June 7th, 2016 by Gwen Green
Over a three-year span, ASBTDC Business Consultant Whitney Horton helped co-owner Matt Foster bring his dream to fruition. With Horton’s assistance, Foster and his partner Jess McMullen developed a business plan for the micro-craft brewery and got a small business loan from Arkansas Capital Corporation Group.
“I am not college educated in business. I am an English teacher,” said Foster. “The one-on-one consulting led me in the proper direction and gave me the actual kickstart. You all kept me grounded, held my hand along the way, and broke things down to where it not only made sense, but it was doable. The ASBTDC made the dream and the steps to the dream achievable.”
The Flyway name comes from Foster’s long-time love for ornithology. “The Mississippi Flyway is the largest bird migratory route in the Americas. Running from central Canada to the area surrounding the Gulf of Mexico, the flyway bottles up like a funnel over Arkansas, representing the most narrow portion in the route,” said the avid duck hunter.
Turning a hobby into his full-time job, the former Little Rock Central High School teacher is now Flyway’s head brewer. His vision for Flyway is to be “big enough to distribute widely and small enough to offer a diverse selection for all tastes.”
“We want to source as many ingredients locally and regionally as possible,” said Foster. “The Arkansas Native Beer Project is something we’ve been working on since 2013, where we work closely with farmers, urban gardeners and distilleries in the area to have a completely Arkansas-grown beer.”