Guest: My first attempt at craft beer was stealing Red Rocket Ale from my stepdad and drinking it warm in a car on my way to Vegas. It was terrible.

Speaker 2: You're listening to the Bar & Restaurant Podcast, where hospitality lovers come to listen and learn with the expert, David DeLorenzo.

Delo: All right, we are back with another Bar & Restaurant Podcast. I am here today with Arizona Wilderness. I'm here with Patrick. We just discussed.

Guest: Thanks for having me on.

Delo: I'm going to call him Patrick and not Pat today, but anyways. We've known each other probably going on four or five years now. It's been a while or whatever. I've watched your guys' journey during that time and a lot of the cool stuff that's gone on. So, today what I want to do is get into your story personally a little bit, a little bit of Arizona Wilderness, and then some stuff we can nerd out on on, let's just say, a business and personal wellness level as well.

Guest: We do that anyways-

Delo: I love it.

Guest: ... when we hang out.

Delo: Yeah, actually, we do. So, this is just like having a conversation when we have one. So, we're inside their warehouse. Tell me a little bit about where we're at right now and how this came to fruition.

Guest: Right. This was born out of a necessity in my brain and in advancement of a style of beer that we think is true to Wilderness and the natural state of being of the landscapes in a beer form. So, we came up with a plan to go Downtown Phoenix, realized that our current brewpub capacity need to be grown a little bit to be able to service that demand or at least we speculated that it needed to happen like that. So, there was a space in our pub that was full of all these barrels. It was super crammed. Frankly, it was probably unsafe. So, it was a need that I was looking for an option for that.

So, we're looking at warehouse space, so that we could bring the barrels, less infrastructure needed in terms of glycol and all the brewery stuff, but the idea behind this space was to maintain our mixed-culture sour program. A lot of these barrels that you don't really know what they're going to be. They just become what they are in time. It's very much art driven and palate driven.

So, John Cheney, our cellar master in here, controls and tracks each barrel intimately, individually and then we collectively as a whole figure out what the intention and what the project is going to be. Generally, these are six months to upwards of three years each project, but you'll notice the large tanks and some of the stainless behind me. That is added production space for just adding a basic draft beer. Are we allowed to swear on this?

Delo: You can do it if you fucking want. Yeah, absolutely.

Guest: One of the big ones is Don't Fuck It Up. It's a beer that we rolled out that's worked really well for us. It's got a conservation message, but essentially, it was inspired by the rise of things like 805. So, honey blonde ale, local honey, but we can make that over here pretty easily and then create a ton of draft of something that moves. So, it had this duality of function as well as perpetuating the spontaneous program. So that's essentially the idea behind this.

Delo: I absolutely love the passion and the behind the scenes of what really goes on here. If you all are listening in your car right now and you have a chance to flip over to the YouTube and really see where we're sitting. Generally, I'll do the podcast inside of our podcast studio that I have in my office, but this one, I wanted to do, because I had been here before. I knew that it had grown. When you see the wood barrels and the metal and the whole contrast, it really brings to light the story and what these guys are creating and what they've done.

So, that being said, when you look at Don't Fuck It Up and you look at all the different beers that you guys put together, listening and knowing you guys over the years and listening to the story that you've already told on several other podcasts and things like that, I relate you guys to the garage band, rock band that was like Metallica in the garage days and then all of a sudden-

Guest: 100%.

Delo: ... the Black Album comes out and it's like, "Holy shit. What the hell just happened here?" And then you look at all your different beers that you do has your next up and coming LPs and records and all that. Do you feel the same way?

Guest: Yeah, some of projects in the queue that you're excited about, but 100% on the garage band stuff. It was shoestring budget and Kickstarter. The initial brewing setup and everything, it was definitely garage bandy that took off. And then we had to run it as a garage band to service what was happening. The Black Album type of scenario would be more now, where we can create an experience that's consistent and something that it is the vision of what it's supposed to be. Where in the past, it was grasping at and trying to throw things forward the infrastructure you weren't set up for. So, we feel gratitude, because people held on with us during those times when we made so many mistakes.

Sometimes we didn't follow through that well with what we were saying. Hey, come check this out. Well, we only have a little minuscule amount of it. So, some people got upset. Now, it's more like, "Okay, we have 100 barrels to choose from. We don't necessarily need all of them to turn immediately, because they're not going to go on tap soon." Now, it's like more intentful and slower process. And then that leads to a better customer facing experience where you can walk in and essentially choose your own journey of what you want in the beer world.

You can deviate to lagers to IPA to sour beer, like mixed-culture beer. You have a lot of options there, which was always my vision is to be the do-it-all brewery, right? You have the repertoire to place in front of someone and they will find something. They'll find their own way. And then recently, we've brought on local wine and some local spirits. So, you have an overall experience versus this. It's just maddening. We're just hitting this-

Delo: Just getting out.

Guest: ... peak order or whatever and just jamming.

Delo: Yeah, now you're doing a little bit of the orchestra and you're doing a little bit of the acoustic and all that stuff. Your catalog is just growing. Are there some beers that have been here from the very beginning?

Guest: There are, yeah. A few of them that came out of Jon's garage. Actually, the reason that I accepted the idea of Wilderness and coming over was I tasted some of his homebrew when he was on, I call it the 401k brewing system, where he took his wife's 401k and started brewing in the garage. But Refuge IPA is one of those and Superstition Coffee Stout and even the Pecan Pie Brown, which was funny, because I was telling this story recently, where I was taking the position and all the brewers over at San Tan were like, "Whatever you do, man. Just don't let them throw pecan pies in the beer." Now, brewers throw all kinds of shit.

Delo: Everything, yeah.

Guest: It's wild.

Delo: Oh, that is hilarious. So, everybody knows, Jon, who was not able to join us today, he's in a very awesome marketing meeting, which is cool. This is Patrick's partner. So, to get into that, you guys had met. Let's get into your story first. So, again, as I had mentioned before the podcast, you're a very hard person to find anything on. You've been known more as the introvert and Jon's more of the extrovert. With me, you're very much extroverted, because I just think we just have that kinship. We're able to pull it out and a lot of similarities. So, this is great. I'm excited for the time with you alone. 1990 is when you came to Arizona?

