A Denver-area start up founded by a beer industry veteran, is planning on making it much easier to get your hands on fresh beer.
Like many of us, Charles Stanley, owner of Local Beer Connection, spends his weekends exploring the outdoors and then hitting up a brewery afterwards. Stanley realized that in five years, he and his wife had only visited a fraction of the area’s breweries. Visiting liquor stores reinforced his notion that there’s much more beer in Denver than what’s on the liquor store shelves.
When Stanley began thinking about this problem, he pinpointed two bottlenecks: liquor store shelf space, and breweries that don’t have packaging lines. To solve those bottlenecks, Local Beer Connection lets a user order beer online and then delivers it to a local liquor store to be picked up.
“So, you solve the issue of the liquor store needing to have the beer on hand and the brewer needing to package in bottles or cans,” he said.
According to Stanley, the price won’t be much more than what consumers pay at the brewery. Although in some cases there will be a $1 markup.
“We’re trying to keep this as affordable as possible and comparable to what you’ll find at the brewery,” Stanley said.
The service is currently in a beta test offering beer from Bruz Beers and Wonderland Brewing Co. with pickup at Hugo’s Colorado Beer and Spirits. Stanley said he’s excited to work with these beta partners, who he said have strong entrepreneurial spirits.
Bruz Beers’ Ryan Evans shares the excitement.
“Local Beer Connection is helping craft brewers extend their reach into the local market.” He said. “It’s innovative companies like these that help keep craft beer relevant and exciting by allowing us to focus on what we do best – make great beer.”
The next few weeks will see Local Beer Connection continue to tweak the user experience on the website. In early 2018, Stanley hopes to expand the network of liquor stores.
“It won’t necessarily be at everyone’s corner liquor store, but it will be at one that is conveniently located,” he said.
Stanley is no stranger to beer. He started his career with Upland Brewing Co. in Bloomington, IN and then worked for Paulaner USA when he relocated to Colorado.
“I’ve been a part of the craft scene, I’ve been a part of the import scene, so when I was thinking of what to do moving forward, I did some soul searching and decided that local is where my passion is, local is where the innovation happens and it’s the best opportunity to make a difference in the industry,” he said.
Speaking of making a difference, Local Beer Connection is going to be working with non-profits to donate a portion of each sale completed using a unique code.
“Since this about a local beer connection, I feel like supporting the local community is what I should be doing as part of the community and it also makes business sense as well,” Stanley said.