Q&A with Jose Sr.
Jose Sr., – the family patriarch, the man who understands more about finances than your average bear (which keeps us from going broke), the one who believed in our dream from day one – recently sat down for an interview with me to chat about family, our focus on the community and what is on the horizon for Wolf Branch Brewing. Dive in and read more below:
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF. TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND ROLE IN THE BREWERY.
I am a retired banker of 38+ years, of which the last 29 were with Citibank, based in Miami overseeing corporate lending credit for the Caribbean & Central America. When my son Jose started with his idea of opening a brewery, I decided to let him be in the driver’s seat, and instead of being my usual self-attempting to be in control, I took the back seat as coach, confidant and senior advisor; it’s his now so he sets the rules and I just provide feedback.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES BREWING WITH YOUR SONS-IN-LAW?
I have enjoyed the interaction with my son and sons-in-law, initially taking a beginner’s course at the Sanford Homebrew Shop, learning how to brew, and later with our home brewing, totally enjoyable. With the initial home brews, my son and I had all kinds of experiences, one of the most memorable ones was being stung by bees after stepping on a bee’s nest attempting to pour the spent grain for the cows that pasture in the land behind our house.
LIKE WOLF BRANCH’S FOCUS ON COMMUNITY, YOU YOURSELF ARE VERY ACTIVE IN PUBLIC SERVICE. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE WAYS IN WHICH YOU GIVE BACK?
I am part of the Knights of Columbus the council that is part of Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in Mount Dora, where in addition to being devout Catholics we focus on doing charity work; I am also a Volunteer Mentor with Score (a non-for-profit entity that is part of the SBA) providing mentoring free of charge to starting and small entrepreneurs as a way of sharing my acquired experience throughout the years and giving back: additionally I belong to the US Coast Guard Auxiliary where I go on patrols in the water, mainly the lakes and rivers in Lake and Orange counties, for search and rescue operations, assisting the US Coast Guard inland; last but not least, I am the treasurer of our homeowners association.
CAN YOU SHARE SOME THOUGHTS ON THE OKTOBERFEST EVENT WE RECENTLY THREW AT ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH AND HOW IT DIRECTLY IMPACTED VARIOUS CHARITIES?
The Knights actively participate in fund raising activities to gather funds to help with numerous charities, helping fund the trips of the Youth Group in our church, fund scholarships for needing student, replenishing the food pantries of sister parishes to help feed families in need, provide coats for children in need during the winter, etc.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT REGARDING THE FUTURE OF WOLF BRANCH BREWING?
I pray for my son and my sons-in-law to be successful in the brewery venture, and I’m ready, willing, and able to do whatever and as much as is needed to see them succeed!