To say this week has been the most difficult week for this company is an understatement. Born in the Garage, the story of Braxton Brewing Company is the story of the American Dream and there isn’t a single successful American Dream that doesn’t endure uneasy circumstances.
Five years ago my brother and I decided to take this leap of faith – like many entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, and bar owners we took a chance and launched this brewery in an area of Covington that very few found exciting. Over the past five years, we’ve truly been on a rocket ship – growing our distribution footprint, innovating our product offerings, and meeting hundreds of thousands of you through our taprooms.
The timing was right, not just for breweries to become the cornerstones of redevelopment in thousands of communities across the country, but for restaurants and bars to become the wind beneath the sails that accelerated the redevelopment. And right now, that very progress is in critical condition. No one knows how long the effects of the coronavirus will last but one thing we do know is this will change the fabric of communities across the nation forever. In short, we know that this will affect all of us for a long time. In different ways.
I mentioned the story of Braxton being one of the American Dream, and that there isn’t a single interesting start-up story that doesn’t endure something to rebuild stronger, bigger, and better. The most important thing that every start-up story has is the people that write the chapters along side of them. Braxton is no different. Over five years we have grown our team to over 80 people and it’s not just a platitude to say that I truly consider each one of them to be family.
Which is why yesterday was hands down the hardest day of my life when I had to let a significant portion of our hospitality team go due to the coronavirus.
We make incredible products and some of them are incredibly special to us. When we talked as a Leadership Team last night we knew we wanted to do something. So we decided to take the single most special beer that we have and use it at this time of need.
Tomorrow at 9 am we’re going to “Open Our Cellar” and release some of the Dark Charge that we have been saving over the years for a special occasion. What’s better is we’re going to take $5 per bottle sold and create a fund specifically for our affected family members during this time of need. What’s better is we have several members of our extended family offering to match this contribution. So we can’t think of a more special occasion than to help our people when they need it most.
So how will it work? Just like our online ordering platform – at 9 am tomorrow we’ll send a link of all available inventories and prices. Orders will be fulfilled just like our online curbside to go platform – and you can pick your bottles up beginning at 11 am tomorrow. This “Dark Charge Cellar Day” won’t be as fun as our usual Dark Charge Day as we’re still going to abide by all governmental suggestions, and CDC recommendations – social distancing, no beer on-premise, and no lines outside. But this “Dark Charge Cellar Day” will mean a ton to our Family, and to me, that’s really all that matters.
I truly appreciate you as you join us on this next step of our story. One day we will look back at this, laugh a little, and recount that time when we beat all odds. In short, we will endure. Together.
Lift One to Life,
Jake Rouse, Co-Founder & CEO