Episode 1: Building Community Through Beer with Bryce Thompson

Hosts Drew Dargen and Scott Moehlenbrock sit down with Bryce Thompson, Owner of CORD Construction Services, to discuss his experiences developing his own projects including The Patriarch Craft Beer House & Lawn, Social Capital, and 1884.

Show Notes

Urban Dirt Podcast | 1: Building Community Through Beer w/ Bryce Thompson

Connect with Bryce Thompson via the links below!

Bryce Thompson: Email / Instagram / LinkedIn

CORD Construction Services: Website / LinkedIn

The Patriarch Craft Beer House & Lawn: Website / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

Social Capital: Website / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter


[00:00] Introduction

[02:21] The best birthday gift Bryce has ever received

[03:13] Bryce and Scott discuss their experience as home brewers

[04:02] Gail at The Brew Shop OKC

[06:30] Bryce describes his signature brew, a pale ale named Not Wasting Time, and his custom golf course distribution setup

[08:23] The discussion shifts to the impact home brewing has had on craft beer culture, specifically in the Oklahoma market

[09:51] Scott explains the unique environment created by Oklahoma’s old-school liquor laws, which surprisingly resulted in ideal market conditions for home brewers to build their brands

[10:58] A few of our favorite Oklahoma-based breweries are mentioned, including Prairie Artisan Ales, Roughtail Brewing, Coop Ale Works, Stone Cloud Brewing, Frenzy Brewing

[12:08] Bryce talks about growing up a small-town preacher’s kid, moving around a bit, and landing back in Fort Gibson, OK after his sophomore year in high school

[12:57] Bryce tells a surprisingly adorable story about Junior Prom

[14:23] Bryce’s first day on a construction site

[16:14] The moment Bryce comes to the realization that construction is what he’s meant to do

[16:50 Construction Science becomes Bryce’s new major at The University of Oklahoma

[17:20] The unorthodox class scheduling strategy that results in more hours on construction sites than in the classroom

[17:50] Bryce wins his first attempt at bidding a construction project – and somehow convinces his new client to front the money for materials

[19:03] The value of hands-on experience in the construction industry

[20:40] Bryce gets a job offer he can’t refuse during his junior year, which includes a unique signing bonus

[21:59] The unsuccessful attempt to drop out of college in order to get a jumpstart on his career

[23:06] Transitioning from a role at a large-scale construction company doing $300MIL per year to becoming the fifth employee in a family-owned business doing $5MIL per year

[24:00] Tripling the size of the company within a single year at the age of 26

[24:25] Drew articulates the value of the head start Bryce has unwittingly created for himself; Bryce’s unique advantages begin to emerge

[26:00 Bryce’s family is growing, and he and his wife decide they need to get back to Oklahoma

[26:17] The unexpected strategy Bryce deploys to get out of Texas, which includes a regular 200-mile commute

[26:41] “Every business in the world has one thing in common – it’s people.” Bryce goes all in on “just meeting people.”

[27:20] The value of relationship building begins to emerge.

[28:25] “Spending more time on the business side of construction, not the construction side of business.”

[29:03] Geeking out on company culture, vision, and strategic planning

[29:15] Despite opening and growing the company’s Oklahoma operation, Bryce still hasn’t even considered striking out on his own

[30:50] What happens when Bryce’s vision for his ideal company culture begins to diverge from that of his employer

[32:00] An amazing offer is bestowed upon Bryce, but he turns it down

[33:05] Bryce launches another operation – again, for someone else

[33:39] Finding peace, taking the leap into ownership

[34:54] The conversation shifts to the story of The Patriarch Craft Beer House & Lawn

[35:22] Scott gives perspective on simplifying the definition of real estate development

[36:44] Bryce’s future business partner walks into a church group gathering (and Bryce’s life) with a growler of home-brewed porter

[37:18] Rainey Street in Austin, TX

[37:48] Oak Street Draft House in Denton, TX

[38:36] A bullshit text message leads to a meeting at Jersey Mike’s

[39:14] 9 East Edwards Street – “This. Is. Perfect.”

[39:27] Drew provides context on the market in downtown Edmond, OK

[41:55] “Walking through open doors,” one of Bryce’s foundational principles

[42:39] Bryce describes the property and why it was the perfect fit for their vision

[42:55] The pursuit of a “disarming” atmosphere. “I can’t go build that feeling anywhere. You have to buy old.”

[44:24] Getting cold feet and nearly convincing themselves the deal was destined to fall apart

[45:38] “It got really real, really quick.”

