Ways These 3 Breweries Have Created Inroads to Community

Depending on what part of the country you look at restrictions to what a brewery’s taproom can house varies. As that is such a great margin maker for many breweries, becoming increasingly dependent on other avenues has helped to try to lift sales of product.

And even as breweries are struggling, many still look to help in the community in some ways or at least make inroads to connecting with locals in the area.

“With our restaurant/taproom business struggling, we have had to rely on the other parts of our business,” said Two Brothers co-founder Jason Ebel. “Our coffee sales have been increasing, both online and in retail.

“As a distillery, we also sold hand sanitizer during the shortage, which not only helped our business but industries who needed that product as well.”

During this pandemic, Ebel said Two Brothers has really tried to reach out to its community and try to help where we can. The brewery created a #Support630 campaign to help highlight and support other local businesses in the 630 area code (western and southern part of greater Chicago).

“We have worked with local hospitals and senior living communities to provide hand sanitizer and we are starting to work with local first-responders on a new coffee program,” Ebel said.

​Some creative ideas have sprung for Cincinnati’s ​Urban Artifact as it has a wedding venue ​(​”​The Reliquary“​)​, a radio station ​(“Radio Artifact”​ – ​WVXU 91.7FM2), ​and ​a recording studio ​(​”Radio Artifact Live”​)​.

​”​It’s important to continue to expand your business where it makes sense, but it has to make business sense​,” said Brewing Operations Manager Bret Kollmann Baker​. ​”​You need to be all over your budget, as a whole and most importantly on a business unit level. If anyone unit is losing money, you don’t want it to sink the ship.​”​

For Urban Artifact, the business ideas all come together as natural extensions of the space they had in the building.

“Our taproom is in an old church, so a secular wedding venue makes perfect sense,” Baker said. “The radio station and recording studio is a natural extension of the live music we had pre-pandemic times almost every single night.”

Baker said the radio station spawned in large part because the last independent station in Cincinnati died and they stepped in to fill that gap.

“Luckily for us, the local NPR affiliate loved the idea and let us use their HD2 station,” Baker said.

The recording studio spawned out of the need to continue to use the music venue space during the pandemic when live shows are but all but impossible.

“We see a hole in the market and plan to do our best to fill it,” Baker said. “Opportunities will never not present themselves, you just gotta be ready for when they come around.”

Great Divide Brewery & Roadhouse​, ​located between Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado, ​developed a way to enhance a customer’s experience by giving them a chance to brew on the Great Divide brewing system.

In October, it hosted a homebrew contest – homebrewers could enter their fruit-forward IPAs to be judged by a panel, and the winner earned the opportunity to brew at the Castle Rock, facility with Great Divide Head Brewer Tony Rau.

The beer (a Pineapple and Coconut IPA) will be released in January 2021 and will be available in Castle Rock, Colorado and the two Great Divides in Denver. The first, second, and third place winners all won gift cards and merch as well.

​Photo Courtesy Urban Artifact/Radio Artifact​

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.