Ames, Iowa – A Spencer company has been honored with an award from the Iowa Small Business Development Center or “SBDC.”
They tell us that the Iowa Project Brewing Company, of Spencer, is the winner of the organization’s statewide September Small Business of the Month Award.
Lucas Kline and Nicholas Applegate have been friends since high school. Growing up in Saint Joseph, Missouri, they remained close friends while life took them in different directions. Kline moved with his family to northwest Iowa, while Applegate moved south to Kansas City with his wife. In 2019 their friendship transitioned into a business partnership when they decided to open The Iowa Project Brewing Company in Spencer.
With the slogan “Craft. Experience. Community.”, the Iowa Project’s vision was to create a place for the community centered around experiences. Applegate explained that to them, the vision was simple. A brewery serves a community. If they build “it”, a brewery serving quality products and offering a welcoming space for all people, they (the community) will come (support this business). Kline added that making that look good on paper and profitable to others was much more difficult.
One of the people Kline and Applegate met with early on was Michael Wampler, Regional Director of the Northwest Iowa Small Business Development Center hosted by Iowa Lakes Community College. The SBDC helped them work on financial projections and talk through the business aspects of the project. Applegate said that Wampler helped them think critically about their vision, focusing on the details necessary to obtaining financing. He has continued to work with them to offer to coach and serve as a confidential sounding board as they look to grow the business.
Today The Iowa Project is open for business offering a wide range of beers to fit a variety of tastes. Their beers are brewed in-house and the menu is constantly changing to give people a different experience every time they visit. They also offer non-alcoholic beverages. Over the last year, they have upgraded from a one-barrel system to a three-barrel system which allows them to brew four times more beer than they were initially able to. Because of this increase in production they are looking into the potential of distribution to other smaller communities and even Des Moines. They have also experimented more with what they call “Cooking with Beer” which involves them cooking a meal with their beer. Applegate said they are looking into whatever they can do to get more involved in their community and give more back to our community. They welcome families of all ages, including pets. You can visit The Iowa Project at 316 Grand Ave in Spencer, or stay up to date on their latest creations by visiting http://www.facebook.com/TheIowaProjectBrewCo