Not long ago, the first word of our business plan hit the page, but the inspiration for the Brewery came about nearly 25 years ago.
Some of the best times in life are the moments shared with family and friends, old and new, over a glass of quality beer. Our founder, Sean Hunt, first started to realize this simple reality while living in Stuttgart, Germany during his last two years of High School.
A couple of years of riding the strassenbahn to the Cannstatter Volksfest and the Stuttgarter Fruhlingsfest instilled in Sean a deep and lasting appreciation for good friends and brewing tradition. For those two years and the three that followed, Sean travelled with family and friends throughout Europe, usually on a self-supported budget that only allowed for a diet of PBJs, yogurt and beer. It was a care-free time of becoming familiar with Europe’s rich brewing tradition, hanging out with those close to him and meeting many new-found friends over community tables.
In the early 1990s, Sean and a fellow engineering buddy of his proposed to start a brewery. Like the years in Germany, the early years after graduating from UVA were care-free years rich in close relationships and great times. The proposed brewery didn’t have a name and, ultimately, didn’t launch. During that same period of time, Sean crewed a 39 foot sloop that raced in the Bay. The core race crew was a tight-knit group of incredible people. The roar as we crossed the finish line was always, “ride, Sally, ride!” The skipper, believe it or not his name was Skip, named the boat after a gunboat that he served on during the Vietnam War. The name of the boat was Mustang Sally.
Marriage, three amazing kids, a Masters degree, a Law degree and a lot of years practicing as a corporate lawyer delayed the launch of the brewery. There’s not a minute of those years that Sean would change. Family comes first and there is no substitute for the years of professional experience that made the Brewery possible. But, in the back of Sean’s mind, there was always the dream of launching the Brewery.
The name of our company, Mustang Sally Brewing Company, is a constant reminder of the things in life that matter, family, friends, the special moments experienced with them and the dreams that ultimately come true. We have a deep respect for European brewing tradition, but at our core, we are a classically American brewery that embraces our rich culture and, of course, quality beer.
There were a few initial markers when we started to design the Mustang Sally Brewing Company logo. We wanted the logo to reflect our classic American culture and our brewing philosophy while staying away from any preconceived notions of a mustang or mustang sally. We wanted the name Mustang Sally Brewing Company to stand on its own, to be associated with great beer and special times. It took a bit before we got thought we go it right.
Of course, the first iteration of our logo had a prominently centered large image of a rearing mustang. The thing is, we all liked it. It was a classic American look, with great colors and imagery. But, it wasn’t representative of MSB. It lacked purpose.
We went through a number of trials until we felt it was right:
The King represents the science; the Queen, the art. We believe you need both to make a great glass of beer. Without the technical education, brewing experience and quality business practice, the art lacks credibility. But, without the culture, the people, the character and the willingness to take a step back and appreciate the work, the science lacks inspiration. By practicing and appreciating both (by joining them), we commit to brewing the best glass of beer possible for you. It is this journey to perfection, to create the best glass of beer, that we happily look forward to sharing with you every day.
The blue represents our classical American culture. The gold represents the perfection we are aspiring to achieve.
Hope that isn’t too heavy – just want you to know what we invest in every glass of beer that we brew for you!
The Science of Brewing and the Art of BeerTM
Prior to launch, the initial MSB team struggled to describe MSB’s brewing philosophy in ten words or less. After months of exchanging ideas and attempt after attempt, we finally got it:
The science of brewing and the art of beer.TM
Walt Whitman (yeah Walt Whitman) explained it more than 150 years ago. It’s hard to say it better:
Exact science and its practical movements are no checks on the greatest poet, but always his encouragement and support … The sailor and traveller, the anatomist, chemist, astronomer, geologist, phrenologist, spritualist, mathematician, historian and lexicographer are not poets, but they are the lawgivers of poets and their construction underlies the structure of every perfect poem.
It’s hardly a novel thought though. This journey toward balance and perfection has been expressed in many ways over the years: the yin and yang of chinese philosophy, the union of opposites of greek philosophy, the symbolism of the ouroboros or the phoenix, the individuation process theorized by Carl Jung or the symbolic element of gold or the joining of the King and Queen of alchemy.
As we mentioned before, it is this symbolism that our logo incorporates: