DES MOINES, Iowa — Things had just settled down at Exile Brewing Company after the holidays, the snow, and a football season that saw their Swarm Beer become a statewide sensation.

“So, our goal for our first year was 15,000 cases,” says Exile owner, RJ Tursi. “That was our goal for the first year, and we’ve sold 30,000 cases so far.”

Tursi’s lifelong dream of somehow helping his favorite team was coming true.


“When you drink this, you are helping the Hawkeyes win. Because that’s really what it’s all about.”

Exile released Swarm last summer — with 20% of profits going to Iowa’s sports collective.


Lifelong fan Alex Braner bought in immediately.

“The only time I’ve drank another beer since Swarm was released was when a bar didn’t have it,” he smiles.

But this month, Braner’s passionate nature got him out over his skis. Word was, star tackle Kadyn Proctor was considering leaving Alabama.

“I said ‘Hey, if Proctor goes to Iowa I’ll go to Exile and buy them out of Swarm right now.’”

He didn’t just say it — he tweeted it. And Exile shared it.

“I was like hey take a picture of that stack of beer and send it to him!” laughs Tursi.

“And then all of a sudden it was everywhere,” Braner explains, “and people were texting me right and left and they’re like ‘is this you?’ And I’m like ‘yeah, that’s me.’”

Buy the brewery out of beer? Oh, Alex…


“I was like ‘okay, I’m in big trouble now.’”

But hang on — there might actually be some logic here.

“I was like ‘you know, I’m gonna go through that much beer anyway. Might as well buy it in bulk.’”

Plan in hand, Braner pulled up to the door last week.

“The young lady up front, I was like ‘hey, I’m gonna buy a bunch of Swarm.’ And she said ‘okay, how much?’ And I was like ‘all of that’ and she’s like…’what?’”

“Erin walked up to me and was like ‘hey, this guy is here right now to buy the beer,’” says Tursi, “and we were like ‘oh, wow — okay, alright.’”

Exile cut him a deal, but still — there were nearly 20 cases of Swarm.

“We brought out the dolly, the two-wheeler, rolled it out to his car,” Tursi laughs.

“I live on the fifth floor — but we have an elevator at least,” says Braner. “But from there I rolled them onto the elevator, rolled them into my apartment and was like ‘where the heck do I put these?’”

He’s now got Swarm in his closets, and his freezer and above his cabinets, but he’s also got his word. Intact.

“Half the internet is empty promises and bragging and B.S. basically,” says Tursi. “We did not expect him to come down and buy (the beer) so kudos to him. He’s a man of his word.”

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