Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Charles Gridley, Co-Founder and CEO of Six Bridges Brewing, located in Johns Creek, GA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are Georgia's Father-Son brewery. We serve delicious, high-quality craft beer to adults of all ages, from the young and adventurous to the long-time traditional style drinker. We also are just breaking into the spirits market with ready-to-drink cocktails.

Tell us about yourself

It's a work of love between my son (Clay) and myself. I was ready to retire from "working for the man," and Clay was also ready for a change. One day he came to me and said, "Dad, I've got a great idea. Let's start a brewery"... little did I know he was serious. Before I knew it, we were doing business plans, searching for a location, and researching equipment suppliers. We really enjoy what we are doing. We've given "birth" to this place that many of our patrons call an extension of their home. What a compliment!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I look back at what we had to accomplish to make it all work. We had to learn so many new (and exciting) things. Anyone will tell you there's so much more to a business than just making a product. Learning to plan, produce, market, and sell, along with the necessary functions of accounting, safety, legal, etc., has been quite a growing experience.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Being a small business owner, you must wear many hats, some of which are not desirable but are necessary. Someone has to clean the restroom and take out the trash. As I've learned over the many years, you don't give a task to someone else, a task that you haven't done and are willing to do yourself. That way, you can set them up for success.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Research the industry and market you want to serve to see if there is a chance of success. You want to be in a market that is growing, not over-saturated.
  2. Determine your strengths and weaknesses. That way, you know what you are capable of and what you need to ask for help on. Also, be willing to share your experiences with others.
  3. Celebrate the high points and learn from the low ones.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Pick a business/service that you are passionate about. It's easier to go to work when it's something you really care about. My son and I were enthusiastic home brewers, and we simply turned a hobby into a business.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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