From MBA to Business Owner: Fritz Rahr

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(Photos: rahrbrewing.com)
Nearly a decade passed from the time Fritz Rahr completed his MBA at TCU to the day he opened his Fort Worth brewery, Rahr & Sons, in 2004. But the TCU community played—and continues to play—a crucial role in the birth and growth of the brewery that has become a regional favorite.

When choosing a business school, Rahr knew the Neeley School was one of the best in the country, and TCU felt like a natural fit.

After completing his MBA, Rahr worked for a leading transportation company in marketing and sales. “I really enjoyed the challenges and the people I worked with,” he says. “I was successful and climbing that proverbial corporate ladder, but I didn’t like the politics.”

Recognizing his frustration with the corporate experience, Rahr’s wife, Erin, suggested he open a brewery. 

The brewing and malting industry was not new to Rahr. In fact, the tradition of brewing runs deep in his family history, back to his great-great-grandfather William Rahr, who began making beer in America in 1847. “It was a natural transition to open up our own brewery,” he says.

In the years since Rahr & Sons first opened its doors on the south side of Fort Worth, the Horned Frog community has played an integral role. When Rahr first drew up his business plan for the brewery, he asked Neeley’s Dr. Bill Moncrief to review it.

“This made me really nervous, as I wanted to impress him and show him I actually learned something at TCU,” Rahr says. Moncrief was impressed with what he saw and asked jokingly, “Where was this in business school?”

“We both laughed, but that gave me confidence to move forward,” Rahr says.

Being a TCU graduate has its benefits for aspiring entrepreneurs. For Rahr, the connections he made with other TCU alumni opened doors and provided opportunities for his company that otherwise wouldn’t have been available.

“Starting up Rahr & Sons Brewery was a very difficult thing to do, but having alumni connections in ownership/management positions helped us establish a foundation within the community,” he says. “Today these relationships are even stronger. Whether we’re buying raw materials or selling to local restaurants or liquor stores, there’s always the feeling that the vast Horned Frog community will open doors to let you in or offer you a discount to help you out.”

To other entrepreneurs considering their MBA, Rahr wholeheartedly recommends the Neeley School of Business. “The program hits individuals with all different backgrounds, skill sets and career goals,” he says.

Rahr admits that getting good grades didn’t come easily. “I was never a scholastic genius, but I had street smarts,” he says. “TCU recognized this and gave me a chance. TCU provided me with the environment to excel.” 

Interested in getting a TCU MBA? Request more info about the Neeley School of Business graduate program or apply now

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