Guest: Yes.

Delo: Okay, where were you born?

Guest: So, I was born in Palo Alto, California.

Delo: Got you. Okay. What was your childhood like? I mean, were you like a kid running around, playing superheroes? Were you out digging in the dirt?

Guest: Well, it was a little bit of both. We moved to New Mexico. My dad and my mom, we lived at the base of the Sandia mountains. So, through that, I did have some of that hiking-

Delo: Adventure.

Guest: But I was young. I was four or five years old. And then my parents split and we came out to Phoenix. So, then my upbringing was Ahwatukee, White suburbia.

Delo: Ahwatukee.

Guest: ... rotating background, everything looks the same. But through that, my mom opened a retail shop in that like Ray and I-10 area. Initially, when we moved out there, there wasn't a whole lot. It was just a junkyard, where the movie theater's at. She had this little, tiny boutique shop, which ended up growing in multiple locations. So that entrepreneur element was early on a part of my life. So, I worked in the shop and delivered dried trees and stuff like that. So, I got that exposure as a child. And then some of that hiking stuff was more nostalgic for me, which was a key to being a part of Wilderness.

Delo: I would assume you know the mountains over there in Ahwatukee really well.

Guest: Yes, yeah, desert classic and South Mountain and whatnot.

Delo: Yeah, that's very cool.

Guest: Absolutely.

Delo: Do you have any siblings?

Guest: I do. Yeah, yeah. You're going to hear some CO2 and random brewery sounds.

Delo: Perfect, perfect for the podcast. Yeah.

Guest: Yeah, I have a younger brother, two and a half years younger. He now is on the road doing what I call the millennial shuffle. So, he's just living in a camper van-

Delo: I love it.

Guest: ... hitched onto a CRV. They're just going around going to national parks. He moved out to D.C. recently. And then they're moving from D.C. back out West. So, they wanted to have this tour of the US, but yeah, we grew up together. Sports, sports, sports, sports, sports. He was a soccer player. They ended up winning two state championships at Desert Vista. He was the intelligent one of the two of us. So, he was the straight-A kid, scholarship, that whole thing, which came around and bit him in the ass a little bit, because-

Delo: Now, he's on tour.

Guest: I was the guy that was 15. I got a job. And then I got multiple jobs always and just the more the grinder. It took me a little longer to learn things. So, I was a little more brazen in my approach to life where I needed to hammer away at things constantly.

Delo: You were learning life lessons.

Guest: To learn and that's why I became a valuable asset to the brewing industry, because you need people like that that can just hammer away and grind it out, especially in an up industry. That's what my San Tan experience was, where things just went insane growth wise. We needed to service that demand and do it quickly.

Delo: San Tan was right before you would come over here, because wasn't Jon courting you or spying on you or trying to get you to get in the garage?

Guest: I guess, yeah. You don't want to put in a nefarious way, but we were doppelgangers. We look the same. We have a very similar appearance. The hair beard, tall White guy, I guess, is the... I don't know, just generically. So, people thought we were the same person. That led us together, which is very faithful in a way. The very strange like, "Was this meant to happen?" I don't know.

Delo: Of course, it was.

Guest: Because we weren't friends before. We're both the opposite. We're the yin and yang of the whole situation. We flop back and forth. Sometimes, I yang and he yings. Typically, it's the other way around. I'm more yin-driven, but that's why our partnership works very well in a business context.

Delo: Well, I can completely relate to that, because my business partner, he's the yin to my yang. He's more of the introvert. He's very much read things and analyze it and more of the chemists, scientists, that thing, if that's such a thing in insurance, but it is. It's worked out for 20 years. So, I can completely relate to that thing. I'm sure your guys' fights, if any, are few and far between, because you're good.

Guest: Yeah. I mean, they've certainly changed over the years. Now, it's more just a matter of fact discussion. Whereas before, they were a little bit more heated and a little bit more strenuous and probably more publicly displayed, because we had issues coming on us every single day that needed to be tackled. We both probably weren't in a space where we were able to rationally take those on. So, that was probably challenging for people around us even at that point, but that's where quick growth can be a little bit of a struggle. Just growth in general is a struggle or just running a small business, starting a small business.

Delo: Experience, maturity, all that stuff just comes into play to that. And then you all are again, that hit band that came out of the garage. It's like the rapper that all of a sudden has the entourage and all this stuff in front of them. It's like, "Whoa, how did I get here?"

Guest: 100%. I would have never in a million years, even from the get-go, coming over from San Tan and working with John would have said, "Yeah, we're going to travel the world with this thing. We'll have a TV show." All of the things that have happened are mind blowing to me. I still live in this space of, "How did this become this?" I don't really understand it.

Delo: You're still one of the most grounded people that I know. I love that about you. So, you went to ASU, I went there as well. I went there for one reason. That was to look at girls. It wasn't necessarily to get a degree like you having that entrepreneurial spirit. It wasn't like, "College, yeah! Hell yeah!" So, I know that you went there. You got your degree as you would say, "barely," but you got it, right?

Guest: It's in paper.

Delo: Yeah. But through that, from my understanding, correct me if I'm wrong, but you had put together a class on brewing.

Guest: Yeah, well, I won't take credit for putting the class together, but the inspiration behind the class was driven by my engagement in brewing through my core major, which was Interdisciplinary Studies. But essentially, if you flunked out of business school, they would send you over here. That's what happened to me. These accounting classes are insane. How is a human being supposed to understand this? So, I got pushed over there, which is great, because it led me to the late great David Collins, who was my professor, throughout those years. The major was nice, because it allowed you to basically deviate whatever direction you wanted to go, because Interdisciplinary Studies can be anything.

