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Brewing for a Community

  1. On screen: BIG DREAM GATHERING

    NARRATOR: In Lincoln Nebraska, you'll find a brewery built on a historic spot. A place where people meet laugh and share each other's company.

    On screen: Brian Podwinski, President / Co-Founder, Blue Blood Brewing

    BRIAN PODWINSKI: I knew I wanted to start it, but then when I started penciling in the math behind it — it was definitely no way I was gonna be able to afford it.

    NARRATOR: Sure.

    BRIAN PODWINSKI: And so, I started talking to some friends and we got some ideas going. We figured out how we could afford it and — really — so three of us were able to form blueblood Brewing Company. It was about bringing people together. It's about having a spot to go have a beer and enjoy company and not worry about what's happening outside those walls. But really what's happening in front of you right then.

    NARRATOR: When they were deciding on their new location, the blueblood team chose to build on top of a local landmark which was just one more way to include the community in their story.

    NARRATOR: This is a real cave.

    BRIAN PODWINSKI: Yes.

    NARRATOR: This is amazing.

    BRIAN PODWINSKI: You can see on the walls there's all sorts of carvings. So this represents about 150 years with the carvings. we're just keepers of it for the world — for the time being. Someday, somebody else will own it, you know? It's that's the kind of thing, the idea we have to have behind it, and that's where we really hope for bringing the community together, behind it. Because that's where blue blood is successful.

    BRIAN PODWINSKI: It's a community company. It's not just ours. One beer that we do that's really important to me is called Last Call. Anybody's ever been to a funeral for a police officer a firefighter — that last radio call is extremely hard to take. And so, we want to do a beer to honor them that way, and that's what we've done, there. So that's, that's the kind of — my beer — that's most important to me.

    NARRATOR: That's awesome.

    NARRATOR: So, as you think about going after one of your dreams, I hope that Brian's story reminds you to take a breath to laugh a little. To surround yourself some friends, some family, some community because when you do that, it makes the journey a whole lot richer.

    [Music]

    On Screen: WANT MORE INSPIRATION? VISIT http://www.amfam.com/dream-support


The Story of Blue Blood Brewing Co.

For most people, pursuing a dream means taking steps to better their own lives. But for Brian Podwinski, there’s nothing more rewarding than dreaming for the sake of his community.

As a former police officer in Lincoln, Nebraska, Brian has always found happiness in helping others. But when an injury caused him to leave the force, his life shifted. And after working for the state for a few years, he felt that something was missing. That’s when he decided to turn his hobby into a full-time gig with an honorable twist.

“I was a homebrewer in my spare time, I loved the process — the planning of a beer, the available ingredients and really everything about it,” says Brian. “And I knew I wanted to run my own company. So, at that point, myself and a couple of friends got together and started Blue Blood Brewing. We wanted to honor our ties to law enforcement and be a part of our community.”

And they’ve done just that. In fact, in addition to their law enforcement inspired décor, these ties are written into their mission statement, with their opening line reading: “Our community is everything to us. We protected it as cops. We celebrate it as brewers.”

For Brian, getting to return to the world of community service while living out his dream of owning a business has boosted his sense of pride and accomplishment to a whole new level.

“Through different fundraising events and activities at the brewery, we have helped raise over $100k for the charities we support,” claims Brian. “I also have my 50+ employees that mean a lot to me. Helping others provide for themselves, their families and, in some cases, their friends means a lot.”

So, if you find you’re not where you want to be or feel that your life is missing something, take a page out of Brian’s book and take steps towards a new dream! He’s got two great tips that’ll help get you started.

Redefine your dream. Hitting a roadblock or discovering that the dream you once pursued is no longer your path doesn’t mean you should give up. In fact, it’s an opportunity to redefine your goals! And you don’t have to start from scratch. Think of all the different dreams you’ve had in life — is there a common thread that runs through them all? For Brian it was giving back, so he found a unique way to weave that through his next endeavor. And you can too.

“We once dedicated our lives to protecting our community,” says Brian. “We took that role seriously and, while I no longer serve those out in the community every day, we still do our part to give back. Because without our community, we are nothing.”


Dream together. When it comes to pursuing a dream, the right support can make all the difference. And odds are you’ve got people in your life who’d be willing to help out! So lean on your support network and focus on dreaming together vs. dreaming in isolation. Your chances of succeeding will increase ten-fold.

“I knew I wanted to start the brewery, but when I started to do the math, there was no way I was going to be able to afford it alone,” Says Brian. “My co-founders played an important role in helping bring this brewery all together. They helped plan, obtain capital and provided support along the way! This showed me that the bigger base you have for support, the less likely you are to tip over.”

So, whether you’re just thinking on a new dream or have been struggling to get yours off the ground for some time, consider Brian’s advice and get thinking outside of the box. And remember, every time one door closes, another opens.

Need even more support? We’re here to help! Join the dream movement today — we’ve got just the resources to motivate and guide you along any dream pursuit!



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Related Topics: Community , Passions , Career