the legend of hold fast
What does it take to make a dream come true? Well, if you ask Susan & Carol McLeod - sisters, owners, and master brewers of Hold Fast Brewing - they will tell you, “Passion, courage, fear, and a little bit of crazy!”
You never know when life is going to throw you a curve ball; the trick is learning how to catch it and move forward. After the sudden loss of their father five years ago, the McLeod Clan was faced with some of life’s toughest questions. Realizing that life is both short and precious, the family rallied together, knowing that the most important thing is to follow your dreams and create something you are proud of.
What started out as a passion for beer and home brewing has blossomed into a successful family business celebrating delicious craft beer, the vibrant Springfield, Missouri community, and the memory of an amazing man.
Susan and Carol loved experimenting with “out of the box” recipes while home brewing (Rhubarb Ale anyone??) and once the idea of opening their own micro brewery presented itself, their first thought was, “Are we crazy?” If you ask them, they will tell you that it has been unadulterated fear moving them forward. But from an outsider's perspective you can clearly see there is a bit more to it than that. There is nothing crazy about the due diligence that has gone into making Hold Fast Brewing a success.
Carol was accepted into the American Brewer’s Guild and through that organization accepted an internship position with Rahr & Sons Brewing Company to learn how the big dogs play. She contrasted that experience with part-time work at a small brewery in Tulsa and topped off the adventure with an extended tour of the highest-ranked breweries in New England.
While Carol was soaking in everything New England had to offer (read: feasting on delicious lobster and drinking some tasty East Coast brews), Susan enrolled in classes to learn how to work on industrial systems, fluid power, and electricity (very sexy science stuff). As a result, Hold Fast has its very own in-house Brewery System Repair Person!
All the while, the sisters were on the hunt for the perfect location to make their dream a reality. Before too long the perfect location found them! Once again, they mustered up their courage, with equal parts fear and crazy, and jumped through every hoop and over every hurdle they had to to secure Springfield, Missouri’s decommissioned Fire Station #1.
Five years later, Hold Fast Brewing is a thriving reality and couldn’t be more proud to serve delicious craft beer to the community of Springfield. Carol and Susan can be found in the taproom almost every day, while their other sister serves as the brewery accountant, their little brother is the brewery lawyer, and their sweet mother Jan can be spotted cleaning glasses on a busy Friday night - but if you ask any Hold Fast employee they’ll tell you Mama Jan’s real job is making everyone on the team feel like an honorary McLeod.
The McLeod Clan is a Highland Scottish clan with roots that can be traced back to 13th century Scotland. Their family crest shows a horned bull surrounded by a juniper wreath, symbolizing strength and a long prosperous life. Their family motto, “hold fast”, serves as a constant reminder to stand proud and true to their convictions and dreams, as well as in their support of one another.
Hold Fast Brewing is a brick-and-mortar representation of all the principles important to the McLeod Family. It is a place of community, friendship, family, creativity, and love. It is a welcoming place to all. It is a place where everyone who walks in the doors is reminded to “hold fast,” and to do it with love.
And best of all, there’s beer!