At the time it was a dream for me.
The idea of opening up a brewery and making craft beer for a living seemed to have so much appeal. I was in my late 20’s working in finance in New York City. As much as we could we would escape the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and make the long drive up to Vermont where we could spend the weekend in the mountains hiking, skiing, snowboarding and getting some much needed fresh air. It was on those long drives that the idea of Duck Foot was born.
Planning my escape out of financial services and into a new career making hand crafted beer seems like a no brainer. But how? What was my niche going to be? What was the name of the brewery going to be? My wife Katie and I kicked around a lot of ideas on those long drives passing the time through Connecticut, Massachusetts and into the green mountain state of Vermont. It was fun to dream.
I believe in bringing your passions together.One of my favorite parts of a good day on the mountain is the end when you come in off the mountain and warm up at the lodge bar. Usually there is a band playing, you get a couple of appetizers and grab a beer. That beer really tastes good after all that fun and as your body acclimates to the warm lodge and the good vibe people are just so happy. I wanted to find a way into that and help add to the culture. At the time and this was like 2008 back on the east coast there was craft beer but from what I was seeing it hadn’t made it into the ski bars. It was still dominated by all the major macro beer choices.
So the lightbulb went on for me. What these places were missing was a good craft beer that was designed for the scene. And being a snowboarder I thought to myself what if I came up with a brand that was for snowboarders? It would be their tap handle of choice, more flavorful and just cooler. Then we could market to all the bars and restaurants in all the ski towns across the north east. Sounds good right? And Simple. Well sometimes not knowing is better and that’s how it started. I wanted to bring my love of craft beer, along with my passion for home brewing and tie it to my other love which was playing in the mountains. I thought the name of the brewery would be cool if it was some type of fun trick but I also wanted it to have a broad appeal so if the name had a more broad appeal it would serve two purposes. We had plenty of time to kick around some names as those drives were long. We created lists and then checked them against the Trade Mark databases.
The name that stuck was the name that you all know and hopefully love as much as I do… “Duck Foot!”So what does it mean? Well in snowboarding Duck Foot is the stance your snowboard bindings are attached to your actual snowboard. You see on ski’s you just kind of put your bindings on the skis and just tighten them based on how good you are. On a snowboard there is way more room to play around. You can adjust each binding to different degrees based upon how you like to ride and express yourself. If you spend most of your time riding down the hill in one direction then you would have your feet positioned on the board angled down the hill. But the cool thing about snowboarding is you can ride both ways also know as riding switch stance.
As you switch from one downhill foot to the other it makes it more difficult to have that back foot facing up the mountain and still be able to turn. So the stance called Duck Foot was invented to accommodate switch riders. A common statement people make to me is “Oh you mean like goofy foot?” And the answer is if you are goofy or regular you can ride with a Duck Foot Stance.In terms of degrees it’s usually the forward binding placed at 15 degrees positive and the back foot is placed negative 15 degrees.Wait are we talking about craft beer? Nope, but this is the way I think for what its worth. So you must be asking your self how did Duck Foot end up in San Diego and why its it a Gluten Free brewery? Good questions and I look forward to addressing that in my next blog.
Thanks for tuning in and go try riding a Duck Foot stance while we still have some snow. I think you will like it. And then make sure to end the day with some Duck Foot beer and you will help me achieve my dream of making this all happen.