" "

Entrepreneur Zach Mack on good beer branding, getting out the 9-to-5 world and the best ramen spots in New York City

Read Transcript

A Young Zach

  • Zach grew up on the North Shore just outside of Boston with no connection to beer what so ever. When he graduated highschool instead of looking colleges in the U.S. he took an unconventional approach and looked at a school in Canada. It was ranked in the top 20 schools globally and also in Zach's words 'a lot cheaper'.
  • He went to college at McGill University studying economics, political science, and french language & literature. He had ideas of becoming a meteorologist, geologist, and even a diplomate before he decided to focus on writing and aiming to work in media after college.
  • When he graduated he almost immediately moved from Boston to New York without a job or a place to sleep. Luckily he had a friend that offered him a couch to crash on while he sorted those items out. It took Zach a total of 10 days to solve both of those issues.
Zach behind the bar. Photograph by Jon Sorrentino

Life in New York

  • Zach started off writing for a small media company about restaurant reviews and activities to-do around the city. This job didn't really pay well but it wasn't completely off the path of what Zach wanted to do.
  • No too long after Zach was looking for a roommate and responded to a craigslist ad. By sheer luck the roommate also graduated from the same college and was opening a restaurant. To make ends meat he started waiting tables at the restaurant while also working his desk job.
  • Zach worked his way through a few different companies and meeting some of his best friends along the way befeore he realized it wasn't the path for him. His now business partner had called him and asked if he wanted to open a beer store together.
Beer fridges at the door of ABC Beer Co. Photograph by Jon Sorrentino

Starting His Own Business

  • After getting the call from his now business partner, Zach opened up shop with Alphabet City Beer Co. His experience in the service industry and waiting tables allowed him to see the friction points within the industry.
  • Zach's intention with ABC Beer Co. was to offer the same level of service and expertise with beer as they did with wine but without the snootiness.
  • About 5 months after the bar opened it was flooded by Sandy putting Zach in a tough place. He was able to get through the tough situation with support from family and friends but it also taught him how to persevere in tough times while owning your business.
  • ABC Beer Co. eventually gained recognition from major media companies all over NYC including Timeout Magazine, being named the neighborhood's best bar.
Zach showing the selection of beer carried in the bar. Photograph by Jon Sorrentino

Ramen Recommendations

  • Zach is a huge fan of ramen and his old apartment was actually right above the notorious ramen spot, Minca.
  • His other recommendations include Mr. Taka, and Hide-Chan
Zach tending to emails and business matters. Photograph by Jon Sorrentino


Go Independent

Grow Your Network

Recent Episodes
Feed your inbox with new episodes and updates.
Thank you! ❤️
Oh no! 😖Something went wrong.
so I can fix this!