Before we begin this episode, I have a some favors to ask.
First, please subscribe to our podcasts. If you are wondering how to do that, this CornNation article will show you how to do that if you are not familiar with podcasting.
Second, please give us feedback. I would love to hear ideas regarding topics and potential guests for me to interview. We’re going to be in this for the long haul, so I have no problems with you getting creative.
Third, consider donating to my fundraiser for the American Heart Association. We’re a third of the way there.
Cody Schmick, co-owner of Kinkaider Brewing joins me this episode!
Cody and I discuss:
- The history of Kinkaider Brewing - What’s a Kinkaider?
- How much will no Husker fall sports effect businesses in the Haymarket/Railyard?
- The “mob” of social media
- OctoberFests!!!!! - October 3rd in Broken Bow, October 17th in Lincoln, November 18 in GI
- How can you get Kinkaider Beer?
- How can you help bars and restaurants in Lincoln and around Nebraska
- What’s the most popular beer Kinkaider makes?
Follow Kinkaider Brewing on Facebook and Instagram!
I would really appreciate it if you could subscribe to our podcasts!
Leave a Review!
You could go out on the Apple podcast app and leave a review for us as well.
Maybe send us feedback by making a comment on this article.
About the Transcript
Keep in mind that the following is a transcript. I use a service that automates the first draft. As much as “artificial intelligence” is included in the description of every bit of technology these days, it’s clear that computers understanding human speech is more artificial than intelligent. The transcript has been edited to take out human speech bites, you know, um, okay, uh, but it’s not been edited to be an “article”.
Jon Johnston: Welcome to Jon’s Post-Life Crisis. I am Jon Johnston founder of CornNation.com, your Nebraska Cornhuskers, site of eternal hopefulness that we get out of this mess at some point and get back to something that looks like normal, which includes college football. Today, we’re talking with Cody Schmick, co-owner of Kincaider Brewing out of Broken Bow, Nebraska. Kincaider Brewing has locations in Broken Bow, Grand Island, and Lincoln. We’re going to talk about the effects of no college sports on the hospitality businesses such as those in Lincoln, Nebraska. First, let’s get a background on Kincaider Brewing. Where did the name come from?
Cody Schmick: Thanks, Jon, for having me on. In 1904 there was an extension of the Homestead Act, which allowed settlers all across the Midwest and all across America 160 acres of land. Well, up in the Sandhills Broken Bow area, you couldn’t make a living off 160 acres so they extended that to a full section, which is 640 acres of land. And they did the state. They stake their claim in downtown Broken Bow. The militia was there to keep the peace. It was kind of a wild time. But Moses Kincaid championed that. And it really is what settled and pulled people up into that Broken Bow, into that sandhills area. And it was called the Kinkaid Act. And those guys and gals that that stake their claim at that time were called Kinkaiders. So it’s hyper local to that area. And just in a slice of time of history is when they called them Kinkaiders. But we’re it’s funny, since we put this name out here in the last six years, we’ve had folks, you know, hey, my grandpa is a Kinkaider and some of these stories have come to us, which was our intent in the first place. So it’s been cool to connect with people that way. And then some descendants of Moses Kincaid, I’ve become really good friends with since then. And and so, yeah. So that was that was the kind of the start of the the name of Kinkaider.
Jon Johnston: So when did you guys start your brewery and I mean, how did this come about?
Cody Schmick: Sure.
Cody Schmick: So and we knew that the brewery boom was kind of coming for Nebraska in 2015, 2016, and we were pushing to get kind of that established date of 2014. And we opened in December. We actually brewed our first batch in August of 2014 and actually opened our retail space in December of 2014. So we actually have our six year anniversary this weekend in Broken Bow. We throw a big party up there and so we got bands and and food and all kinds of stuff. We’re heading to the Broken Bow this weekend to celebrate for our sixth year.
Jon Johnston: So we’re in the midst of a pandemic. It affects everybody in the hospitality business.
Jon Johnston: What what are you seeing? You have three locations so you’re not completely exposed to no college sports in Lincoln. How bad is business? What do you see happening?
