If there is anything America loves, it is definitely the story of a business starting from a humble place and then growing to something significant with a substantial economically valuable. Although the story of pursuing the American Dream is a great one, these stories are especially loved when the success stories involve beer. That is where Jeremy Tofte and Melvin Brewing come into play. Tofte began his brewing business small, small enough to be just one part of a Thai restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming titled Thai Me Up. Although he started in a small space, he eventually decided that he wanted to grow his business and pursue a future in creating great beer.
These days, Melvin Brewing is much larger, large enough to be a successful part of the Great American Beer Festival, pulling in fans with hip hop music and shooting shirts out of a cannon. This is really an American Dream come true, especially considering that the brewery’s beer titled “Hubert” won a gold medal in the IPA category at the festival. Perhaps the reason why their beer is so great is that they brew what they actually love instead of trying to create something someone else would love. The IPA Hubert is what their own people drink, so they know the quality of their recipe through the eyes of a customer. Having an IPA made for fans, by fans, ensures that the quality is never compromised for any reason.
In today’s alcohol world, IPA and strong hops are pretty popular for the modern taste buds, and it can sometimes be hard to stand out among the plethora of options being presented to customers. However, Tofte is somewhat of a brewing traveler. After living in foreign countries and utilizing their brewing styles, such as Sweden’s, and then moving to great American brewing places like California, Tofte has essentially mastered the new kind of brewing style that keeps his flavor unique and interesting. In fact, Tofte utilizes his pub breweries as a safe way to experiment with adding or changing the recipes used. This way, they can experiment on a small scale, get customer feedback (including their own employees) before selling the products large scale. Therefore, all of their products have been tested, edited, and perfected before ever even hitting their target audience’s taste buds. This keeps them relevant, responsive, and reserves their reputation because they never release new products just to boast that they have a new one; they only release what has been proven to be delicious and appreciated.
As for now, Melvin Brewery is only distributing to a few markets, such as Seattle, Boise, sometimes San Diego, of course all over Wyoming, and a few other large hitters in the beer industry. Tofte expresses that this is to make sure their beer is best for the consumers in each district they hit, and to make sure their partnerships with distributors are mutually beneficial. This business model could perhaps explain some of their success as well, considering they never overly invest in a market that won’t appreciate their product. It is hard to stay ahead in a market that is so saturated with microbreweries, pub breweries, and large distributors that have historic holds on the market. Tofte has shown that America still loves a story of the underdog becoming successful and reaching for that dream.