FEATURE ARTICLE

SOULCRAFT ANNIVERSARY

| November 13, 2017

Four bands will perform Nov. 18

Four bands, a special release beer and giveaways are a few of the highlights on tap for the Soulcraft Brewing Co. first anniversary party Saturday, Nov. 18.

Live music starts at 1 p.m. with Cincinnati bluegrass pickers Slippery Creek. Local band G Street Ramblers will hit the stage at 3 p.m., followed by The Riff at 5 p.m. Local band Roundhouse Assembly will headline starting at 7 p.m.

Eric Ramsey, Soulcraft marketing manager, said his goal was to select local area musicians with a variety of styles.

One of the company’s logos features a blue Volkswagen Transporter bus with kegs. Ramsey said Salida resident Mike Potts actually owns one and it will be parked outside for fun photo opportunities. And Cosmo’s Fresh Pasta food truck will be serving appetizers and snacks in addition to their regular menu.

After opening the brewery a year ago, the six partners who own the establishment faced a major challenge. They were involved in a trademark dispute. Ramsey said they decided the easiest way to get out from under it was to change their name. So, Hubbub Brewing Co. changed to Soulcraft Brewing Co.

“Soulcraft was always in the back of Mike’s brain,” Ramsey explained. “It’s a song by a hardcore punk band, Bad Brains.” (Mike LaCroix is the brewery’s chief executive officer.) “Transitioning from Hubub to Soulcraft was “fairly easy.”

Plant Manager Tom Price added that the name change “delayed the labeling of bottles about six months.”

Traces of Hubbub memorabilia can still be found, and supporters who jumped on board early are rewarded every Monday. Wearing Hubbub apparel rewards customers with drink specials, and Hubub growlers are filled at a discounted price.

“We couldn’t be where we are today without the support of our local community. They’ve been really kind to us and supportive,” Ramsey said.

The same goes for the local bars, restaurants and liquor stores that have been supportive in carrying the Soulcraft product.

More than a brewery, Soulcraft has become a place for community gathering. In addition to free live music, Soulcraft hosts trivia nights, political meetings, book clubs and swing dancing.

“It’s neat that we’ve become a community venue of sorts. We’ve gotten good feedback about providing a space for things like that.”

Looking to the future, the next endeavor is to grow their brand throughout Colorado. Ramsey said recently they hired a distribution company in Denver to help get their beer to the Front Range.

When distribution ramps up, they will need to hire more production employees. Currently Soulcraft employs 13 people: six full-time investors and seven part-time “beertenders.”

Price and LaCroix dreamt of opening Soulcraft for at least 6 years. Price said his favorite part of the brewery is the people. “We’re a tightknit crew that works well together.”

He echoed what Ramsey said about the support from the community. “It’s been humbling.”