For father and son team Robert and Patrick Jensen, founding Argus Brewery served not only as a way to create jobs they loved in a struggling economy, it was a natural progression, and one that lead to success both in the brewery and their relationship.
“About four years ago, we were working together on a real estate business when that industry started to collapse, we began thinking seriously about his career and what he wanted to do in the future, said Robert Jensen, co-founder of Argus Brewery. At that time he asked about the feasibility of starting a brewery, as he had an interest in brewing and craft beer culture.”
The duo set out to do just that, and Argus Brewery was established on South Front Street in Chicago in 2009.
The Jensen’s family history and Robert’s own 30-years of business experience has proven to be an invaluable asset to Argus Brewery.
“I am mentoring him [Patrick] in all facets of the business,” said Jensen. I want to give him the benefit of my experience. Patrick works in every possible area of the brewery. He is brewing the beer, delivering the beer, and even working the books. The five-year plan is to pass the business to him.”
Interestingly enough, even the building chosen for the brewery has fallen perfectly into place in the duo’s plan. Argus is located on a street previously known as Schlitz Row and the building itself served as Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company’s carriage house. In the 1800s, the building housed the horses that pulled the trucks that delivered Schlitz beer around Chicago
“The building’s history was beer” said Jensen. “When we started retrofitting the building we had no idea!”
Argus now has 13 beers under its belt and handles all of their distribution in-house. The brewery has made a name for themselves by contract brewing beers for local restaurants in addition to creating their own brands.
“It’s been a very good experience for my son and I; and it’s been a good business experience,” said Jensen. It’s a very difficult time for businesses in general. People who are graduating are having trouble finding gainful employment. We’ve had it our way building a business, having some fun with it and we’re seeing success!”
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Other Father and Son (and Daughter) Teams in Craft Brewing
Adam and Larry Avery | Avery Brewing Company | Boulder, CO
Scott and Vincent Voccaro | Captain Lawrence Brewing Company | Pleasantville, NY
Nick and Simon Floyd and their father Mike | Three Floyds Brewing | Munster, IN
Richard and Rich Norgrove | Bear Republic Brewing Co. | Healdsburg, CA
Ken and Brian Grossman | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. | Chico, CA
Nicol and Tom Bozik | Bitter Root Brewery | Hamilton, MT
Jim and Kenny Gowan | Loomis Basin Brewing Company | Loomis, CA
Steve and Jeremy Raub | Eagle Rock Brewing | Los Angeles, CA
What’s your favorite family-owned brewery?
Meghan Storey, the Brewers Association’s Web Editor, has been lucky enough to work in the world of craft beer for the past three years. She holds a degree in Print Journalism from the University of Mississippi, and has recently relocated to Nashville, TN. She loves to introduce friends to new craft beers and food pairings. Since beginning work on CraftBeer.com she can be found adding beer to just about everything she cooks.
Last Updated: June 14, 2011