Hutton & Smith Brewing Co. is almost a year old, and the business has seen quicker success than owners expected.
“We were at capacity for distribution at about four months,” co-owner Melanie Krautstrunk said. “[That] came sooner than we thought it would.”
“We managed to do a lot of things I didn’t think we were going to do … like partner with local businesses [such as Mayfly Coffee and The Bitter Alibi] … We’ve also sponsored various charities. The biking community has been very receptive to us, and we’ve sponsored biking events. We’ve been happy to be supported by the community and to give that support back.”
Source: Melanie Krautstrunk
Co-owners husband and wife duo Melanie and Joel Krautstrunk moved from Las Vegas to Chattanooga. Joel is a climber, and Melanie is a geologist. The duo wanted to move somewhere with a sound outdoors scene and a market for craft beer.
In the time it’s been open-since June 18 last year-the Krautstrunks have released 23 styles of beers and consistently kept 12 on tap.
They have 28 accounts right know-meaning their products are in about that many locations-but they initially held back as a strategic move, only starting with about five core accounts, which they still have.
“We slowly built from there,” Melanie said.
Now, going into their second year of business, the entrepreneurs are looking to expand and working on a business plan with hopes of adding a production facility to meet demand.
“We would like to make as much beer as people want,” she said.
The business, which now has four full-time employees and one part-time employee, is hosting an anniversary celebration June 25 from noon to midnight.
Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise is letting the brewery use the lot next to the Martin Luther King Boulevard business to create a beer garden vibe.
The event will feature new beers and bring back popular ones, she said.
There will be live music and a giveaway of a Mug Club membership, which the Krautstrunks launched when they started the business. The deal is that you get a handcrafted mug and a 20-ounce pour for the price of a pint for life.
“There are people who didn’t get it and regret it,” Melanie said.