WPAOG Podcast

EP79 Saber to Startup with Sam Kazmer '11 and Devin T. Adams '13

Episode Summary

On this episode, join Sam Kazmer, class of 2011, and Devin T Adams class of 2013 as they reflect on their West Point legacies and how these experiences carved out their leadership roles. Sam and Devin share how West Point developed their entrepreneurial spirits and the strong leadership they use today in their small businesses.

Episode Notes

On this episode, join Sam Kazmer, Class of 2011, and Devin T. Adams, Class of 2013, as they reflect on their West Point legacies and how these experiences carved out their leadership roles.

Sam Kazmer is a metro Atlanta native and West Point Class of '11. At West Point, Sam studied Economics and competed on the Nordic Ski Team. Upon graduation in 2011, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry and stationed in Vicenza, Italy, with the 173rd Airborne. Following service there, Sam was selected to serve with the 2d Ranger Battalion in Tacoma, WA. After sustaining training injuries during a parachuting crash while conducting an airfield seizure exercise, Sam was medically retired from the Army in 2017. Upon retirement, Sam and his wife, Sara, began their journey in entrepreneurship by traveling through North America, South America, and Europe to develop a concept for a craft brewery. In 2019, they returned to Atlanta, GA, and opened Elsewhere Brewing Co in October 2020. In September 2023, they opened a second location in Atlanta. Currently, Sam is the CEO of Elsewhere Brewing Co. as he continues to search for new and novel ways to grow Elsewhere as a business and a brand.

Devin T. Adams, Class of '13 (D-1), is the CEO and Founder of What’s A Roadblock Beverage Company (WARBEVCO.), a portfolio of brands that currently owns two award-winning mezcal brands: Sigiloso and Mala Mía Mezcal. Devin T. is a Vanderbilt Law School graduate and studied Economics and Systems Engineering at West Point. Devin T. served as a Ranger qualified Fire Support Officer in the 173rd Airborne Brigade and as an enlisted Infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division, completing a deployment to Afghanistan in OEF XII.

Join Sam and Devin as they discuss their time at West Point and how they developed an entrepreneurial spirit and strong leadership they use today in their small businesses.

Key Quotes:

“I'd say, you know, at West Point, I definitely,  what am I trying to figure out? I'm trying to figure out how to be a leader because I need to, I need to figure that out real fast because I guess I'm going to show up to the 173rd, and sure enough.  I show up to the 173rd, I'm there for two months, and we're in Afghanistan. And in the first month we're there two or three officers had gotten killed right off the bat. And I would say like four or five platoon leaders lost their jobs. So it was like I need to figure this out and the consequences are real.” -Sam Kazmer

 “There's just so much, so much care, like the sponsor system at West Point, I think is such a great idea. The professors, I couldn't really, I was being a hardheaded 19, 20-year-old when we were at school, but I'm just so thankful for all the, the professors that poured into me over the years.I think again, back to our economics degree, I'm fascinated by how advanced the level of understanding that they were pushing on us was because I really felt like I  understood a lot of things from a very like from an academic and theoretical level.” -Devin T. Adams

Episode Timestamps:

01:42 Reflecting on the Journey to West Point

04:20 The Challenges and Lessons of West Point

12:45 Transitioning into Entrepreneurship

15:39 The Impact of Military Training on Business

20:26 The Role of Perseverance in Entrepreneurship

23:07 Preparation and Planning in Entrepreneurship

37:37 Applying Military Principles in Business

39:14 The Importance of Teamwork and Mentorship

45:11 Overcoming Failure and Embracing Growth

55:18 The Power of Community and Networking

57:14 The Future of Elsewhere Brewing Company

01:05:02 The Importance of Mental Health and Wellness


Connect with Sam

Connect with Devin

Check out Elsewhere Brewing Co. 

Check out What’s a Roadblock Beverage Company