Above: Kevin Kershner (left) and his brother Basil (right) relax at Brothers Kershner Brewing Co.
Kevin ‘09 and Laura 09’ Kershner met as students at Millersville University. She played lacrosse, he played football. The rest, as they say, is history. “Since we were both athletes, we were introduced by our teammates,” says Laura. “We immediately had a connection and became the social coordinators between our friend groups. During sophomore year, I made the first move. Now, 14 years and [some] kids later, [we’re still happily together.]”
Above: Kevin and Laura met while they were both attending Millersville University.
As students, Kevin was a sociology major and criminology minor, and his now wife Laura studied psychology. Post-graduation, Laura worked for an enterprise software company and Kevin worked a series of corporate jobs, but it didn’t feel like it was the right fit. In 2007, during college, his older brother Basil had begun experimenting with homebrewing his own beers and was eager to get his little brother in on his new passion project. “Seeing and tasting my brother’s hobby he shared with me for fun turned into a passion,” he says.
Above: Laura with her children.
The two began to dream about the possibility of developing a legitimate business and started making plans in 2012. Laura says she knew with Kevin’s work ethic, all the dreaming would pan out eventually. “While dreaming is great, an action has to make those dreams come true. One of the many reasons I fell in love with Kevin was his dedication to anything and everything he puts his mind to,” she says. “I also think that helping to make his oldest brother’s dream come true was a driving factor in his dedication. Finding a location was the starting point.” While Kevin was still working full–time, he spent every moment of his free time calling townships, ringing doorbells and evaluating the market in order to find a prime location for their would-be business.
Finally, it seemed like it was time to take the jump from business plan to full-fledged business. “Having straddled [my corporate career] and the brewery for a few years amidst growing our family, I knew it was time,” says Kevin. “The [business] was gaining traction and to grow meaningfully it deserved more of my time and focus.”
As the two brothers were getting the business off the ground, the pair devoted a lot of time to their work. “My role was to be supportive, plain and simple,” says Laura. “Marriage, a new baby, starting a business – we had a lot going on and I was holding down the fort at home which allowed him to focus and dedicate every waking hour to the business.”
So, in 2018, Brothers Kershner Brewing Co. finally opened for business in Skippack, Pennsylvania. “[Since opening,] I can honestly say the vision hasn’t change much, if at all!” says Kevin. “From the “what if” stage, to laying the bar out with 2×4’s in an empty, middle of demo garage, to year three building towards year 5,7,10+ goals.” Since this business is a family affair, it only makes sense that Laura would be involved as well: “I am the events manager,” she says. “I manage all of our private event bookings from birthdays, weddings, showers, family events, corporate events and more.” Kevin handles the business, and his brother Basil mans the brews.
Speaking of brews, Kevin says the beverages at Brothers Kershner Brewing Co. have something different to offer, including six of their flagship beers. “I think the rounded varietals we offer [make us stand out,” he says. “We cover just about every style.” If you can’t make it out to visit their brick-and-mortar location, don’t worry – they can ship beer to all Pennsylvania residents and to those in the D.C. metro area.
While Laura and Kevin graduated from Millersville University more than a decade ago, they both share fond memories of their time on campus together. “[My education at MU helped to prepare me to run this business,]” explains Kevin. “To break it down: I was a sociology major with a focus in criminology and psychology, [which is] essentially the study of what makes people tick. Applying this to a service setting helps us carve out our brand.”
Laura echoes Kevin sentiments about MU. “Some of my most impactful experiences at MU were the opportunity to become involved in something other than just your daily classes,” she says. “I took advantage of being a part of a team, volunteering, working on campus and studying abroad. There is really something for everyone, and it allows you to build life-long friendships.”