5 Facts About FiftyFifty Brewing [Interview]
1) They appreciate the love they’ve received from Reno since 2007.
FiftyFifty may have started in Truckee, but they’ve established a longstanding relationship with the Reno beer crowd by “distributing in small quantities to Reno for many years,” and being a destination for Reno beer and food lovers. Alicia told me they’ve always considered Reno a piece of their local market, so deciding to build a production brewery there was a natural course of business. “We consider Reno part of our backyard, so to not wholly commit and be a part of that would feel wrong,” Alicia said. It just feels right.
2) They’re ready to give more to their Reno fanbase (and beyond).
FiftyFifty is thrilled to be the new kids on the block and “the reception [they]’ve received from the Reno community has been incredible.” Hats off to you, folks, because the feedback has worked: on top of the future Reno production facility, they now have a larger production facility in Truckee—plus, their northern Nevada retail accounts are growing ever since they started working with a new distributor in Reno. With all this growth comes an air of wisdom. FiftyFifty plans to leverage over a decade’s worth of experience to curate the best pub and brewery layout they can think of. What to expect? A better variety of beers in Reno, more beer, and an optimal customer experience at their Reno Public Market location.
3) They’re excited to be part of a growing craft beer community (and are one of the founding breweries of the Truckee-Reno-Tahoe Brewers Guild).
It’s no secret that the Truckee/Reno/Tahoe region’s craft beer scene is booming. Because of this growth, FiftyFifty and a handful of other breweries (including Alibi Ale Works) founded the Truckee-Reno-Tahoe Brewers Guild. Even though FiftyFifty started in Truckee back in 2007, they “still feel like [they]’re learning new things and figuring stuff out every day.” The point of the TRT Brewers Guild is to strengthen beer industry relationships, “leverage shipments and resources, share best practices, and of course sample each other’s brews.” FiftyFifty enjoys acting as the “big brother/sister” to the newer breweries and is grateful to be part of this rising tide in the Truckee-Tahoe craft beer community.
4) Their mission to distribute started from day one.
Some breweries can get by selling beer just from a taproom. However, Alicia and Andy Barr knew when they opened in 2007 that distribution was a must in order to stay alive since “Truckee is a seasonal community driven by winter and summer tourism.” Expanding outside of Truckee from the beginning was crucial to FiftyFifty’s long-term health. And while “local is still and will always be the most important” to the brand, they recognized that the market was going to grow. A plan to expand a customer base beyond a soon-to-be competitive market was put into place. Now, they export beer around the world! What countries are especially enjoying FiftyFifty beer? Alicia says China, Japan, and South Korea. She finds it fascinating to “attempt to understand how these other cultures embrace beer.” What, they don’t crush cans and do keg stands, too? Oh, good—me neither (anymore).
5) Good food, good drink, and an all-around, well-crafted experience is their bottom line.
Have you heard? It’s not just FiftyFifty anymore. It’s Drunken Monkey Sushi, Old Trestle Distillery, and hopefully more independent brands in the future. After recovering from launching FiftyFifty, the co-founders realized how much they love the “niche of craft food and beverages” and the concept of “focusing on it as an experience, not just a service or a product,” so they launched Truckee Craft Ventures. Truckee Craft Ventures is an investor and operator with a passion for “building teams and businesses that deliver meaningful experiences.” This kind of work isn’t easy, Alicia notes, but it’s what they’re passionate about—and they’re always open to sharing a drink with people who get all gushy over what they call “epicurean experiences,” too. Count me in.
Keep an eye out for the development of the Reno Public Market, as the FiftyFifty location might become your new favorite place to experience food and drink—not just consume it. And, of course, look out for new FiftyFifty favorites at your local retailer. Or even when you’re on vacation in Asia!