As Hank Williams, Jr. has wisely pointed out, “a country boy can survive.” To help survive the pandemic and its colossal challenges, Kentucky’s Country Boy Brewing has turned to Brewery Finance and Earthly Labs. With funding help from Brewery Finance, the brewery has purchased Earthly’s trailblazing “CiCi” CO2 capture system.
The system will convert the brewery’s previously wasted CO2 to a secure in-house supply that helps Country Boy save money, protect the environment, and improve its beer.“This year,” says co-founder Daniel Harrison, “has shown that the CO2 supply can change very quickly, and that smaller breweries like us could be left without our production needs being met. The idea of reclaiming the C02 we are already producing naturally — but haven’t been capturing — is a no brainer.”
The move also aligns with key values of Country Boy, which launched in 2012 with a brewery and tasting room and opened a second and much larger production facility in nearby Georgetown in 2017. “One of our main motivations,” Harrison says, “is to be good stewards of our resources and take care of the environment.” The Earthly system also helps the brewery uphold its ‘minimally processed beers with high quality, real ingredients’ credo. “It fits our brand perfectly,” Harrison says.
Brewery Finance made the purchase easy, despite the towering equipment financing hurdles created by COVID-19. “Brewery Finance,” says Country Boy’s CJ Hoben, “made the Earthly Labs system much more palatable for us, especially given the current state of the world. With a small initial capital outlay and payments that should be all or mostly offset by a reduction in our CO2 expenditures, financing the purchase through Brewery Finance made for a great partnership for us.”
“Purchasing specialized equipment,” Hoben adds, “can be cumbersome through traditional financing. Brewery Finance not only expedited the process, but the terms were competitive and tailored to fit our needs.”
Country Boy sells its canned goods — including top sellers Shotgun Wedding Brown Ale, Cliff Jumper IPA, and Halfway Home APA — in Kentucky and six neighboring states, and is thrilled about its latest investment in equipment. While some brewers might consider such a move risky during the pandemic, that’s not how the brewery sees it. “It is stepping out on faith during tricky times,” Harrison says. “But it’s a step that we have always wanted to take and we feel like the time is right for it.”
“At 100% efficiency,” Hoben notes, “the system will essentially pay for itself.” While he and his teammates work toward hitting that target, other pluses come with the ride. “If we can reduce our carbon footprint, shorten our supply chain, and increase the quality of our beer for what this machine costs, that’s a win-win-win.”
Country Boy can also chalk up victories for Mother Nature. “None of us,” Harrison notes, “can continue to turn a blind eye to what is happening in our world when it comes to climate change and the negative impact we can have on our environment. This is a small step, but it’s one way we can make sure we’re doing everything we can to leave this place better than we found it.”