It seems like everywhere around the nation has a booming craft beer business, with sales rising 18% in 2014. Why not invest your next craft-brewing venture in a veteran owned brewing company? According to the Brewers Association – military vets are in on the action and are thriving. The Military Times recently took a tour of some of the most popular craft-brewing companies around the nation, made by veterans, to find out how’s business! Take a look below:
14th Star Brewing Co. – Saint Albans, Vermont
Estimated $5 million capital investment; $2.5 million in sales with forecasted doubling of growth each of next two years. “We had a plan, and we were determined to make it work,” commented Steve Gagner, owner.
Veteran Beer Co. – Chicago, IL
Distribution in seven Upper Midwest states from Minnesota to Wisconsin; annual sales of about 20,000 case equivalents; seven full-time employees, 19 part-time employees — all veterans. All companies in the supply chain are required to have a “veteran first” hiring policy. “We run it as a for-profit, but we have to put our mission of hiring vets above our profit,” Jenkins said. “Plus, the first 10 percent of everything we produce goes to veterans’ charities. We look for charities that make a difference in the areas where we sell beer.”
Service Brewing Co. – Savannah, GA
30-barrel brewing system in a 28,000-square-foot facility with taproom in downtown Savannah. Approximately $3 million in capital investment (facility/equipment). Full distribution in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Ryan partners with Barrel Backers to ship beer via online sales anywhere in country where allowed. Annual sales are 2,500 barrels or about $800,000-$1 million. Sold in most military exchanges in Georgia; six full-time, five part-time employees.
Red Leg Brewing Co. – Colorado Springs, CO
Produces up to 3,000 barrels of beer annually, making it one of the largest craft breweries in Colorado Springs; nine full-time employees, five are veterans.
Distribution to about 200 locations throughout southern and central Colorado (south of Denver). Sold on military installations. Annual gross sales exceed $800,000 or about 33,600 cases a year.
Veterans United Craft Brewery – Jacksonville, FL
Sold about 1,500 barrels last year and looking to do about 2,500 this year. Total sales just under $1 million. Distribution currently limited to northeast Florida — five counties (including two major supermarket chains). Hopes to expand to central Florida and panhandle later this year. Available at nearby installations, including clubs, golf courses, exchanges. Ten employees, mix of full- and part-time; many veterans or still on active duty.
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