Along with our wholesale accounts at Cabela's and the Navy and Marine Corps Exchanges, craft breweries comprise a significant part of our business. We've been fortunate to work with these breweries as they've helped us get our products in front of a larger chunk of the craft beer market -- which has recently pulled neck and neck with the military/veteran population in terms of our customer base.
In no particular order, here are our 10 best customers in the craft brewing world. Check them out (and please pick up one of their branded bottle openers) if you're near their breweries or if you see their beers in your local bottle shop. Click on each brewery's name to visit their website.
Mission Brewery, San Diego, CA
From 2011-2012 our office was right next door to Mission Brewery which made order deliveries very easy. It also made it very easy for us to have some unproductive Friday afternoons since every trip next door seemed to result in a few 22oz bombers of Shipwrecked Double IPA getting "added to our tab" and coming back to the office with us.
Best I can remember, Mission was our first craft brewery customer and continues to place regular orders to this day. They're right next to Petco Park in the old Wonder Bread building so check them out next time you're in that area for a nice selection of IPAs, blondes, imperial stouts, and whatever seasonal wizardry they have on tap or cask. Their spacious taproom is right next to all their fermenting tanks and is dog and kid-friendly; while they don't serve food, you can usually find a food truck or two parked outside their door.
Big Sky Brewing, Missoula, MT
We started selling our brass .50 caliber bottle openers to Big Sky about two years ago and they have reordered every few months since then. They recently added our matte black .50 caliber bottle openers to their lineup (as well as some in gloss red and gloss blue) and the response from their patrons has been solid.
While I've yet to make it to Montana, it's not too hard to find Big Sky's popular releases like Moose Drool and Trout Slayer here in San Diego.
Knee Deep Brewing, Auburn, CA
Knee Deep followed shortly after we got Big Sky on board...in fact, I think Big Sky might have referred them to us. I haven't made the trip up to their brewery yet but fortunately their beers are readily available at bottle shops here in San Diego. If you like hoppy IPAs it's hard to beat Knee Deep's selection -- Hoptologist, Citra, Hoparillo, Midnight Hoppyness, Simtra, Lupulin River, and too many more for me to list are all solid choices. Their Tanilla is also a good one if you're into porters.
Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, FL
Cigar City doesn't order often but when they do, it's BIG. They're well-known within the craft beer world for their annual Hunahpu's Day with tickets for that event commanding a premium price from people who want to get their hands on that imperial stout. We've been able to support their Operation Homefront and Hops for Heroes events these last two years which have raised large amounts of money for those organizations. Unfortunately CCB doesn't distribute this far west, so thus far the only beer I've had from them was their Beer Camp collaboration with Sierra Nevada last year.
Young Veterans Brewing, Virginia Beach, VA
Another one of our longtime customers and (obviously) another veteran-owned business. They've been ordering our .50 cal openers in brass and OD green (which just happens to match their colors) for several years now and about three months ago they outfitted their taproom with a set of our customized .50 caliber tap handles before stepping up to the 20mm tap handles you see below -- one for each of their beers.
I recently got my hands on a few of their beers via a beer trade and their I Love Jet Noise IIPA and Semper FiPA stand up favorably to any west coast IPA that's available around here. They're very active in supporting veteran charity causes around VA Beach so check them out if you're in their neighborhood.
Rahr & Sons Brewing, Fort Worth, TX
Texans love guns and beer so our bottle openers were a natural fit for these guys, and their customers seem to agree.
I got to try their Texas Red and Rahr's Blonde when I was in Austin last fall and would definitely recommend them to anyone who's in Texas and is looking for a good craft brewery.
We've been able to pencil Rahr & Sons in for a sizable order of our brass and matte black .50cal bottle openers every few months for the last two years.
Ironfire Brewing, Temecula, CA
I contacted Ironfire about two years ago because I thought they had a cool logo and that their branding was a good match for our products. Their owners agreed and they've been buying from us since then, including a purchase for their VIP group known as the Wetwood 100 Barrel Club. They also let us do our recent product photo shoot in their brewery so they get bonus points from us there...you can thank them for us being able to upgrade from boring white background shots.
They're a little far from San Diego for me to visit regularly, but luckily their bottles are pretty easy to find at places like Keg N Bottle and a lot of good taprooms will have their stuff on tap. Like Knee Deep, they're a must-find if you like hoppy stuff -- 51/50, Devil Within, and Judge Jury & Executioner are good places to start -- and they also put out the occasional barrel-aged release which has yet to disappoint me.
Service Brewing, Savannah, GA
We only started our relationship with Service Brewing a few months ago but they jumped on board in a big way, ordering a huge number of our matte black .50 cal bottle openers engraved with their logo. Their CEO and Brewmaster are both veterans of the US Army and, like YVBC, Service Brewing is also heavily involved in supporting veteran-related causes.
I can't get their beer in San Diego but I'm looking forward to outfitting them with more and more of our products in the coming years.
B-52 Brewing, Conroe, TX
Another great Texas + .50 caliber match, plus they have the added bonus of military branding with their B-52 logo. They've been buying our brass (and now our matte black) .50 cal bottle openers for a few years now and they've become a popular purchase among visitors who stop by for a brewery tour. B-52 is another brewery that doesn't distribute into California but I'll be looking for their beers next time I'm in Texas.
Fidelis Beer, Burke, VA
Fidelis Beer is an up and coming brewery in Northern Virginia owned by Brian Magee, who manages to operate the brewery as a side gig while holding down a day job as an active duty lawyer in the Marine Corps. When I first learned about Fidelis a year or so ago I knew I had to contact Brian to see how I could help support a fellow Marine and we eventually got things going -- they've got our 50 cal bullet bottle openers available in both brass and USMC red in their taproom and online store.
Fidelis also donates to several charities, both military and social in nature.
WANT TO GET SOME COOL NEW CRAFT BEER GEAR STOCKED AT YOUR BREWERY OR BOTTLE SHOP? CLICK BELOW TO REQUEST INFORMATION ABOUT A WHOLESALE ORDER OF OUR .50 CALIBER BULLET BOTTLE OPENERS.
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