Let’s be honest, we have been waiting to meet and record with this team for a while. It is one thing to be able to highlight companies around the world that have a great culture. It is different when we have the opportunity to highlight a company that we frequently visit. Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. is more than just a restaurant or brewing company.

They are a company with a passion to protect and conserve the great state of Arizona through growing a great culture that can help with that mission. We know that Jon and Pat will succeed in growing their company because of the purpose and the passion in what they are doing.

This conversation hit a few main areas that we were interested to dive into with this team; diversity and inclusion, passion for conservation, and the process of joining B corp. Pat and Jon’s journey through researching and joining B corp is what taught them more about diversity and inclusion and inevitably led them to searching for Johanna for the Head of People and Culture role. She hasn’t been with the team too long but has already brought her amazing background, education, and knowledge of diversity and people to the forefront of the company. Jon and Pat have always had a passion for focusing on people, but having Johanna in her role is really helping to put the processes and infrastructure in place to do so.

So what about B corp? It is very similar in some areas to Conscious Capitalism, which marks the step and repeat background in the studio. There is a focus on people, planet, and profit and how all areas can exist in the company evenly. They are still going through the process so we will look forward to hearing more about that journey for them in the future.

Then of course there is the conservation piece of it all, which we love. Their phrase “Drink like you care” is a reminder that the way they make beer—and the way people drink it—matters. One of their beers in particular, “This Beer Saves Water” is made using barley from Sinagua Malt. Every Arizona Wilderness beer uses Sinagua Malt as a base; This Beer Saves Water is made with 100% Sinagua. Since 2019, Sinagua’s efforts have kept more than 425 million gallons of water in the Verde River.

When we say we covered a lot of ground in this conversation- we mean it!

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company is a craft brewery and restaurant created to reflect the beauty and biodiversity of Arizona.

Our mission is to produce socially, ethically, and environmentally responsible craft beer and food with the intention of inspiring and uplifting our local Arizona community.

We strive to enhance the lives of our guests, employees, and members of our community by creating unique, flavorful, and satisfying food and beer; providing legendary customer service; practicing solid business principles; participating in sustainable practices whenever possible; and treating our employees well.

Arizona Wilderness is a company born out of love for the great state of Arizona. AZW uses craft beer, inspired food fare, and community-driven atmosphere to act as a conduit between its consumer and the great outdoors.

AZW’s focus on sustainability, conservation, and community is what they believe to be the new way to operate a business in the new Arizona.

Johanna Lortsher is a certified (PHR) Human Resources professional with 17 year’s experience.

She has been with AZ Wilderness Brewing for 6 months, and prior to that spent 7 years as an HR consultant, the last 4 years as an HR Manager at a Professional Employment Organization where she helped companies of all sizes in all different industries with their HR issues large and small.

Now she is living her dream by combining her passions for employee culture, the outdoors, and craft beer.

Jonathan Buford is an avid backpacker and landscape photographer. Jonathan fell in love with the grandeur of Arizona when he moved here on 2002.

On a hike in 2010 he crossed the invisible boundary into one of the 90 protected wilderness areas of AZ, nature spoke to him. He knew his destiny would be to promote the protection and stewardship of the state he calls home.

Patrick Ware was already 5 years into his journey as a craft brewer when he began dreaming of opening his own brewery.

He had developed the skills of a professional brewer and just needed a business plan to make his dream happen. Turns out, that isn’t that easy to do when you’re brewing all of the time!

Once he met Jonathan, and they had shared a few beers together of course, it made sense to combine their skills and passion into one, bold dream.

They went on a hike to that very sign that started the ideas and dream that Jonathan had, and the name Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. was born.

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