Why 3Sheeps Brewery is a Marketer’s Dream

3sheeps brewery

3sheep breweryIt’s vital to your brewery when attempting to develop a marketable brand that you take certain aspects into consideration. First, it must be something you can personally get behind. Second, it must be something your employees will be proud of. And, third, it must be catchy and unique.

Grant Pauly’s brewery in Sheboygan, Wisconsin has all three. The name was derived from his interest in history and his hometown, but also it will jump off the page at you.

3Sheeps Brewery was developed about two years ago after Pauly realized he didn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps and takeover the family construction business. Like many other brewers he had started homebrewing and found his calling in batches of beer that weren’t half bad.

As a confessed history dork, Pauly said he was always fascinated by the term “three sheets to the wind.” “It’s an 1800’s British term, there are great stories in poetry, it just refers to the lines that hold a sail,” he explained. “If one sheet is lose, one line, the sail flutters a little bit. By the time you get to three or four the sale is just flapping all over mimicking a drunken sailor. I loved the imagery and I thought, we’re in Wisconsin we better agriculture that up a bit. So we went 3Sheeps.”

What really solidified the name for Pauly was his wife who is a reading specialist. “I came up with the name of this brewery and I was really excited,” he said. “I went over and told her and she said, ‘that’s nice Grant,’ and walked away. I thought, this is a weird reaction, I’m pretty excited, but I was like, all right, fine, and didn’t think much of it.

“Three weeks later she came up to me, and it took her that long to get the courage to say, ‘hey Grant, so to make sure you know, I trust you, you’re starting a brewery, I believe in you, but … do you know sheeps is grammatically incorrect?’ I had to keep it. She trusted me enough to start a business, we went all in, everything invested, but didn’t trust my language skills. So it was perfect.”

It’s been a wild two-year ride for Pauly and 3Sheeps. “At the end of 2012 we were doing about 600 barrels and right now we are producing the equivalent of 3,800 to 4,000 barrels,” he said. “When I look at the numbers it’s mind boggling, but people seem to be enjoying the beer, so it’s great.”

In coordination with creative naming, one of the four original 3Sheeps beers was called “Really Cool Waterslides,” an IPA with really smooth malts and sessionable at about 6.2 percent ABV.

“It was the only recipe that came with me from the homebrew days,” he said. The name came from an old t-shirt Pauly owned. “I used to be in concrete, I was a third generation precast concreter, my grandfather started the company, my father ran it and I ran it for five years,” he said. “It was assumed it would be mine to take over, but I had no love for concrete. I had a little t-shirt and it had a crossroads, one way pointed to fame, fortune, money, success; the other pointed to really cool waterslide. The little dude didn’t know which way to go. And most my friends knew that was kind of my internal struggle. I could have done concrete forever, you always need it, it would have been safe, we would have been well off and comfortable, but that brewery was calling my name. It was my waterslide.”

3Sheeps spends most its time trying to gain exposure going to events and getting samples to the public. “Hopefully, once they get to know us a little bit, they’ll embrace the 3Sheeps brand,” explained Pauly. “It’s really been a lot. We’re really big into beer dinners, we love pairing, it’s a great way to talk to people, educate people. The style of beers we are doing we are calling one-off normal. We aren’t making a traditional porter or stout, but we are getting to that style a little bit differently.”

In taste you can truly tell there is a difference in 3Sheep’s design than most other breweries. The flavors are truly unique and you get caught spending a lot of time staring at the labels, which are creative sheep references.

“For example, our dark beer is a black wheat, so you still get the roasty chocolate tones of a porter stout, but it’s much lighter in body, really crisp and clean,” explained Pauly. “Our amber is only an amber by technicality. It’s really a variation off a Belgian single that we added rye malt to.

“Those are the kind of beers we’re making, that’s what I enjoy doing and people seem to be responding pretty well to them.”

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