Today we’d like to introduce you to Dominique Van Ausdall.
Dominique, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I became a 7th grade Math teacher right out of college in 2013 and knew it wasn’t right for me out the gate. Craft beer was blowing up in Dallas-Fort Worth at the time and I wanted to be apart of it, so I reached out to all the breweries open at the time (I think there were only 7) to figure out what it would take to break into the industry. The funny thing was most of the breweries had teams assembled for their start ups and weren’t looking for random people off the street with zero experience. It was the beginning, so surviving was the main goal for these businesses and volunteering seemed to be my only opportunity to build a future in the industry. I began volunteering for Firewheel Brewing & Community Beer Company until I got my first job in the industry, a beer delivery driver for FullClip Craft Distributors. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it taught me a lot about the gritty side of the beer industry.
My time in the delivery truck didn’t last long and I was moved up to sales where I began to build positive relationships with as many likeminded people I came across such as beer nerds, brewery owners & sales reps around Dallas-Fort Worth for the years to come. In 2016, I knew I wanted to do something in the market that I could call my own, but I still wasn’t quite ready. I kept absorbing knowledge of the various brewery suppliers in our portfolio at FullClip. I was able to see breweries grow from small-town brands and thrive, but I also unfortunately saw breweries fail and close.
In late 2017, the idea & pursuit of opening False Idol Brewing was born. In 2018, we established our business and created our social media pages on all platforms to begin our marketing journey which hasn’t stopped. It has grown into merchandise and even having beers in market through collaborations or our own beer in market. We signed a lease on a property in October 2018 during all of this and we began sorting out a business loan. The business loan portion wasn’t as expected and didn’t come to fruition until September 2019 and construction for our brewery in North Richland Hills, TX finally began in October 2019. We expect to finally be open late spring of 2020, but expect to have beer back to the market before then. Our A Beer About Nothing NEIPA hits the market mid-January and our New England Pale Ale as well as another NEIPA will follow in the previous months leading to our opener.
While we’ve done New England IPA’s for the most part in market, we plan to brew a variety of beer offerings for all types of consumers from beer nerds to the general consumers. The draft will be available in our taproom and other bars around Dallas-Fort Worth, but cans will only be available on site. Collaborations won’t stop either, they are too fun not to do and also bring the beer community and family together. We are excited what 2020 will bring for False Idol Brewing and can’t wait to finally be able to have a place to call our own. Cheers Wolf Pack!
Has it been a smooth road?
No, you don’t make much money working in the beer industry compared to other industries although I haven’t felt like I’ve worked a day in my life since being in the industry. Volunteering for breweries for nothing isn’t ideal either, but I just treated it as an internship. I personally battled things along the way due to the trade of quality of life for being in the industry, but how many things worth doing are easy? Some people can’t endure the grind and go back to their regular higher paying day jobs and ultimately realize that it’s just better as a hobby.
Starting a brewery was a big step up of difficulty from cracking into the industry. There are so many moving parts to being a brewery owner. It’s crazy how little you really deal with beer alone after you get rolling. Something I recently learned is you pay for your lessons and we definitely have from finding a location, getting our loan and other aspects of the business. Oh and breweries are expensive, so when you think you have enough you really don’t. Contrary to what some may think about False Idol, money doesn’t grow on trees, so that has been a battle during the opening process for us. You are pretty much burning cash, so getting open has to be the main goal to hopefully offset that issue.
We unfortunately have taken a year and a half to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. We signed a lease very early, not realizing the bank loan would take 11 months to come to life. We partnered with trades or businesses to do certain things for us early on that we now know we probably wouldn’t do in the future. Dealing with city & state officials is always an inevitable challenge as well. Business ownership has many lessons and we are still learning everyday. Knowledge really is valuable and we always say we wish we could go back with todays knowledge to when we started this journey.
I encourage people starting a business or brewery to reach out to us, we are more than happy to give advice on how to get something started and help those as we were helped along the way. We didn’t do this alone and nobody really does.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with False Idol Brewing – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
False Idol Brewing is a craft brewery in North Richland Hills, TX. We brew a variety of quality beer to better serve the entire market around Dallas-Fort Worth. We are known for our wolf logo branding and quality beer. We are most proud that our branding isn’t just another cliche beer logo. We feel the uniqueness of our logo allows the freedom in our marketing efforts, it doesn’t limit us just to the beer world. We get a lot of Husky owners and wolf lovers that really like the idea of us and some of them haven’t even had any of our beer. We feel as long as you are making good beer people will enjoy your brewery, but there are a lot of breweries doing just that, so we know that marketing, relationships and branding are huge factors to keep the people coming to us and wanting more False Idol Beer.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
In Dallas? I love Dallas for the vastness of places to go & things to do, but the traffic sucks at times.
In North Richland Hills? I love North Richland Hills because it has a lot of opportunity and the people are eager and loyal to their own & have shown excitement to us in open arms about what we will become as a brewery there. The only issue is that it can be kind of a hike for some around the metroplex.
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