The story behind the Redding Beer Company began on Father’s Day in 2014, when Jim Baulsir’s wife Cindy bought him a beer-making kit.
“Dave (Jim's son) and I knew nothing about making beer, but we followed the instructions and we thought the beer came out really, really good,” said Jim Baulsir, who works as an information technology manager. “We shared it with our friends, who liked it as well. We ran out of that beer pretty quickly.”
The Baulsirs went through about 20 beer-making kits. They’ve made beers that originated in the United States, Belgium Czechoslovakia, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Japan.
Initially, Jim and Dave were brewing inside their home, on the stove. It wasn’t always a smooth process, however. One time, they made a huge mess.
“Brewing beer involves extracting sugar from the grain. It’s in water, it’s very sticky and you are boiling it. One day, we had a boilover. It was a sticky, gooey mess and at that point my wife said, ‘Out on the deck with you,’” Jim Baulsir said with a chuckle. “After that, we began brewing on the deck.”
Soon, father and son began entering their homemade beers into online home brewing competitions — and they kept winning.
“We entered three and placed in all three,” Jim Baulsir said.
Soon, the Baulsirs wanted to take their beer making to the next level and become entrepreneurs. Jim enrolled in a 23-week program at the American Brewers Guild in Vermont, and received his certificate in brewing.
Father and son, business partners
Over the many hours they’ve spent together brewing beer and setting up the business, Jim and David said they have grown extremely close.
“Brewing involves a fair bit of downtime, and during this time, my dad and I talk about stuff,” David Baulsir said. “I wanted to get closer to my dad and learn about him and what makes him tick. I learned what bothers him and what skills he values.”
“Starting up this business has really been a grassroots kind of thing — a learning experience for the both of us,” Jim Baulsir said. “This is a true ‘father and son’ brewing team. My son and I built the brewery and will be the brewers in the brewery.”
~ Sandra Diamond Fox for the Redding Pilot