Cody Schmick: Business has been tough, man. It’s you know, it’s I’ve been a business owner since 09 and my family had a business since 05 that we that I had seen.
Cody Schmick: And and I know the regular struggles of business I’ve been around and I’m learning every day. But, man, this this 2020 has been a heck of a year. Just it seems like one thing after the next. But, you know, our team is not doom and gloom right now. We’re really not. We took the downtime when they were kind of shutting down bars and restaurants. It seems like there’s been a very heavy focus, maybe I would say an unfair focus on bars and restaurants for some reason rather than big retail or anything like this. And I’m not one of these guys that I don’t hate Walmart or anything. I think let them do what they want to do. But it does seem like there’s been a political focus on restaurants and bars for some reason. And I’m not sure why that is. Nobody’s explained that to me. I don’t know if the data is showing that it’s it’s growing in bars and restaurants more than other places. But for some reason, they’re picking on us and that’s what it feels like anyway. So but, you know, downtime, we were we were down to we’ve been as low as 30 percent of our regular sales for, you know, a couple months where this last month we have started picking up and we’re we’re trying to diversify how we present our services to our customer and trying to I mean, we’re pushing home kegs like crazy right now. And I built up a nice little list of guys and gals that enjoy to have a tap beer on at their home bar. And so that’s been helping pay some of the bills. It’s a time that we have had to stick and move a little bit and try to figure out what is the what’s the next step for our team. One of the things where we were really proud of is even through the worst of it, we kept every full time are employed in our company. We have about 90 people on the Kinckaider team now, a mix of part time and full time folks, and that’s salespeople. And that’s that’s servers. That’s cooks. That’s brewers graphic design people, social media people. And we kept every full timer we kept employed through the whole thing. That was a feather in our cap. And we were really, really pleased to be able to get through that with our whole team intact.
Jon Johnston: So you guys have a tap room in Lincoln?
Cody Schmick: We do.
Jon Johnston: You’re in the Haymarket area. What do you see the impact of no football, no volleyball having on that area.
Cody Schmick: So if you’re not familiar with our spot, we are in the Lincoln Station building. It’s adjacent to the rail yard. Everybody is familiar with the rail yard. There’s a train right down there in our back yard there. So my my landlord, Jim Arder, fantastic guy. He owns that building. He owns that train area, that whole kind of back plan. I guess it was once a platform for the train station. He owns all that. And so we’re in the north end of that building. Jim has been fantastic working through us. He called us up and said, hey, we’re all getting through this. Everybody in Lincoln Station. Gave us a month free rent. And so he’s been cool where, next door at the rail yard, it’s it’s a little bit of a ghost town over there right now. I’m hoping somebody figures this out because I think we’re down to two or three bars and the whole rail yard area now. This was before this pandemic hit. So now this hit, I’m in close communication with a lot of those guys in dollars and cents. I do things off of percentages a lot. If we would have hit what we did last year, those seven home games consist of twenty five percent of our yearly sales.
Cody Schmick: We’re anticipating being down 25 to 30 percent. Let’s say there was no pandemic, but there was just canceled football and it was business as usual and then canceled football, we’d be down 25 percent. You had the pandemic on top of it. Kincaider in that location will probably be down 35% this year.
Cody Schmick: So we’re we’re trying to do things to make up for that. We’re trying to sell kegs out the out the door to individual customers. It’s going to hit us hard for sure. Luckily, we have a great landlord to work with us. We have great banks to work with us. And they’ve helped us through this. I’ve heard I’ve heard crazy numbers from economists out there that that the brewery scene as a whole in the country could be taking as much of as a 30% hit in terms of closing breweries.
Cody Schmick: I don’t know if we’ll see any of that in Nebraska or not. Nebraska has done a good job of, maintaining, what we need to do from a health standpoint, but also giving businesses at least a chance to survive through this thing where we’re seeing a lot of these other states are just shutting down and these guys have no choice. So we’re lucky to be here in Nebraska, for the most part. And yeah, football is definitely going to hurt us. Our team was was pretty down the day that that was announced.
