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Case Study: TRVE Brewing

From humble beginnings as a 3-barrel urban brewhouse, this band of metalheads has built a sour program, multistate footprint, and micro-distribution business by not being afraid to be themselves.

Jamie Bogner Aug 2, 2018 - 8 min read

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Nick Nunns’s goals for Trve Brewing were modest at the start—the 3-barrel brewhouse tucked into a nondescript block on South Broadway in Denver was what he could afford, and the urban setting (along with the significant population in the metro area) provided the right atmosphere and clientele for his then-unique vision of a brewery for metalheads. He figured they’d make beer to sell in their taproom and eventually make enough to send around to other like-minded spots in the city, but the goal was always, first and foremost, creating an experience in the taproom.

And what a taproom experience that is—black walls, candles, goat skulls, wall hangings that bear markings of dark rituals, and a soundtrack of sludgy doom metal that would drive away the timid. The experience was most certainly not designed to appeal to everyone, but those who got it usually ended up falling in love with the place and coming back again and again. Creating an experience with a unique (and polarizing) character may have been seen by some as risky, but for Nunns, it was a greater risk to be yet another bland “me, too” brewery in a city full of great breweries.

“If you have sixty or seventy breweries in a city and they’re all doing ‘something for everybody,’ how the fuck do you stand out?” asks Nunns. “How do you become a brewery that people actually want to go to? If [all] seventy breweries here in Denver do the exact same thing, how do you get any fans?

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