Veterans crowded in front of the enormous 5-ton Light Medium Tactical Vehicle that Black Rifle Coffee Company had converted into a coffee truck. Like those individuals surrounding it, the vehicle had found a new purpose after the military. More than 50 shooters, many who’d spent a majority of their existence honing their skills of marksmanship, gathered at the BRCC Ranch in San Antonio, Texas, for the Second Annual Adaptive Athlete Shoot, a part of the Total Archery Challenge.
Evan Hafer, BRCC’s founder and CEO, wrapped his address with simple but poignant words indicative of the goal embraced by Evan and the company as a whole: “Do epic shit together.”
An event many years in the making — bringing those significantly impacted by the Global War on Terror together through the shared activity of coffee and archery — spurred the pursuit of not only marksmanship but fellowship and community.
Archery, like coffee, is something that we can all pursue, something that wakes us up and enhances focus and determination. In one way or another, it is the distillation of a substance that blocks the very chemicals that are trying to put us to sleep. It makes us better humans, and at the end of the day that’s what BRCC is trying to do.
Anyone familiar with the military way of life is no stranger to the KISS principle. Keep it simple stupid — a wise adage that seems to translate by leaps and bounds when it comes to bridging the gap between the veteran and civilian culture here at Black Rifle Coffee. From that statement you can come to know and understand what it takes to find success at BRCC and what has spurred much of our growth since 2014.
Let’s go back to the company’s origins — Evan, sitting on a tailgate at the range, asking himself what he wanted: “Roast-to-order coffee, delivered to me, that provides me more time to do the things I love, i.e., sending rounds downrange.”
To live an existence where creativity is the only limitation is a different way of life for most military veterans. We usually abide by rules and orders, taking direction for most of what we ultimately take action on. And therein lies the beauty of BRCC and where we find success. It won’t do any good for the community — and when I say community I don’t mean BRCC or veterans but the country as a whole — to accept handouts, or orders for that matter. There are far too many people looking to ride the wave into a menial existence. Self-reliance, in its wonderful form of “doing epic shit,” by its very nature cannot be done falling in line.
The caffeinated life is indicative of taking responsibility for your own life path, waking the fuck up every single morning to the tune of your own damn drum because it’s going to make you happy and it’s going to make those around you better. No one has sacrificed more for this country than the American service member, but that’s not going to do a damn bit of good if we don’t spread the appreciation of life, love, and opportunity to those around us. Through this medium of coffee, and with your help, we stand poised to positively impact the lives of millions of Americans.
This article was originally published in the Summer 2021 print edition of Coffee or Die Magazine as “Inside BRCC: The Caffeinated Life.”