Jon Johnston: You guys are less exposed than other bar owners down there because of your different locations?
Cody Schmick: I think so. As a company, we can spread that loss out a little bit more. You know, I feel so bad for the guys, that man they saved their whole life and they’re going to open their own bar. I know a couple of these guys. In February, they’re like, you know what? We’re pulling the trigger on this, putting our savings into this. And then all of this happens. I can’t imagine. We had built up enough outside business. The other thing that’s really helping us is we’re not just a bar.
Cody Schmick: We’re not just restaurants. We do distribution. And packaged beer as a whole is actually up right now. Our brewing side and our packaged side, we’re selling more to grocery stores, Hy Vee, and N Street Liquor and The Still and some of these spots are buying more of our stuff right now during this time, too, because I think more people are sitting home and drinking.
Jon Johnston: Everybody’s working remotely and nobody cares if I don’t wear pants anymore, I think those afternoon beers, happy hours starting earlier and earlier, I think because people work through this.
Jon Johnston: Have you talked to other people about maybe planning some advance or some kind of some way to draw people into the Haymarket area the patrons could have fun with?
Cody Schmick: Yeah.
Jon Johnston: What might that be?
Cody Schmick: There’s a thing that we have to navigate right now called social media. And there’s the mob of social media, as I call it. And no matter what you do, there’s going to be somebody that’s that that doesn’t like what you’re doing. Events are super tough right now because if you’re pushing too much for this crowd of people to get together and have a beer, you kind of get strung up on on the social media side. So we have to navigate that well. I think we do a pretty good job. We had an event we kind of tested the market about three weeks ago. We don’t get into the business because we’re afraid to push the limits, right? We get into business because we want to push the limits. We want to have have that kind of thing. So our team, as responsibly as we can, we’re going to push the limit. We’re going to try to see what we can do and and see how things work. So we had an event a few weeks ago called Kinkaider Palooza.
Cody Schmick: Bring out some food, bring out a couple of bands. We brought in more tables and chairs than we normally do. We sat him six feet apart. We put eight chairs at a place. I don’t know if it could have been a more picture perfect kind of socially distanced event. There are some folks that were wanting to get up and dance and stuff, but if we kind of put tables in those areas, even the city attorney the weekend after the event, she came up to me and she said, hey, checked out you guys event this weekend. You guys, it looks like you did a really good job. And so that gave me some hope that that we can do some stuff like that without causing harm or. Extending this or really, We want to not be part of that problem, I don’t want I don’t want us to have this big flare up of cases in the Haymarket, and it’s all centered around Kinkaider’s event, you know what I mean? That would not be good PR at this point. We’re going to do it again October 17th. We’re going to do our October fest. This is an event that’s been important to Kincaider since the very beginning. So we have three October fest. We do November.
Cody Schmick: We’re doing November 18th in Grand Island. I think that’s a Friday, October 3rd is our big one in Broken Bow. And then October 17th is our our big one in Lincoln. So we have them at each of our locations, play some games. We have some competitive stuff, give out some prizes, we’ll have some food. You know, our October Fest beer, that’s kind of we save our last few kegs for those events. And there are always a ton of fun. And I think we can do it in a way that will we’ll stick with local DHS and local mandates. And and while we’re maybe pushing the limit a little bit, we’re going to stay within those guidelines and make sure people I think people desperately need that kind of stuff right now. I think people are you know, you read all these studies of mental health and things that are going on. People need to be around each other, man, like they need to have a beer with their neighbor and friends. And so if we can do it in a way that is not canceling out any of the progress that we’ve made, we want to do it. We want to be the guys to do it. And so that’s what we’re really trying to do on our team is fully on board with how we’re handling this. I talk with health officials weekly right now. I’m talking with the cops weekly right now. Hey, where’s this at? Because there’s so much information out there. There’s so much crazy information. This has become so politically charged. So we’re just trying to get down to the meat of it and say, what can we do? Here’s our plan. What do you guys see type thing.
