Origin Stories is a series featuring Creative Collective Business Members telling the story of where they’ve been, where they’re going, and some advice for those of us who are just getting started.
Rob Dunn is the co-founder of Granite Coast Brewing Company. Listen to him tell how he caught the brewing bug in his early 20s and hasn’t looked back since.
About Granite Coast Brewing
Granite Coast Brewing Company is the culmination of a long thought-out goal made many years ago by best friends Jeff Marquis and Rob Dunn. The guys have been friends since meeting in middle school and share a fondness for gaming, traveling, and sampling beer. The idea of one day opening a brewery originated while traveling and over many nights playing cards. As Rob moved all around the country, Jeff had many opportunities to visit him and sample great beer.
Once Rob moved back to the North Shore, the guys started brewing in his kitchen. Slowly, they kept upgrading equipment until the brewing equipment overtook the kitchen. They next looked towards Jeff’s house, where they set up to brew in his garage. After some light construction and more equipment upgrades, the guys had a 1 barrel brew house in an unheated, unplumbed garage. After digging a three-foot deep trench from the house to the garage, power arrived at the pilot brewery.
At first, brew days were cookouts with friends and family as they tested new batches of beer and recipes. Interest and excitement quickly escalated, and it soon became about managing the schedules of brewing, cleaning, fermentation, cleaning, aging, dry-hopping, carbonating, cleaning, and bottling. With the need to thaw out frozen hoses, this schedule led to some frigid brew days and bottling nights in order to stay on schedule. As the guys were brewing more than they could drink, they were bottling and sharing it with friends, family, and some of their earliest supporters.
As their popularity grew, so did their list of “beer” friends including those who like craft beer as well as friends who enjoy home brewing. Capitalizing on their enthusiasm, honestly, and taste, Rob dropped beer samples all around the North Shore to get their brews some important feedback. In early 2018, the seriousness of finding a location and shifting to a professional level was upon them. After looking at numerous spots, completing the floor plan, and drawing up a lease with multiple locations, downtown Peabody had what the guys were looking for.
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