1: WE'RE AN AMERICAN BAND
The Swing Barrel Brewing Co. story did not start with a love of great tasting beer, it was all about the music.
John and Sean met at Minnesota State University Moorhead in the fall of 1999. Sean, along with another friend, wanted to start
a band, and John was a drummer. It was as simple as that.
Their time in the Sour Mash Band and Sam Bass Band in the early 2000s is what set the stage for their lifelong friendship.
Over the years, they’ve both traveled very different paths,
but ultimately decided to come back to Moorhead to build
their future as Swing Barrel Brewing Company.
2: OCEANS APART
After graduating, John took his musical talents to a higher level, playing professionally out of Fargo and Minneapolis and touring
much of the United States with bands such as Holiday and
Not Like This.
Sean started his teaching career and eventually found himself chasing adventures all the way to Seoul, South Korea, teaching
at Indianhead International School (IIS) and Seoul International School (SIS).
3: I LIKE BEER
Their passion for brewing happened to come about at roughly the same time, but out of different circumstances.
John, at that time working as a shipping/receiving and logistics manager for Macy’s, was looking for a way to fill a creative void that was left by his absence from playing music, and Sean was simply experimenting with beer alongside some co-workers at SIS.
They always stayed in close contact even though they were half
a world apart, and craft beer began to dominate many of their conversations. As Sean returned each summer to see family, they’d always find time to do at least one brew together while
he was back.
4: YOU MAKE MY DREAMS COME TRUE
Eventually, this passion for brewing and music lead to grander dreams. Why not a brewery? Why not them? Why not Moorhead?
Luckily, John’s wife, Jennifer, was crazy enough to marry a musician, so she was comfortable and on board with a little risk. And Sean’s wife, Bora, was even crazier to marry a foreigner from North Dakota, leave her entire family behind in Seoul, and move to Moorhead, MN just so Sean could chase a dream.
The support and sacrifices their wives have made has played a huge role in Swing Barrel’s ability to push their dream to where it is today.
5: YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YET
Swing Barrel Brewing Co. was started by two friends with a shared passion for building community and brewing delicious beer. As we continue to grow, we hope you'll join us with new friends or old, stop by for some live local music, and toast to the future with a few well-crafted pints.