[46:00] “Okay, I’m gonna need some money. I don’t have any.”

[46:35] Structuring the ownership of the property versus structuring the ownership of the business

[50:20] How Bryce single handedly raised his half of the $500,000 required to build out The Patriarch

[52:49] Why Bryce took on an investor who only had $1,500 in capital available

[54:40] “People invest in people and passion and vision more than anything.”

[57:26] The entitlement process. “I didn’t know you could just call up a City Council Member and go have coffee with them.”

[58:39] Drew discusses the nuances of dealing with local government stakeholders

[1:01:15] The challenges in educating the public on what you’re actually trying to accomplish with your project. “How are you guys gonna handle the red solo cups rolling down Broadway?” 

[1:02:12] Solving the often-overblown public concerns about parkingBryce’s Custom Parking Guide

[1:03:23] Begging a reporter NOT to write a story about their project

[1:06:10] Digging into the construction and rehab strategy

[1:08:10] Re-purposing 95-year-old solid slate chalkboards from McKinley Elementary

[1:10:49] Beer Education becomes a priority

[1:12:50] Drew’s brother Max describes his ordering strategy at The Patriarch

[1:13:39] Bryce discusses the types of beer you can and CANNOT find at The Patriarch

[1:14:23] Scott explains the unicorn-like Brewer’s Union in Oklahoma

[1:15:23] Frenzy Brewing goes from a launch at The Patriarch to building out a 6,000 square foot brewery operation in the heart of Downtown Edmond

[1:17:07] Budweiser, Coors, and other “American Staple Brands” aren’t actually even American-owned companies?

[1:17:40] The diabolical scheme that almost landed Bud Light on The Patriach’s menu

[1:18:58] The Patriarch’s legacy as a key player in the revitalization of Downtown Edmond

[1:19:11] Drew highlights projects that have materialized since The Patriarch planted its flag, including Sunnyside Diner, Citizens Bank, Vault 405, Cafe Evoke, Ellis Island

[1:20:02] Lessons learned from The Patriarch Project

[1:20:55] Drew and Scott pitch Bryce on a business development idea

[1:21:36] Bryce feels compelled to take on another project in an attempt to leverage the knowledge he’s gained

[1:23:00] Community Through Beer Group is formed

[1:24:00] CTB Group goes big on their second concept, Social Capital

[1:24:31] Bryce’s sister describes the niche CTB Group has created in “dating terms.”

[1:26:12] Scott breaks down “The Billion Dollar Corner” in OKC and the 70 acre Scissortail Park, Grand Opening 9/27 with Kings of Leon Concert (free to public), Downtown Convention Center, Omni Hotel, Chesapeake Energy Arena, Thunder Alley, Boulevard Place, Fairfield Inn, Oklahoma City Streetcar, #billiondollarcornerokc

[1:30:07] Social Capital versus The Patriarch

[1:31:37] 120 craft beer taps at Social Capital

[1:32:20] Industry knowledge gained as a carhop at Sonic in high school

[1:32:57] The importance of tying Social Capital into Scissortail Park

[1:34:21] “Also, punchcards.”

[1:34:40] Edmond Railyard Project and Concept #3: 1884

[1:37:24] Rail Spur Project, Stephenson Park, Park 17

[1:38:14] The power of what Bryce has unknowingly pieced together by walking through open doors

[1:41:00] “Sometimes you’ve gotta jump into a hole knowing there’s only one way out.”

[1:41:42] Stinkin’ Thinkin’

[1:42:20] “You’ve gotta jump and wait for the parachute to open; you don’t open it, and then jump.”

[1:42:52] “You have to fear regret more than you fear failure.”

[1:43:15] “What’s the worst that could happen?”

[1:44:34] Team as the most important factor in the success of The Patriarch

[1:45:34] Bryce imparts wisdom on the younger version of himself

[1:47:22] Bryce shares the single purchase of less than $100 that has had the biggest impact on his life

[1:48:20] Cory Morrow“I’m too young to have a point of view”

[1:48:56] Bryce makes a couple of book recommendations, including The Go-Giver by Bob Burg & John D. Mann and Start With Why by Simon Sinek

[1:50:45] In closing

Urban Dirt Podcast is produced and hosted by Drew Dargen and Scott Moehlenbrock, with production support by Max Dargen.

Please visit us at www.urbandirtpodcast.com, email us at info@urbandirtpodcast.com, or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram

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