A roller coaster ride as co-founder of Tradehill, an early Bitcoin exchange launched in 2011 that once rivaled now defunct exchange Mt. Gox, led Jered Kenna towards lifestyle brands. While working in bitcoin, things like regulation, banks and other associated headaches burned him out a bit on blockchain hype.
On February 13, 2012, Tradehill announced it would shut down after its bank accounts were closed due to bitcoin involvement. (The exchange briefly could be found under the Bitcoin.com domain) Mr. Kenna is still active in the bitcoin industry. Last year he launched Trade Zero, bitcoin’s first dark pool.
After Tradehill, Mr. Kenna opened Mission20, a San Francisco art and technology co-working space in San Francisco’s Mission District with a large ‘Bitcoin-Accepted Here’ electric sign visible from the sidewalk. For his latest venture, he moved to Colombia, the land of the literary style magical realism and organized crime boss Pablo Escobar.
Bitcoiner Found a Brewery with an Environmental Conscious
“We are taking a more innovative approach,” Mr. Kenna told Bitcoin.com about his new Colombia craft brewery. “Breweries use a lot of water. Something like eight gallons of beer to make a gallon of beer. We need to reduce that.”
20Mission Brewing partnered with the Ecology department at a local university to make their brewery as efficient as possible. “We are working with Tecnológico de Antioquia, a local technical University, to reuse as much water as possible as well as rain catchment in the cooling process,” Mr. Kenna explained. “Our goal is to use 1/3 of the ground water a typical brewery uses.” The overall goal is to incorporate the flavors of local cuisines. First on their list is the Colombia location in 2017.
“Right now as crazy as we’ve gotten is mixing European and American styles with fruits that I’d never heard of back home, such as Maracuya and Lulo,” Mr. Kenna told Bitcoin.com.
The team, which includes a former computer engineer who ran software recruiting and development companies, built its own electronic control system or TME. Basically, it’s a heat sensor that would moderate the brewery’s activities.
“The prototype we developed and built from scratch used a Chinese PID and temperature sensors to turn the heating elements on and off and maintain the temperatures we need,” he explained. 20Mission will continue to experiment with it despite having a separate state-of-the-art system.
Along with two partners and a local brewer who previously worked for Rogue Brewery out of Newport, Oregon, Mr. Kenna founded 20Mission Brewing. The Central American brewery -by-gringos boasts American, European and Colombian flavors like a Belgian Wheat Ale with passion fruit. Mr. Kenna has partnered with Todd Morrill and Jeff Guerra, two Bay Area entrepreneurs.
The new ideas don’t stop there for the new brewery founded by the early and big player in the bitcoin space.
Out With Corporate Beer, In With Independent Brewers
The Tradehill co-founder also has an eye on lessening the corporate hold on the local beer market in Colombia, which is dominated by Miller-owned brand, Bavaria. Miller is considered a premium brand in Colombia, and can be found on the top shelf of markets. Regional craft breweries, however, are finding success in the Central American country. They’re being purchased by big companies, as well, such as BBC (Bogota Beer Company) and 3 Cordilleras.
“It’s going to become a lot more interesting of a market as it’s changing,” he said. “If renovation stays on track we will be the largest independently owned brewery in Colombia this June.” Will the brewery accept Bitcoin? “Until the Colombian Government tells us to stop,” Mr. Kenna confirms.
Would you pay for craft beer with bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy Shutterstock, Mission20
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Exchange Founder Jered Kenna Gets Crafty in Colombia