There’s a compelling story behind Battle Born Beer and its vision to become Nevada’s state beer, so please read on.
It all started years ago when Jeff Pickett convinced his employer at a branding agency in Los Angeles that moving to Reno would be a good idea for him. You could say it was a quality of life step that had the side effect of skiing 50 days a year. Once introduced to Nevada’s unique, independent culture of the True West, Jeff never wanted to leave.
Knowing a thing or two about consumer brands, Jeff saw a white space that crossed both disruption in the saturated craft beer space and opportunity for the cultural pride that exists in Nevada for a state beer akin to Lone Star Beers in Texas. Jeff decided to fill this space with an unpretentious and easy-drinking American lager with the independent and local charm of the craft.
Any name other than Battle Born Beer was NEVER an option for his beer business. If the company were to establish itself and become known as the state beer, what better name than the symbol on the state flag? It was Battle Born from day one.
The original plan was to form a joint venture with an existing brewery in Nevada. After all, Jeff and his partners were brand experts, not beer experts. Only there was one big problem. Nevada was not a mature market when it came to breweries. The domestic beer volume in our state was only 2% compared to 11% nationally. Jeff tried to work with seven other breweries in the state and even a few in California to keep supplies going. It wasn’t a viable business venture. Jeff decided to give it his all and go into the beer business independently. Capital was raised, and he and his partners put their money into action. A state-of-the-art 10,000 square foot manufacturing facility was built. The brewery opened at the end of October 2019.
What happened next was never anticipated by Battle Born Beer and other companies big and small. met COVID-19. It now sealed the hatches to keep itself afloat. With spirit, mind and heart, Battle Born Beer survived and is now ready to expand nationwide and through the Intermountain West.
Why did Battle Born Beer choose Reno as the best location in Nevada for the company? Jeff lists many reasons. Great community, great people and business friendly. Most important is the water from our Sierra Nevada.
What’s “cool” about the company is that it’s branded with the state motto “Battle Born,” but knows it’s owned by all Nevadans. They offer their facility for free to all non-profit organizations to use it to raise money for important programs like the ALS Foundation, the Nevada Humane Society, Native American Alumni, and others. Last August, Battle Born Beer helped raise $48,000 for Nevada Athletics. For the past two years, the company has given away 12 packs to graduate students from the University of Nevada, Reno, and they’re doing it again this year. Such a deal!
Battle Born Beer’s success is rooted in its persistence and design thinking. The big beer boys tie important events. Budweiser with college football. Coors with the rodeo. So the company does what the big boys don’t do. They support and sponsor the non-profit organization Strengthen the Pack and have a large footprint in the tailgate space. Battle Born Beer focuses on smaller regional rodeos like the Winnemucca Ranch Hand Rodeo. It’s David versus Goliath, but they’re willing to do what the greats can’t or won’t do.
What is Battle Born Beer particularly proud of? His adaptability, grit and endurance. During COVID, when restaurants and bars had to close, they developed the Battle Born Stimulus Package. Two packs of 12 for the price of one. They sold their beer straight from their dock.
Battle Born Beer has its share of challenges. Supply chain issues are no joke. Grain price volatility is a big factor. Can suppliers have increased the minimum order quantity from 200,000 to one million. Their biggest challenge is to create awareness and get consumers to change their habits from great beers to a quality local alternative.
What question is Battle Born Beer often asked? “Are you going to do an IPA?” Answer: No, never.
Bill Carter, author and documentary filmmaker, once said, “There is no such thing as a bad beer. Some just taste better than others.” There’s no doubt that Reno’s Battle Born Beer falls into the “taste better” category.
NCET Tech Wednesday 8th June is your opportunity to learn more about Battle Born Beer.
Register early for Battle Born Beer’s presentation tour of their production facility from 4:00pm to 5:00pm and networking from 3:00pm to 4:00pm. For more information, see https://www.ncet.org/ncet-event-calendar/ncet-tech-wed-battle-born-beer.
Bill Leonard is NCET’s VP of Communications and a freelance writer of lead-generating case studies, brand and success stories, white papers and results-oriented web copy. Connect with Bill at linkedin.com/in/billeonardusa. NCET produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.