Many of you have asked how Kevin Yackley and Jill King came to buy Bare Arms Brewing? Well, let us rewind the clock a bit and give you a little background story. Kevin has been a brewer for 35 years. He virtually grew up with Craft Beer in Southern California back in the mid-90’s – having known some of the earlier employees at (later known) big Craft Brewers such as Stone Brewing and Ballast Point. When he retired from tech, he planned to open his own brewery. Kevin and Jill were living in Salt Lake City at the time and contemplated opening a brewery in Utah County. Not the easiest proposition, since Utah County had not had any distilleries or breweries in over a century.
They became empty nesters and realized that nothing was keeping them in Utah – they were not native to Utah, and they knew when they moved there in 2011 that it was not their forever home. They had always liked the Texas culture, so they decided to investigate if there was a location that would support a brewery. Jill, being a 30-year marketing executive, began putting Waco through the market research paces to determine its viability to support a brewery. It appeared to meet the criteria, so Kevin and Jill visited Waco in September of 2017, fell in love with Waco because of its beauty, global notoriety, and growing friendly community. 60 days later, they were officially Wacoans. At the time, Bare Arms was the only brewery in town, so they, of course, visited and made friends there.
Their intent was still to open their own brewery, but “Nature” intervened. After two years of searching for a suitable building and several building purchases and leasing attempts, Kevin and Jill became discouraged and wondered if they’d ever get the chance. But something told them to be patient and to stay the course – it just wasn’t time yet. Now they know why….
In late November of 2019, Bare Arm’s approached Kevin and Jill to acquire Bare Arms Brewing. Some of the Bare Arms’ partners had already left to pursue other endeavors, and only one partner remained. It was a win-win for everyone – Kevin and Jill further their goals to be involved in the Waco Craft Beer scene, Keith Collier continues his passion for making great beer, and the oldest surviving brewery in Waco gains an opportunity to grow into its next phase.
Keith, Kevin, and Jill are very excited about the future. With the new brand, beautiful new taproom, and great beer, Bare Arms and its owners are looking forward to an exciting future.
Cheers! Here’s to friendship and the future.