Jon Johnston: So other than these events, I mean, what can Nebraskans do to support the businesses down in the Haymarket? Here’s an honest, here’s just a blunt question. You said push limits. You’d think somebody who is maybe a celebrity, maybe he had a lot more public awareness. I don’t know, like Larry the cable guy would come out and start organizing or pulling people together to organize events that are down there, or is there the danger of having actually too many people in the Railyard and then everybody goes ballistic? There’s a lot of like you said, there’s a lot of give and take.
Jon Johnston: There’s a lot of, you know, don’t go too far. You go over the edge.
Cody Schmick: Right.
Jon Johnston: And then the police are coming in and then you’re the guy who’s caused all these problems, you know? Right. Probably why, Larry the cable guy wants nothing to do with this. Or somebody like that, you know what I mean? Somebody who has the public eye.
Cody Schmick: It’s a balancing act for sure. I know there’s a lot of bars and restaurants that are just throwing their hands up and saying it’s not worth it right now. It’s not worth pushing that we’re not one of those where we’re going to we’re going to try to do these things. We feel like people desperately need these things, you know?
Cody Schmick: The city of Lincoln has actually been doing some pretty cool things and they’re letting restaurants kind of expand their area out onto the sidewalks. So where that we can have those that spread out tables and chairs, I think things like that are great. As long as we’re kind of working through these events with with kind of two things in mind.
Cody Schmick: One, we want people to come out and have a great time, but we also want them to be safe. I don’t know what a Larry the cable guy could do. I don’t know if that would be. A lot of people are not wanting to touch it with a ten foot pole right now just because of that kind of that that Facebook mob. You know, it can it can get away from you pretty quickly.
Cody Schmick: We’re just trying to navigate it man each day and do the things we do and try to. The cool thing about our spot down there is we we we can set it up pretty well to still run business, but keep within that six foot those eight people, you know, some of these guidelines and for the most part we’ve had our customer base has been super cooperative in that they’re not they’re not fighting us. They understand that we’re under this eye, like I said, restaurants and bars have been it seems like it’s the I and the focus has been a little heavier on them and maybe maybe I just feel that way because that’s my industry.
Jon Johnston: I think it’s because politicians hate fun unless it’s their own fun then they’re completely for it. They look out there and they go, look, the people are joyful and we must crush their joy.
Cody Schmick: Right.
Cody Schmick: Yeah. I don’t know what it is. We’ve tried to work with this and where we just actually open another bar during this on 16th and P called Boombox Social. It’s kind of what do they call that when you name a bar social during social distancing time? I can’t think of the word, but it’s a college focus bar and these kids are 21 to 20 age. And they’re not especially in Nebraska. They’re not seeing a lot of these kids are coming from rural areas.
Cody Schmick: They’re coming from a place where they haven’t known anybody that’s had corona. Right. It hasn’t affected them. Last time I checked, I haven’t looked at recent numbers, but I think under 40 in Nebraska, we’ve had one death in all of this. So these kids are coming in. 21, just turning 21. They’re young. They want to see their friends. That’s their life. Right. Like if they just have to stay in their dorm room, like, why did I even move to Lincoln? And so that one has been even more of a challenge, I’ll be honest with you, because these kids and it’s like I said, it’s just not real to them. They come in, they want to party, they want to have a good time. They want to chat with their friends. They want to flutter around the room. They want to be seen. We have four security guys that basically, just, they’re fun haters and they’re like come one guys. You got to stay in your group, and it’s like just herding cats because these these kids just they just don’t... It’s not real to them. I don’t blame them. Some of these kids would rather die of corona than not be able to go out and have fun.
Jon Johnston: If I was twenty one right now, I’d be doing that. I was pretty much a rabble rouser through all of my college years. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed the people that we’ve selected for our presidential candidates. I would have the attitude of the hell with the old people if this is what I got to choose from.
Cody Schmick: You know what the funny thing is, is a lot of these people are like, oh, man, these college kids are awful. They’re I don’t see it that way, man. They’re just young. They they’re respectful.
