Dan and Kelly Daugherty both graduated from IHC in 2001. While they weren't an item back in high school, they were friends. When Dan came back from Iraq, he started hanging out with Kelly and soon fell in love. A little over three years ago, they started Boots Brewing Company.
For Dan, it wasn't what he thought he would be doing with his life. He had plans to make a career in the Marines as an officer, but an injury sustained while he was on deployment in Iraq caused him to have to retire, leaving him to figure out his new path in life. During his recovery at his family home, he found the answer to that question, thanks to his parents who bought him a brew kit. He started to see that his hobby could turn into a new business venture. On the other hand, Kelly didn't like beer but loved her husband and supported his passion and decided to help him fulfill his dream. She eventually grew to like beer with a preference towards sours.
Boots, located on the Square in the historic Lincoln Building, is situated right next to the Crystal Restaurant, and mixes old architecture with a modern industrial feel. The theme is all about boots, drawing on their philosophy: "Most people who work hard know the value of a well made pair of boots. Over the years we have worn our fair share, from sandy deserts, arctic tundras, and jungles, both literal and urban, and have learned that there is no substitute for a well crafted and properly selected pair of boots. The same thing can be said for beer. And during our travels far and wide, we've shared some great beers with some amazing people in sometimes very unexpected places."
The Daugherty's belief, that "every pint tells a story," is pretty cool. They make a parallel that much like the boots we wear during our lives that get worn and seasoned could tell a story, so does the beer they craft. Their inspiration for the different beers come from the people they have met, their stories, and the experiences they have lived through.
Dan and Kelly are both very active in the community and have two children that go to IHC. Dan, a Watertown firefighter, and Kelly, an occupational therapist, feel it's important to give back to their community. When you visit boots, there is no option to tip them when you pay. Instead, they have a tip jar that goes to a different local charity each month. 100% of their tips have gone to a wide variety of charitable foundations such as: the American Cancer Society, to Urban Mission, the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division, and the Jefferson County SPCA just to name a few.
We are proud to call the Daugherty Family a part of our IHC Family and we thank them for all they do to support the school and our community, to include the soldiers at Fort Drum. Thank you Dan for your service and for the sacrifices you made for our freedom.
If you're in town and are looking for great beer and an inviting atmosphere with the option of outdoor seating, stop by Boots at
89 Public Square, in the Lincoln Building.
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