Living in the midst of the beer culture of Fort Collins, Colo., whetted Jesse Sensenig’s taste for making his own brews.
Jesse’s decision to turn his passion into a job started 18 months ago at the tail end of his 10-year career in social work.
He brewed a little back in Colorado but learned more about the trade after moving to Bluffton, Ohio. Jesse had friends at a brewery called Great Black Swamp Brewing in Toledo, Ohio, and eventually started an internship with them.
“The craft brewing community is super supportive,” he said.
Jesse then heard the old NIPSCO building, a vacant spot near the powerhouse park and the Millrace Canal in Goshen, was for sale. It was a defining moment for Sensenig in his decision to dedicate himself to brewing beer professionally.
He and his wife, Amanda, both had ties to the area. Sensenig came from Archbold, Ohio, to get his bachelor’s degree at Goshen College, and Amanda was raised in Goshen. They’d often return to the city, finding that Colorado and the Maple City shared a lot of the qualities they loved.
“All of the redevelopment and the energy of downtown really was a driving point for me,” Sensenig said.
Sensenig started working with the redevelopment commission in late 2013 to make Goshen Brewing Co. a reality. When construction began on the brewery, he reached out to the community through an IndieGoGo fundraising campaign to buy three fermentor tanks.
He ended up raising more than the initial goal of $30,000, in addition to receiving messages of support from the community.
But it wasn’t just the 200 contributors that had Sensenig’s back.
“I got tons of family support and friends,” he said. “Really the investments we have in ownership of the building is all family and close friends.”