Clear Creek Brewing Company, LLC (CCBC) is a community driven craft brewery located at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains in Buffalo, WY. They just celebrated their first year anniversary of brewing great beer and providing a great community gathering place!
Three friends, Chris Jones, Michael Engling and Robert McCorkle met in 2009 and soon after began brewing together. According to the trio, “It was only a matter of time before the three hatched their plan to save Northern Wyoming from the dystopian beerscape it was." They first started putting together their business idea in 2010, leased an historic building on Buffalo’s main street and proceeded to begin the remodeling.
They partially exposed the original brick, poured a new floor, created an outdoor patio room, began brewing beer, and official opened their doors on September 22, 2012. The brewery has added new life to downtown Buffalo and they are already working on an expansion. The team has leased the space next door and will be expanding their seating and beer storage very soon.
The CCBC team has utilized many Wyoming resources in their business. They worked with the Wyoming Entrepreneur SBDC to develop their business plan and learn about the tools that are available for their business. They obtained funds from the Workforce Training Fund to attend a craft beer conference in Washington, DC, where they attended three days of seminars and classes. The Wyoming Business Council provided a Trade Show Incentive Grant for them to host a booth at the recent Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO. That event attracted nearly 40,000 patrons, showcased 700 breweries and had 85 beer categories with approximately 4,800 entries…an amazing opportunity to expose CCBC’s brews to the world of serious brewing competition.
To fund their project and get their community and friends involved, they successfully utilized the crowdfunding website “Kickstarter.” The project raised $28,661, $3,661 over their goal of $25,000! The project can be viewed at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ccbrewco/clear-creek-brewing-company-start-up-from-the-grou?ref=live.
The CCBC team also obtained an SBA guaranteed loan from First Interstate Bank and utilized private funds to start the business. CCBC currently has 9 employees (counting the three wives who say they work there for the fun of it!)