ALL IN THE FAMILY: Passion turns into award for family's beer brewing endeavor

- A local family-owned brewery in the Valley is earning a lot of praise, with one of their brews getting national recognition from the world-renowned Great American Beer Festival.

For the McClelland family, a boozy dream all started in a garage, almost 30 years ago.

"I remember dad brewing in the garage when I was six years old," said Chad McCleland. 

"We'd wake up and smell that from the garage, and he'd put us right to work," said Dillon McCleland. 

Right at work, giving whatever help they could to their dad, brewing craft beers right out of their garage. Anything from milling the grain, to turning knobs, and even watching over a boil.

"So when it overflowed, they could say, 'dad, its overflowing!'" said Greg McCleland.

That family hobby has now evolved into huge business: Goldwater Brewing Company, which is located right in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. It's a vision Greg never really thought would come to life in this capacity.

It was a vision that he has had in his head, since 1979. Greg was a college kid backpacking around Germany, and and like a good college kid...

"I really just learned to appreciate good beers," said Greg.

The question for Greg, however, was how he could get the delicious taste of crafted beers in his hands, without paying the big bucks. 

"Aout 1985, a good friend of mine said, 'well, you know you can make it'," recounted Greg. "I was like, 'you can?'"

Greg then got to work, stirring up homebrewed beers in the garage.

"It became a hobby, and then it kind of became a passion," said Greg.

After backpacking around Europe, Chad, now Goldwater's brewmaster, started feeling that same passion.

"He said, 'I think I wanna be in the craft beer business'," said Greg. "And I'm like, 'oooh!'"

Years later, Chad and Dillon get a text from their dad, asking them for their thoughts on opening a brewery.

And they did it.

Over the last several years, they crafted more than 30 beers, based on their own recipes. Now, one of those recipes was nationally awarded by the Great American Beer Festival with a bronze award for brewing excellence.

The brew was Chad's own creation.

Another interesting aspect to the Goldwater Brewing Company is the area used to be an underground shooting range. The bays that now hold beer tanks used to be where people would come in and shoot through.

The buildings old logo also served as an inspiration for Chad to name his now award-wnning beer.

Machine Gun Teddy.

"I well up with pride to begin with," said Greg. "It's exciting, and that particular beer was really special."

"The mission is the journey," said Chad. "Our journey is to keep progressing, keep growing at a steady rate."

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