Copper State of the Brewery Address: 2023
Six! We’re old enough to be a volleyball team. We are a half dozen. The perfect number of doughnuts, unless you like more doughnuts, which is only good and right. We are a full six-pack, of abs or beer (you can’t have both). We are a full cast of Friends or perhaps the Foo Fighters. We are six (but we are reading at a 5th grade level). We’ve made it over the hump of being in business over five years. Did you know that about 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years? So that definitely means that from here on out it should be smooth sailing…right? Right? Thanks for the reassurance. You guys are the best.
Every year we like to pause and reflect a bit on the year’s growth, its struggles and joys. We like to appreciate and review some accomplishments from the year, and also make some goals for the coming year. Because it is our firstborn business, we’re pretty good at capturing its growth in pictures and words to remember the fun things and the hard times. If this were our third or fourth business, we’d probably have as many pictures and memories of it as we do of our 13 and 11 year-old children, but this is the firstborn, and thus, the proof exists. And this annual blog post is one way of doing that. So as Jon cleans the taplines (because, as it turns out, one still needs to do mundane tasks like tapline cleaning to maintain a good business) I shall write and remember.
Here are a handful of successes and accomplishments over the last year:
· Helped to make Green Bay the #1 place to live in the United States (yep, we’re taking credit for that one—we’ve only been climbing since we started our business, so I think it makes sense).
· Earned the Wisconsin Main Street Award for “Best Business Success Story” in 2023, proving to the masses that we have indeed “faked it till we maked it” (although people almost didn’t recognize us when we accepted the award in clothing that did not have the Copper State logo on them).
· Hired an amazing Ales Agent who helped us expand our distribution footprint into the Madison market, allowing more of the good people of Wisconsin to experience Brewmaster Jon’s beer.
· Collaborated with Third Space Brewing on an IPA for a good cause—raised over $5k for Golden House Domestic Violence Center in Green Bay with our One-in-4 IPA.
· Expanded our barrel aged beer program with tasty brews like our Midwest Goodbye Imperial Stout, Lucky and Pour Sap (maple bourbon barrels), Cognac Barrel Aged Old Fashioned, and brought back some old favorites like Gary and Preach. And we’ve got a warehouse with 50 more oaks of beer aging away across the river.
· Experimented and produced some fun new IPAs like our Bucket List Double Hazy IPA, and our Cold Crop (cold IPA—no, we didn’t make that up).
· Crafted three great seltzer flavors—look for our “Pluck” lineup hitting shelves near you.
· Enjoyed Craft Brewers Conference together in Nashville—while Jon geeked out over yeast strains and hop varietals, I went to the fun seminars on marketing and brand culture. We make a good team.
And now, here are a few outlandish promises and goals for the upcoming year:
· Win a beer competition—we plan to enter more beers into next year’s beer competitions and come away with a prize or seven. I know, I know, we’re winners in your eyes already, but you’ve never given us a gold medal to hang up in the brewhouse.
· Continue to have the best staff in GB and beyond—really, don’t we have the best team? We’ve really worked on cultivating our culture, and we try hard not to hire or keep jerks. I don’t know much about running a business, but we know we want to be surrounded by fun, hardworking, good humans. Turns out they’re not great bowlers or paintballers, but we’ll take ‘em.
· Continue to have the brewmaster with the finest hair of all the brewmasters in the land.
· Culture the city of Green Bay with our live jazz music on Tuesday nights. (If you haven’t been to a Tuesday night “Jazz, Blues, and Brews” you should get yo’self some culture and come on out.
· Grow our distribution footprint even further—south and west (because if we go more to the east, we’d be distributing into that great lake that’s over there, and there just aren’t that many people on that lake).
· Train our 11-yr-old in the ways of the brewmaster…minus the chemicals. (Remind me to start letting him grow his hair out…and start on that beard).
· Hire new GB resident Simone Biles as a food runner--can you imagine the amazing gymnastics you’d witness as she carried your tray to your table? That would be awesome.
· Clothe the city of Green Bay with six years’ worth of lost and found items.
· Continue to live our mission statement:
Connecting people. Creating experiences. Crafting great beer.
It starts with the people. The beer is a bonus. A great one, mind you, but the people and the experiences come first. Thanks for your support over this last year and the last six years. We love serving you, and
we look forward to the coming years as a gathering place in Green Bay.