SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --
Zac Fein and Carson Clark, former F-15E Strike Eagle crew chiefs assigned to the 4th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina said creating a rapport with other military members is a great way to stay connected once outside of the Air Force, and that is just what the two veterans did.
Fein and Carson both took a liking to brewing their own beer while enlisted. After separating from the Air Force, they opened their own tap room in Downtown Goldsboro, North Carolina. Clark said they stayed in the local area due to Goldsboro’s reasonable economic climate, as well as being familiar with the community and the base.
Downtown Goldsboro, North Carolina is a continuously developing area. Many of the local businesses are owned and operated by military members, dependents and veterans from Seymour Johnson.
According to Elizabeth Rutland, business and property specialist with the city of Goldsboro, the city prides itself on having a great relationship with the Seymour Johnson AFB community, so when Rutland spoke with Fein and Clark about opening a business she immediately put them in contact with Maj. Christopher Mohr, 77th Air Refueling Squadron director of operations. On top of Mohr being an officer in the Air Force, he and his wife Bethany also own property in the downtown area. Mohr and his wife were recently recognized by Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation as Indicator of the Year at the DGDC Annual Dinner and Awards for their ongoing work through their company, Blue Yonder Properties.
“We originally bought the building and were starting to create apartments upstairs, but we still had the downstairs to rent out,” said Mohr. “When we heard fellow Seymour Johnson AFB members were looking to start their own business we immediately began working together.”
While starting to create the layout for the new tap room, Fein and Clark both used their Air Force maintainer skills to complete their project.
“We built almost everything but the walls holding the building up,” said Clark. “This was our first time building a bar, but not our first time working with tools. We actually took a lot from the Air Force that can help us with the business part of being owners as well.”
According to Clark, the Air Force gave them the organizational skills, discipline and structure that they need to run their business.
The tap room held its grand opening Dec. 2, 2016, and is open for business. It contains a home brew supply store that sells all the necessary supplies needed for homemade beer. It also includes more than 30 taps, two cider taps, and two wine taps for patrons to enjoy.
Goldsboro is a small town that continues to evolve, it also has a growing community of both civilians and military members along with their dependents. Rutland said the base has a lot of young individuals and families who are constantly coming and going, so it’s important to make sure the community is staying vital to them.
“We love businesses that are started by people who are involved in the military or are veterans who have gotten out,” said Rutland. “This lets us know not only did they enjoy the community while they’ve been here, but also they want to stay here and see it grow.”