Big Things Are Brewing

May 25, 2023


Zach Dobeck didn’t just set out to build a brewery — he wanted to provide a place for people to gather, foster a spirit of generosity and deliver a unique experience to Waukee and surrounding areas.


That’s why he built Kinship Brewing Co. “I have aspirations for this brewery,” said Zach, who opened the business four years ago. “I don't want it to be run of the mill. And I want to do it right.” Zach is a big thinker, which aligns surprisingly well with being a pragmatic planner. The first order of business was to purchase the property upon which Kinship is built. That way, there was a backup plan should the brewery not work out.


“I trust my instincts…but how do I do something cool without putting everything out on the table and risking my future with my wife, who's taking this risk with me in this journey?” he asked. “By owning the facility, I have a have a long term-asset and an operations company within that building as well…something else that can generate a rental revenue.”


Obviously, Zach’s enterprise is alive and well, and his big ideas have paid off. Not only is Kinship thriving as a business, it is brewing up good in the community, too. “Early on, as a young kid, I knew I wanted to be a community leader, whatever that meant,” he explained. Zach found that creating a company that celebrates community was the best way he could contribute to the greater good. Hence the name Kinship, which evokes a feeling of closeness and camaraderie.


“You’ll find some brewery names to be pretty unique. For me, there’s no better name than Kinship,” said Zach. “It’s approachable and understandable, but it also immediately has this gravitas — like we're all in this together…. People have connected with the name Kinship.”


As somebody who likes to find common ground, Zach believes a lot can be solved over a pint and a friendly conversation. “We have a saying here: Good beer for good people. It may seem very simple, but I love a message like that…. The more we’re on the same page, the more we can handle anything thrown at us — as long as we do it together.”


If beer is the great equalizer for conversation, Kinship certainly lives up to its name for putting action into words. After a valued staff member had to have a double mastectomy, Kinship spearheaded an initiative to raise money for breast cancer awareness. The first Fighting Through Kinship 5k race raised $30,000 for breast cancer awareness charities. “All of a sudden, I'm sitting there on the day of the event, looking around going, ‘Wow, there are 600 people wanting to walk and run for this event.’ It was kind of lightning in a bottle.”


Lightning seems to strike often at Kinship, but its success hasn’t come without hurdles. However, the hurdles themselves are less important to Zach than his approach to overcoming them. “There are always going to be hurdles, but at the end of the day…there’s always another route to take. You just have to be willing to take it.”


After four years, Zach is well on his way to achieving everything he set out to do with Kinship, from brewing quality beer to being a social hub to giving back to the community, and he’s not slowing down. “We have loyal customers who are die hard. People who come and pay for our beer and let us continue to do what we're doing,” said Zach. “I've found that my drive, professionally and personally, is to build a business, support my family and live out the American dream, so to speak…. ‘Think big’ brought me to where we are.”


Like Zach, we believe in working hard on behalf of our clients, our team members and our community, as reflected in our own values: Be people centered. Bring your best. Enable great things. Think big. At Bank Iowa, we strive to live out our values every day to support our vision and fulfill our purpose.


Did this article resonate with you? Share with others in your network who value what you do. And if you want to hear more, listen to Zach’s session here.


NOTE: Comments have been edited for length and clarity.


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