Cody Schmick: Every kid that I’ve interacted with at our at our bar, at our club, has been super cool. They understand something’s going on. They don’t quite understand how we’re going about this or why we’re going about this, because like I said, it doesn’t seem real to them. But they’re very respectful. And we haven’t had any really incidents of somebody not not listening or whatever. And we’re trying to be respectful on the other side because we understand what they’re going through. And and the world is a little different for them right now, especially as they’re going through these big transition phases of their life.
Jon Johnston: We seem to forget what we did when we were young when we get older, I think it’s on purpose, like so we can be angry. We’re just, Damn kids these days.
Cody Schmick: Right.
Jon Johnston: You have you guys have a lot of beers?
Cody Schmick: Yeah.
Jon Johnston: I mean, I looked at your website. It’s like, good Lord. Tell us about your product, about your beer.
Cody Schmick: So we brew 50 beers a year.
Cody Schmick: We we release almost a new beer every ten days, seven to ten days. It’s so fun to be able to we’re big enough that we can push a little bit of beer out, but we’re also small enough that we can we can try some stuff and have some fun with it. And we’re not just brewing one or two beers. We’re pretty pleased with our portfolio, too, because even our best selling beer is about thirty percent of our sales are some breweries that they’ll they’ll just have this beer and it’ll be 80, 90 percent of their sales.
Cody Schmick: That would scare the stuffing out of me because it’s too much. To be honest, craft beer drinkers are a very fickle bunch. They want the next new thing all the time. And so if one of my beers was 70 percent or 80 percent of my business, yeah, I’d be working hard to get another beer out there. But luckily and how Danny and the Brew crew has done is we have we have some beers that are kind of our bill paying beers, is what I call it. They’re in that, thirty to forty percent of our business range. But then a lot of our other beers are just we going to experiment. We could have fun. We get a we’re going to try new things. You know, we did a whole series last summer of peanut butter beers, you know what I mean? And back in the day, who’d ever thought that a peanut butter beer... They sold like crazy. I found out there’s this whole group. They’re not exactly my jam, but I mean, they’re a well-made beer. And if you like the flavor of peanut butter man that people are coming out with them so much fun, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We want to take there’s a there’s a bit of there’s a bit of pretentiousness in craft beer. There has been in the past that, it’s one of our missions to take the pretentiousness out of craft beer. Right. This is a beer that you’re sitting like I can sit across from any guy, race, religion, age, whatever. And if I share a beer with them, we can find something in common. That beer is really a bridge between men, I feel like. If you sit across from another guy and put a beer in your hand, you can find some common ground. And so how can something like that be pretentious? Right. Like that is the best. So that’s why we love beer men. It’s really.
Jon Johnston: What is your most popular beer
Cody Schmick: Devil’s Gap Jalapeno Ale is our most popular beer.
Jon Johnston: It is?
Cody Schmick: It is. Yeah. I would have never guessed it, but Danny has been brewing this beer for years, years and years. He probably had been brewing it for ten years before we even started this brewery. And so when when I partnered with him, he said, man, we got to do this Jalapeno beer. And I’m like, Jalapeno beer? Hard pass, you know? And he brewed it. It’s a dang good beer, man. It’s a damn good beer. And so there are some Nebraskans that like this thing called Red beer. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of a red beer. We claim that Devil’s Gap makes the best red beer in Nebraska. So we push that pretty hard too. A little bit of pepper in there, a little bit of the tomato, you know, and that one does well. We have a couple of variations of that beer.
Cody Schmick: We have a Raspberry Devil’s Gap version. So it’s a raspberry pepper beer. And then we just came out with a tropical one that has some flavors of pineapple, guava, and then obviously the peppers. So that Devil’s Gap brand kind of we brewed a new beer every time we make a variation of that beer. But the consistent thing is that Jalapeno flavor and we use all fresh jalapenos. And it’s something that that has just taken off.
Cody Schmick: It’s one of these beers that people either love or hate it. And if they love it, they’re absolute freaks for it. We got this old boy from Texas that he’ll come up and he’ll buy a truckload of that stuff and then he’ll come back in six months and buy some more. So it’s been a fun one to grow for sure.
