Get to know Grand Rapids (and the world)

Chris Andrus

Chris Andrus has daddy issues. (It’s funny because I told him I’d lead with it, trust me.)

First, Chris followed his dreams to be a musician. His dad, Larry, wasn’t so thrilled by that choice. His dad is a linear thinker, so when he would play a cover song that made people dance, he’d connect it with success and ask, “Why don’t you play more of that stuff?” He wouldn’t quite understand why Chris played the original music.

And it took six months for the dad to accept Chris’ new gig, owning a brewery.

“Once I was in the paper and seeing success, then it was okay,” Chris said.

Now his dad loves it and couldn’t be happier. But Chris warns you have to be careful putting expectations on your kid, because they’ll shoot the other way.

Hopefully Chris heeds his own advice; he had a son about eight months ago.

Chris is also my boss at the Mitten Brewing Company. He’s a great guy, smart as can be and can quote just about any movie or TV show. His thoughts on life and culture are interesting and thought-provoking whether you agree with him or not — I tend to agree.

His thoughts on Catholicism; I’m on his side. The belief system is not something I’m inherently inclined to believe, but the awe-inspiring traditions and ceremonies and the amazing grandiose architecture of the buildings are amazing.

He summed up space and my thoughts on stress levels pretty succinctly in one sentence.

“There’s nothing like looking at space to show you that getting a C+ on your math test doesn’t fucking matter.”

He worries a lot about what people think of him. Just like me. But unlike me, he’s picked two outwardly criticizable careers, not just one.

He stayed up the other night, freaking out because someone told him a beer wasn’t very good. He would panic that a song he produced wasn’t good enough.

But it goes both ways. “It’s just as pleasing to me to hear something is great as it is damaging for me to hear it’s bad.”

He’s like Ben Darcie, and ego is inevitable. “As much as I love doing what I do for the artistry, it’s nothing without the approval.”

But his thoughts get more interesting the more they go.

He is a vegan, and his thoughts on veganism can calm a lot of nonvegan palates.

He said most vegan attitudes A. Don’t work and B. are presumptuous.

It matters more to him where is money is spent than what he says. He knows he’s not going to change many minds. But listen to his analogy on veganism vs. vegetarianism.

There are two guys. They live in a village where slavery is rampant and many of the slaves produce blankets. Both of the guys are opposed to slavery. One of the guys says they don’t support slavery or blankets, but one of the guys says, ‘I don’t support slavery, but here’s a heck of a deal on blankets.’ He might not support slavery, but he’s supporting the trade that promotes slavery.

He’s doesn’t care if you eat meat though.

Just like he doesn’t care all that much about politics. He cared once, then he realized it doesn’t really matter unless you make it matter, “it didn’t really affect me unless I chose to worth about it.”

His views on Bigfoot, evil and the actual meaning of life are worth another blog post. Maybe even a podcast. He’ll be back in my journey of interviews.

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