Bear Pause: Brennan Greene '01

Brennan Greene Bear Pause

Brennan Greene ‘01 is the owner of Birch's on the Lake Brewhouse and Supperclub in Long Lake, Minnesota, which he opened in 2015, and Birch’s Lowertown, which opened in 2018 in downtown St. Paul. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and attended the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago and Doemens Academy in Munich, Germany, to obtain his international diploma in brewing technology. Brennan married his high school sweetheart, Natasha Corver Greene ‘01, with whom he has two beautiful girls, Kaleesi, 6, and Lilly, 3.

Q: What is the most surprising thing about you? 
A: I'm a dedicated father to my two girls, first and foremost. But in the end, I would rather be camping in the middle of nowhere with nobody else around than anything else I do.

Q: What is your idea of a fruitful day? 
A: As [basketball player, coach and broadcaster] Jimmy Valvano put it, “Any day that you can laugh, think and be emotionally moved to tears is a good day.”

Q: It’s been said that everyone gets 15 minutes of fame. What happened during your 15 minutes? 
A: I started the wave at a Wisconsin football game my senior year — 83,000 people did what I started. If you have never been to Camp Randall, the wave is epic. Once the whole stadium is going, we do the slow-mo wave, then the super fast wave, then the crisscross wave. It is no ordinary wave.

Q: What are your three favorite smells? 
A: Brewing beer, campfire and hops

Q: What is your earliest childhood memory? 
A: The first day of kindergarten at Blake in Ms. Adams’s class when I didn't want to go, but Ms. Adams told me everything was going to be okay, and I ended up having a great day.

Q: If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you spend it? 
A: Playing with my daughters

Q: What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? 
A: What I need to do that day so I can get home to spend time with my daughters

Q: I was once mistaken for … 
A: Robin Williams

Q: If someone rented a billboard for you, what would you put on it? 
A: Birch's Coffee Chocolate Golden Ale, so tasty ...

Q: If you could live inside any sitcom, which one would it be? 
A: “The Simpsons,” where no one worries about anything and everyone stays the same age forever with no consequences beyond one week.

Q: If you could have the answer to any question, what would it be? 
A: How can I make my family happy all the time?

Q: When was the last time you were nervous? 
A: Every day I worry about the brewery and my family and our house.

Q: Who is your hero? 
A: My daughters

Q: If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? 
A: The overwater bungalows in Bora Bora, great pictures to be had.

Q: What's your favorite family tradition? 
A: Taking a beach vacation over Thanksgiving every year with the whole family.

Q: What is the best gift you have been given? 
A: Two wonderful daughters and a loving wife

Q: If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? 
A: Beer