Jon Johnston: Wow, 50 beers, that’s amazing. How well known are you, let’s say, just in the state of Nebraska? Who are your main competitors and how are you going to crush them?
Cody Schmick: My background is grocery, which is a cutthroat business. So me and my family opened grocery stores and McCook in 05, we we grew our company to four grocery stores. We had two in Lincoln up till recently. We sold we sold all four grocery stores in the past 14 months.
Cody Schmick: I was focused on this and my brothers are doing other things, but that I come from this cutthroat business. And then I come in to the craft beer scene and there’s still definitely some great competition. And there’s some just healthy competition. But we all overall, we want to see the craft beer scene continue to grow in Nebraska. And so we have that in common. So we we have, I think, one of the strongest guilds in the surrounding states for sure, the Nebraska Brewers Guild. We want to see everybody win. But like I said, there’s definitely some healthy competition. We’ve hit that top spot in Nebraska a few times, selling the most. If you want to gauge it off of gallons of beer, we’ve hit that top spot a few times. I would the heavy hitters in the states are Zipline, Nebraska Brewing, Empyrean. But we have such great relationships with these guys. I have most at least some of their beer in my personal fridge and I know they do the same. And and we like to share and we like to we like to do these things. And it’s not all Kumbaya. Like I said, there’s some some healthy competition, but it’s a different industry.
Cody Schmick: It really is. So where the grocery store is this cutthroat industry, we understand as a whole that rising tide lifts all boats and really our competition, I always say this, our competition is Netflix. Right? Like getting people out of the house. Our competition isn’t the bar down the street or the other brewery. Our competition is getting people out of the house. And during a pandemic, that’s even the harder, harder thing. That competition becomes a little stiffer, too. We’re in the top five production breweries every month. We’ve hit the top spot a couple of times. Hit second spot. Third spot a few times. We are really high end. This is maybe not the right thing to do, but we don’t really look at what other breweries are doing and we’re hyper focused on our own thing, what we want to do, how we want to grow our company. I am a numbers guy, so I’m obviously looking at the numbers as well. But company culture is so important. Every person that we’re I’m confident in saying that every person that works for Kinkaider really enjoys their job and likes working with our team. And that to me, that’s huge. You can measure success different ways, right?
Jon Johnston: So which which is your favorite personal favorite beer? Do you have your own beer that you have at home or you have in the brewery? Nobody else ever gets it.
Cody Schmick: No, I don’t.
Cody Schmick: I mean, we do brew some small batch stuff once in a while that we but we mostly share it. My go to beer of ours is our four county pale ale. I always have a six pack of that in my fridge. But I love whatever Danny’s brewing new. We just we have this summer beer, grapefruit Rattler it’s a German wheat beer dosed with a little grapefruit. It is killer man. I love that beer. For a summertime going fish and going to the lake, you can not beat that beer. There’s some other rattlers out there, some national brands. And I think we beat the pants off of those with our rattlers. That one I’ve been drinking a lot of this summer. I love the new tropical the devil’s gap. It’s our pineapple mango pepper version of Devil’s Gap. So that one has been just just a super, I don’t know, complex beer. And you get every flavor advertised in one drink. And so I really enjoy that one, too.
Jon Johnston: I spent a lot of time in college drinking beer Beer. Generic beer. Really cheapest crap possible. Beer is changed so much. You talk about pretentiousness and kind of the snobbishness. I’m not a pale ale guy. It’s changed a lot. Where do you see it going over the next, let’s say, ten years? You see you crush Anheuser-Busch and this crap called Bud Light?
