For the Love of the Business: Local Brewery Opens its Doors to Competitor

Updated: 05/19/2014 10:25 AM
Created: 05/19/2014 9:10 AM
By: Jennie Olson

The craft beer scene in the Twin Cities has been rapidly expanding over the last few years, and with increased competition you would expect things to get a bit cutthroat.

But that’s not necessarily the case.

In the world of small businesses, flash-in-the-pan companies can fizzle out fast. Competition can be fierce, and upfront money alone can nearly drown you. But in Minnesota, things might just be a bit different.

One local beer company decided to blaze its own path and help the competition.

Lucid Brewing President Eric Biermann believes in craft beer camaraderie so much that he opened his doors to the competition. Lucid invited upstart Badger Hill Brewing Company into their facility a few years ago, saving the newcomers a lot of dollars, and making a lot of sense.

“What alternating proprietorship means is that who owns the brewery alternates,” Michael Koppelman of Badger Hill Brewing Company said. “So when we’re working on our beer – which we are right now – this is our brewery, from a legal sense.”

“There’s less capital investment right out of the gate, and then the money that we had put together for our business we were able to do some other things in the brewery to benefit everybody,” Brittany Krekelberg of Badger Hill said.

For Badger Hill’s part, they pay a tenant fee and purchased a bottling line for communal use. They buy 82,000 bottles at a time, which is just another way they share the expense of running a small business.

So why not try to take the competition down?

“It’s not the craft beer approach at all,” Krekelberg said. “We all want to help each other.”

 “Craft brewers trying to cut each other’s throats and compete and beat each other – the market will not grow,” Biermann said.

Thanks to the love Lucid shares, Badger Hill is growing. This fall, they’re moving into their own taproom in Shakopee.

“We love them,” Krekelberg said. “They’re awesome guys, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without Lucid, that’s for sure.”

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