Who is behind MoCo Brewing Project?
Matt and Emily Graber are the owners. They are both Veterans – Matt is retired from the Army with over 17 of his 20 years in the Special Operations community culminating as a Company First Sergeant and a member of the Centurian Parachutist Club (100 jumps). Emily spent time on Active Duty and transitioned to the Reserves where she is still serving in the Special Operations Community. After Matt’s retirement in late 2018, they relocated to East Tennessee where Emily is originally from.
Matt’s dream of owning a brewery started while he was stationed in Fort Polk, LA after receiving a Mr. Beer Kit for Christmas from Emily in 2011. Emily’s only words to him as she watched her linen closet get cleared out to become the fermenter location for the kit was “please do not blow our house up”; a success on Matt’s part and many batches later, his brewing is much more sophisticated! As retirement to East Tennessee was approaching, Matt began researching his dream and found the Brewing & Distilling Center in Knoxville that he enrolled in receiving his Certificate in Brewing and Distilling in April 2019. In October 2019, they purchased a property in downtown Wartburg that would house their dream and the rest is history in the making.
What is behind their name?
When coming up with the name of the brewery, Matt and Emily wanted to focus on all the natural beauty that Morgan County has— Frozen Head State Park, the Obed Wild, and Scenic River, Historic Rugby Village, Lone Mountain, and the Cumberland Trail. So, MoCo (short for Morgan County) was decided on. All beers are focused on what MoCo has to offer or icons to the county such as Wartburg Pilsner, Clear Creak Cream Ale, Potter Falls Porter, Nemo Tunnel #24, and Chilton Tractor Stout (homage to Emily’s grandparent’s tractor business of many years) among others.
What is their logo about?
The logo was designed by Sign Language, Inc in Western New York where Matt grew up. Incorporated into the logo is a mountain for Frozen Head, the river for many rivers that come through the area that paddlers and outdoor fans enjoy, the Tennessee Tri-Star, and the shape of Morgan County. The colors are based on the National Park Service and the logo is in the shape of a patch that is featured on many of their merch items.
What is their “why”?
As owners of MoCo Brewing Project, Matt and Emily see this as their opportunity to not only bring great beer and coffee to Wartburg and the East Tennessee Region, but also as an opportunity to give back to the community that they call home. Both of their pasts have been focused on bringing people together for a common cause and owning MoCo Brewing allows them to do just that and control the message. Right now, their team is small and they like that as well after being in charge of large organizations. They get to choose their team and ensure everyone they bring on shares their vision of not sacrificing quality for quantity and as Matt says (after hearing one of Emily’s bosses say) “do what’s right and treat people like family.”