Cody Schmick: You know, we have we have a rule within our company not to talk crap about any other brewery, and that’s including Anheuser-Busch. We’re big fans overall. We’re not going to chase trends. We’re not going to chase some of these things. We just want to continue to brew. I think the guys that will end up coming out on top of this, because there is going to be a little bit of a bubble burst at some point and this pandemic may accelerate that bubble burst because there’s so many breweries opening up. And I think the guys that are going to come out on top are going to have good branding. Good marketing. Right. That’s my end of the business. So you have to sell the beer to a guy before he drinks it. I’m a grocery store guy, so I know how much competition there is on the shelves. So you have to catch their eye. You have to do something cool and creative and artistic and fun and you got to catch their eye first. Then they take it home or take it to a party or throw it in their fridge and then they pop it open. And that beer better be good. The reason that a lot of this bubble is going to burst is because there’s a lot of breweries out there making subpar beer right now. And it’s not great. And so it muddies the waters, especially in rural areas.
Cody Schmick: If you if you go into a rural area like Broken Bow and you open up a shop and you’re selling craft beer and these old boys come in and they they slap their five dollars down and they want to Coors Light or they want a Bud Light or they want a Busch light. And if you’re a jerk to them and you’re you’re pretentious. Oh, we only brew our own beer. That’s going to turn them off first. Right. And then if you put a bad beer in front of them, they drink it. They’re going to go. Just what I thought, craft beer sucks.
Cody Schmick: So we want to see these new breweries popping up, make excellent beer. And as long as you’re open to the feedback and the criticism of when you have a bad beer and know when a beer needs to go down the drain, I think those are the guys that that will excel. You’ve got to be careful getting the ego wrapped up in it, too, right? Like when you make something, you want people to enjoy it. If you have too much ego in it, you can push it through, even though it’s probably not a beer that should be out in the market. So I think those those guys, those ones that are that are making a good solid product are going to be the ones to exceed craft beer trends. I think sour beers are going to continue to grow. I mean, that’s a whole category that people don’t even think about five years to go.
Cody Schmick: I actually think German lagers are going to continue to grow. And that’s one of our favorite beers to brew. I think you’re going to see some just like solid staple beers continue to grow.
Cody Schmick: I think you’re going to see hoppy beers continue too. We’ve seen it was all about clarity and hoppy beers forever. And now and now there’s this whole hazy hoppy beer. So they want to see that haziness in there. And that trend doesn’t seem like it’s going away either. So I think those those those would be my predictions for kind of the next wave. Of beers, we’re going to see.
Jon Johnston: Earlier you mentioned home kegs. people having home bars and getting kegs at home. Tell us about how people get your beer without going to the three locations. I live in Minnesota. In Nebraska. I could go to a grocery store and probably find your beer there.
Cody Schmick: Absolutely.
Jon Johnston: Is there any way for me to get it in Minnesota?
Cody Schmick: No. Other than coming here. So, you know, there’s some Nebraska breweries that are hitting some of these states that are close to us.
Cody Schmick: We have decided as a company that we’re going to we’re going to stick in Nebraska for the time being. Now, if we feel like there’s a there’s an easy relationship and another state that we can that we can go to and we can sell a couple of pallets of beer a month to them, we’ll definitely consider it. We’re not saying we’re never going out of state, but at this point and the way the laws are written, I can’t even ship you a six pack of beer. If I’m a license holder, I can’t ship it to you. Now, if you have a friend in Nebraska that’s not a liquor license holder, they can absolutely. It’s not illegal to ship beer. It’s illegal for me to ship beer since I am a license holder in Nebraska. So at this point, you have to come to us in order to get that beer. There is some keg dealers throughout the states that that work with us on selling home kegs. I would say the majority of it out of our three spots. So, Broken Bow, Grand Island and Lincoln, eventually Omaha. We’re looking at Omaha pretty hard right now. We would have probably pulled the trigger on Omaha this year if it wasn’t for the pandemic. But we’ll be in Omaha within within a year or two. And so we’re looking at that. That’s exposing us to the majority of Nebraska’s population at this point. We’re building those guys that have that home kegerator, that have that home bar. I’ve helped guys find the right kegerator for their house and help them get it bought and get it delivered to them and things like that. Because if they’re going to continue to buy that keg of beer and put it in their shops or put it in their man caves or whatever, then it’s going to help us overall to continue to move move that product.
