chimes.sum2013.web0729 - page 16

By Bentley Stewart
T
here’s something about
Bay Area garages. In
addition to lawn tools,
card tables, and refrigerators,
they house dreams. The area’s
legendary garages have pro-
duced Apple, Google,
and Hewlett-
Packard.
Rather
than
pioneering
new tech-
nology,
however,
one note-
worthy
garage start-
up engages in
the 7,000-year
human endeavor
to brew the perfect beer. And one
more thing: this garage that for
the last 16 months has doubled as
a brewery is located on a seminary
campus.
Jeff Ferguson and Cameron
Highsmith, co-founders of Beerd
Brewery, are both in their third
year of studies at San Francisco
Theological Seminary. They met
their first day on campus and
discovered that they both knew
the same church jokes, which
somehow uncovered their
mutual passion for beer. They
claim that they are diametrical-
ly opposed on most other issues.
“Really, our friendship is based
on a competition about who has the
best beard at that moment,” Ferguson
says. More seriously, he adds that the
friendship has given him hope for the
future—hope that the church can be
a place where the people of God cre-
atively collaborate across divisions.
Highsmith helped several friends
in Arkansas brew small batches of
beer.
In 2010,
he received his
own beer starter kit for Christmas.
His tastings drew fans. Katie Buck
and Ryan Kersting-Schlimgen, recent
SFTS graduates, saw the potential
first. Referencing Highsmith’s beard,
Buck declared that he should start a
brewery
named
Beerd.
Kersting-
Schlimgen
drew a sten-
cil that cap-
tured the beard in
all its imperial glory, and
suddenly there was a name and
logo.
Ferguson got his own starter kit,
and in fall 2011, the young men be-
gan brewing together. Their batches
increased from five gallons to 15. They
moved their brewing operation from
“If C. S. Lewis could find Jesus in a bar, why can’t we make another bar
where people encounter Jesus?”
— Jeff Ferguson
Have
beard
will brew
SFTS
students
grow
facial hair
and brew
fellowship
14
SFTS CHIMES | Summer 2013
STUDENT NEWS
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