So, beer is a great substrate in that there's technology, science, art, history. Whatever you want to apply to beer, you can. So, any subject matter that we were focused on in that class, I just brought it back to what my focus was. I wanted to be a part of the brewing industry. I was a brewery rat server throughout college. So, my first job was-

Delo: Streets-

Guest: Streets in New York.

Delo: ... in New York. Yeah.

Guest: Which was a crazy, crazy place. Zach, who I think went to SouthNorte and I don't know where he brews now, but they were brewing and trying to brew with household cleaning chemicals, because it was a corporate brewpub type thing. It was just not great. The beer was... I mean, it had problems. So, as a server, you walk in and like, "Okay, which one tastes good today?" We're not that bad.

Delo: Which one doesn't taste like Everclear or Johnson & Johnson?

Guest: Yeah, just some asinine off-flavor that now you would go, "I wouldn't drink..." They made some good beers here and there. So, you had to know what that was walking into the joint.

Delo: Getting into that, I mean, that was really your first discovery and love for creating beer and doing all that.

Guest: Yeah, I think we all have our craft beer journey, right? My first attempt at craft beer was stealing Red Rocket Ale from my stepdad and drinking it warm in a car on my way to Vegas. It was terrible. It was the worst experience ever, but the buzz and all of the things. So, I went straight from high school, Coors Light parties to working at streets in New York and having IPA. So, I didn't have that transition. I need an entry level beer. Let's ease our way into this. I was like, "No, I drink IPA now." And then from that point on, I was looking at the industry and just really enjoyed the idea of it. And then I discovered home brewing. Once you discover that and you get the bug, it's, "How do I get into this thing?"

Delo: Yeah. You bring up when you talked about the beer journey and you're drinking in the car. When I was 19, 20, I was going to Casey Moore's, no ID checks back then. I was drinking Franziskaner, the heavy-

Guest: Ice wine?

Delo: No, the heavy ice with the bunk on it.

Guest: I'm thinking Franzia or something.

Delo: Yeah. Just to have that in a cold glass at the time, I mean, that was like craft beer back then.

Guest: Hell yeah.

Delo: Because I'm 46. So, maybe a few years on you when I went to ASU or whatever, but there weren't any breweries really during the '96, '95.

Guest: Or basically just getting started back then.

Delo: Yeah, yeah.

Guest: Well, even when I went, there wasn't a ton of options. I mean, you had Four Peaks. I think San Tan was just getting going at that time. So, they weren't distributing a whole lot. There wasn't a ton of options.

Delo: Now, there wasn't.

Guest: There wasn't a ton of opportunity in the industry to get a job.

Delo: No.

Guest: So, that was the hard part for me, because I wanted to get in desperately. It was like my thing. I want to get in and do this. I graduated in '08. So, it was the worst time in human history to try to get a job. So, I was like, "I'm going to learn a craft, something that'll stick with you forever." So, I worked at Gordon Biersch there on mill and worked under Dieter Juergen Klaus Foerstner.

Delo: Love it.

Guest: Crazy German guy, [inaudible 00:20:06] tattooed on his chest. It's a one man show. They didn't have a job for me. I wanted one. So, I was like, "Well, I'll do this for free." I'm interning. My internship was there. I'll just keep doing it, but then you learn, I've learned now through owning a business, that there are these corporate rules. To have someone in a brewery that you're not paying is a liability. We're talking insurance. That's a problem. But back then, so they said, "Hey, we can't have you do this." That was the crushing blow to me. It was a crushing blow. You can't work in the brewery. I don't want to work here. I don't want to do this.

Delo: Right, yeah. I'm not going to wash dishes.

Guest: Well, I was a server, but I was like, "I don't want to serve tables forever." So, that was a moment where yeah, I can't do it. Well, I guess I'm going to go float around in the ether until I find my way.

Delo: Did you find San Tan after that?

Guest: Yeah, after doing pyramid scams through job career fairs-

Delo: We all did.

Guest: Everyone has a similar story to that or at least, my brother and some of my good friends are selling meat out of the back of a van or my brother started as a roofer at Sun Valley Solar. So, he was just picking roofs and riding his bike down there. That's where-

Delo: Hustling, yeah.

Guest: You hustle, man. San Tan was that for me. You make minimum wage, but they give you some low fills, some defective beer and you're happy. I always looked at it like that.

Delo: It's like you're on chemistry set. You're like yes.

Guest: Well, sort of. I mean, it's industrial manufacturing. It is what it is. That's one of the realizations that people have to take into account where when you get into brewing, it does look glorious from the exterior. When you get into it, it's like mechanized, just operating machinery and understanding some principles. So, you're not exactly like digging into some deep level of chemistry, especially at a base level entry position. You're packaging beer. You're just slamming tops on and moving cases, moving kegs around, breaking your back, basically. I think everyone who gets into beer should go through that phase just didn't know how it works, but that is a brutal, brutal phase.

Delo: Well, I think just within any industry, there's a lot of glamorization when people look at things and they're like, "Oh, my God, this restaurant," or this company or you guys are doing so great or this and that. Again, it's the old caveat that a lot of times people don't see the inner workings and the struggle and how long it takes to get to that point. Getting into your guy's travels and the things that you're doing and the invites that you've gotten, I want to talk a little bit about that, because it's extraordinary, but it's not like you guys just started going and doing that. You earned your right to go do this stuff and then bring it back to help grow your brand. So, let's talk about a few of your trips. I know, the Jordan trip was a big one.

Guest: Yeah.

Delo: I mean, I know that's a repetitive story for you, but I would love for my audience to hear a little bit about how that came about. Didn't you have a film crew with you on that one?

Guest: We did.

Delo: Okay.

Guest: Yeah. To give the backstory of that travel, because from the outside looking in, you do say, "Well, how do you afford to do all these things and how does this work?" Granted, we did invest a little bit as a company to get Jon and I to move around and do some of these things. But generally speaking, these invitation-only festivals, they will take care of a lot of the expenses for you just by bringing special product. You're bartering almost for that experience. So, John and I strategy was, "Well, if we're being invited to this thing in Copenhagen, if we're going to fly all the way over there, let's do something else." So, let's jump off from there. Usually, it's through London and then go do this project over here.

