Robin, Jimmy and Andy Gohsman started the new craft beer
company, 4 Brothers Blended Beer Co.
Four brothers of
German and Irish descent starting a craft beer business? It’s really
not too much of a stretch, they say. "No ancestors that we know
of are brewers, but beer drinking is in our bloodline," says
Jimmy Gohsman, 28, who acts as brewmaster for the new 4 Brothers
Blended Beer Co. in Waukesha.
graduated from Denver’s Regis University with a degree in
psychology, spending his downtime as a "student" of Colorado’s
craft beer scene. He subsequently toured breweries around the state to
get a better understanding of differences and nuances from style to
style. The next logical step was making it himself. From there, he got
his other brothers involved, launching their operation early in 2013.
the day-to-day operations, while his siblings — Andy, 26, Tommy, 33,
and Robin, 34 — stay in touch through emailing, texting and
conference calls. "We set goals together and make any operating
decisions as a group," he explains. "We’re very
analytical, so decisions are weighed with pros and cons; 99 percent of
the time we’re on the same page, which makes it easy.
the rare occasion that one of us is in disagreement with the rest. In
that case we do what most professionals would — make fun of him for
being off point and continue on," Gohsman says.
of import to the brothers, who are all working on the same goal,
Gohsman says. "Egos don’t really get in the way of that. After
all, we’re all gentlemen," laughs Gohsman, referring to their
website, which asserts they are "Gentlemen. Creators. and Beer
drinking part is probably the easiest. We’ve got decent palates and
love a cold fermented beverage" Gohsman says. As for being
gentlemen, he says he and his brothers were fortunate to be raised
well. They learned the importance of holding doors open for people,
standing up when a woman is arriving or leaving a table and standing
up to shake someone’s hand. "Giving back to the community is
also essential," he adds.
are a lot of challenges in breaking into any market, 4 Brothers went
statewide early this year. They started by self-distributing to focus
on building relationships with vendors and continue networking within
the industry. The demand quickly outgrew their capabilities, so the
brothers partner with a distributor to be sure their Sibling Rivalry,
Relative Madness, Prodigal Son and 4 Brothers beers find the proper
Coming up with
those titles is probably the most difficult process of their entire
operation, according to Gohsman. "We wanted each name to maintain
that family theme, but at the same time connect a bit with the actual
beer," he explains. The firm wants to increase its current output
of 160 barrels per month, contracting with Sand Creek Brewing Co. in
Black River Falls to produce the beers.
As far as which
brother drinks the most beer, Gohsman says it’s a toss-up. "We’re
more quantity of variety than overall consumption focused," he
explains. "It’s awesome to drink our own beer and see it on the
shelves at stores."