Jon Johnston: So if I want a keg of beer, I can go to one of your three locations and what sizes are available?
Cody Schmick: So so we do five gallon kegs that are called six barrels, like one sixth, the barrel of the fraction. Then we do 15.5 gallon kegs that are called half barrels. And that’s kind of your standard keg size is that half barrel.
Cody Schmick: So what I always tell people, there’s about 40 pints of beer in the small one at about 120 pints of beer in the big one. We sell them, we sell them pretty cheap. I mean you’re getting your beer for just over a dollar a draw if you’re buying it that way and going home. So yeah, I’ve got a whole list of guys.
Cody Schmick: I actually manage the ones on Lincoln. So if you’ve got a home kegerator and you you text me, hey, I’ll send you the current list, what’s out right then. You let me know and then let me know when you’re going to pick it up the way the way the governor had actually changed here during the pandemic. To my knowledge, it hasn’t changed back yet. We can actually deliver beer as well. We have a little group in Omaha. I got one of one of the guys that works for me in Lincoln. He actually lives in Omaha and commutes. So he’ll haul kegs back and forth to some customers in Omaha as well. And right now, every keg sale matters to us. Every every package sale matters to us as we’re as we’re navigating ourselves through this.
Jon Johnston: So is there anything else you want to tell people that I haven’t brought up?
Cody Schmick: If you want to follow us, I mean, the man we we’ve kind of built this whole business off of Facebook and Instagram.
Cody Schmick: So follow us on Facebook and Instagram. We think we do really, really well letting our customers know what’s new, what’s going on. We do have some mail lists out there that you can subscribe to on our website. Kincaider Brewing.com. Just connect with us, man. That’s really the main thing. We want to continue to build that that connection with our customer. And if you guys are following us, you get to see kind of that up to date information. Myself and one other gal runs the social media for the entire company so we have that consistent voice. We have that if you’re messaging our social media, you’re getting right to me. I’m probably going to be the one that’s going to respond to you. We take a lot of pride in and that connection with customers. If somebody shows our brand some love or show or asks or is interested about our brand, I think we have to have that communication. We run some of the best social media sites in our industry, in the state. I’m really proud of that and how we can have that constant communication with our customers. And I think that’s so important in small business.
Jon Johnston: I notice you have a Hail Varsity Ale, but you don’t have nothing up here that says CornNation.com Stout, something like that. What the hell? This needs to be rectified.
Cody Schmick: The hail varsity guys reached out to us and actually one of their I don’t even know for sure what his title is, but Chris Gorman’s a buddy, old buddy of mine. We’ve known each other for probably 15 years and we reconnected when I moved to Lincoln. He said, man, I’m part of this magazine, Hail Varsity. He said, let’s brew this beer. So we came up with Hail Ale. We were actually going to release it in cans this football season. And we we had we had to put that on the shelf for the time being. So we we we decided as soon as football kind of come there, for some reason they have spring football or whatever, we’re going to release it then. If not, we’re going to wait till next fall and release that beer. But you know what? I think it CornNation.com there might be a might be a good next step. So let’s talk about it.
Jon Johnston: We’ve been talking with Cody Smith, who is the co-owner of Kincaider Brewing out of Broken Bow.Nebraska, we’re going to end here. I thank you for joining me and talking to me about beer mostly and the economic woes that some of you guys are going to face in hospitality business stuff.Anything else you want to tell Husker fans?
Cody Schmick: Keep your keep your heads up, man. We’ve got such a strong base, man. Nebraskans are resilient, so proud to be in Nebraska and proud to be a part of this this crew in Lincoln. This is something you support your small businesses, man. That’s the main thing I could say. If you don’t want to see your your favorite spots or your favorite place to get a beer, go away, go in there, go in there more often, do takeout, do whatever you need to do to support these guys through this time. And I think we can we can get through this with very few casualties as long as Nebraskans will step up and help with these local guys. So I would encourage you all to do that. Follow us on social media and let’s connect. Let’s have a beer.
Jon Johnston: All right. Thank you for listening. Go Big Red.