So, every time we would go over the pond, we would strategize how to do that or see something new or get a little bit more out of it. We went to Austria in one of the trips. That inspired the beer garden downtown. So, you have these elements, but the Jordan project specifically was one that was Jon-influenced idea of putting together content in this documentary style that would be viable for a network to pick up or some way of Anthony Bourdain-esque within a beer context. At the time, we had already seen it with BrewDog doing their show.

But before that, even just inspiration for our brewery was Brew Masters, the show that Sam Calagione put out through Discovery. That inspired Jon to go the direction we did with our brewery. So, he had seen those things and was inspired to make something ourselves. So, this was a pro bono proof of concept for that. We knew a brewery owner there in Jordan. He is the only craft brewery in Jordan. With a lot of the population not even drinking alcohol, you're basically selling it to expats or military base.

Delo: Very niche.

Guest: Yeah, small. Just to have the capital to be able to do it in that country is insane.

Delo: A lot of conservation, I would assume too.

Guest: Well, that too. I mean, they don't even have water available at the brewery. It has to come in via truck.

Delo: Oh, my God.

Guest: So, some of the things that we saw at that brewery were just wild. This truck comes in and it's got to pump the water for you. Jordan and surrounding cities, wars have been fought over water. There's water rationing and water comes in once a week. It's in these tanks on all the roofs and you have to know that that's how much you have, which is wild to think about. We take water for granted here a lot of times. I mean, even in these large cities like Phoenix, we think there's just unlimited resource of water.

Delo: Even especially this year with no monsoons, I mean, basically, no rain.

Guest: Not a lot of aquifers filling up. Yeah.

Delo: No, yeah.

Guest: So, this truck pulls up to fill up their brewery needs. There's a hose with just water just shooting out, just shooting, shooting. Jon and I looked at Yazan, the brewery owner and said, "Yazan, is that supposed to happen? Is that a problem?" He's like, "It's just a thing here. If I say something to him, he won't show up next week." So, this is just how it is. So, there are a lot of stories like that, where he went to get his first grain out of his mash and didn't know what to do with it. So, he talked to a farmer. The guy showed up in a miniature school bus with the seats taken out. They took all the grain and just shoveled it in the back of the school bus.

Delo: Wow.

Guest: So, there's a lot of infrastructural things that are really strange.

Delo: It makes you really appreciate what we have here in the States.

Guest: Yes, it provides context 100%, traveling and understanding at a non-tourist level. That's what is so beautiful about the TV show. Some of the opportunities that we were able to engage in is these were local people that live there, ran businesses. We didn't get the, "Hey, stay in a resort. We're going to make this Americanized for you, so that you're just on a beach."

Delo: No.

Guest: We went to the Dominican Republic and saw the trash and the Haitian issues. So, that was more empowering to the mind than would some of the other experiences that you could have on those travel.

Delo: Yeah. You've been to probably everywhere in the United States that we can think of. Is Jordan maybe the most creative one that you've been to or outskirt one?

Guest: Yes, though last December, I think, it was January, Jon and I went to Greenland.

Delo: Did you? Okay.

Guest: Greenland was certainly out there. I mean, it was very unique.

Delo: I remember seeing some of those pictures of the ice and all that. Beautiful, right?

Guest: But I would say Jordan being one of the more foreign places to go and a lot more culturally different. Where it's not just White people everywhere and they don't all speak English. So, yeah, that was a good one, the Jordan. Just generally being an American in a Middle Eastern space is different. It really changes the way you look at just how roads and things function and the water infrastructure, the food and the whole eating process, where it's very communal, like ongoing long drawn out.

Delo: Wow.

Guest: Not using utensils as much.

Delo: That's cool.

Guest: You learn some things. I was actually mistaken for Jesus or at least a symbol of Jesus-

Delo: Right on.

Guest: ... when we went to a small town called Madaba. It's like outside of Jordan. There's this really, really old church that is built around this mosaic. I had been wearing my Earth Runners sandals that's copper connectivity sandals. I had lost the group. So, I was just standing outside. We had gotten the headrest like the traditional headrest over me. A group of people from India actually... I mean, this was 20 or 30 people. ... swarmed me.

Delo: This is the best story.

Guest: They were all taking pictures of me.

Delo: Oh, my God.

Guest: Me not being particularly religious, it was a little overwhelming, but I accepted the energy and said, "Okay, yeah."

Delo: Of course, yeah, that's beautiful.

Guest: Let's come in and we'll take photos together. The strangest part about it all was Jon and team had found me and got a few photos. This is a really random situation. It's very strange, but this older man came up to me afterward, this tall, older man and said, "Hey, can I take a photo with you?" He had a little bit of an accent. It was a Danish English accent. We took a photo together. We ended up posting that online. We had just come from Copenhagen. The Dane said, "Hey, that guy is Jacob Holdt. He's a Pulitzer Prize award winning photographer, who lived in the slums in the US in the '80s and documented a bunch of things."

Delo: So, he thought you're Jesus too and wanted a picture.

Guest: I think he was just taken aback by this energy and what was going on.

Delo: That's beautiful. It's absolutely beautiful. Did you get free lunch out of it?

Guest: I don't know if I particularly got lunch for that.

Delo: What a cool experience and amazing story. I absolutely love that. I had actually been mistaken for Jesus in high school when I looked pretty much like you back then. Because I was in the music business, so I was like, "Fuck it. I don't care." And then believe it or not, when Maverick Records, which was Madonna's record label at the time, hired me, they had asked me to get a haircut. Go figure that out, right?

Guest: So, the record company made you cut your hair to be a part of the record.

Delo: Totally.

Guest: That opens your eyes to the way that music and-

Delo: Corporate.

