Brown Truck Brewery co-owners John and Britt came up with the idea of a brewery while watching their kids sled on a snowy day. They realized High Point, NC could use some locally brewed beer in an intimate atmosphere where friends, dogs, and kids alike could come to hang. We were lucky enough to learn more about how Brown Truck Brewery is impacting the High Point community (and perhaps sample a flavor or two while we were at it…)!
Tell us about Brown Truck in about 10 words.
Brown Truck is a community gathering spot with nationally award-winning beer and a current vibe.
Why did you start it and what was your vision?
Brown Truck was started because High Point was searching for a business that people could rally behind and call their own. Somewhere that people of all ages could enjoy and feel our community spirit. We decided to locate BTB in the Uptowne district of the city because we wanted to see more development take place here and we hoped to kick start that process. Our thought was that it had to start somewhere, why not with us? Our vision was to be the catalyst for Uptowne/Downtown development and show High Point that we can make this growth happen locally.
What services or products do you offer, manufacture or sell?
Brown Truck has a 10-bbl. brew system and we brew all the beer sold on premise. We also sell wine and cider that is outsourced.
What is one thing people would be interested to learn about BT?
Our head brewer/co-owner, Ian, not only makes fantastic beer, having attended the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, but also has an undergraduate degree in Classical Civilizations and Ancient Warfare. He forges knives in his personal time. We will need him around in the event of a zombie apocalypse!
What differentiates Brown Truck from other places around town? From other breweries?
We often hear from our patrons that BTB does not look like or feel like it belongs in High Point. Our atmosphere, the interior, and the patio are unique in that you can not find the same look or style anywhere in High Point. This uniqueness and the relaxed environment are some of the reasons that we are frequented often.
We may differ from other breweries in that our first intent was not necessarily the success of our brewery, it was the success and growth of the city that we call home. Not to say that we didn’t want to be successful as a business, because that is absolutely a huge priority! However, when we began this process, making a gathering spot for our city and kick-starting the growth of our little corridor of Main Street was a big part of the story.
What are the highlights and challenges of owning/operating your business in High Point?
Owning and operating a unique business such as this one in a small-ish town that was previously starved of anything like it comes with a sense of pride and accomplishment. We get thanks for creating this spot from our patrons often. There is nothing better than seeing a sunny Saturday afternoon bring people out to enjoy our patio! Adults young and old, children, dogs, all coming together to relax, network, commune, and enjoy friends and family is the best reward for our hard work.
The challenges in High Point are two-fold. High Point, whether right or wrong, has always been perceived as not being “new business” friendly. This was more due to restrictions in permitting than anything else. We have seen in the past two years city officials and city administration take this perception to heart and they are now focused on trying to change that culture. Secondly, we have failed to create a community where recent college graduates or young adults want to live. It is our responsibility to keep developing new businesses and community spots to create an atmosphere here in High Point that is enticing to these young millennials.
Why did you choose to open Brown Truck in High Point?
High Point is hometown for one owner, a twenty-year home for another, and neighboring Jamestown is home for the third owner. There was and still is an opportunity to create something special here in High Point.
How has High Point changed since you started your business?
There has been a growing sense of people taking pride in our city since we opened. Citizens are demanding change and growth and they are excited about what they envision for our future. New businesses are cropping up along this Uptowne stretch of Main Street, including an independent book store, Sunrise Books, a new coffee truck, 83 Custom Coffee, and a new restaurant currently being upfitted right next door to us! Business owners are getting brave and are inspired to take a chance after they’ve seen our success. We are thrilled to be leading the way for these businesses and we look forward to supporting them!
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Unfortunately, our biggest hurdle was the permitting process for the business. With that said, it was three years ago and there have been many positive changes made in the City of High Point. It is our understanding that it has become easier to obtain building permits.
Are you involved in the High Point community and if so, how?
We are involved in many local charities and organizations. Our involvement at this point in our young existence has been product donation and event sponsorship.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out in High Point, what would it be?
Believe in yourself, your product, and your community. Do not wait, jump in with both feet, and work your tail off to make your venture a success.
As I mentioned above, Uptowne is starting to see more development. Downtown is carving its own path with the introduction of the baseball stadium project. The stadium will be the catalyst for Downtown and bring other development to the city, including a Children’s Museum, a park, hotel, and condominiums, and hopefully many other new businesses. These two areas are going to look drastically different in five years and we are excited to see High Point become a vibrant, walkable, flourishing community that stands on its own and is no longer the little brother in the triad.
Authors Note: We could not be more excited about the success of Brown Truck for our friends John, Britt and Ian as well as the city of High Point! We are equally thrilled to hear them talk about the interior design being a differentiator for them. Barbour Spangle was honored to have the privilege of working on this project and thrilled for the resulting success!
Cheers to local craft beers!
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