Sarah and John McGarry are a husband and wife duo and are part of a five-person ownership/leadership team that runs Brink Brewing Company in College Hill, Cincinnati.

Even though Sarah and John are located in Denver, the pair both have integral roles in the brewery’s operation. With her background in architecture and design, Sarah helped design and build out the brewery before evolving her duties into the social realm and promoting the brewery. John is a long-time craft enthusiast and a certified Cicerone who works in the financial tech industry by day. At Brink, John contributes to menu planning, beer style planning, and merchandise design.  

Location Hunters

It took around two years of searching before Brink settled on its location. Their partner Andy (Chief of Operations) did most of the ground work on this. Scouring Craigslist and checking out buildings on foot. They needed a space that was the right size, with the right rent, and most importantly—a building they could have complete control over in the future. They landed on a space with a lease that gives them the option to renew and eventually buy the property. This way Brink can’t get kicked out of the building once the whole area blows up and some developer wants to turn the building into condos.


Brink ended up settling in the neighborhood of College Hill. With help from the College Hill Redevelopment Corp, they were able to move into an area that was thirsty for new businesses. The community has rallied around the brewery. Their success has attracted other businesses to the College Hill area as well, with two restaurants citing Brink’s success for choosing to open there. Brink has even had other Cincinnati neighborhoods try to entice them to replicate their magic.


Behind the Brand

The name comes from Sarah and John’s experience of their process of launching a brewery. The starting and stopping, over and over again, like they were just on the “brink” of making it happen.


Sarah’s college friend, Elizabeth Vereker, is a Design Director at Studio O+A in San Francisco. They paired with the studio and were able to get a clean design that reflects the brewery.

Notable quote from the interview


“I saw a trend in Denver that was disturbing in that we saw some breweries move into some developing neighborhoods or underappreciated neighborhoods, build a brewery, had a really successful taproom for a few years and the owner of that building benefited from all that improved market value and sent them a notice and said I’m not renewing your lease, we’re going to build some condos here. And those taprooms had their legs taken out from underneath them by having to go find a new spot. And we has said early on that we need to control the destiny of our building.”

~ John McGarry

Scrabble Wall

John Belushi/Animal House inspired College Hill t-shirt

Additional Resources:

College Hill Redevelopment Corp.

Brink Brewing’s contact info:


Twitter: @BrinkBrewing

Instagram: @brinkbrewing


Promote the Brew’s Clothing Styles and Design Workshop for Fall/Winter 2018


July 18, 2018

at Lakefront Brewery from 8:30 to 11:30am

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