How Contracting and Private Labels Can Promote Growth

Private label creations and contract brewing is what has helped Rivertown Brewery thrive for the last five years. It helps business as a whole, and this type of work helps keep tanks full, retailers and consumers happy while the brewery’s business continues to grow across the board.

“We enjoy being able to bring retailers beer dreams to life,” the brewery’s Jason and Lindsey Roeper wrote to Brewer in an emailed interview.

The southern Ohio brewery has been doing private labels and contract work for over five years now. It started with doing private labels for local bars and restaurants who were looking for a craft beer named after their establishment. The Roepers also saw a need in the market for retailers to have access to a legit craft option that consumers would be excited to enjoy and offered the retailer flexibility in terms of style choices.

Rivertown is also are a home for gypsy brewers, breweries in planning and breweries who are growing rapidly and need more space.

In addition to being a part of bringing other’s beer dreams to life and growing their visions, Jason Roeper, who is the brewery founder and COO along with Lindsey Roeper, who is the brewery’s CEO, said that there are many benefits to contracting and private labels.

Doing such things help extend specialty yeast life; improves the brew team retention rate, drives COGS down, diversifies the Rivertown Brewery business and further solidifies Rivertown as a larger player in the craft segment through joint marketing efforts.

One such example is the brewery’s largest partner has “Brewed in collaboration with Rivertown Brewery” on 6-pack handles and the product is distributed in 37 states.

The brewery duo said this extra work makes up 40 percent of labor costs and drives their overhead down close to 35 percent,

“So not only does it help keep our team at 40-plus hours per week, it also gives us the ability to invest in our team through raises, benefits packages and education,” they said.

Although the process truly depends on the partner with their larger partners, Rivertown let’s their partners evaluate and choose products that fit their goals.

“They do the design work and we execute on everything else from there,” they said. “Other partners brew along with our brewers and others change recipe and styles each time, everyone is different.

“Since we are experts on our system and have over 18 years of experience, we will consult and make suggestions to ensure that the beer is exactly the way the partner desires if needed.”

Rivertown consults with each possible partner extensively and makes sure that they are a correct fit for the possible partner’s vision.

“We have the capabilities to produce intentionally soured beer to Belgian styles to Lagers to IPAs and everything in between,” the Roepers wrote. “We do have minimum volumes that must be hit for it to make sense and cents for all parties involved and are extremely aggressive with pricing in the off-premise segment.”

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