craftlab logo

Starting a Brewery With Your Retirement Fund


Craftlab: The Podcast Episode 1 with Todd Ford, NoDa Brewing

Most brewers come to the industry from somewhere else. For Todd Ford, co-founder of NoDa Brewing, that somewhere was 30,000 feet in the air. 

Todd was a pilot for years before launching NoDa Brewing back in 2011, a time when the craft beer scene in Charlotte was limited to Olde Mecklenburg Brewing and Four Friends. Starting was a leap of faith — one financed in large part by the retirement savings Todd and his wife, Suzie, had accumulated over the course of their working lives — but it was a dream both wanted to pursue more than anything else. And once they were in, they were in. 

“There was no looking back,” Todd says on this week’s episode. 

Fast forward to today, and the craft beer scene in Charlotte and across the nation has exploded. And yet NoDa Brewing remains a fan favorite. Its beloved Hop Drop N Roll won gold at the World Beer Cup, and its Coco Loco porter won silver at the Great American Beer Festival. 

“We don’t brew beers to win medals, but if we do win medals, that’s OK, too,” Todd says. 

In this episode, our host, Ekos CEO Josh McKinney, talks with Todd about everything from the early days of NoDa Brewing to the uncertainty of the past two years to what he’s working on now. Listen to the end to catch Todd’s words of wisdom for fellow brewers. 

Cheers! And thank you for listening. 

About NoDa Brewing: With a collective passion for home brewing and exemplary craft beer, Suzie Ford (president and co-founder), Todd Ford (vice president and co-founder), and Chad Henderson (head brewer and co-owner) teamed up to create a craft brewing identity that would connect to and grow alongside their beloved city of Charlotte. Opening in the fall of 2011, NoDa Brewing Company received a warm welcome and has since expanded to three locations (The OG, NorthEnd, and the CLT airport) and continues to be one of the crown jewels of the Queen City.

For more information, visit the NoDa Brewing website here.

From Charlotte Magazine: NoDa Brewing takes gold in the World Beer Cup

From the NoDa Brewing blog: Coco Loco wins silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival

Todd’s book recommendations:

Subscribe to Craftlab

powered by