The Art of Improvement

The Art of Improvement

The Art of Improvement with Karen Clauss features weekly interviews with entrepreneurs and CEOS


Ricardo Garcia: Back Unturned Brewing Company

How things began

As you read this, even though a bit long I write this to show people what is possible, not just to toot my own horn. My family and I immigrated from Colombia, South American with little money and no English. I was raised in Houston, TX. Ever since I can remember, I knew I wanted my own business. Dream after dream I found reasons to give up on my dreams from being a marine biologist (I was a huge fan of Jacques Cousteau) to opening a custom car shop. I was horrible in school and cheated much of my way through. I had teachers tell my parents I would not make it in life. I was the slow kid. I did horrible on the SATs and no colleges would accept me. I sought out to prove all these people wrong and most of all, prove myself wrong. I am smart and I just had to work 10x harder than the average person. I ended up graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business from one of the top entrepreneurship programs in the U.S. at the University of Houston. I was self employed for a while with a small landscape business, LandCo Landscapes. I sold this business which funded my master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M. Yep, I got into A&M! So crazy to think about that after years of struggling in school. I ended being one of the top in my class. After A&M, I worked in design firms and became a registered Landscape Architect with the State of Texas. Crazy! I ended passing the registration exam in one shot since I studied my ass off. So cool to think about what all I have accomplished and what God has led me through. I give all credit to God for what he has done for me. Don’t get me wrong I have to work my ass off for these accomplishments. It’s not just handed to me. I am getting better and better at trusting Him that no matter what happens, even in the hard times in life. Moving on now!

Craft beer.

I’ve been homebrewing since 2010 when my wife, Jennifer, and I had our first baby, Evelyn. Evelyn is a firecracker. I was set on finding a hobby that I could do at home since so many other hobbies I was interested in required time away from home. Brewing beer became an obsession and has grown into what it is today. I was the guy visiting so many breweries asking all the geeky questions.

Back Unturned Brewing Co.

In 2015 we decided to go for it… to open a brewery! Jennifer, my kick ass wife, said you can’t give up on this one. “You have to focus on this one,” is what she told me or least that’s what I heard. That’s how we decided on the name for the brewery, it’s the dream I’m not turning my back on. The past four years have been some of the toughest times in my life: from the stress on our marriage, little sleep, and hearing so many people tell me no. I hated the rejection. Especially since I had received so much rejection in life already from teachers, bullies, colleges and employers. I wanted to give so many times. But, how I could I tell people that I gave up on Back Unturned Brewing Co? I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I even considered joining that military reserves when I thought this project would never happen. Instead of giving up, I have invested in personal development work for myself. Because of all this work through folks like Klemmer and Associates (K&A), Ed Mylett and Grant Cardone I have been able to keep pushing through. K&A was the group that launched me forward. In the end, I have to prove my little girls Evelyn and Anabelle that pursuing your dreams is possible. I am walking the talk and they are seeing the whole process from the beginning. From the banks telling me no, to investors handing me $50,000 checks. I watched my parents with almost nothing come from a foreign country and create so much. Thank you Mom and Dad! Girls, this is how you do it. Pick one thing you’re passionate about, commit to it and work your ass off to make it happen.

So why do I love brewing?

One of my favorite quotes is, “God created man in his own image. Man was created in the image of God. Man is closest to God when he creates,” by Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewing Co. God put in me the passion to create, and I love creating. Naturally, that’s why I love brewing beer. It’s the toughest of the alcoholic beverages to produce. It’s challenging and I love everything about craft beer. From the culture, the equipment, to working like a horse on brew days. What I love more is serving other people and putting a smile on their faces and showing them that dreams are totally possible. It’s very fulfilling.

What next?

Back Unturned Brewing Co. is opening in 2019 as a brewery and restaurant making artisan pizza. We are located on the Riverwalk in between Pearl and downtown San Antonio. Come have some liquid courage (responsibly of course), let your mind flow to what’s possible impossible and take action on our dream.

You could say I was a little off target with Landscape Architecture; however, I see it simply going from designing outdoor landscapes to designing the landscape of craft beer with Back Unturned Brewing Company.

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