Twin Creeks Brewing Company in downtown Vinton officially opened in November 2016. On November 4, 2017, the brewery celebrated its one-year anniversary with a boisterous, music-filled party for patrons that began in the afternoon and continued throughout the evening hours.
Vinton Town Manager Barry Thompson stopped by with his family to applaud Twin Creeks and its successful first year. He told the story of how a partnership between the town and Twin Creeks evolved. In 2015, he was talking with his stepson, Michael McSherry, about his interest in having a craft brewery locate in downtown Vinton. McSherry happened to know that brothers Andy and Jason Bishop and their friend Barry Robertson were brewing beer in Robertson’s garage and looking for another location.
The group put a meeting together.
The town had financial incentives to assist small businesses such as their façade grant program. The Advancement Foundation with offices in Vinton was sponsoring the Gauntlet Business Competition program to assist fledgling entrepreneurs as well. The Bishops and Robertson completed the program and won the grand prize, which allowed them to finance a major equipment purchase for Twin Creeks that moved their plans forward much more quickly than they anticipated.
Thompson believed that a brewery would ignite the “synergy” to bring people to downtown Vinton that the town was looking for.
“Twin Creeks is a great community member and a great community partner,” said Thompson in his anniversary remarks. “They have added to the town’s events this summer with Creekfest and by participating in the Mingle and Party in the Park Event Zone concerts. It is wonderful to see so many people in downtown Vinton on a weekend afternoon.”
Thompson’s wife, Margarete, says that Twin Creeks provides a great place to socialize and meet with friends with no housekeeping necessary before or after.
Jason Bishop says that they are amazed at the rousing success of the craft brewery in such a short time. In fact, they have outpaced their five-year plan and maxed out their space on Pollard Street. They are ready to purchase more equipment with no place to put it.
Bishop attributes their booming business to “an explosion in the craft beer industry and to the support of the town and the craft beer community.” He says many patrons and community stakeholders have mentioned how delighted they are that the brewery has located in Vinton.
“We are happy and honored to be here in Vinton,” Bishop said.
Bishop says that they hope to focus on more special events such as Creekfest, Plant Nights, and special beers release events and keep “mixing it up.” Music has been an integral part of their plan since the beginning, along with the family atmosphere they have done their best to create at Twin Creeks. “It has all worked out really well,” he said. The Bishops and Robertson emphasize that “this is a family-friendly brewery with a relaxed atmosphere, not a bar.” They even have games to keep children– and often their parents– entertained.
He estimates that in 12 months, they have brewed about 45 barrels of 155 gallons each of craft beers. They have created at least 25 new beer varieties. When they first opened, they brewed small batches of many different recipes and styles of beer, rotating them frequently. Now they have settled on several popular mainstays, including Summerfield Blonde, All About That Amber, and Slow Water Porter in some part depending upon the season of the year– lighter beers for warmer months. They rotate others and brew up some special releases for the frequent special occasions.
For instance, for their first anniversary, they introduced, in limited quantities, Hot Blonde (their Summerfield Blonde infused with fresh jalapeno peppers), Wooden Tipsy Canoe (Tipsy Canoe Scotch ale aged for six months on oak), Café Porter (Slow Water Porter infused with local coffee), Flapjack Porter (Slow Water Porter infused with Maple Syrup), and Strawberry Blonde (Summerfield Blonde infused with whole strawberries).
Bishop says that probably the most unique beer they have created in their months in business is the White Milk Stout, which tastes like a dark stout but looks like a Blonde.
While Jason Bishop and Robertson have kept their day jobs, Andy Bishop has been able to start working full time at Twin Creeks managing the day-to-day business, brewing in the Tap Room and doing marketing. They have hired over 10 part-time employees for the Tap Room as well.
The owners have built a stage indoors which they call “The Dock,” for live music and have added a back patio and fencing. They have purchased new equipment to expand their enterprise once and are preparing a second expansion this fall.
Twin Creeks is entering the distribution market, concentrating on small restaurants like Fork in the Alley to begin with. They have been serving craft beers in recent months at Vinton Mingle at the Market concerts and at Dr. Pepper Park as well as at several beer festivals.
There is live music on weekends with bands from across the country. Bands Crockett and McSherry, Five Shades of Gray, and the Bell Hornets performed for the anniversary celebration. Local favorites, the Faded Travelers Band, Jody Ensor, and Mason Creek appear frequently.
There are usually food trucks and vendors at Twin Creeks including Hamm’s Fine Foods, Dojo Grill, Master Sgt. BBQ, and Chef Drew from Succotash Fine Foods and Catering.
Their music and concessions schedules and featured beers can always be found on their website at www.TwinCreeksBrewing.com and on their Facebook page.
The owners of Twin Creeks say they are still having a great time. Jason Bishop says that the recent Halloween costume party was probably the most fun they have ever had at the brewery.
They invite anyone who hasn’t been to visit them yet to stop by.
“We are so appreciative of the town and the people of Vinton,” said Andy Bishop. “If it weren’t for their support, we would not be having this much success and fun. We are very proud to be the hangout for Vinton and we want to make sure that we continue to grow and make it an even better place for them to enjoy. We have big dreams and plans for 2018 and we hope everyone will continue to visit us and see what we have in store.”