Founder of NoDa Brewing Company Will Present Dec. 9th Program on Entrepreneurship
Todd Ford, a former airline pilot, will talk about entrepreneurship at our Dec. 9th meeting.
He, and his wife Suzie, founded NoDa Brewing Company. In early 2011, they quit their jobs and invested the majority of their 401k funds in building a small 15 barrel brew system on North Davidson Street with intentions of being their own boss and building a business from the ground up.
After less than a year of operation, NoDa Brewing received a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival for their Chocolate Coconut Porter. Accounts grew quickly as locals became drawn to fresh beer produced in their own town. Four years and two gold medals later NoDa Brewing continues its growth investing nearly $7 million dollars into a larger facility to help keep up with the demand of their canned product at local restaurants, sports venues and supermarkets.
Before opening the brewery Todd was an airline pilot for Airborne Express and Pan Am where he spent 24 years flying Boeing 727s, 767s, Douglas DC-8s, and DC-9s. The last four years of his aviation career were spent flying to Europe, Africa, Central, and South America.
Today, as a leader of NoDa Brewing, Todd focuses on beer production and self-distribution in a 50-mile radius of Charlotte, passing up numerous opportunities to expand to other cities and other states in favor of remaining relevant and local. As growth has come, so have legislative problems that revolve around the state’s antiquated 25,000 barrel production limit on small brewers. Todd and Suzie, along with their friends at The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, work to remove this restriction through their non-profit organization Craft Freedom. The hope is that in 2017, the NC legislature will remove the beer production limit that caps growth of local breweries and slows their economic impact on their community.