When their careers are over, many pro football players decide to go into broadcasting (think: Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, Scott Zolak) or coaching (think: Mike Vrabel, Wes Welker, Kliff Kingsbury) — occupations still closely linked to the sport. Dan Koppen opted to go in another direction: the former New England Patriots center will open a brewery in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.
The LineSider Brewing Company and its tasting room with a capacity of 100 people are owned and operated by Koppen and business partner Jeremy Ruff. Today — November 23 — at noon, it will open its doors to the public and have up to 14 different beers available on tap. On a floor space of over 4,200 square feet, the brewery will be capable of producing up to 1,000 barrels of beer annually.
Koppen, who played for the Patriots from 2003 until 2011 (he retired from the NFL two seasons after leaving New England) and helped the team win two Super Bowls, is not the first ex-Patriot to go into the production of alcohol as a second career: long-time starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe founded the Doubleback Winery in Walla Walla, Washington in 2007.