People Profile: Brandon Harper, Nueces Brewing Co. - Marina Arts District in Corpus Christi, TX
Feb 26, 2019
By: Alexandra Scott
Welcome to our first “People Profile” of 2019. These profiles will explore the people behind some of our favorite downtown businesses. This month we are thrilled to be featuring Brandon Harper of Nueces Brewing Co., one of the newest members to our Downtown Merchants Association.
Brandon, who is a Texas native but moved to Corpus Christi a little over two years ago from San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, is only one half of the Nueces Brewing Co. team. His other half is Cale Moore, who he has known for over a decade and happens to be married to his cousin. The two are both passionate about beer and owning their own business. Nueces Brewing Co., however, isn’t Brandon’s first foray into the entrepreneurial world. He has owned a construction business, a sail boat charter company in Nicaragua and he trains military/police dogs in his spare time. Fun fact, he also used to have his own podcast while he was living and working in Central America (you can still find “Life in Paradise” on iTunes).
Before he was traveling around the world and starting his own businesses, Brandon Harper was born in Dallas, Texas and traveled all around the state with his mother who worked in the hospitality business. He went to high school in the Woodlands, outside of Houston, and graduated from Texas A&M University in 2001 with a degree in Agriculture Economics. After college, he stayed in the Conroe/Woodlands until 2014 when he moved to Nicaragua. Once he and Cale decided to start Nueces Brewing Co., Brandon went to Alaska for a few months and worked at brewery to get a taste for what he was getting himself into. When asked about life lessons he’s learned along the way, Harper said, “If you do your research, are good to people, are honest, you try hard and you’re willing to work then you’ll make it”. Now that he’s decided to stay in one place a typical day for Brandon begins in the morning paying subcontractors, organizing deliveries, scheduling and paperwork. Later, he heads to the brewery to plan and schedule things for the upcoming weeks and months. The self-proclaimed “numbers guy”, spends most of his day transforming the space in to the vision he and Cale have for the business. When he heads home in the afternoon, he spends his evening training his Belgian Malinois, Gypsy (pictured below) and hanging out with his two Labradors, Bentley & Bronco. He and Gypsy train in a sport revolved around protection and obedience training called Mondioring. Once the brewery opens up he expects to “be there first thing in the morning and leave late at night”. Besides training, he and Cale spend their free time duck hunting and fishing.
When asked what his life defining moment has been so far, the boisterous 40-year-old said the day he decided to go into business for himself changed everything. The best part? Never having to wear a tie again. You can find Brandon constantly walking around in a Polo t-shirt and jeans. As for his biggest regret? He says he wished he had pushed himself harder in college. Now he describes himself as outspoken, passionate, responsible and respectful. Two of his biggest role models are Bobby Bones, a nationally syndicated radio personality who is often referred as “the youngest country music historian”, and Michael Berry, conservative radio talk show host based in Houston. Brandon describes Berry as someone who “speaks his mind but is eloquent and respectful” and Bones as a “good guy who always looks for the positives”. Actually, something people might not know about Harper is that he “totally fan girls” over Bobby Bones. If you happen to catch him outside of the brewery during happy hour, you can find him drinking either a bourbon on the rocks or his favorite brew, a porter.
Brandon is ready to infuse Corpus Christi with his “big vision” for a “hometown brewery”. The craft beer climate is already young, fresh with opportunity for new businesses all over, but Corpus is especially primed for a place like Nueces Brewing Co. Harper says that his main goals are to build the brand and create a place and a product that are reminiscent of the vibe of Corpus Christi. He is excited to get involved in the community and sees a lot of potential in his new home. He hopes to contribute fresh ideas and new blood in downtown and Corpus Christi as a whole.