Meet Rodney Hines, co-owner of Métier Brewing Company in the heart of Woodinville, WA. Rodney and Todd Herriot opened their brewing company in 2018 with the vision to create a new standard in the brewing community and the goal to brew damn good beer, build a stronger community, and inspire bigger dreams for all. In addition to being the only Black-owned brewery in Washington, Métier (which means one’s calling in French) Brewing Company runs a successful paid mentorship program with Reuben’s Brews to give people of color the opportunity to build a career in the beer industry.
Get to know more about Rodney and Métier Brewing Company in this week’s Business Spotlight Q&A.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What’s your favorite part about the community your business is in and why?
What surprised me is how this space has become home for a lot of people in this area. And it was something I intentionally wanted to create with who we have working here and how we’ve created the space, but it’s a community I did not know before we moved here. So, being here in Woodinville on the Eastside, I’ve appreciated that many of our regulars are people who will walk here from nearby and live nearby, and I really feel like it’s something that feels like home. It’s also neat to see folks who, every weekend, are coming from a distance to come support us, to show us love, and drink our beer.
Why is it important to you and your business that people #SpendLikeItMatters?
When COVID hit, the sad moments for me was imagining what our community — what our city — would feel like if these small businesses disappeared. And I think the cultural landscape that defines the affinity and the energy and the spirit of a community is grounded in small businesses and organizations. It saddens me to think if The Station cafe did not exist, or if Communion Restaurant did not open, or if Marjorie did not open, or if Tougo [Coffee] closed. If we didn’t have Raised Doughnuts — if we didn’t have all these businesses — what comes from what these folks put out there and the spirit they have and who they are when they’re at these places, it so defines a Seattle that I love. If they went away, I feel like the void, the emptiness would be overwhelming.
As a business owner, what’s the strangest or craziest idea you’ve ever tried?
As we were launching the business, it struck me as frightening, scary, and almost incredible that we are the only Black brewery in Washington. Once we launched the business, one of the things we said was, “We’re going to make certain that this industry and leaders within this industry are diverse and more reflective of where we’re going.” And so from the beginning, we said we’re going to have a mentorship and a fellowship program, and we said that before we were a year old and before we were even open. It’s amazing to me that we actually launched it [he laughs]. We’re 2-and-a-half years old, and we work with Reuben’s and work with other breweries and we launched a mentorship and fellowship program for folks of color to have a way in this industry. So, I think that for me is this out-there idea for a business that wasn’t even a year old to say they’re going to do it, and before three years is up, they’ve done it.