw an opportunity to
add a beer to our portfolio and sell a little extra beer. That’s the full disclosure
on this package. This was Ralph Steadman,
this example of one of those characters that might
not always tell the truth but in fact, our full disclosure says, “This beer came to fruition because we saw “a gap in our portfolio
and we wanted to increase “our market share.” – I love that, that’s awesome. You’re like a capitalist or something. – I’m like a capitalist. You will never get a
fresher Truth, so feel free to take that with you. – Tell me a little bit
about the process here because there’s a lot of
really disruptive beers here. There’s things that some
marketing executive at some big corporation would say, “Why would you ever sell that? “No one’s gonna buy it.” How do you guys decide? – I’m often asked the question, do I run a libertarian company? As if you can step out
of being a libertarian and go and run your company. So, even though I don’t
talk about this a lot, one of the things, one of
the many operating principles here at Flying Dog is people
must think for themselves and we demand it. We demand that if you’re doing
that, you’ll sometimes fail. So, you wanna push your
genius to the edge. Everything interesting is at the edge. So, our beers are created. Every year, we go up to the state park. Everybody here has two
minutes to pitch a beer idea. A lot of other breweries,
there’s one person and that’s where the beers come from and out of the 126 pitched this year, we pick eight, and our
goal is to always find creative ways to combine ingredients. It’s like literature. Everything, every story
that could possibly have been told in the history of the world has been told but you can
always say it freshly. So, as we combined tamarin and nutmeg and habanero and mole
chocolate and so forth, we’ve come up with these
wonderful expressions of creativity in craft beer
that brings people together and that’s at the edge. So, we’ll do 47 beers this year. At least 10 will be beers
we’ve never done before. – What’s up with the cast? Are you barrel aging some stuff here? – Besides the fact that
barrels are one of the most beautiful inventions of mankind,
I just love touching them and looking at them. They haven’t changed
for hundreds of years. We age beer in barrels, both barrels that have at
one time had tequila or rum, whiskey, white or red wine it it, but also, just wood barrels. These are called foters. It’s just raw wood that
will change over time as different beers go through. The lifetime on one of those
is about 10 or 12 years and with each beer, the wood is picking up different characteristics
which then imparts the next beers that come into it. We’re always tasting. There’s no set time. So, as we sample the beers,
as they age in the barrels, we know when it’s just right
to pull it out and bottle it. Almost always sold just here
in the tap room at Flying Dog. – So you put Gonzo in a
bourbon barrel or something? – Oh, to die for. Barrel age, call it
that, barrel aged Gonzo. It is to die for. People will line up down the
sidewalk during those releases. – Yeah, I need the alert on that one. – You need the alert on that one for sure. – So you got two things here. – So I’m kinda passionate about this. – Yeah I’m sensing a
little bit of passion here. You got two things going on. You got this disruptive,
“Screw their guys. “We’re gonna try this,
we’re gonna make it work. “We’re gonna make it
happen,” which I think is characteristic of the craft beer industry. It’s something that no
one every took seriously and now it’s this force not
just in the alcohol industry but in civil society and
then you have this sort of philosophy that says, “I’m
gonna play by the rules “that say we should be
free to do what we want “as long as we don’t hurt
people or take their stuff.” Where does that philosophy come from? – My philosophy comes from objectivism. Just to comment on a point you made, I’m not sure this
connection is always made, we view freedom of expression
and free enterprises inextricably linked. I think there should be
more freedom of expression and there should be no differences between commercial free speech and
individual free speech. So, when you attempt
to suppress my ability to communicate with my
consumers, you’re effectively anti free enterprise. My marketing message is
built into this bottle, the art, the name, the
description and so forth. So, if you are free
enterprise and you believe the consumer is sovereign and consumer choice, you cannot suppress freedom of expression. Objectivism, the weekend
of July 21st, 1977, I picked up a copy of Atlas
Shrugged and 100 pages into it, I couldn’t put it down. So in this espresso filled
weekend from Thursday night til Sunday morning, I read Atlas Shrugged and I wanted to be in that world. It described a society free,
people trading voluntarily, minimum regulation, a society
based on property rights, contracts, restitution, peace. Self defense but peace. Not taking other people’s
property by force. I wanted to be in that world. The message, I didn’t
know what objectivism was, didn’t get deep enough
into it at that point over the decades I have,
but the point is that and I took this away that
you can accept the world the way it is or you can live in the world that you want it to be. And you can adopt free
enterprise principles and not get into special interest politics and chrony capitalism and play that game. You live by the political sword, you die by the political sword and you can’t be a virgin
except for Saturday nights. Ya know, once you’re in that game, once you’ve sold your soul to it, you can no longer just
pass people in the street and say I’m for free enterprise. It has implications, it has consequences but you can stand for
something or stand for shit, but by the time you’re 30 or 40, you’re looking back on your life wondering where your soul dried up
and I will never do that. The story of where the
name Flying Dog came from which was from the Flashman Hotel in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in 1983. George Stranahan, a true Renaissance man, PhD in Physics, founded the
Aspen Center for Physics when he was still an undergrad. Professional photographer,
professional artist, founded the Woody Creek Tavern, a rancher, took 13 innocent people
to Rawalpindi, Pakistan, decided they wanna climb
K2, the most dangerous mountain in the world. One out of four people
who try to climb it die. They have no mountain climbing experience. It’s the only major
mountain without a name. It’s in the Karakoram Range, K1, K2, K3. It’s never been climbed in the winter. They land in Rawalpindi,
they find some Sherpas to guide em up the mountain. On day 37, they run out of alcohol. That’s not to deter them. They pressed on. Later back at the Flashman
