“Wouldn’t that be cool?” These four words are what sparked the beginning of Spiral Brewery – a craft microbrewery in Hastings, MN. The brainchild of husband and wife, Nick and Amy Fox, and Nick’s sister, Jen Fox, Spiral Brewery was built on the foundation of two of the family’s passions: craft beer and their community. After brainstorming and throwing the idea around to others throughout the community, the Fox’s began officially researching and planning to open the business in 2014. The rest is history.
“For a while, Spiral Brewery was just an idea. But as we continued to work through the details, we soon realized it could be much more than that. We knew we create a space where we could ‘brew community through quality beer and rich history,’ and that’s exactly what we did.”
Soon after beginning the start-up process, the Fox’s welcomed three other business partners into their venture, including Luke McGuire – a friend from college would serve as Spiral Brewery’s first head brewer. After spending four years researching, drafting, and polishing their business plan together, the Spiral Brewery team was anxiously awaiting to take the next step towards opening their business. They were just missing one thing: the financing needed to purchase their equipment. “Starting a brewery is very expensive,” explained Amy Fox. “We knew financing would be a challenge and that we would need to partner with someone who could help us. That’s how we got in touch with Prairieland EDC.” The Spiral Brewery team worked in partnership with Pioneer Bank and Prairieland EDC to secure a SBA 504 loan, providing them with the financing needed to purchase equipment at a rate and term they could afford. By April of 2018, Spiral Brewery was officially open and ready for business.
“There is no way we could have started and funded this venture without the SBA 504 loan program and the assistance we received from Prairieland EDC and our bank. But because of their help and guidance, we were able to turn this idea into a reality.”
Since opening, Spiral Brewery has seen tremendous support from their community and has been able to truly live out their mission of “brewing community through quality beer in rich history” in return. From providing donations for silent auctions and sponsoring local events to opening up their taproom for fundraisers by other organizations throughout Hastings, the microbrewery has truly become a place where people can come in, enjoy a few brews, and get connected with their community. They have also expanded their business beyond Hastings by distributing kegs and cans to bars, restaurants, and liquor stores throughout the Twin Cities area.
Looking back, Amy and her business partners are extremely grateful for the time they spent research and planning prior to opening their brewery. “There are always things you won’t know until you get started,” Amy shared. “but doing that background research and developing a plan is one if the best ways you can set yourself up for success.” Her and her business partners encourage any entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their own business to do the same.
In May of 2019, Spiral Brewery was invited by their state representative to go to Washington D.C. to share their story and SBA 504 experience with the small business committee – a story they are nothing but proud of.
“We love giving back to our community. We love building relationships and providing jobs for our employees. Despite all the stress that comes with owning your own business, we love what we do and it’s something we feel proud of.”
For more information or to visit Spiral Brewery, visit their website. http://spiralbrewery.com/