Monday, August 11, 2014

Ecology of Howard County

ecol·o·gy: a science that deals with the relationships between groups of living things and their environments

 Last week, HoCo Blogs hosted a Happy Hour and tour at Jailbreak Brewing in Laurel.  Our tour was led by one of the founders of the brewery, Justin Bonner.  In his introduction, he explained how they had looked at a few different locations to start their new business, but the final decision had come between Baltimore County and Howard County.  He recounted how the pitch from Ken Ulman, and his efforts to draw them to the County, were what sealed the deal.

According to Justin, Ken explained his theory on the "Ecology of Howard County".  We're trying to draw high-tech, high-paying cyber-security jobs from around the Country.  When these companies evaluate Howard County, they are not only looking at the business climate, but also the quality of life and regional attractions.  Ken told Justin that having a thriving local brewery (as Jailbreak will no doubt become) will be something attractive to the young professionals that cyber-security firms may want to hire.  For that reason, Howard County needs Jailbreak.

I found that impressive.  I was also comforted by the fact that here in Howard County we have leaders like Ken who will go to the mat to draw in a business like Jailbreak simply because it will make Howard County a better, more attractive place to live.

He did all this without tasting the beer, which I should add is tremendous.  Really really good.  At $6 a pint, it comes in around what you would get at a place like Frisco or Judge's Bench.  They also feature local food trucks on a rotating basis (the night we were there, it was Kloby's).  And, because this is important to me, they are also philanthropically-minded, donating a fantastic Silent Auction item for this year's Vintage (Sept 19 - mark your calendar!).

Political leadership often goes without "thanks".  Your best day is normally just a break from the criticism.  I truly appreciate what Ken and his Administration did to get Jailbreak here.  Thank you.

Have a great Monday doing what you love!