25-year-old college student's business plan sparks Angier's Vicious Fishes Brewery
Posted 1:00 p.m. Friday
Updated 1:25 p.m. Friday
When Ken O'Berry was in college in California, he made a business plan to open a brewery as part of an assignment in a graduate-level business class.
He was expecting a good response. But then he got it back.
"I turned it in, and I did not get the grade I was looking for, honestly," O'Berry told the 919 Beer podcast. "The primary feedback I got from the professor was, 'There's already one brewery, so the market is therefore saturated.'"
Saturated? Not even close.
He didn't end up putting that plan to use then, going into the non-brewery workforce instead. Now, more than 20 years later, he's a resident of the Tar Heel State and he's resurrecting the old assignment to open Vicious Fishes Brewery in Angier.
O'Berry and a business partner are opening the new spot by way of an old brewery. They bought some equipment from and took over the location of White Rabbit Brewing Company on the aptly named Fish Drive –O'Berry says the street name is a coincidence.
They're still pouring concrete, finishing the brewery and waiting on final government approval, though their taproom is open now with other beer on tap. The brewery could open as early as this summer.
For O'Berry, who has been homebrewing since the early 1990s, opening his own brewery is a big step but allows him to bring his passion to other people.
"When you have a lifetime dream and you have a chance to pursue it, why do it halfway?" O'Berry said.