“I’ve always loved beer and what’s more, I’ve always loved a good beer. Whenever I’ve travelled anywhere through YUM! - I’ve travelled all around the globe – I would always ask for the local beer, no matter where I was, even in the United States. I’ve always been interested in local flavors and taste pallets. I’m kind of self-taught that way. A few years back, I heard of a brew pub – a restaurant that makes its own beer – on Martha’s Vineyard that came up for sale. I thought this would be a great retirement opportunity for me. (I knew when I first planned to retire three years ago that I’d still need to be challenged and motivated every day, so for me it was more about rewiring than retiring. So, I basically combined my passion for beer and my years of marketing experience.) I talked to my wife about it and she asked what about it appeals to me, and I said the brewing part, not the restaurant part. I’ve done that, so I took a pass on that opportunity, but I always knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to brew beer.” With retirement in sight for Blum – or so he thought, as he deferred his rewirement twice – he was on a nationwide hunt for accomplished brewers. “Then I met Jared Ruben from Chicago. Jared worked at Goose Island Brewery, which at the time had just been acquired by AB [Anheuser-Busch] and he didn’t want to stay part of a conglomerate. So I said, ‘why don’t you create our beers for us?’ and I hired him – knowing that he wasn’t going to move to Martha’s Vineyard. But he gave us the recipes for our flagship beers: An English special brew called Martha’s Vinyard Ale; a pale ale called Vineyard Summer Ale; and the Island IPA. All brews are made from grape leaves from Martha’s Vineyard and the packaging and story behind each one is designed and created by me.”
he thought. But nay, he was a good Englishman, so these grapes became the secret ingredient for a robust, refresh- ing beer. Gosnold never saw the mermaid again. He went to his grave wondering if he ever saw her at all. “Our motto is ‘Get Bad, Do Good.’” Today we brew every handcrafted beer as Gosnold did, with grape leaves harvested on the Vineyard and a splash of mermaid mischief. Naturally, we had choice but to name our beer after the elusive siren who started it all: Bad Martha. What’s perhaps more interesting than the tale itself is the fact that it predates the beer. Blum started to create Bad Martha Beer and the story behind the brand three years ago when he was still with YUM! Brands.
What Blum needed next was a reputable distributor, like
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • JULY 2018
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