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On the Road
With Chris Mueller

I have some very good news for White Labs’ customers. I have moved to Colorado to open a Midwest office. This will allow me to concentrate on the Midwest, a key region in terms of brewing, as well as to get out to the East Coast more often.

I should know, because I lived in Denver until about five years ago. It was there where I became interested in craft brewing and homebrewing. This is no surprise, as the Denver area has spawned many craft-brewing converts over the years and is home to the annual Great American Beer Festival, which is arguably the most important beer get-together in the country.

Colorado also holds a special place for me because it was where I met my wife, Jennifer.

I moved to San Diego after visiting there on business, having been taken in by its warm climate and easygoing culture. It was there where I met Chris White, who at that time was producing liquid brewers yeast for local homebrewers and breweries.

I thought it was an amazing product. I wondered, "Why don’t more people know about it?"

I liked it so much I became a partner with Chris to bring his product to the next level. This was in July of 1997.

(Editor’s note: During Mueller’s first month, sales tripled, and the company immediately outgrew its production facilities. It has since moved to larger quarters.)

During those first few years, there were not a lot of sales for me to do, because we didn’t have the capacity to produce more yeast.

That has changed, of course, and now we now have more staff and production equipment. But at the time, I had to turn to doing things that were less thrilling for me, like deciding what computer system to buy.

These are the normal activities one must perform at a growing company, and I was happy to do them.

But luckily we have passed most of these hurdles, leaving me able to concentrate once again on what I enjoy most, working with customers to fulfill their needs.

There is no better place to concentrate on these tasks than in Colorado, the heart of brewing.

Chris Mueller is Vice President of White Labs.