Yes! We’re Open: GoatHouse Brewing Co.

Yes! We’re Open: GoatHouse Brewing Co.


Catherine: Beer was just
always a shared love. Michael: Everything major in
our lives happened around beer. Catherine: We did meet
over a beer. ♪♪ Michael: We are definitely
an authentic farm to tap brewery. We farm pretty much all
the ingredients for all of our beer right
here on site. Catherine: Hops are looking
good. Michael: Yeah, it’s really good. Narr: Michael and Catherine
Johnson are the husband and wife team behind the
brewery meshing their love for beer, and the
rural lifestyle. Michael: We live on eleven
and a half acres. We have our home here,
our family is here, our business is here. Catherine: Our philosophy is
really based in connecting people to the land. Connecting people to where
their beer comes from. Michael: So, we bring people out
to the farm that can give them an experience they
normally wouldn’t get. Narr: And what’s a
“Goathouse” without goats? (Sound of goat’s bleat) There’s a lot of them. Catherine: We don’t even have a
current count of how many goats. Michael: High 30s I think. Catherine: High 30s-ish. Catherine: Well the buck got
out. And so this buck somehow
scaled a five-foot wall, and then … Michael: Had his way. Catherine: Had his way, shagged
his way through all the goats, and how he reached
all of them, I don’t know, so I’m impressed
with his extension. You know we’re like
first generation, like, farmers, right? I mean we’re, we’re, we’re
learning it all, then there’s no one
teaching us. Narr: But they’re not
doing it alone. The kids pitch in
to help out as well. Not those kids. These kids. Their son Nolan,
and daughter Mia. They also have several
full-time employees. Catherine: Hey there, how
are you doing? Narr: As for Catherine
and Michael’s roles: Michael: We both kind of do a
little bit of everything, but I handle all the,
the beer side of things. Catherine does more of the
business side of things. There’s a lot of
togetherness. Catherine: There’s a lot of
togetherness, but actually probably not as much
as people would think because, you know, his
office is the brewery so he’s out here, you know,
brewing, you know, night and day, seven days a
week, and then I’m, you know, in the office or
you know, with the kids. Catherine: Oh good girl,
get your stick. Michael: Our personalities
are pretty different. Catherine: I’m definitely the
type-A business, you know, timelines, and you know,
more like rigid one. And he’s, he’s … Michael: Not (laughs) Catherine: Not. But in a good way, it
is a definite balance. Catherine: We got this baby. Michael: Yeah. Michael: She’s my
yang to my ying, is that how that works. I can’t explain it. Catherine: He’s like
my third child. Michael: (laughs) Catherine: But he’s my
everything. So, you know, he’s the
love of my life, I fell in love with him the
moment I met him. Narr: Which brings us
back to the beginning of this story. Michael: Everything major in
our lives happened around beer. Catherine: We did meet
over a beer. We met actually at my, my
favorite cousin’s wedding. I was a bridesmaid and
he was a groomsman. Michael: We were at the table
with the family and friends and you know
people are ordering their drinks and what not, and
I hear this like little voice squeaking out,
“What kind of dark beer do you have? I’ll have stouts.” I was just like, what? And I look down the table
and saw this cute little blonde down there and I
was like I got to meet her. Catherine: And then the
rest is history. Narr: These two lovebirds
have been through quite a bit in a relatively short
period of time, and it’s a stark contrast from
when they first met. Catherine: It’s a far cry from
where we use to live and kind of our
previous world. Michael: Went from a, yeah, city
life to country life. Catherine: Born and
raised in … Michael: San Francisco. Narr: Michael and Catherine
both had successful careers in The City. Michael worked in radio
broadcasting and Catherine worked in
marketing for Apple. So what possessed
them to uproot their lives from The City? Catherine: We knew we always
wanted space, you know, you’re on top of someone,
I commuted 3 to 5 hours every day, and then you’d
come home and you’re circling the block trying
to park in front of your very house, and it was
just like, God, is this it? Is this life? Is this
all she wrote? Catherine: Who loves me? Narr: Their kids were also a big
factor in their decision. Catherine: They never saw me,
they didn’t see him. We were ships passing in
the night. At that time our daughter was in
kindergarten and our son was in third grade. And so we knew we had a
really a limited window of where we could do a
significant major life change. Michael: With the kids. Catherine: With the kids and not
fundamentally screw them up. Narr: They knew it was now
or never to start turning their entrepreneurial
dream into reality. Catherine: We didn’t think that
we could open a business in the Bay Area and then
look to move to a rural location, to actually
raise our family, we didn’t think we
could do both. Well maybe we skip the
urban component and go straight to a
farm component. Narr: And so, began their
search for properties that would have enough space to
fit a farm, brewery, and their family home. Catherine: We literally had you
know, like a map of California, and then
we would go and drive, every weekend we would
spend touring kind of the state of California
looking at properties. Narr: Eventually they set
their sights on the small Northern California
town of Lincoln. Michael: I remember when we
first saw this property we were driving down
the road, and it was definitely a gut feeling
of just like, “Oh my God,” like this, this can’t be,
I was like this is it, I was like this
is the place. Narr: And boy were
they right. Goathouse Brewing has
turned into a home grown hit since opening their
barn doors in 2013. Catherine: We were just
recognized by the Brewers’ Association as the
second fastest growing small brewery
in the nation. Michael: And we’re like, what?
(laughs) Catherine: It’s nuts.
It’s beyond the dream. (Sound of goat’s
bleat and bird’s chirp) Catherine: We’re pouring
everything we have into the farm and then the farm
kind of gives back, and then our kids
are thriving. Michael: A lot of people kind of
you know, look at their lives, and is like, you
know, what if we did this? What if we did that? And they kind of stand at
the edge going, looking over the edge going you
know, what if we did take that leap?
That’s a huge leap. Catherine: Huge leap. Michael: And it takes a lot of
chutzpah, and it’s safer to back away from that
edge, whereas Catherine and I kind of went over
looked at the edge and we kind of looked
at each other. And we both cannonballed
right off the edge. Catherine: We held hands
and then you know. Michael: (laughs)
We’re doing this. Catherine: Yeah. Michael: And you’ve got to
be like fully, fully committed and, you
know, here we are. We’re doing it. (Sound of
children’s laughter)

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