When you’re a The University of Olivet alumnus/a, you have the advantage of a liberal arts education to take you anywhere in the world. Branden Patrick ’03, of Wayland, has discovered just that. After earning his degree from Olivet, Branden chose to pursue a calling to join the United States Army. He served until 2012, including three years of active duty service with one year in Iraq. Branden was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant and has since made his career in manufacturing, working as a production manager at Peterson Spring in Maumee, Ohio.
A few years ago, Branden’s father, Bruce Patrick, began brewing beer as a hobby. It only took a few taste tests for Branden to know that brewing was something he wanted to be involved in as well. The duo began to explore homebrew festivals, and their love for making beer soon became a passion. Combined with Branden’s and Bruce’s entrepreneurial spirit, and Michigan’s economic stake in the craft beer industry, it seemed only natural that the two would hatch a vision to open their own brewery.
OpenRoad Brewery in Wayland had its grand opening this summer. After three years of planning and over a year of renovations, many of which Branden and Bruce did together, the brewery unveiled nine beers on tap in July.
Branden couldn’t be happier with the initial success of OpenRoad. “Everything just came together really nicely and here we are,” said Branden. “We’re already thinking of expanding, brewing more beers, bottling and distributing. It’s been an exciting ride and the possibilities for the future are endless.”
Branden (left) gives credit to Professor John Homer, Ph.D., for his strong-willed, business spirit. “To this day, I am glad that he had the patience to teach me, instead of just giving me a grade and passing me on,” Branden said. “Hard work and determination is required in every walk of life. Owning and operating a brewery isn’t much different; for me, the foundation to do so was laid at The University of Olivet.”
Branden encourages his fellow OC alumni to visit him at OpenRoad Brewery any day of the week, and to try the delicious, local beers on tap! He recommends a gourmet all-beef hot dog, and a new pumpkin flavored beer coming this fall!