Before there was Three Taverns, there were Brian Purcell’s backyard gatherings. Brian’s invited guests were the only ones who had the privilege of tasting his homebrewed offerings. For Brian, who ran an incentive marketing company at the time, brewing was an opportunity to do something with deeper meaning. His brews had as much to do with his heart, soul and passion as they did with barley, hops, yeast and water. For him, it was only natural that beer and hospitality would go hand in hand, and his guests agreed.
After years of dividing his attentions, helping clients market themselves during the day, and brewing increasingly complex, Belgian-inspired recipes at night, Brian began to entertain the idea of knitting the two pieces together. What if he could extend the same culture of warmth and hospitality as a professional brewer, and also use his marketing expertise to help make the enterprise a success? This idea was the seed of Three Taverns.
It took many more years of brewing experimentation, careful business planning, and capital fundraising to turn the idea into a reality. Yet Brian arrived in the promised land of professional brewing uniquely prepared for the role, having launched and run two other successful businesses. In between, he joined The Coca-Cola Company’s marketing division.
Strangely enough, it was church that encouraged Brian to embark upon a life making and selling beer. After taking on a leadership role in his local congregation, he was energized by work that came from his heart. After that, though previously he’d thought the idea of professional brewing “far-fetched,” he first began to wonder if he could marry passion to vocation and make it work.
Three Taverns Brewery is the answer.
Joran Van Ginderachter
There are only three Belgian brewers working in the U.S., and two of them are related. Joran Van Ginderachter follows in the footsteps of his uncle Peter Bouckaert, who today works at New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado and who helped introduce his young nephew to brewing. This is how Joran ended up talking to Frank Boon (of Boon Brewery in Lembeek, Belgium) for his high-school senior paper on lambic and gueze beer. From that a passion-fueled career was born.
After earning a degree in chemistry from the University of Gent, Joran interned for his uncle at New Belgium, then took a job close to home at Brouwerij van Honsebrouck, then Brouwerij Bockor while co-founding his own side project, Brouwers Verzet (translated “Brewing Resistance”) in 2011. While Belgium’s beer culture has a freewheeling past, the industry Joran encountered was steeped in tradition. As a result, moving to the U.S. to find more freedom had an undeniable appeal. As he has said, “If you want to be in the beer industry, you have to be in the USA at the moment. There's so much interesting stuff happening here.”
As it happened, Peter Bouckaert met Brian Purcell at an Atlanta event, where the latter expressed his need (practically a pipe dream) for a Belgian brewer to help bring Three Taverns to life. Peter immediately thought of his nephew and a connection was made. Joran was intrigued by the prospect of working for a start-up, and he began the near-two-year process of applying for a work permit and visa to make the move.
At Three Taverns Joran oversees the brewery’s day-to-day operations, and has been heavily involved in every aspect of new product development and testing. He also oversees Three Taverns’ barrel-aging and sour program, having long had a fascination with sour ales.