Beer? It’s Everyone’s Business Here

Boothbay Craft Brewery relies on relationships to grow business.

April 2016

For Boothbay Craft Brewery in Maine, a big key to building a successful small business is building upon relationships. Customers, competitors and industry peers—they’ve all played a major role in shaping and strengthening the business, owners Win and Lori Mitchell say.

“We wanted to create a brewery that was built from the ground up, by us and by the people in town,” Win Mitchell says. “So we included a lot of community members, friends and family to help.”

How did they do it?

The first step was to get people excited about the brewery/restaurant by giving them a chance to be involved. When putting their post-and-beam building together, the owners asked people to contribute—quite literally—by donating trees to be used in its construction. To honor this community spirit, the names of the people who donated were carved into the beams. Now, Win Mitchell says, “They feel like they’re part of our building.”

And now that the business has been built, friends help out by providing ingredients for the beer. “We have friends growing hops, and they bring it in for a hops harvest,” Lori Mitchell says.

Boothbay Craft Brewery’s owners worked to expand their business’s reach within the community, forging relationships with other restaurant owners and vendors. In addition to the Boothbay tavern, customers can buy Boothbay Craft Brewery beer at other restaurants in town and at the local farmers market.

“Other restaurants are not our competition. They’re actually spokesmen for our beer,” Win Mitchell says. “They support us. We have over 40 draft accounts that sell our beer at their businesses, and we sell our packaged beer at the farmers market because we are a local, craft-made product.”

Demand has grown, and Boothbay Craft Brewery responded by expanding its brewing facilities. “We sold 400% more beer this year than we did last year, just by increasing our capacity,” Win Mitchell says.

Boothbay Craft Brewery’s owners also stress the importance of strong industry connections to help improve the product. After all, better beer leads to bigger sales.

Boothbay Craft Brewery has working relationships with others in the craft beer community, and the owners often take trips to breweries or host brewers for visits to share tricks, recipes and information on hops and other ingredients—and sometimes they barter products. “We’ll grab some hops from other brewers if they have an overabundance,” Lori Mitchell says.

“Even though you share recipes, you still make it your own,” Win Mitchell says. “You put your own spin on the beer to make it unique, but at the same time, it’s influenced by another successful brewery.”

Boothbay Craft Brewery is a prime example of the importance of building strong partnerships to foster business growth. It’s a tenet shared by Time Warner Cable Business Class, which helps Boothbay Craft Brewery’s owners grow their business with the help of technology solutions. See how Boothbay relies on its partnership with Time Warner Cable Business Class for fast Internet, reliable Business Phone and TV services.»

  

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