A new look, a new product and a new way of doing business.
These ideas are shaping the concept of Third Street Brewhouse, a division of the Cold Spring Brewing Company.
Since the launch of the new business concept in early June, the craft beer manufacturer has been the much needed jump start the Cold Spring Brewing Company has needed.
Cold Spring Brewing Company was brewing a mediocre beer in outdated equipment, said vice president and general manager Doug DeGeest.
And he was sick of it.
Deciding to make Cold Spring a “legitimate player” in the beer industry, DeGeest was looking for a new angle for the struggling business.
“The craft brewing segment is on a significant increase,” DeGeest said. As a result, the move to craft beers was embraced in January 2010.
With the renovations to the brewing company including new equipment and a new building constructed in downtown Cold Spring, DeGeest and his team were deciding on a new name for their new products.
With the company’s poor reputation for producing quality beers, DeGeest said, “We were trying to get away from Cold Spring Brewing Company.”
DeGeest said the name Third Street originated from a street in Cold Spring abandoned in the early 1900s and converted into an alley way.
Teaming with a St. Cloud design company, the new brew house was given its distinct logo. As public relations and marketing coordinator Krista Amundson said, it was made to look three dimensional.
DeGeest said, “It’s the cornerstone of our business.”
Along with the new look, DeGeest said the brewery was in need of new brewers.
While he said that current brewers were doing the best they could with the equipment they had, Third Street Brewhouse was also looking for additional qualified brewers.
DeGeest’s solution to this was to hire the president of the Master Brewers Association of America, Horace Cunningham.
With this new hire, Third Street was serious about changing its reputation in the beer industry.
With the new building, new concept and new brewers in line, the company could then focus its attention on the most important aspect of their idea: the beer.
Third Street Brewhouse has developed three regular craft beers, each of which has a special meaning to the company.
“There are stories behind everything,” DeGeest said, “They celebrate the trials and tribulations with getting the brew house open.”
With names like “Rise to the Top”, “Lost Trout”, and “Bitter Neighbor”, the cream ale, brown ale and India pale ale, respectively, all have their unique stories told on the bottles.
With all the pieces falling into place, Third Street Brewhouse began its marketing campaign in May; however, there was still some hesitation.
DeGeest said he remembers saying, “There is no way this is ever going to happen.”
But as their pre-release parties, teasers and radio advertisements spurred interest, when the business officially launched in June, the response was overwhelming.
Since the introduction of Third Street Brewhouse, the Cold Spring Brewing Company has seen a turnaround in business. DeGeest estimated that in Central Minnesota their beer is now offered in 40 to 50 taps, compared to just two years ago when no one was offering Cold Spring made beer.
In addition to creating a better product, Third Street Brewhouse has been making the effort to get people to see the beer manufacturing process.
“Craft beer drinkers are really interested in how beer is made,” DeGeest said, “We need to get people out here to see it.”
In response, the brew house has been offering tours of the plant and free samples to those of age.
While Amundson said that tours have been slowing down recently, they still remain popular, especially on Saturdays. Tours require a reservation and run Fridays at 4 and 5 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m., noon, 1, and 2 p.m.
Third Street Brewhouse is continuing to shape the craft beer industry in Central Minnesota by releasing seasonal beers like their autumn blend “Jack’d Up” and working on creating more events to get the public involved in the brewing business.
As their handouts say, they are passionate about their future.