While some breweries in Colorado have been pinched by increased competition and declining sales over the past year or two, New Image Brewing is getting ready for a major growth spurt.
The brewery and restaurant, which has been stuffed into a small space in Olde Town Arvada since it opened in 2014, took over a 10,000-square-foot building at 9595 West 44th Avenue in Wheat Ridge earlier this year, where it is adding a new four-vessel, twenty-barrel brewhouse. Although the brewery will probably make 6,000 to 8,000 barrels of beer in 2019, the new space will give it the ability to crank out 30,000 barrels.
“It just depends on how hard we want to push it,” says Brandon Capps, who founded New Image in 2014, when he was only 23 years old. In addition, New Image will add a new canning line, and it has plans to ramp up its brand awareness in 2019 with the addition of a full-time marketing manager. As for distribution, Capps says the brewery just keeps buying new trucks and hiring new drivers to handle it.
There isn’t one big thing that has driven New Image’s success. Rather, “it’s a ton of little things,” Capps explains. “Some are harder to pin down, like good timing and good luck — there are certain things that panned out well for us that I couldn’t have planned for.” But luck is sometimes a result of hard work, and Capps and his team have put a lot into the Arvada brewery and restaurant. “I try to be as humble as I can, but we make really, really good beer. We have great people doing good QA practices, and we improve all the time.”
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Instead of focusing entirely on gimmicks or branding, Capps says he tries to do better with each batch of beer he cans, making it more shelf-stable and paying attention to minor details. “That objective attention to quality makes a real difference. I think it resonates with people.”
New Image was one of the first breweries in Colorado to specialize in hazy New England-style IPAs, but it also makes a line of kombucha sours and several other styles. With the new brewhouse, Capps says the brewery may add other styles or other side projects in order to stay relevant — or it could tweak its existing beers.
Though he acknowledges that some breweries are having a hard time right now as competition increases, Capps says it’s not all doom and gloom. By being financially responsible, he was able to fund the expansion with profits on his existing location rather than by borrowing money. And he won’t have to max out the new space in order to be able to pay the rent, either. “An acumen for business gets you where you need to go. You have to really be ready for what it means to own, operate and run a business.”