GOOD HOPS BREWING
Carolina Beach, North Carolina
Rich and Patricia Jones first got into the brewery business back in 2012 when they helped their son, John Garcia, start Lookout Brewing in Black Mountain, NC. With limited funds, they opened with a total investment under $100,000.00 using a 1/2 barrel Sabco Home Brew System. After helping out with the structuring, the build-out, and remodeling, the Jones's headed to Carolina Beach and to open Good Hops Brewery. As a family of brewers, the two breweries work together on recipes, procedures, and enhancing the quality of the brews. We caught up with Rich Jones to talk about his brew roots.
How It Started
"We were very fortunate to live in "Beer USA," Asheville, NC, and have support and direction from brewers that had blazed a Beer Universe here in North Carolina. With the phenomenal growth in our first year, we became the first family-owned brewery in North Carolina. We doubled down and established two breweries in one state, spanning from the mountains to the beach," explains Rich Jones.
"In 2008, I helped start a small local restaurant in Athens, GA. Our children worked at the restaurant and loved the interaction with the community. John was so intrigued that he wanted to follow in our footsteps and open a restaurant in Asheville, NC. We strongly suggested he go to work in one first and learn all he could," says Jones. "Well, what he learned was craft beer and how to make it! We totally supported his decision in 2012 to start a brewery and jumped in to help and support his endeavor."
What We Learned Along the Way
"The most challenging part we found was BRANDING. How to create a name for ourselves. How to get people to identify with it. With an explosion of breweries in the market, how were we going to stand out? We enlisted the help of a wonderful local artist, Jason Brake, and he created our own personal font and feel for our Logo," explains Jones. "We also enlisted locals in helping us to craft names for the beers we created. We listened to the wants and needs of the brewery customer. It is the brewery customers who are tuned into the Beer Universe. Still to this day, one of our most significant challenges comes in trying to name a beer."
How We Adapted to COVID-19
"With the closing of so many service industry businesses, we were very saddened to have to cut staffing with all the changes that we have faced since March 13, 2020. We still wake up each morning and come serve our community as best we can," says Jones. "With reduced hours, we still strive to have a positive impact on our locals. We want to guarantee a future that is even brighter than we have enjoyed over the past 5 years. We have heard the suggestions of our customers and have given our Tap Room a beautiful makeover. We have learned how to better operate with fewer resources. Most of all, we have learned gratitude for all we can do together as a community to take care of each other. We have spent long hours reading how to remain compliant in a "Stay at Home" world. We have grappled with the complexity of financial offerings to help businesses, employers, and employees to receive assistance. We have struggled to stay up to date with shifting deadlines, closures, and our employees need to take care of their families."
What's On Tap?
We have had our March offering of the Blood Rose Belgian available all March and into April for Beer to Go. We even went ahead and brewed our last dark beer of the season for April release, which will now roll into May. We are eagerly looking forward to a brand new Light Lager for May release.
Through It All We've Learned...
"That an expansive variety of music has helped soothe our soul during a pandemic. We have been introduced to all kinds of new musicians that we had never listened to before. We are grateful for the social media information that provides encouragement and insight to other offerings outside our comfort zone. Music has been a comfort as we have struggled to stay grounded.
"Through it all, we have remained humbled by the Mother Teresa quote, "We can do no great things, only small things with great love." We wish everyone a better future tomorrow and every day after."