Next up on Small Business Saturday, local realtor, Stacey Donadio, sits down with Twin Lights Brewing! With summer around the corner, and the weather warming up, there’s no better time to grab some beers for your next barbecue, and enjoy some locally brewed deliciousness with some friends! Learn more about the Monmouth County natives behind Twin Lights Brewing, how they managed to operate through COVID, and their favorite local business below!
Where are you from and where do you live now?
We both grew up in Middletown. We went to Bayshore Middle School together and have been good friends ever since. Mike lives in Tinton Falls and Will lives in Sea Bright.
Tell us about your business!
Twin Lights Brewing started with a dollar and a dream! Beginning as home-brewers, owners Mike and Will had been lifelong friends. They got involved in brewing their own beer in Will’s garage, loved it, and decided to make it a thing! With no set location or brew house just yet, they are considered a contract, or gypsy brewery; meaning Mike writes the recipes then they travel to other breweries, collaborate, and brew their beer there. With one year under their belts as a functioning business, TLB has released 20 beers and are available in over 140 bar, restaurant, and liquor store locations across 7 NJ counties. With Highlands, NJ on their minds as a permanent location for their future brewery, Twin Lights Brewing strives to provide community-based love, beer, and genuine customer connection! Follow their adventure on Instagram/Facebook @TwinLightsBrewing- visit their website, or check out their beer tracker for where you can purchase their products! #CareShareEverywhere
What’s your background? What made you go into what you’re doing now?
Mike began in the brewing industry a few years ago and immediately fell in love with the process and science behind it. He began taking in everything he could about running a brewery, brewing beer, packaging, distributing, and the ins and outs of the craft beer world. Will grew up working in restaurants and bars and has a strong background in finance. Mike introduced Will to the home-brewing process and the rest is history!
What do you love about having a business in Monmouth County?
What we love about having a business in Monmouth County is the constant love and support that we have been shown since the beginning. We try not to be bias because we grew up here, but we believe that it is truly an unmatched community.
What has been the most challenging part of running your business during COVID, and how did you overcome it?
So not only did we successful run our business during COVID, but we launched our business as well.. April 2020- our first beer release lined up perfectly with the closure of bars and restaurants, intense COVID restrictions in liquor stores, and a global quarantine. We had no idea how we were about to pull this off. Just two guys in a rusty box truck, trying to make the best of it. I think for us, it’s always been perseverance and passion that pulls us through. Our friends and the members of our TLB family have gone above and beyond to help make our home-brew dream a craft-beer reality and we could not be more grateful.
What are some exciting plans you have for the business in 2021?
We are hoping to sign a lease and eventually open a tasting room! We have lots of events coming up which you can find posted regularly on our social media. Now that the COVID restrictions have lifted, we are hoping to get more involved in community-based events and we are planning on collaborating with local bars and restaurants to host lots of cool stuff this summer. Keep an eye out!
What’s your favorite business in Monmouth County (other than yours!)?
It’s hard to pick just one.. But we’d have to go with The Chubby Pickle in Highlands. They have been our number one fans and supporters since day one. Not only do they run weekly specials with all of our beers available, but they hosted our First Year Anniversary pairing dinner and after party and did an absolutely phenomenal job! They have amazing specials, live music, and their food is affordable and delicious. So huge shout-out to the Chubby for being really rad! Thanks guys!
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