We had the good fortune of connecting with Rich Efird and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rich, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
When I started planning Sparge I really wanted a place where people could gather, socialize and come together as a community. We treat the front room as a Publix House that is available to the community for whatever their needs may be. We made sure that we maintain a family first type of environment by allowing outside food and non acholic alternatives to our beer menu. Many groups have taken advantage of this offer and we couldn’t be happier with how it all came together.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
When I was planning Sparge Brewing I wanted to keep everything as local as possible. We started by connecting with the CSU Fermentation Science and Technology program – Thanks Tom. To brew at Sparge you have to have gone through their program. Their high standards guarantee us that the brewer will know how to handle just about any situation and if their stuck they have a major program to reach back into for help. We also aligned ourselves with like minded companies who appreciate our business as much as we appreciate theirs. One of many examples is Rootshoot Malting, the Olander family are just good people and were proud to say we use as much of their grain as we can get our hands on. Were big believers in small businesses promoting other small businesses. We try to do as many local collaborations as possible. We recently partnered with The Cakery in downtown Wellington and used their Raspberry Lemon Cupcake to flavor one of our beers. It was a lot of fun watching people bring The Cakery cupcakes into the brewery and taste them while drinking a beer that was made with their cupcakes. All that said a big part of our business is to stay as close to home as we possible while giving back to our local community.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Wow, this is a loaded questions. I would have to start them out at my brewery. Try some of our beers and meet the regulars. Their antics alone would set the stage for the rest of the trip. I would drive them down main street Wellington, and point out all the fun shops and restaurants along the way. Anyone that visits me and Leslie knows its all going to be about visiting breweries. I’ve got a bit of a world tour I like to take people on. We would have to stop at Zwei Brewing. If you can’t make it to Germany visiting Zwei will save you a 9 hour plane ride. Their German-style beer is second to none. I would also bring them to Funkwerks. I’m a big Belgian beer fan and they always have amazing Saisons on tap. Now that things are getting interesting I would bring them to Purpose Brewing and Cellars. Peter is an absolute master who can brew a delicious beer with just about anything. After that I would bring us to Timnath Brewing for a night cap. They have a great selection of beers and a really cool venue.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
If I had to give a shoutout it would be to several groups. Were still a very young brewery, we’ve been open under COVID restrictions, longer than we were open to the old norm. That being said my first shootout would be to my wife. She has stuck with me through this crazy adventure and her love and support has got me through a lot of difficult situations. Love ya babe. Second would be to the brewing community. Without their support and guidance I would have never made it. Third would be to the town of Wellington, Wellington Mainstreet and fellow Wellington businesses. If you had to pick a town to go through COVID in I challenge you to find a better town. Their constant guidance, wisdom and support was instrumental in keeping my business running during all the shutdowns. I couldn’t have a shoutout opportunity with thanking all the patrons of the brewery. You guys make it all worth it. Your comradery keeps a smile on my face. Thank you.