Office of Public Affairs

Alumni at Work: Daniel Kleban '04

Daniel Kleban '04

Co-Founder, Maine Beer Company

My brother and I started Maine Beer Company (MBC) in 2009 as one of the nation’s first “nano-breweries,” brewing beer on the weekend, 30 gallons at a time. I’m incredibly proud of my company’s growth and the quality of the beer we make, but I’m more proud of the kind of company we always strive to be. My brother and I set out to prove that the bottom line and responsible business practices are not mutually exclusive ideals. They are self-reinforcing – after all, MBC’s motto is “do what’s right.” Each day we work to prove that point.

I did not, however, arrive where I am through happenstance – far from it – and USM played a pivotal role in my personal development. Ten years prior to starting MBC, at the age of 21, I packed up a U-Haul and moved from my native state of Ohio to Maine,
in search of new beginnings. I arrived in Maine as a college drop-out without any meaningful path in life. After working manual labor jobs for a couple of years,
I decided to finish my education and enrolled at USM. That decision put me on the trajectory toward success.

I graduated USM in 2004 summa cum laude, graduated from Boston College Law School, and got my first legal job as an associate at a Portland law rm. In one of life’s ironies, it was a partner at this rm who taught me how to brew beer. It was out of that “education” that Maine Beer Company became the brewery it is today.

 

By Daniel Kleban for USM Connects