KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — A brewery on Broad Street opened its doors Friday afternoon to reveal a new flavor that’s been in the works for months.
A team of local brewers dubbed the Tri-Cities Brewer Collective launched a collaborative beer called the TriLocal 7 – Belgian Triple at Bays Mountain Brewing Company.
We spoke with the co-owners Mike Kochemba and Jim Goetz, who said the event showcased the importance of team work among local small businesses during the ongoing pandemic.
“It’s about being a collective — a group of people that collaborate and help build communities rather than compete against each other,” Goetz said. “As we all come out of COVID, as we start to build our businesses back up as a hospitality industry, we’re ready together as a collective, as a group of brewers, to come back together as we build the community of craft beer in the Tri-Cities.”
This effort aimed to promote local business after orders across the state last year permanently closed a handful of small businesses.
Kochemba said collaborative events draw in community members, which can drive business for surrounding companies.
“People downtown means people buying products, supporting the communities and shopping local,” he said.
As customers enjoyed a cold drink at Bays Mountain Brewing Company, staff members continued working in compliance with CDC guidelines, ensuring to socially distance and wear their masks.
“The turnout’s been a lot better, you know,” Kochemba said. “We’re seeing a steady growth over the weeks as we get further on into the vaccination process. As we grow and move forward, hopefully we can all just hang out and have a good time.”