Guest: ... corporate element to music. It's not just creativity and everyone's-

Delo: No, they're like, "We need some business whatever." I'm like, "Okay." So, it was Madonna's company. So, I did it. Anyways, growing the hair back out now as we had talked. So, that's awesome. Okay, so you do all this traveling. I would assume this year just due to circumstances, traveling has gone down a little bit. You've had some more time now.

Guest: Traveling's gone.

Delo: Yeah, it's pretty much gone.

Guest: I mean, localized travel, Jon and I have been able to get out to wilderness areas quite a bit. So, that travel exists obviously. It's safe and whatnot, but everything else has been toast, which has actually been very helpful.

Delo: So, let's segue into that, because I want to talk about Wilderness as a living and breathing organism. I mean, it's not just a brewery and restaurant that you go in and eat and drink. It's an actual living organism where people can come in and experience your guys journeys and your travels and the things that you bring back. So, you guys do a lot of backpacking and camping and hiking. Jon takes some of those beautiful pictures I've ever seen.

Guest: 100%.

Delo: Yeah, shares all that stuff. So, tell me a little bit about just the overall idea in your head when you go out into these journeys. Besides just camping and getting into nature and bringing ingredients back for beers and stuff, just tell the audience a little bit about that.

Guest: Yeah, I think there's a philosophical, spiritual relationship to being outdoors that we try to not only through the work that we do with the brewery but personally engaging in that. Because my philosophy is if you see a direction you want to move or an identity that you want to encapsulate and share with others, you need to live that yourself first on a personal level to see if there truly is something that is viable to share with others. I think that wilderness engagement is helpful for that. It breeds a level of humility in oneself, especially when you can test the power of nature. You walk up that ridge that gets a lightning storm and you weren't completely prepared. These are moments where Mother Nature does not give a shit about you. That's okay.

That's respect for the land and the earth itself. And then some of the initiatives that we put forth, it really frames us and puts them into a space where you have this relationship with the earth and it gives you your why as to, "Why would you make the sacrifices and do the things you're doing?" For us, it would be specific to some of the conservation value of our malt that we use, the Sinagua Malt story and the idea that you're saving water or rivers, right? The beauty and the natural serenity of that river space and that free wild space is something that have gone away and really degraded over the years. Industrial America has stripped the land severely. So, coming in contact with that land gives you that frame of reference to want to fight for it and care about it-

Delo: That's beautiful.

Guest: ... a little bit more.

Delo: Absolutely beautiful.

Guest: So, that helps us. For Jon, Jon's a creatively-driven person. So, photography for him, that is a creative outlet. That's an element for him to express his creativity through the natural landscapes and the beauty and the unforeseen circumstance of what a sunset could provide. It's an excitement value for him where he wants to stay on the ridge and get struck by lightning as long as he gets the shot. So, when him and I do it together, we have a different relationship with it, but we get something both out of it. Personally, I enjoy the physical aspect of it as well, where there is some harsh-

Delo: You're pushing yourself.

Guest: ... struggle. Yeah.

Delo: Yeah, pushing the limits.

Guest: Beyond just getting out of the truck and walking a mile and taking a sunset photo, no, let's go on a journey that is going to test us a little bit.

Delo: It's amazing, people. Jon's Instagram... We'll share all this in show notes or whatever, but you have to check out the photos and what they do and how it lends back into the brewery. I mean, it's so cool when it pops up on my feed to see that. I'm sure Jon would too consider himself more of an Arizonan now than an Ohioan probably.

Guest: 100%.

Delo: Yeah, because what he's able to bring.

Guest: Yeah. The whole identity of the brewery was based on that connection, that neuro electronics synapse that Jon felt when he went to a wilderness space. He saw the sign, read essentially the Wilderness Act to be unmolested by man in its natural way is the idea that we brought to beer. We don't filter these things. We allow them to express themselves. Granted, we do curate. We guide the products and the beer and have intent behind it. But that's why big beer was initially the enemy. That's the corporate, man, because it was this mechanized thing. So, weird, because craft has grown big. A lot of the craft has been mechanized at this point.

Delo: Well, at this point, what is big beer? What is the definition?

Guest: Well, corporate beer has won that battle, where they've convoluted it. The lines have been blurred where I don't think a lot of consumers really care. Is Four Peaks local? Well, they sure say it is in all their billboards for the past five years since they've been bought.

Delo: People are still drinking. So, this year, you've been doing a lot of the camping and the hiking and all that stuff, which is amazing. And then has that fluctuates into what you use in your ingredients locally, what you use, even in your food? A lot of the locally sourced just farmers out here and the cattle and all that, I mean, that's huge. I get it. Owning restaurants myself, knowing what your margins are, which are basically nothing, you're literally doing this out of a passion and out of a love to get Arizona-based stuff to the people.

Guest: Yes, yeah, we have those discussions. The margin discussions are hard. In a business context, we brought in a COO to help us manage some of those elements of our business, because generally, we have a decent idea of how things sell and what the price things at, but it's more of like a gut feeling than an actual analytical feedback element. Jon and I aren't going to build spreadsheets. We're not those kinds of entrepreneurs. So, in that space, these are more driven by our... You think about it from an environmental standpoint, a locality standpoint, and then there's a health wellness standpoint as well for some of the, for instance, grass-raised beef, right? We understand the value and benefit of that.

Also, the idea that you can take where you're at and know you have a long way to go to get to where your goal is. Some of the inspirational books we've read, Let My People Go Surfing, Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia, and understanding those principles and then the way that you're going to have a greater effect overall in the world based on what you're doing, what you're putting out there, right? So, are you just getting some beef that comes from Midwest? It comes on a truck in a semi and the fuel to get it here. It's got hormones injected into it.

Delo: Well, people don't know what they don't know.

Guest: Yes, that's where you are framing... I have an intelligent intuitive consumer, restaurant goer who does value these things. So, for us, we've had to learn the process of R&D and the process of, "Hey, all right. For a while, we're going to have a beef upgrade on the menu." It's going to say, "Here's Arizona grass-raised beef. Here's why it's great." We're going to talk about it. We're going to have that conversation. And then a consumer is going to come in and vote with their dollar.

