For every industry to grow, there is a specific way to proceed. But everyone will have a different answer to the same question. In the case of the brewing industry, there is a set of rules that a brewery needs to follow to flourish. Fremont Brewing and Melvin Brewing are two very different breweries that use two different approaches to succeed. While the first brewery uses brewhouse efficiency, the latter uses strategic growth and sustained profitability as their base of operations.
Fremont Brewing Constantly Reinvests To Secure Growth
When Matt and Sara decided to open Fremont Brewery in 2009, things were very difficult for everyone. The recession had just hit bottom, with the Washington Mutual Bank closing down without any notice. Most of the public was unemployed. And, this couple opened up their brewery without any help from anyone.
The only thing Fremont Brewery could boast off was a delightful tasting room. The couple believes that a lack of external help helped develop their brewery, which never lost sight of its goal.
They were good at what they did and brewed great craft beer. It looked like the only way up for this brewery was to employ more people and invest in more equipment. Before anything, the goal set by the brewery was to provide the employees with wages that also included benefits. Now, this brewery pays one of the highest wages to its employees, along with health and dental insurance.
The only time they ever took a loan was to build a facility that is so huge it encompasses an entire block of the city. This 80000 sq km of the area was worth a loan of around $8 million. Considering the progress made by the brewery over the decade, the loan looks as good as paid.
Melvin Brewing: Passion Filled Organic Growth
The owner of Melvin Brewing had something different planned for his life. He had bought a restaurant, managed it for a few years, and then sold it on eBay. His place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was up for sale when his landlord informed him of its availability. A life of surfing and drinking gave way to a machine in one of the rooms. It further made way for a brewery that blew its competition away.
Considering Melvin Brewing has a three-barrel system, you will be shocked to know that it has quite a rack of accolades. The owner, Tofte, mentions that their beer was so sought after that the state gave them a grant of $3 million. It helped jumpstart their program.
Melvin Brewing has exploded its brewing in different cities around the country. You can find their beer in areas around Washington, Portland, Bend, Eugene, Vermont, and Vancouver. Next on Tofte’s list is to create a 7 barrel brewhouse outside Bellingham, Washington. This would help in his plan of enhancing his self-distributing brewery throughout the land.
The two breweries mentioned above display two different forms of growth. One, which is sustainable through reinvestments, which is Fremont Brewing. The other is Melvin Brewing, which has decided to self-distribute its craft beer through their locations.
Images: Fremont Brewing, Melvin Brewing