Four Peaks Brewing Co. Anniversary

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Tempe-based Four Peaks Brewing Co. marks its 20th anniversary in April. The brewery recently expanded to Nevada, New Mexico and Southern California and bottled its first new brew in eight years, Pitchfork Pale Ale. Two of the founders, Jim Scussel and Andy Ingram, will tell us about the brewery and the road that led them to success.

TED SIMONS: TEMPE-BASED 4-PEAKS BREWING COMPANY IS CELEBRATING ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY IN APRIL. THE MUCH-LOVED HOME-GROWN BREWERY RECENTLY SOLD TO ANHEUSIER-BUSCH, EXPANDED TO NEIGHBORING STATES AND BOTTLED ITS FIRST NEW BREW IN EIGHT YEARS. HERE NOW TO TALK ABOUT THE SUCCESS STORY THAT IS 4-PEAKS ARE TWO OF THE FOUNDERS, JIM SCUSSEL AND ANDY INGRAM. GOOD TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE. THANKS FOR JOINING US. I KNOW YOU SELL THAT STUFF. DID YOU THINK THIS WOULD LAST 20 YEARS?

JIM SCUSSEL: NO. THIS WAS JUST FUN. WE LOVED KRAFT BEER 20 YEARS AGO AND TRIED IT OUT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENED. WE PUT OUR HEAD DOWN AND WORKED HARD. I DIDN'T THINK ABOUT 20 MINUTES AHEAD OF ME. TO LOOK BACK, IT'S BEEN AMAZING.

TED SIMONS: FOR THOSE THAT MAY NOT KNOW, 4-PEAKS BREWING COMPANY IS --

ANDY INGRAM: A KRAFT BREWERY LOCATED IN TEMPE. WE HAVE THE ORIGINAL IN NORTH SCOTTSDALE. AND IF YOU ARE TRAVELING, WE ARE AT GATE 24.

TED SIMONS: WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED THE GOAL WAS WHAT?

ANDY INGRAM: NOT TO GO TO GRAD SCHOOL. THAT WAS MY GOAL. NO, I DON'T THINK WE HAD -- WE TALK ABOUT ONE YEAR PLANS AND THREE YEAR PLANS AND FIVE YEAR PLANS NOW. WE DIDN'T HAVE THAT 20 YEARS AGO. WHAT WE HAD FOR LUNCH WAS THE GOOD PLAN. 20 YEARS HAS GONE BY FAST.

TED SIMONS: WE HAVE VIDEO NOW. IT'S YOUR ORIGINAL PITCH TO INVESTORS. THIS IS THE ORIGINAL PITCH TO PARENTS. CHECK THIS OUT WHEN 4-PEAKS WAS STILL A DREAM.

"I TALKED TO SOME GUY. HE SAID I KNOW A GREAT WAREHOUSE YOU CAN GO. IT'S PERFECT FOR A BREWERY. WE COULD PROBABLY DO A RESTAURANT, FULL ENTERTAINMENT, OUTSIDE PATIO. WE COULD HAVE A BLAST."

TED SIMONS: WHEN YOU MADE THE PITCH, WERE THE EYES WIDE, GLAZED OVER OR YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?

JIM SCUSSEL: YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. WE JUST GOT THE LIVE MUSIC PERMIT 20 YEARS LATER. WE HAD THE RESTAURANT FROM THE BEGINNING. I TRIED TO WOW THE PARENTS. IT WAS A SALES PITCH TO THE PARENTS, AND IT WORKED.

TED SIMONS: IT WAS THE HAIR.

TED SIMONS: WHEN DID YOU KNOW? WE ARE LOOKING AT IT NOW. THE PLACE IS HOPPING. NO ONE GOES THERE ANYMORE BECAUSE IT'S TOO BUSY. WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD A HIT?

JIM SCUSSEL: GOOD QUESTION. I CONCENTRATED ON BEER QUALITY AND FOOD QUALITY AND SERVICE. WE HAD A GREAT BUILDING. ONCE WE BUILT THE KITCHEN, WE OPENED WITH PLYWOOD ON THE BAR AND DIRT ON THE PATIO. WHEN THE KITCHEN OPENED AND CHEF ARTHUR WAS MAKING GREAT FOOD AND PEOPLE WERE SAYING, I CAN'T BELIEVE YOUR FOOD IS SO GOOD. I'M USED TO PUB FOOD. YEAH, WE PUT TIME IN THIS. THAT'S WHEN THE FOOD CAME.

TED SIMONS: WAS THERE AN A HA MOMENT THAT YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO GO TO GRAD SCHOOL?

ANDY INGRAM: I THINK IT WAS WHEN WE WERE ARGUING BECAUSE WE WERE TOO BUSY. WHAT DO WE DO NEXT? YOU STEP BACK AND THINK WE ARE ON TO SOMETHING HERE.

TED SIMONS: THE IMPACT OF BEING IN TEMPE. THIS IS AN OLD PART OF TEMPE, OLD TIME BARS, REMEMBER THE OLD BARS DOWN THERE ON 8TH STREET. LIZARD ACRES I THINK WAS THERE.

ANDY INGRAM: THE LIBRARY.

TED SIMONS: IMPORTANT TO BE THERE, WASN'T IT?

