Brewery news is like 99 percent expansion updates — new distribution areas, capacity growth and even totally new locations. From CBB heart throb Keith Gribbins:
Franchising and/or creating a chain is certainly not a new strategy — even in beer. Gordon Biersch has more than 30 brewery restaurants locations across America. Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant has decreed its 14th location will open in the Summer of 2018 in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. While those examples feel more like eateries than drinkeries, breweries of all sizes are jumping at localized, destination opportunities, and they’re not sticking in the same state. They’re traveling across the continent.
All of that is cool for sure, but today let’s give a headline to a small brewery that could: Wages Brew Co.
Finding success being small
Wages Brewery makes small batch craft beer while providing an event space that hosts live music, trivia nights, gaming nights, charity fundraising events and more — all in their small taproom and all while owners Phil and Amber work “day jobs” as well.
“It’s a lot of work to do what we do, but we believe we’re doing something more than just running a bar,” Wages said. “We don’t have TVs. When people come to our taproom, they find a place where they feel comfortable, and they are reminded that social interaction isn’t just a novel idea. People jokingly say to us often, ‘It’s like Cheers!’, and I’m good with that. We come awful close to being where everybody knows your name. And the people of West Plains are making that happen every time they come in our doors. It makes me feel good to share my passion with people in this meaningful and rewarding way.”
This West Plains, Mo.-based brewery hatched its soft opening on August 27, 2016, and has a really great “1st Aleiversary” celebration coming up to mark the occasion and celebrate that first year success. This two-day event is open to the public and will feature five live acts, the Spork Express food truck, an expanded menu of their handcrafted beers and soda and a souvenir glass.
“We’d like to thank the folks in the West Plains area for supporting us as we follow our passion of brewing beer here in the Ozarks,” Owner Phil Wages said. “So, we’ve put together this celebration as a thank you. We know we wouldn’t be here without everyone in our community who supports what we do.”
Wages’ held an art contest to design their souvenir glasses — part of their endeavor to work with individuals rather than some marketing firm online. The design was inspired by a “pipe dude” that sits atop a shelf in their taproom, kind of their unofficial mascot.
“We’re going to have additional beers on tap expanding our usual selection of six up to 10. And yes, this will be family friendly,” Wages said. “We’ve got handmade citrus soda [made with real limes and lemons] for the DDs and kiddos. Spring Dipper will be open next door, and it’s always fine to grab an ice cream cone to enjoy while hanging out in our taproom.”