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Zach Rabun, owner & master brewer at Mockery Brewing

Zach Rabun, owner & master brewer at Mockery Brewing

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you and what is your background?

Zach Rabun, Brewing

Your job and current title?

Owner and Master Brewer at Mockery Brewing.

In what city?

Denver, Colorado

A word to define what type of worker you are:


Where does your interest in microbrewery come from?

I started brewing beer in my kitchen and quickly fell in love with the limitless possibilities for flavor combinations that can come from different grains, yeast, water, hops, etc.

What makes your beer unique? Why?

We focus on innovative, tradition-defying, flavor-forward beers with specific attention paid to the quality and source of our ingredients. Why do something that has already been done?

What is the size of the brewery (number of barrels per year, etc.)?

750 bbl/year

What tools are essential to your life (app, software)?

Duct tape

What does your office space look like?

A broom closet

Do you have a way to organize your days to optimize your work?

We write out our weekly schedule on a whiteboard in our production area.

Any “tips” to improve productivity?

Find passionate people that enjoy what they do.

Can you give us a tour of your local craft beer brewery scene?

Denver is one of the truly great beer cities on the planet. We have more than a dozen breweries within a mile of our location and over 400 in the state. From New Belgium Brewing at over a million barrels a year to breweries that do less than 200 barrels a year, there is something for everyone.

How do you control the growth of your microbrewery?

We are not interested in being the biggest or most heavily distributed brewery. Our entire menu changes consistently in order to utilize the freshest ingredients and brewing techniques throughout every season. We have been asked to expand distribution into other states, but we are interested in our local community first and foremost and we haven’t come close to sharing our beer with all of the greater Denver area, yet.

What is your strategy for making your beer known? (tastings, festival, etc.) Why this strategy?

We want the beer to sell itself. This means trying to make the beer available to anyone that wants to try it. So, we do a lot of festivals and events that allow people to sample our beer. Hopefully, they like it and seek it in their local bars, restaurants, and liquor stores. We don’t spend any money on advertising or marketing because being told beer is good and believing a beer is good after tasting it are two very different things.

About design, what does your brand represent/reflect? (Can you tell us about the message and reflection behind the design?)

The Reinheitsgebot, the German beer purity law, states that only water, barley, and hops should be used in beer (they didn’t know about yeast in 1516). The American craft beer revolution has changed the way the world drinks beer and a huge reason why is because of its the ability to experiment and break the rules of what beer can be. We can appreciate very simple, clean beers, but we seek to make beers using local, foraged, fresh ingredients that bring the beer out of the brewing world and more into the cooking world. The limitless flavor combinations that can be achieved in beer are exciting and challenging but should never be limited. So, we seek to mock the Reinheitsgebot and anyone that tries to put beer into a limited framework.

Design: how was it designed? By who?

Our rebellious, non-conforming personality is incorporated into everything we do from our tap handles that are made in house to the vessels we age beer in. Everything was designed by our team to reflect our personality.

What inspires you and motivates you to go to work every day?

The possibility of creating the next exciting beer and changing the way people view beer.

What is the best advice given to you?

Follow your passion, and watch your spending

What are your end and start routines?

Start: Turn the music up to 11 End: When you’re dead

What were your biggest challenges as an entrepreneur?

Balancing my responsibility to provide good paying stable jobs to our employees and constantly pushing the envelope and taking risks.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start a brewery?

Do it because you love it and have something to say because there isn’t a ton of money in brewing.

Apart from your computer and your phone, what gadget cannot you do without?

Sticky notes

Any new projects coming soon? (eg products, etc.)

Every season brings new opportunities to utilize ingredients that are at their peak of flavor. We have been using dandelions, trees, sage, mushrooms, and many more ingredients that make our beer truly unique. We have recently begun using different types of wood to age our beer because everyone has used different types of oak for millennia, but there are many more types of wood with really interesting characteristics.

At the end of the day, what kind of beer do you drink to relax?

Something local and fresh |