New local Connecticut beer brand Beaver Beer presented their product this past week at Eli Cannon's Tap Room in Middletown. The brand representatives on hand were co-owners Bill O'Brien and Baxter Urist of Westport, with the third owner (Rob Anson) away for the evening.
When asked why they chose beer as an occupation, Urist and O'Brien both laughed and said that they were just all guys that have loved beer as far back as they could remember. O'Brien in particular mused that since he was a young man he had a significant passion for beer.
This is Urist and O'Brien's first professional foray into the beer world. They all (Anson included) come from a marketing background, and branched into similar ventures through their midlife. The common thread throughout all of the Beaver Beer owners' professional life has been a focus on reaching consumers with a message or a product of some kind.
The product they now want consumers to reach for is their stable of three flagship beers, although the surprising thing about the three founders of Beaver Beer is that none of them brew beer themselves. It's brewed in Holyoke, Mass. Though they are deeply passionate about beer, and know the difference between good and bad beer, O'Brien, Urist, and Anson never have dabbled in making the stuff themselves. "It may be heresy, but aren't homebrewers," O'Brien said laughing.
Though they don't have hands-on experience with making beer, O'Brien reassured me that they have plenty of experience marketing a good product. They key tenants to be successful in the beer field (they told me Tuesday) are having a good strategy, relatable name, and eye-catching packaging. Above all though, O'Brien told me, is the necessity of a really good product that people will want to keep coming back to.
This beer is launched out of Connecticut, and that's where the founders live. The launch location was chosen so the owners could keep their business local to where they live and connected to their immediate community. By keeping their business in their own backyard, traveling to different vendors and distributors is easier, and it makes the business personal. This friendliness is present in the beer, as Urist and O'Brien tell me, because it is a beer that goes out of its way to accommodate all subjective tastes (with three different solid brews) and be a fun conversation starter due to its cheeky name.
The end goal for Beaver Beer is to make it as a national brand. The founders really want to get national distribution as soon as possible and establish a brand that will be recognized from Connecticut all the way to California. By all accounts, it looks like this beer will reach it's goal; O'Brien told me that the name "Beaver" resonates with people across the country.
Beaver Beer is memorable, it has alliteration, it's funny, and has double entendres that work on multiple levels, no matter where you live. It's a beer that really focuses on good beer and good fun. Even though the national expansion plan may initially alarm some beer fans, I urge you all to at least try the beer before you make any dispersions. The guys behind Beaver are a great bunch, and they really have brewed some solid tastes that I plan to revisit several times this spring/summer season
If you want to try a little Beaver for yourself, the beer is in Middlesex, New Haven, and Fairfield counties, with 150 package stores total. This number is expanding as we speak and the founders are confident that more regional exposure will be right around the corner. Coming down the pipe the Beaver Beer founders want to branch into canning their beer (rather than having it in bottles), and developing a kolsch recipe.
Check out the post on my blog for more information on the beer featured here. Be sure to check out the Beaver Beer website for more information, distribution, and any upcoming developments on this exciting new local CT beer brand. Also follow me on my Blogger, Facebook, or Twitter for more up-to-date beer news and ramblings about beer in general