Hotel in Rawalpindi, they see this painting on the
wall, a beautiful painting of kinda like an English
spaniel, but in a position you’ve never seen a dog, it’s
four legs in front of it, it’s ears blown back, it’s
hind legs tucked underneath it. Lester Thurow, the famous
economist, was one of them on the trip. This was Gaylord Wennin’s room. The best they could figure
out was a local misunderstood the concept of English bird
dog, that English had inhabited Pakistan during Iraj
and so, they named this the Flying Dog. The first time in the English
language those two words were put together and it
just became this spirit of who we all are and that is
maybe if nobody tells you that dogs can’t fly, maybe
you can believe that. Maybe you can actually
not let that little voice in the back of your head
tell you that you’re not good enough to live your dream. Live the world as you would like it to be, not as it is. – Do you ever look at yourself
in the mirror in the morning and say, “This is so cool, “I get to make awesome beer for a living.” I am just happy, I have a
great life and I’m happy. I’m cheerful and optimistic and yes. It’s partly because I live
my life with the principles of individual liberty,
taking responsibility, accepting that there are
consequences and implications, knowing that if I’m always
thinking I can correct the path. So, it’s not about a goal,
it’s about a direction and my purpose in life is
building and growing businesses, creating stuff and so,
when you’re doing that, it’s exciting. It’s fun. I’ve lost millions of dollars. Ya know, that’s what you do. There is no greater
feeling than knowing that you’re exercising your thinking,
your brain power to the maximum extent possible
and I’m surrounded by a tremendously talented team of people here. So, it is just pure fun. My goal is to be the best
part of your day, Matt. – We were talking earlier
about the anti free speech philosophy coming from the
social justice warriors today. What’s the origins of this? Why are they afraid of
people speaking their mind? It used to be that liberals
very much embraced the idea that speech was something
that everyone had a right to. – That is a great question
and I do have the opportunity to speak on college campuses. I’m a brewer, so that gives me a certain, well let’s hear what he has to say. And I do have the opportunity
to speak with a lot of friendly groups, whether
it’s IHS, Students for Liberty and so forth. I see three things. One is there’s a lot of
peer pressure to shut down any ideas that they find disagreeable. The old freedom of speech
for me but not for the, ya know, that these ideas are unacceptable and there’s a lack of understanding
that with every freedom comes a responsibility. The responsibility of freedom
of speech is tolerance that if you want freedom
of speech for you, other people have their
opinions and that’s how you make progress toward
some truth or ya know, moving the conversation forward. Second is, there’s a
extraordinary phenomenon that seems to be dialog is evil. Dialog is a tool of the
oppressor against the oppressed. It used to be the haves
versus the have nots under Marxism, that utterly
failed system, ya know? Now it’s more the oppressors
versus the oppressed and language and dialog
will trick you into believing stuff you don’t want to believe and I think that message
is fairly effective. So even, the shouting
down of the Heckler’s veto is simply not even to engage in dialog, not even looking at it,
there’s a possibility that if you’re talking to a rational person, that we have a lot in common, it’s simply shutting down that dialog. It’s extraordinarily dangerous. – So there must be some
lesson in there because we’re struggling with how
do we sell young people on the ideas of liberty
’cause we’re at this moment where ya know, they’re looking at the left and they weren’t
so much into Hillary. They’re looking at the right, they weren’t so much into Trump. You’re a salesman. How do we sell liberty
to this next generation? – You’re asking the most
important question because these are the people, our future leaders, the people that are gonna be
in positions of influence. I think there’s two ways. One is a basic understanding
of what our founding documents are, what those
principles are behind it. Fortunately, many young people
don’t even realize there’s a difference between the
executive, legislative, and judicial, so I think
there’s a extraordinary lack of teaching about American history, why America is unique among countries, why capitalism is the most
ethical moral system out there. I think we just need to
break free of what has become pretty much a conscious
effort not to educate people in schools these days. It’s unfortunate. So, without an understanding
of those principles, when you talk about
freedom as opposed to what? It all sounds pretty good if it’s not, if it’s taken out of context. So, this context dropping is
extremely dangerous to society. – I mean, you said earlier
that young people really don’t wanna be told what to think. They wanna buy into something. They wanna feel like
it was their decision, like if they’re gonna
choose a flying dog beer versus the next beer, they’re
like, that’s what I want. It’s not what I was told
to do, that’s what I want. – That’s another great point. I think that kinda relates
to everybody likes to buy, whether it’s products or ideas. Nobody likes to be sold to. Nobody likes to be told
your ideas are wrong. The best way to do this is
paint, hold that thought, picture this if you will. Visualize another world. Visualize a free society. Visualize Galt’s Gulch and think about that for a moment. That’s when you can move people forward. Libertarianism has a bad rap as being right-wing conservative
and that gets stigmatized with all this social
divisiveness and so forth. People need to step
back and just talk about individual liberty and
the joy of living with the pursuit of happiness
as being a worthy goal. Now, for us, of course, that’s a rational pursuit of happiness. I’ve said this before. You may know. I believe it’s the only
founding document in the history of the world that has
the word happiness in it. Life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness. There’s no guarantee, but
as you mentioned before, it’s not a goal, it’s a moving in the
direction of happiness. I’m going through life
cheerfully and optimistic knowing that whatever’s thrown my way, I’ve got the resources
that whatever I’m doing to apply my brain power to it, to make the situation a little bit better which means a little bit
more in the direction of the way I want my world to go. It’s a joy that you can’t even describe until you’ve been in that situation. Thanks Matt. – [Matt] Thank you so much. (upbeat music)

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