Daniel Kleban ’04

USM alum Daniel Kleban and his brother, David, started Maine Beer Company in 2009 as one of Maine’s first “nano-breweries.” They brewed beer on the weekends, growing slowly and responsibly into what is today one of Maine’s leading craft brewers. Their motto, “Do what’s right,” speaks not only to their beer, but also to the way they treat their people and the planet. Dan’s path to success, however, was anything but straightforward.

“At the age of 21, I packed up a U-Haul and moved to Maine in search of new beginnings. I arrived in Maine as a college drop-out without any meaningful path in life. My decision to enroll at USM changed my life—and launched my career. That decision put me on the trajectory toward success.”

After graduating from USM in 2004, Dan went to Boston College Law School and got his first legal job as an associate at a Portland law firm.  It was a partner in the law firm who taught him how to brew beer––and the rest is history.

In 2022, Maine Beer Company donated $100,000 to USM to create a unique “Brewing up Opportunity” internship and scholarship fund. The program’s goal is to promote diversity and inclusion within the craft beverage industry by providing access to education, on-the-job-training, and mentoring to help develop a new generation of beer industry professionals. This unique program is another example of what it means to “do what’s right.”

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