New Jersey has seen a bunch of big name breweries enter the market over the last year. Bells, Melvin, Prairie Artisan Ales, Mikkeller, and Jack’s Abby are just a few of the many big name players that are hitting New Jersey’s already crowded shelves. But none of them may be bigger than the announcement that Toppling Goliath is making its New Jersey Debut. Toppling Goliath hails from Decorah, Iowa and makes some of the most sought-after beer for Craft Beer aficionados across the country. Their Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout is one of the top 10 rated beers on Untappd and people travel from all over the world to get one of the prized brewery-only releases when it is produced. This year’s event was ticketed online and sold out within minutes and bottles of the liquid can often be seen on the secondary market for as much as $1000.
Owner Clark Lewey founded Toppling Goliath in 2009 and started brewing on a 1/2 BBL system and now boasts a 100 BBL Brew House in Decorah that distributes to 17 States. “We started as a homebrew operation, grew and gained many fans in the 10 short years we have been around. In the last two years, the number of staff we employ has increased five times over, we strive to keep that small team feel we had in the past while constantly improving our processes to function like the large growing company that we have become” Sarah Hedlund, Marketing Director of Toppling Goliath told us. The growth of the brewery has had a great economic impact to the area, bringing in an estimated $1 million dollars to the local economy during their beer releases during the year. (from the TG Website at www.tgbrews.com)
We also asked Sarah about the significance of the name Toppling Goliath. “Clark Lewey ran a company before the brewery called Toppling Goliath which was a business and marketing consulting company that worked with small business owners. Assisting in grant writing, trademarking, patents, etc. The term Goliath was used to represent the obstacles one faces when starting a small business. Then Clark was given a homebrew kit by his wife Barbara and he fell in love with the process of creating beer. When the decision was made to start a brewery Clark and Barbara decided to focus on the brewery and to no longer run the business consulting company. The name Toppling Goliath was kept and moved over to the brewery the Lewey’s have worked hard to topple all the “Goliaths” of starting an independent brewery in rural northeast Iowa”.
One of the major decisions when deciding to distribute your beer is to partner with the one that you think has your same core values and goals as the wrong distributor can absolutely have you brand dead on arrival if not done properly. As for that decision, Sarah explained, “We wanted to hit the East coast last year which we were happy to get our foot in the door of the area with Boston, MA in 2018. The expansion on the East Coast has been deeply influenced by the distributors themselves. We put a lot of work into learning as much as we can about a market and the distribution companies that work within those areas. When a brewery signs a contract with a distributor it’s a long-term relationship, so finding the right one takes time and a lot of work”. The distribution here in New Jersey is being handled by Sarene Craft Beer Distributors out of the Bronx.
Toppling Goliath is known for more than just their great stouts, they also have a following for their other beers, 6 of which are now available here including:
All photos from www.tgbrews.com
As the rollout continues, expect to see cans and on draft in select locations. For information on the brand, visit Toppling Goliath at www.TGBrews.com.
Thanks to Sarah Hedlund of Toppling Goliath for her help with the article and the great info on Toppling Goliath!