We had the good fortune of connecting with Vic Chouchanian and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vic, what do you want people to remember about you?
There are two things that I would like to be remembered for.
The first would be, that I made a difference in the community and that I was able to bring people together. Not just strangers meeting in a common place to enjoy great beer, but to have neighbors creating lifelong bonds to help uplift their community. I want to be known as a good hearted person that helped share love and friendship to all those that live in the community our business serves.
Secondly, I want to be remembered as a loving father that taught his son right from wrong, and to share joy and happiness with his neighbors.
More importantly, I don’t want to be remembered as a businessman or to be defined by my business. I would rather be remembered for the secondary beneficial effects of the brewery. The friendships made, the relationships started, the ideas exchanged, the memorable moments shared over a beer, and the amazing back and forth conversations. These personal experiences are what I would like to be associated with, rather than the monetary or business aspects of the brewery.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We are San Fernando Brewing Company, a local craft brewery, located in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. We produce a myriad of internationally recognized, award winning beers that are distributed throughout California. We are most proud of our brewers and their ability to consistently create high quality and exciting beers for our community to enjoy, Their ability to control the numerous aspects of the beer brewing process is truly wonderful and their skills unmatched.
The brewery has been able to reach new heights each year due to the support of our patrons and we are constantly working hard to ensure the best quality beer is being served. Our patrons have been extremely supportive of the brewery since day one and their uplifting energy truly makes the difference between San Fernando Brewing and other businesses.
There have been many difficulties along the road to our current situation. One example would be that our tanks melted, yes, physically melted, after our first brew and we had to find ways to succeed as our system was literally failing around us. We persevered, and have been able to continue to serve our community through sheer determination and hard work.
One lesson Ive learned is that problem solving skills are the most important concepts a person can have. As a former math teacher, I have found that no matter how much information or personality a person has, problem solving will help get you though the most difficult times in your life, both in business, and personally.
I would like the world to know that we started this business through persistence and hard work. WE are just everyday people with passion, a dream, an idea, and a 90 page business plan. We had normal jobs and had to beg and borrow from friends and family to pursue this dream. We had a hand in every aspect of this brewery from plumbing, electrical, construction, and design. Although it made the entire process more difficult, it made the success even more euphoric.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Obviously I’d take them to the brewery for a beer and some great food off the truck, but other than that, I think we’d have a great time staying in the valley mostly.
We would start our day off at House Roots Coffee in North Hills, Their coffee is breweries to perfection, and is a great start to the day. The coffee would give us the energy to hike up the hills in O’Meleveny Park where the breathtaking views are worth the calories expended to reach the peaks. After hiking we could hit up the Nethercutt Museum in San Fernando, which has some of the most unique and truly amazing cars, and sites in all of California. For dinner, we could visit Truman Tavern just up the street from the museum for some wonderful food and hand crafted cocktails.
The rest of the week would consist of visits to the beach in Santa Barbara and a wine/Beer tour. Depending on the people in town, I’m sure they would like to visit theme parks and Rodeo drive. The touristy stuff is a must for those who have never been to Los Angeles, but the true beauty of LA are the views and the people. Visit to Mullholland Dr and Griffith Park are a must, and getting some great Mexican food and almost any of the food trucks or local taco shops are life changing to non-Angelenos .
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The person that would deserve the most credit for our success would be my wife Nora. She had been brewing with me from day 1 and knows the intricate details of how to brew and is an expert at quality control. She has been an integral part of the homey feel and welcoming vibe of the brewery. Nora completely supported the idea of starting this brewery before anyone knew what a brewery was in Los Angeles, and completely supported me to start this insane endeavor. From helping dig deep ditches during construction, to her emotional support during the worst times, she helped truly take San Fernando Brewing to the next level. She has an amazing ability to remember everyone and make them feel like they are family.
Facebook: San Fernando Brewing Company
Yelp: San Fernando Brewing Company