By Emily Hamann
The Bellingham Business Journal
The cubicle life wasn’t for him. That’s all Jack Lamb knew when he was fresh out of college, and walked away from a job opportunity in sales at Microsoft.
“I wasn’t in for that,” he said.
And, he knew he wanted to own his own company.
So it all fell into place when he met Frank Trosset, who wanted to brew beer.
“It started with a partnership,” Lamb said. “I did the business planning, the financial planning, and I just had Frank brew beer.”
He was just 23 when he co-founded Aslan Brewing Company.
Every year since, the brewery has doubled in size, and now has a staff of around 80.
“We are growing at an alarming rate,” Lamb wrote on his candidate form, after being nominated for the award.
Although they’re growing fast, Lamb said the core of what Aslan is will stay the same, no matter what.
“The Pacific Northwest is where we’re going to stay,” he said. Selling out is not part of the plan. “This is such a good life for us and working hard is part of that,” he said.
As it has grown, the company has also increased its charitable giving.
Aslan ends up donating a lot of beer and merchandise for fundraising events. Last year, 8 percent of Aslan’s profits went to charity, this year they’re on track to donate 12 percent.
This summer, Aslan teamed up with Western Solar and Itek Energy to brew a special beer to raise money to put solar panels on the new Lydia Place housing facility.
“I don’t like the idea of wealth because that doesn’t make much sense to me,” he said. Money doesn’t do any good sitting in a bank account, he said.
“If you have excess, you should give it to someone who needs it.”