Our end goal is hey, we're going to be 100% this. We've finally reached that at this point, but it was a phased process along with the Sinagua Malt journey, which was okay, they're going to put a test plot down in the Verde Valley. We're going to take that test plot. We're going to use it for a batch of beer, see if it even tastes like anything good or how did it grow on that test plot. So, it was a few years experiment.

Delo: It's cool.

Guest: That then ended up working out. And then honing in those principles and getting better, growing with those companies. That's what we believe that it makes Arizona greater in the end when you have these small local farms and grain purveyors and local cattle ranchers that now, you have a relationship where they're growing with you. As our company grows, they grow. That's a challenge. I mean, navigating that relationship and understanding the size of a company and whether they're able to service your demand or if they're too big for you. When we were smaller, there were companies that were better, where you get a handful of ingredients, throw it in. Now, you've made this beer. Now, we need 10 times that amount, that producer may not be-

Delo: Able to produce.

Guest: ... the one unless we've grown with them along the way.

Delo: Yeah, you've helped a lot of companies grow in that sense. I'm sure with the good experiments, there have been 10 that you've just learned from that are like, "Yeah, that isn't going to work," which is great. You guys are doing all this, obviously, for your love and for your building of a company, but also for the people that come out and come to your place and want to enjoy something that is authentic and from Arizona. That's huge. Not everybody's doing it. That's why you guys are so successful.

Guest: Well, it's hard to scale.

Delo: Very hard, yeah.

Guest: We have conversations with local restaurant tours.

Delo: Have those conversations.

Guest: Works in a cafe maybe, 25-seat plays, because you can only get so many turns or in somewhere where the price point can be elevated and that's okay. Because we need to mechanize it. So, all of a sudden, that's like, "Yeah, you're going to go through 50,000 plus pounds of beef in a year." Okay, so that price point, whether it's per pound, if it's $1 difference, that's a big deal. So, how do we navigate that? Because either we internalize it and make less money, which tends to happen a lot, which frustrates the money guy.

But to us, we look at it like, "We don't traditionally market, use social media and do some things." So that budget that would live there then goes into the product. So, if we tell a story well enough, then it all works out. The business philosophy, whether that plays out in the end, I mean-

Delo: It's okay. You're having fun, and you're doing what you love. I mean, at the end of the day, yeah.

Guest: I mean, yeah, you have to be profitable. You go to make the business work. So, that's a big discussion that we have, especially recently with COVID, because it changes the game. You have to shut down the stuff in here. You'd be like, "Oh, cool. So, our not great margin product got slashed and then Uber took half of it." You're like-

Delo: Yeah, no.

Guest: ... it's crazy.

Delo: That's all good points. So, you have two locations now. The one in downtown is what, three years old?

Guest: Two, yeah.

Delo: It's two years old. Yeah, yeah, time's flying. You're not quick to really expand like you see a lot of other businesses go, "Location, location." You're very, I would say, calculated in the essence that, like what you're talking about here, to really duplicate on a quality level, what you guys do is a lot. You want to make sure that your purveyors and everybody else is in line with you to do that. That also being said, through my inner workings with you guys, I know that you keep all your employees and you take care of them and keep them. So, it's almost like a family unity that you guys have together that, I think, is awesome.

Guest: Yeah, yeah. I mean, we try, because obviously, the service industry, we know that the turnover is pretty huge. But the core group is generally sticking around. What we like to do is add in wilderness elements to what their lifestyle is and their job. To go camping with us and pick spruce tips is not a requirement. But a lot of times everyone goes, because it's fun. We'll provide everything for it for them. They just have to show up and enjoy it.

Delo: I'm so going one of these times.

Guest: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Delo: I'm such a coward to go camping on my own, because I have no equipment. So, I'm going to go with you, guys.

Guest: I mean, we've gotten a lot better at it. The Coolship experience that we've done, we definitely learned how to scale camping a little bit. Because when you have 20 or 30 people out there, you need a way to cook food for them all.

Delo: For sure. Yeah, no, that's cool. Well, let's bounce that into health and wellness, because that's one of my passions. It is interrelated with food and hospitality. You and I have really clicked on everything from the running aspect of things to eating healthy to I believe you're still gardening or your wife is.

Guest: Yeah, I'm gardening.

Delo: Yeah. So, you're doing all that stuff.

Guest: Got eggplant right now.

Delo: Nice.

Guest: Yeah.

Delo: Let's start with your daily journey of biking to work. So, people got to know this. So, how many miles a day do you bike to work out?

Guest: Yeah. So, I try to get a couple days a week back and forth. I think it's 50 miles roundtrip. So, what I did was before when I was working at San Tan, I had a road bike. I would ride from Tempe to Chandler and back. That was solid, but then it was also physical labor all day. So, that was insane to do that, but I was definitely in a mindset way more insane back then. Now, I'm a little more qualified, but I got a pedal assist bike. So, you can set that at a higher level or a lower level depending. It's meant to get rid of your car. It's like a commuter bike if you wanted to reduce your carbon footprint or just get outside and get some vitamin D.

Delo: Are you all Canal from...

Guest: Pretty much, yeah.

Delo: That's perfect.

Guest: I mean, for my spot. Yeah, I'm in the Arcadia light area. So, I can hit Canal and then you just pop through Tempe and then on the Western Canal path.

Delo: That's awesome.

Guest: So yeah, I mean that's been great. What I want to do is do a run, a Forrest Gump run on Halloween.

Delo: Cool.

Guest: Go from the Wilderness Gilbert to Wilderness Downtown.

Delo: I love that.

Guest: So that would be fun to do together.

Delo: Yeah.

Guest: If you're down.

Delo: Let me know. Well, we'll wear crazy hair shirt. I'll wear the Wilderness shirt. You wear my shirt. We'll do that. No, that'd be fun. I think part of the camping expedition too is I'm sure you probably go trail running.

