Like Father, Like Son

By Meghan Storey

For father and son team Robert and Patrick Jensen, founding Argus Brewery helped them create jobs they loved in a struggling economy, and lead to success in both business and their relationship.

“We were working together on a real estate business when that industry started to collapse,” said Robert. “We began thinking seriously about Patrick’s career and what he wanted to do in the future. 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 have proven to be invaluable assets to Argus Brewery.

“I am mentoring him [Patrick] in all facets of the business,” said Robert. “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 fell 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 Robert. “When we started retrofitting the building we had no idea!”

The brewery has also made a name for itself 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 me,” said Robert. “We’ve had it our way building a business, having some fun with it and we’re seeing success!”

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

These are just a few of America’s family-owned breweries. Please share others below!

Meghan Storey has been lucky enough to work in the world of craft beer since graduating from the University of Mississippi. Now living in Nashville, TN, with her big yellow dog Wally, she loves introducing friends to new craft beer and food pairings. Since beginning work on CraftBeer.com she can be found adding beer to just about everything she cooks.

Read more from Meghan Storey