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EmployABILITY Champion: Common Corners Brewing

For two years now, Common Corners Brewing, based in Walnut, has been serving customers unique, delicious craft beers and seltzers. Founder Justin Mazorlig spent some time talking with us to celebrate his business's new status as an EmployABILITY Champion and to help us learn what that means to him.

A Common Corners Brewing beer under a tap

When you tell people what your business does, what do you say?

Jokingly, I always say that we just try to not suck! But seriously, we want to offer at least one beer the customer will enjoy, so we offer samples so that they can try to find which one works for them. My philosophy is that brewing beer is an art and craft and getting to share that with people is really special. 


How did you start your business, and did you have any challenges? 

I was a union electrician until I got hurt on the job and started searching for what was next for me. During that time, I started home-brewing and giving what I made away. When I would ask my friends and family what they thought of the beer, they would say, “eh, it’s ok.” So, that’s how our meh face that we use on our merch came about. In other words, this business started very humbly! I did win a homebrew competition, and that’s when I started thinking about opening a small brewery. My wife is from Walnut, and it’s such a great little town, so we decided that it would be a nice place for a microbrewery. Walnut made it easy to start the business –the town really worked for us – and we were able to open the brewery in four months, which is unheard of.  


The amount of work it takes to run a business is a lot! This grant is amazing and a blessing. Any small business that is making it isn’t in it for the money– they’re in it for the love of what they’re doing. And we love what we’re doing!

Common Corners Brewing owner Justin placing hops in cups

How do you plan to use EmployABILITY Business Grant funds to grow your business?  We’re using grant funds to hire individuals with disabilities to work at the brewery to learn all parts of this business – from the brewing itself to delivery drivers. I want Common Corners to be a place where people can gain confidence and learn the craft of brewing. The funds are also going to be used to buy new equipment that is accessible for all our employees to use.

Common Corners Brewing owner Justin laughing with an employee

What does it mean to you to be an EmployABILITY Champion?

The grant has given me a sense of responsibility. Not only do I want to hire individuals with disabilities, I also want to continue to learn about how to make our business accessible. I want Common Corners to be a place where individuals with disabilities can start and build careers.

For more information on Common Corners Brewing, visit  http://commoncornersbeer.com/.

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Image by Nick Karvounis

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