Guest: Yes.

Delo: You do all that stuff. Do you do it in your sandals, or do you wear running shoes?

Guest: Yeah, so my logic, running wise has changed quite a bit.

Delo: Has it? Okay.

Guest: Yeah, because these are minimalistic shoes. I've done it in Earth Runners as well, but I started to ramp up quite a bit. When you ramp up, you realize the amount of impact that you are taking. It can be pretty, pretty intense. So, I ended up recently giving my IT band some issues. So, I've changed my mindset a little bit there into more of, "Hey, I want to be able to do this more and maybe go further. So, let's make the impact a little lower."

Delo: Did you get heel cups?

Guest: I did. Yeah, to cushion it.

Delo: They cushion it. Yeah, space foam shoes. Yeah. I made that move probably right around... I think you're a few years behind me. So, probably right around you making it now, because I was the same way. I was wearing the Vibrams. I was trying to run barefoot, all that stuff. And then I could feel just the detrimental damage it was doing to my IT and all that stuff. I'm like, "You know what? This technology is probably there for a reason. I do want to do it a lot longer." My weekly runs are now down to 25 miles as opposed to running 100 miles a week. I just do it quicker and more intense. It's a meditation. Talk to me a little bit about maybe your mindset for running. Is that where you meditate? Do you sit down to meditate?

Guest: Yeah, I try to just have a traditional meditation practice on a daily before coffee, but I do believe that running is a form of meditation. There are epiphany ideas that come to my brain or just slow flowing. You get in a state that happens in that... Especially when it's steady state and you're not just charging like crazy, you're just this repetitive motion and staying with that. Whether it be pain or enjoyment or whatever, just staying with that. Yeah, the running has certainly perpetuated that idea of just going through that flow and not getting too sucked away in some emotional direction one way or the other.

Delo: Quieting the mind and doing all that stuff. I don't see you being one that has been too attached to your phone or that much social media or that.

Guest: I don't know if you've seen the documentary that just came out that's on fire, The Social Dilemma.

Delo: Yeah, it's on Netflix last night.

Guest: Yeah, that was one that even me, I go, "Okay. Is this affecting me?" I mean, these algorithms I knew they were happening and they were doing things. So, I just put a phone tracker on to see what I'm looking at, how often and what the averages are. So, that was helpful, because I'm generally below quite a bit. But even so, I look at that and go, "Yeah, I could probably reduce this phone..."

Delo: I think there's good and bad and all that stuff. While I look at that documentary and I say, "That's interesting," I also know that there's a lot of good that can come out of social media. I think for people such as yourself and myself that are positive and want to motivate and give love out there, that can be a good thing for social media to spread that as opposed to spreading just stuff that why?

Guest: Yeah. Yeah, the polarizing stuff.

Delo: Right. I mean, I don't read the news. But if I'm out running and I want to share that with people and be like, "Hey, come on out," or share that energy and one person can get a goodness from that, that's when I think social media is huge.

Guest: I'm sure you've probably dug into David Goggins, right?

Delo: Oh, yeah.

Guest: I mean, you can't hurt me, how many people has that touched and changed their lives in a positive way? So, there are elements of whether book or media that can be very helpful and useful. Yeah. I mean, because that was a doom and gloom documentary-

Delo: For sure. Yeah, it was.

Guest: The Social Dilemma.

Delo: But that's what makes it captivating, right?

Guest: Right.

Delo: One other thing on health and wellness as far as just your eating regimen, do you eat a lot out of your garden? Do you eat at the restaurant? I mean, obviously, you probably eat good quality stuff when you do and you're cognizant of that. Are you a faster?

Guest: Yeah. So, I try to stay out of the extremes-

Delo: Yeah, of course.

Guest: ... when it comes to all these things, because I've done that in the past. I think we all do, especially when we get super into health and wellness. Jon and I, to roll back, we've been on a little bit of a journey ourselves where we open the brewery, burgers and beers and IPAs. The whole mindset around health and wellness wasn't really a thing for us. I always exercised and was moderate, but it was a big influx of that calories and what was going on and the alcohol. We both gained a ton of weight.

Delo: You're lean now.

Guest: I'm lean now, but I was at my height almost 220.

Delo: Holy cow. Okay. Well, it's not huge. I mean, you're what?

Guest: 6'1, 6'0 foot, yeah.

Delo: What do you weigh now?

Guest: It was like just thick guy. I weigh, 175 is my natural body weight, a good spot for me to be. But Jon went up too. When we started the brewery, he was under 200 pounds. He went to 250. There were some moments where we want to go skydiving and they wouldn't allow him to go, because they didn't have someone big enough. The minute that happened, he said, "I'm running a marathon." He did it.

Delo: That's great.

Guest: He ran a marathon. Granted, he didn't lose a lot of weight, because his lifestyle was still similar when he was doing that. But at that point, I looked down, because they weighed me too. I was like, "I've never been this heavy before. What's going on? Maybe I should consider my lifestyle with what's happening here with all this travel and eat, drink and whatnot." So, I went on that journey to get back and get to a more reasonable level. Through that, I found things like... I don't know if you've ever followed Ben Greenfield, but Ben does some crazy stuff, like off the wall biohacker shit.

Delo: I love it.

Guest: So, I get engaged in some of that. I think I dug it too far and was trying to do keto things.

Delo: I did that with Dave Asprey stuff.

Guest: Really? Yeah, yeah. Some of it was just too much. It was like a shotgun approach, where I was like, "I'm going to try this, this, this, this and this." Well, if you're quantifying your body as somewhat of an experiment, then you would not want to change all the variables all the time.

Delo: I think you would agree that when it comes to doing that thing, having intuitive conversation with your body after you put something into it and then realizing what that reaction is, how it feels your body and what goes on. That's different for everybody. It's like, "Okay, if I can eat this hamburger bun and it doesn't destroy me, it might not be the worst thing." You might want to avoid gluten, you might not, but it's just all those certain things or some people might not do well with nuts. I know with me, it's these oils. I know if canola oil or even if it was a canola-olive oil mix-

Guest: Stomach upset.

