Zwei Brewing Company (Zwei) offers four different beers: two types of lagers and two types of ales. The two kinds of lagers are the Alt and Blonde Lager while the ales offered by Zwei include the Hefeweizen and IPA. By expanding its brewing capacity, Zwei hopes to increase production so that it can distribute more widely across Colorado.
Due to state laws that regulate alcohol sales, however, this may prove difficult. For example, one law mandates that Colorado liquor stores are the only businesses that may retail alcohol and, as a result, breweries like Zwei lack distribution options. Other laws also place restrictions on production capacity and how much beer a brewery can produce per year.
In order to overcome these obstacles and increase its market share with distributors, Zwei has opened an additional taproom in downtown Denver where customers can sample their products before choosing which beers they would like to buy.
Because there are multiple stakeholders involved in the industry – including brewers, wholesalers, retailers, state regulators, and consumers – it is difficult for small breweries such as Zwei to grow their business due to existing regulations.
Zwei Brewing Company history:
This small but mighty brewery was started by five friends in 2004 who met at Colorado State University. All of them had a strong passion for the art and science of beer making. Thus, they decided to pursue their dreams and start a business together.
Each person contributed $1,000 towards an initial investment of $5,000 that was used to purchase brewing equipment and other miscellaneous items needed to begin operations. The company was named Zwei ( German for “two”) because there were originally two brewers just like the company’s motto: “Brewed with friends.”
Zwei operated out of a garage on Spruce Street where it brewed its first batch of beer. Up until 2012, the company rented space from Rocky Mountain Microbrewery in order to have a licensed space for fermenting beer. In 2008, Zwei Brewing hired its first employee; however, he left the company the following year.
There was no full-time staff until 2010 when interns were employed to help with administrative tasks such as answering phone calls and filling orders. The “Z” in Zwei stands for two which is why you will find this letter on all of their bottled beer labels. Their brand slogan is “Brewed With Friends” (shown below) because they want people to know that their beer is handmade with local ingredients by friends who are proud of what they do.
Other key milestones:
2008 – Zwei’s barley crop failed due to the drought in Colorado. Although it caused some financial hardship for the company, it was able to overcome this setback by brewing a beer specially designed for Colorado called “Denver Pale Ale” (DPA). DPA became popular with local distributors who requested more of the product.
In 2009 – Zwei purchased another 50-barrel tank that could ferment up to 715 barrels per year. That same year, they also sold their first keg of beer which was brewed on an Oktoberfest lager recipe (a German-style of beer ). It is important to note that there were no breweries in Fort Collins at this time when Zwei began operations; however, competition did not become a serious threat until Fort Collins Brewery opened its doors and started producing craft beers in 2008. This new business was founded by a former homebrewer (a person who brews beer at home for personal consumption and often as a hobby) named Stephen Domenik.
By 2012 – Zwei had grown considerably with the help of friends, family, investors, and other local mentors who believed in their business model. Some of these individuals included Chris Rippe, founder of Odell Brewing Company, Tim Myers, owner of Fort Collins Brewery, and Pauline Knighton, co-founder of New Belgium Brewing Company. Prior to this time period, there were only 50 small breweries in Colorado compared to over 200 today; however, the number continues to increase every year. Today, Zwei has 9 full-time employees. The company aims to continue growing as it strives to become a significant contributor to the craft beer industry.
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