If you’re looking for a rainbow colored drink named after a unicorn, Black Rifle Coffee Company is not for you. With names like Silencer Smooth, AK-47 and Murdered Out, the brews this Salt Lake City coffee company makes strike right at the heart of pumpkin spice, hipster culture.
It’s not a gimmick either. Black Rifle Coffee Company was founded by Army infantry and Special Forces veteran Evan Hafer who first started roasting coffee on a firing range between deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. This is his story and, unlike a unicorn, it’s all real.
Planting: the early years
“I always wanted to have some type of military service,” said Hafer, when Valor Magazine sat down to talk to him in Salt Lake City earlier this month. “I grew up playing solider. It wasn’t cowboys and Indians for me, it was ‘How do I play commando?’”
As the grandson of a World War II veteran and nephew of a Vietnam vet, Hafer knew from a young age he wanted to serve our country too. He’d hike the ridgelines of Northern Idaho, look over the vast, beautiful wilderness and think about our country. He’d think about the need for men and women to step up and protect it and of the bravery of its first leader (his idol) President George Washington.
After graduation Hafer joined the Army National Guard.
“When I joined I didn’t expect to be good at what I was doing,” said Hafer, who was just a regular-guy in high school; a bit of a trouble maker, a class clown and not an outstanding athlete.