Delo: ... it cranks my stomach. So, I think a lot of people have gotten lost in the translation of listening to their body, because they get so used to feeling just logged down. And then it's like, "Give me that cup of coffee to get me back up."

Guest: It's so amazing, because when you haven't seen the other side, then you wouldn't know.

Delo: You wouldn't even now. Yeah.

Guest: And then once you do see the other side, you go, "Why doesn't everybody do this?" So, that's a conversation that has popped up in my mind. And then there are other elements were on that journey, you have to learn things on that journey. At the base state, exercise and eating better is the thing, right? Just eat less and exercise more and whatever, but there are a lot of other factors there, like the spirituality factor, some of these things, restorative elements. I've recently gotten onto this, this WHOOP thing. I love it, because it's about recovery. It's a fitness tracker that doesn't do anything but focus on, "Are you recovered enough to perform?" Because I'm always an overdoer.

Delo: So am I.

Guest: I just go too hard. I David Goggins the shit out of it and then I break myself.

Delo: So, I just found StretchLab, which is a place that goes. You lay down there and they stretch you out, which is good for a recovery day. I can share that with you afterwards, but it's amazing. They stretch out my IT, but you literally lay there and they strap you to bed. It's absolutely amazing. And then they just stretch it out for an hour. I love that you say recovering. You bring all that up, because a lot of people including myself that are type A and just go full out like David Goggins method, it's not healthy for us.

Guest: No.

Delo: You think it is, because in our mind, we're doing more, but we're actually doing less and tearing apart and all that stuff.

Guest: Breaking everything down. Yeah.

Delo: Yeah. Okay, so I could go on for hours with you, but in the meantime, I just want to ask you some quickfire questions.

Guest: Sure.

Delo: All right. This will be a lot of fun, I hope. Would you rather have a Prius or a Volkswagen Beetle?

Guest: Prius or a Beetle? What kind of Beetle? Are we talking like bug?

Delo: A little bug. Yeah.

Guest: I'd say back in the day I would have chosen Beetle, because I was doing biodiesel experiments. But nowadays Prius, because it's electric. I would love to have an electric truck. That would be my vision for the future.

Delo: I think you're getting closer.

Guest: Yeah.

Delo: Yeah. What would you rather experience and I'm sure you've experienced one of these, a rattler or bear?

Guest: Bear. Bears are generally pretty scared of you, so. Rattler, that's actually one of my fears, man. It's like stepping on a rattlesnake.

Delo: Yeah, that's why I don't camp sometimes.

Guest: Yeah, backpacking alone, that's one of my things. I'm like, "What if I got bit by a rattler?" That's not good.

Delo: Yeah, and then you're out there in the middle of nowhere. What do you think you're more prone to see, Sasquatch or aliens?

Guest: Aliens.

Delo: Cool.

Guest: Yeah.

Delo: Yeah, I love that. Would you rather camp in the Arctic cold or Death Valley?

Guest: Arctic cold, yeah. Yeah, I'm a hot sleeper, so.

Delo: Oh, yeah.

Guest: I can probably handle the heat a lot better.

Delo: I'm more of a Death Valley guy. I actually want to run out in Death Valley at night. I think it would be just cool scenery, like being on Mars or something. Metallica or Dr. Dre?

Guest: Metallica.

Delo: Okay. Cheetos or Doritos?

Guest: Cheetos.

Delo: You didn't hesitate there. Read a book in a hammock or go fishing?

Guest: Probably book in a hammock. Yeah. Yeah.

Delo: Would you rather eat worms or crickets?

Guest: Crickets?

Delo: Okay.

Guest: I think I have eaten crickets.

Delo: How many pushups can you do continuously?

Guest: Not that many. I actually tore my left pectoral.

Delo: Oh, no.

Guest: So, probably 20.

Delo: About 20, okay. And then last but not least, would you rather have an hour beard massage or head massage?

Guest: Depends on who from. I feel like a beard massage is really intimate.

Delo: Your wife.

Guest: Beard massage.

Delo: Beard massage.

Guest: Yeah, but the head would be whoever-

Delo: Those are the best.

Guest: ... or machine or whatever.

Delo: Yeah, those machines. That's awesome. Well, Patrick, I'm going to go with Patrick. Thank you so much for hanging out. Yeah, this was really cool. I think people are going to absolutely love it. I mean, do you have social media you want to share?

Guest: Yeah, yeah, @azwilderness on Instagram. We have our Downtown Phoenix location on there as well. I would probably put a plug for our beer delivery,, because we're delivering beer now due to some of the COVID stuff, which has opened up some new opportunities for us to get our beer out there.

Delo: Yeah, which is amazing. Do you still have the Arizona Wilderness Humans?

Guest: Yes, Wilderness Humans. I think Jon added life to the end of it.

Delo: That's on Instagram, right?

Guest: Yeah, that's one of the lifestyle stuff. Jon generally runs it, but I'll get a post in there once in a while when I'm feeling savvy. But that's just him and me.

Delo: Well, I remember running into you in the airport when I was flying to New York a couple years ago. I think you're going to North Carolina or something like that. I just happen to run into you. It was just so funny. You were like my most successful posts for the month that was just out of sheer... I don't know. What's it called? Not synergy, just how you just run into people.

Guest: Yeah. And then our rainy Desert Botanical Gardens, that was fun.

Delo: That was great. That was awesome. So, all right, everybody, well, thank you so much for listening to the Bar & Restaurant Podcast. Please go in. If you subscribe, we're going to be doing a contest for you to be able to win some really cool stuff that we're getting from some local restaurants here. Please share it with your friends if you enjoy it. Give us a five-star because you love us. I want to thank Bar & Restaurant Insurance, my company, for sponsoring it along with my media company, Local 480, who's done an amazing job putting all this together. Until next time, we'll check you guys out later. Peace.

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