ANDY INGRAM: HUGE. THE BUILDING WE ARE IN WAS THE OLD BORDEN'S CREAMERY BUILT IN 1890. TO CARRY ON THAT LEGACY, REVIVING THAT OLD NEIGHBORHOOD HAS BEEN GREAT. TEMPE HAS BEEN GREAT TO US ALONE, NOT JUST THE PEOPLE, CITY, INVOLVEMENT, FIREMAN, EVERYBODY. IT'S A GREAT PLACE TO GROW A BUSINESS.

TED SIMONS: LOOKING BACK NOW, ARE YOU SURPRISED?

ANDY INGRAM: NO.

TED SIMONS: ISN'T THAT INTERESTING?

JIM SCUSSEL: WE KNEW IT. HE WENT TO GRAD SCHOOL. I WENT TO UNDERGRAD. WE WANTED IT TO BE IN TEMPE. ONCE WE FOUND THE BUILDING WE THOUGHT, THIS IS IT. THERE'S NO TRAFFIC. IT'S IN SIN CITY. YOU GUYS ARE NUTS. THE CITY SAID GOOD LUCK AND LEFT US ON OUR OWN. ONCE WE FOUND THE BUILDING…

ANDY INGRAM: WE WERE WORKING ONE MORNING AND THE FIREMEN SHOWED UP. THEY SAID WE WANT YOU TO KNOW WE HAVE A DO NOT ENTER ON THIS PROPERTY. I WAS LIKE, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? IT MEANS IF IT CATCHES ON FIRE, WE'LL BE ACROSS THE STREET LETTING IT BURN. BRINGING THE BUILDING UP TO CODE -- THEY'LL COME PUT IT OUT NOW.

JIM SCUSSEL: NOW IT'S SAVE AT ALL COSTS.

TED SIMONS: YOU SOLD ANHEUSER-BUSCH RECENTLY. LAST YEAR?

JIM SCUSSEL: IT'S BEEN A YEAR.

TED SIMONS: WHY?

JIM SCUSSEL: WE EXCEEDED OUR SKILL SET. WE ARE THE 49TH LARGEST BREWERY AND IT WAS TIME TO GO OUT OF STATE. WITH 7,000 BREWERIES, WE HAVE TO FIND HELP. ANHEUSER-BUSCH TALKED ABOUT AMPLIFYING OUR PRODUCT AND MARKETING AND GETTING US REGIONAL. IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

TED SIMONS: DID YOU WORRY ABOUT SELLING OUT?

JIM SCUSSEL: OH, YEAH. WE SPENT A LOT OF SLEEPLESS NIGHTS THINKING ABOUT THAT. I HAVE TO SAY, THOUGH, IT'S BEEN GREAT.

TED SIMONS: DID YOU WORRY ABOUT THE CONCEPT. YOU ARE TALKING OLD TIME TEMPE HERE. THE CONCEPT, THE PERCEPTION OF SELLING OUT?

ANDY INGRAM: YEAH, OF COURSE. WE WENT BACKED AND FORTH ON THIS. THEY WERE NOT THE ONLY SUITOR. WE REALIZED WE WERE NOT SUITED TO SELL TO A BANK. WE WOULDN'T BE BEST OFF GOING TO A VENTURE CAPITAL GROUP. WE NEEDED TO GO TO ANOTHER BREWERY. A.B. WAS THE ANSWER. BEING AROUND 20 YEARS AND BEING SUCH A RELIABLE BRAND, GOING THROUGH TWO RECESSIONS AND STILL BEING THE GO TO BEER FOR ARIZONA, THAT SOFTENED THE BLOW. I DON'T REGRET THE DECISION. THOSE THAT WERE NOISY ON THE INTERNET HAVE COME AROUND. I HAVE SEEN THEM AT THE BAR. IT'S BEEN A GREAT DECISION FOR US.

TED SIMONS: I WAS GOING TO SAY, ANY REGRETS? THERE WAS CONCERN THAT OUR HOMETOWN BAR IS NOW ANHEUSER-BUSCH.

JIM SCUSSEL: IT'S LIKE THEY ARE WAITING FOR THE BEER TO GET WATERED DOWN, OR THE FOOD WILL GO TO A FAST FOOD CHAIN. THAT WON'T HAPPEN. WE ARE HERE. THE OWNERS ARE THERE. I'M OUT SELLING BEER IN THE REGION. ANDY'S BREWING AS MUCH AS HE CAN. WE HAVE BEEN BUSIER THAN EVER.

TED SIMONS: WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO BE IN 20 YEARS?

JIM SCUSSEL: ON THE BEACH. IT WILL BE OVER IN 20. THE BEER WILL BE THERE IN 20. I'M NOT SURE I WILL.

TED SIMONS: WHAT ABOUT YOU?

ANDY INGRAM: SITTING IN AN OFFICE MAKING BEER.

TED SIMONS: BUYING UP A KRAFT BEER COMPANY?

ANDY INGRAM: MAYBE.

TED SIMONS: GENTLEMEN, CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR SUCCESS. IT'S BEEN A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS STORY FOR ARIZONA AND TEMPE.

TED SIMONS: TUESDAY ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," WE'LL TALK ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN COMMUNITY DESIGN AND PUBLIC HEALTH, AND WE TAKE YOU INSIDE THE CARVER MUSEUM AND CULTURAL CENTER, WHICH PRESERVES AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURE IN PHOENIX. THAT'S TUESDAY AT 5:30PM AND 10:00 ON "ARIZONA HORIZON." THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THAT YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

Jim Scussel: Co-Founder of Four Peaks Brewing Co., Andy Ingram: Co-Founder of Four Peaks Brewing Co.

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