An Interview With Chris Gallegos – Communications Mgr., Gilded Goat Brewing Co.
How have you been able to pivot/adapt your business model?
When the COVID-19 pandemic made its way to our peaceful town in early March, we had to quickly transition our business model from a community gathering place to a beer-to-go model. This transition was multifaceted because we had to adapt not only our physical product but also adapt how we connect with customers. We already had a strong packaging focus for our sour and barrel-aged beers, which have always been a very popular to-go option for customers, but we had to focus on this aspect of our business to maintain our sales by including a new canning line and new packaging options. The personal connections we make with our customers while they enjoy a beer in our warm and inviting space had always been our primary driver. We had to find new ways to maintain those connections and stay in front of our customers and community. As the pandemic continues, we have to continually adapt in order to maintain our growth and plan for the future.
Have you done any community/employee giving?
In March, we quickly realized we had the resources, expertise, and network available to us to manufacture hand sanitizer. We teamed up with Colorado State University, CopperMuse Distillery, and Old Elk Distillery to produce hand sanitizer for CSU and the Fort Collins community. We distributed our first jugs to the research labs, facilities department, and housing and dining services, which were still providing a safe place for students that were unable to leave. Our sanitizer project is on-going, with many thousands of liters of hand sanitizer delivered to campus, local businesses, and industries that needed it most. Our community has been so generous and gracious these past few months, so this is the least we can do to return the favor. Along with over 100 breweries in the state, we also teamed up with Left Hand Brewery in Longmont to make the Colorado Strong pale ale, and donated a portion of the sales to the Left Hand Foundation to help support service workers in the state.
What do you/your business need the most to succeed right now?
We have been so thankful for the continued support from our customers and the Fort Collins community. As is the case with most other businesses, we are open at 50% capacity at the moment. It is so nice to have people back in the taproom and be able to connect with our community again. Our continued success depends on our commitment to the health and safety of our community as a whole. We will continue to maintain a clean and safe environment in our taproom and we encourage our neighbors to look after one another.
What else would you like to share with the community?
An important lesson that we’ve learned over the last few months, in our business and personal lives, is that it matters where you spend your money. The restaurants, breweries, and other small businesses that make Fort Collins great need your help right now. Our families and employees depend on the support of our local community.
What’s your favorite business in Fort Collins?
Our favorite business in Fort Collins is Meraki Yoga Studio. This amazing boutique yoga studio is owned and operated by two passionate and driven local women. The owners, Adrienne and Rachael, have created a welcoming environment and focus on helping their students create an awareness of both their physical and mental well-being.
What’s your favorite thing about living/working/being in Fort Collins?
The Hoxmeier boys; Charlie at Gilded Goat Brewing Company and Alex and Joey at Square Beverage Liquor Store, were born and raised in Fort Collins by their parents John and Cindy. We’ve grown up with this town in many ways. Now, as small business owners in our community, we’ve gained an appreciation for the things that Fort Collins has to offer, such as a healthy lifestyle, community connectivity, and of course, all things craft beer.
What are you most excited about being an ambassador?
The appeal of Fort Collins as a welcoming and supportive community will outlast this temporary infectious inconvenience. Our community must rally together to support each other and local businesses. As ambassadors, we are excited to offer ourselves in whatever capacity our community needs, whether that is just an ear to listen, a resource to help, or a partner to collaborate. We are hopeful that our positive presence in Fort Collins is contagious.