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Living a name.

Meet a brewery that puts relationships at the center of everything. Including its brand.

minute read

    Real customers compensated.


    One afternoon Tommy Dyer, a graphic artist living in Greeley, Colorado, stood before the sign on the front of Brix Brew & Tap, a local taproom. After a pause, he walked inside, found the owner and said, “I like your logo. I think I can make it better.”

    It turned out the owners wanted more than a logo. They wanted a buyer for their business. This triggered Dyer’s entrepreneurial spirit. The opportunity to combine his passion for beer, branding and community was too good to pass up.

    He loved Greeley and the connection between residents and local businesses. He knew the brewery could be a place for not only serving beer but building relationships.


    Making it a family affair

    Dyer reached out to his father-in-law, Phil Jorgenson, who had managed several businesses in his career, to see if he was interested. In May 2018, the two family members became business partners.

    After the sale, Dyer dove into operations, hiring a master brewer and building a brand — his own brand. He and Jorgenson put together an amazing team that shared their core values of focusing on people and the community and serving quality products. They were more like family. It seemed everything was falling into place.

    “Retail business is by far the toughest in which to succeed, but it holds the biggest potential for reward. Your efforts will be worth it, as you’ll impact the lives of your staff, your community and your patrons.”

    — Tommy Dyer

    Leaning on each other

    In March 2020, the pandemic hit, and people began sheltering at home. The normally busy taproom was quiet. Customers pitched in by tipping more and buying gift cards to help with cash flow. But it wasn’t enough. Dyer and Jorgenson had to rethink operations, not only to boost sales on slower days but to continue serving the community that had been there for them.

    Outside sales would allow them to do both. So they set out to find a new space where they could brew larger batches, package their product and expand beyond retail. They didn’t have to look far.

    In 2021, the pair found a new location in Evans, just 10 minutes south of their existing location. With 2,900 square feet, 18-foot ceilings, barrels for special brews and cold storage for all the finished products, they could triple their production and distribute products to more local businesses. By taking advantage of the economies of scale and new equipment for milling their own grain, they were able to keep prices down for patrons at a time when the cost of everything else was going up.

    Along with business benefits, the space provides another location to do something that is close to their hearts — sponsor charity nights and donate a percentage of the proceeds to many organizations, especially those helping children.

    “Retail requires you to reinvent yourselves and reinvigorate your customer base often. The only way we’ve been able to overcome the challenges is to be nimble like only small businesses can.”

    — Phil Jorgenson

    Building more than a brewery

    Dyer and Jorgenson consider their taproom to be a communal space. They know their customers by name and share stories about their families and what’s new in their lives. And they try to use the services of customers who are also business owners whenever they can. It’s all about building a community of mutual trust and respect.

    The owners are fully involved. Whether it’s mopping floors, tapping kegs or stacking chairs at the end of the night, the pair isn’t above rolling up their sleeves and helping in any way they can. Their philosophy is simple: They’ll never ask their employees to do anything they wouldn’t do themselves.

    “Our staff is number one in our success and has stood by us in good times and tough ones,” Dyer says. “We have their back with scheduling, complaints and even personal problems. If we get a great review, we share it. If it’s bad, we talk about it privately.”

    As an added incentive, employees can receive a stake in the company’s success. “We don’t just tell them we care, which we do often. We prove it,” Jorgenson says. “We made two key members partners in our off-campus brewing facility.” 

    “A great staff can make up for almost any shortcoming we experience.”

    — Tommy Dyer

    Becoming TightKnit

    After taking over the business, Dyer and Jorgenson made slight modifications to the brand, but they still felt something was missing. Then it hit them: the name. It didn’t reflect their passion and purpose for the business.

    In the summer of 2022, Dyer led the charge to rebrand Brix Brew & Tap to TightKnit Brewing Company, a name that reflects the relationships they have with their team, customers, community and industry.

    As with everything else, they couldn’t have done it alone. The staff was integral in helping them decide on their new name and was involved throughout the rebranding process.

    For Jorgenson, Dyer, their staff, fellow brewers and the Greeley community, life is good.

    Jorgenson puts it perfectly: “I think despite all the bad in the world today, all remains good in the beer and spirits industry. Maybe even better.”

    “A dividend to owning any small business is the friendships you build with customers and community leaders.”

    — Phil Jorgenson

    Innovating by collaborating

    The help of their community has been essential to the brewery’s growth. And, surprisingly enough, a large part of their go-to community has been other breweries.

    “For the most part, we could call on any brewery near us, and they would lend a hand with advice or a forklift,” Dyer says. “Our master brewer, R.W., talks to other breweries all the time about technology, things they tried that worked, things that didn’t work.”

    Camaraderie among competitors is a boon to everyone in their brewing circle. “Collaboration is how our industry innovates. Everyone is pulling for each other. It’s yet another tightknit group we’re part of,” he adds.

    Another important partnership they’ve built is with their bankers. Chase for Business has been a crucial part of the TightKnit business story since 2018, when Dyer and Jorgenson opened their first account. Today, they use Chase products for deposits and bill pay. Most recently, they added Chase Business Complete BankingSM, a business account with built-in card acceptance.

    “We do a lot of graduation parties, as well as events and fundraisers where we sell tickets and merchandise in addition to our beer,” Jorgenson says. “This account lets us accept payments that aren’t toggled to our taproom POS system when we’re on the go or if we need an additional terminal on a busy night.”

    The relationship with Chase goes beyond banking products. “The great thing about Chase in downtown Greeley is that they run their branch like a small business,” Jorgenson says. “Shane, Vivian and Garret have provided referrals and solutions to banking issues I’ve had. They’re more than bankers. They’re friends and patrons of our business.”

    This productive banking relationship is one more way that a strong community is helping TightKnit Brewing Company weave together a successful business.  

    “Who would have thought that, despite a very saturated and competitive industry, a shared love of beer would break down all barriers?”

    — Tommy Dyer

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