Wiley Roots Brewing Co. announced today that the brewery quietly produced over 100 unique beers this year. Kyle Carbaugh and Miranda Carbaugh, the owners of Wiley Roots, discovered that the brewery had produced over 100 new beers last week after reviewing year-to-date production numbers.
“Honestly, we were really surprised that we had produced so many beers this year, considering the number of recent changes to our brewhouse personnel and with the challenges of expanding the brewery. We had no intention to make so many different beers, but this definitely could not have been accomplished without the expansion, a dedication to production, and staying true to our Uniquely Crafted motto.” Kyle Carbaugh said.
Producing over 100 new beers for any brewery would be a commendable achievement, but for Wiley Roots it means even more this year. In late 2018, the brewery was faced with a near complete turnover of their front of house and production staff, leaving a skeleton crew of fewer than five employees for over eight months, including the two owners.
During that period of time, Kyle Carbaugh took over all production tasks as Head Brewer and the only member of their 15 bbl production team, while Miranda Carbaugh took over all sales and operational tasks, including taproom responsibilities.
If that wasn’t enough, Kyle and Miranda helped bartend during weekends and releases to meet the spike in demand. For over six months, the couple said they each spent 12-18 hours per day at the brewery. In September, 2018, Wiley Roots promoted their lead bartender, Maddie McEachern to Assistant Manager and then again in February, 2019, to Taproom Manager. Wiley Roots is now operating with a staff of ten, with three people in production. Kyle’s parents also volunteer their time to help and were instrumental to their survival during the rough times. The brewery added “Family Owned & Operated” to their labels this summer in recognition of the heart and soul of the brewery.
“When we announced the new production space in January, after building it out by hand with my parents for eight months, we had hoped that the new capacity would hold us over for a while, but we had no idea how quickly that initial increase would be pushed to its limits,” Kyle said. “Since then, our production capacity has needed to increase nearly threefold, with even more equipment coming online to keep up with the production increase. We also expanded the taproom with a new bar, which has helped us move the lines quicker, keep up with to-go demand, and provide a high quality experience for our customers.”
“It was hard, but in order to grow, we knew we had to completely restructure our sales and marketing strategy, which included where we wanted to be with production and front of house. It caused a lot of long days and sleepless nights, but looking back, we are incredibly proud of where we are now and the team that stuck with it and with us through it.” Miranda Carbaugh said. “In just over a year, we have doubled sales and drastically increased our marketing footprint. This has allowed us to add limited distribution along the front range, when we have the inventory, and attend beer festivals that we were not able to participate in before. We could not be prouder of our team.”
During the week of the Great American Beer Festival in October, Wiley Roots was able to send beers to select liquor stores in Denver, Aurora, and Colorado Springs as part of a limited release. Over the next two months, the brewery will surpass 100 new beers with three more releases planned in November and December, with a highly anticipated barrel aged stout release for Black Friday. This week, the brewery is also sending beer to Arizona, as part of a one-time release during Wren House Brewing Company’s Lager Fest, a beer festival in Phoenix, Arizona that celebrates lagers produced by small American breweries. In addition to the ability to send beer, Kyle and Miranda are both attending the festival, something that would have been impossible just a few months before.
“It’s crazy that this is where we are. I am so proud that we didn’t change who we are either,” Kyle said. “We stuck to what we wanted to brew and had fun along the way, with the beer styles, names, and labels, which is why we believe people have fallen in love with Wiley Roots. For us, it’s not just about making new beers, it’s about building on quality core brands and then experimenting within those parameters. We love innovating and taking risks with trending beer styles, but we are going to do it our own unique way, even if that means brewing a hazy brut IPA with a wild saccharomyces yeast strain, a seltzer with champagne yeast, selling sour beer from a frozen slushy machine, or packaging barrel aged imperial stouts in twelve ounce cans. While some people may think that we are chasing gimmicks, nothing could be further from the truth. We believe that just because a trend or style is new, that doesn’t make it unique. Our goal is to constantly push ourselves to create really good, approachable beer, that is flavorful and crafted with the utmost quality every time, while creating something different than what is out there.”