Josh and James have known each other basically since birth as they are cousins. Josh grew up in New York and Arizona and James was born and raised in Virginia. As kids they spent many summers driving everyone around them crazy at their grandmother’s house in upstate New York about 30 minutes from Albany, NY. Thanks to the hard work of their parents they got to see each other at least once a year. Their friendship has remained, even as life happened with college, marriage, kids and all the rest. For the last few years they have been dreaming and planning to open No Rails Ale House.
Josh moved to Wisconsin after college where he helped raise his two sons. After his younger son graduated from high school he packed up and moved west to be closer to James and start the business.
James left Virginia to go to college at Oregon State. While going there he met a girl from Albany, married her, and became a permanent Oregonian.
The No Rails Name:
The name No Rails originates from a family reunion a few years ago. One afternoon most of the family was watching golf on television between card games. In the span of about 30 minutes the same trailer for a new tv show was shown about 5 times. It was for a new crime show and the trailer was a camera shot of two women strutting down an old trestle railroad bridge, with preview scenes from the episodes trading off with the women walking down the bridge. After the third time it was shown everyone began commenting on it, from the women strutting, to the concept of another police show, to the very annoying fact that it was being shown every 5 minutes. About the fifth time it came on in 20 minutes it was getting even more jokes made about it and people getting just annoyed about it being on yet again. All of a sudden James’ dad Jimmy exclaims, “ You know there are no safety rails on that bridge, they could just fall right off!” Now we had all seen the commercial many times and made numerous comments about it but no one had ever given any thought to the women’s safety while walking on this bridge with no rails. It was such a random comment that no one could get past the humor of it. So for the rest of the reunion everyone would just randomly yell out, “ Hey Jimmy there are no rails on that bridge!”, either to get his attention or just annoy him.
It was on this trip that Josh and James began discussing this business, so naturally it got called no rails as a joke. However as they worked towards making their beer store dream a reality the name became about much more. They tried different names for the business but kept coming back to No Rails.
So the No Rails name is everything from a family joke that reminds us of some people we have since lost to a reminder to find your own path in life and follow it even though there are no safety rails to protect you.