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Beta Gamma Sigma Visits Burley Oak

By Robert Dean, BGS President

On Friday, November 2, 11 members of Salisbury University’s honor society Beta Gamma Sigma piled together in a van and headed toward Berlin, MD. Not to go against the college stereotype, this Friday afternoon’s trip was centered on beer. However what made this trip different from others was that the beer was not the main focus of these students’ trip; instead it was the man behind the beer, Bryan Brushmiller.

Beta Gamma
Pictured (from left)
Adrian Roman, Scott Benjamin (front), Matthew Larsen, Dean Wood, Kristin Krieger (front),
Valerie Sheehan, Allison Tingle (front), Lori Defnet, John Buntz, Nicole Hamrick (front),
Robert Dean, Megan Wilkinson (front) and Dr. Thomas Calo.

Brushmiller, a Salisbury graduate, is not only a rather savvy businessman, but he is dreamer, an entrepreneur in every sense of the word. Within Berlin, Brushmiller has taken his lifelong dream of having his own microbrewery and made it into a reality. At barely a year old, Burley Oak Brewing Company grows more and more in popularity each day. Not only do they have a variety of beers, but they make sure only to use the best materials in their beers, quality before quantity. It was this never-compromise attitude that drew the students to meet Brushmiller for their first educational business excursion.

Once at Burley Oaks, the members of Beta Gamma Sigma met up with Dr. Calo, the group’s advisor, and Perdue School Dean Wood. When Brushmiller entered the room, he needed no introduction; by the smile on his face, it was clear he was a man living his dream. After a quick introduction, he led the group into the brewery and explained the brewing process. He went on to talk about how some of his beers came to be and then opened the floor for student questions. Like any good group of future businessmen and women, questions about materials, labor, laws, regulations, expansion, starting and running a business, as well as future projections were asked. However, what stuck out the most came toward the end: his passion.

Surprisingly Burley Oaks was not the first business Brushmiller had owned. When he was 26 years old, he had owned a sewage removal company and under him it had double in size and revenue, a feat any business owner would be proud of. However, Brushmiller sold it because it wasn’t his passion. He went on to talk about the importance of doing something you love because you get out of it what you put into it. While he owned the sewage removal company, he made more money and had better hours, but he hated it. Now, even though he frequently experiences 16-18 hour days, he doesn’t mind because he’s living his dream. That was the underlying message he was trying to share with the group: do what you love and it’ll never feel like work.

For Beta Gamma Sigma’s inaugural trip for the 2012-13 school year, Brushmiller proved to be a greet opener. It was nice to meet and listen to a young successful businessman. He made life post-college look less intimidating and the idea of starting a business from scratch more approachable. In the end, Brushmiller’s real-world experience taught the members of Beta Gamma Sigma lessons about passion they can’t find in a book.

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