A few of weeks ago I was honored to be able to sit down with not only the owners of Bad Tom Smith John Vojtush and Sheryl Gittins, but their whole staff and investors. They were meeting to discuss their plans for 2016 and boy are there some big ones!
I grabbed my notebook and sat down with some pizza and beer graciously provided by John and Sheryl. Here I was thinking I was just going to be checking the place out, but now I have a front row seat taking a look into the vision of some really passionate people who want to grow Bad Tom Smith into an even better brewery than it already is.
I have never sat down in a meeting like this one for one of the big breweries on the block so I can’t comment on how those go, but I will say the passion from every person in that room flowed out like a freshly tapped keg. John took the stage and outlined his vision for 2016 and beyond.
The Feel Of Bad Tom Smith
I found it really interesting that John said he didn’t plan on taking over the world or growing Bad Tom Smith into a huge brewery right away. He really liked the current feel of the brewery. They are like the bar on the corner where everyone knows your name. He’s proud to be a part of the small community surrounding the brewery. Some of the breweries in Cincinnati have exploded in growth and he’s proud of them, but Bad Tom Smith is really focusing on staying a reasonable size that will allow them to interact with each and every one of their fans. That doesn’t mean they aren’t looking to expand though.
Expanding Into Different Markets
You may have seen our post about Bad Tom Smith expanding distribution into Kentucky a couple of weeks ago. They threw a little party down at Blue Stallion Brewing Co complete with Bad Tom Smith himself! The launch went very well and they are super excited to continue distribution in Eastern Kentucky, Northern Kentucky and beyond! Be on the lookout for more news on events down in their new areas of distribution! They have also been taking over taps one by one here in Cincinnati as well.
Outside of just distribution Bad Tom Smith plans on opening a few small brewpubs around the state and probably some over the river as well similar to the path that Tap and Screw is following. This will really keep the small corner pub feel while expanding their footprint into other markets. Bad Tom Smith want’s to join in the communities that they build in and become a part of the culture. In order to do this they are working with Las Vegas Stainless & Copper Works to develop an easy turn key brewing system that they can deploy to their new locations in order to speed up the opening process. As of this time they don’t plan on bottling or canning, but that doesn’t mean it’s not in the future.
Plans For Back Home
Recently the brewery got a bigger sign to make them a little more easier to see from the road. They will also be installing new lighting soon as well. In addition Bad Tom Smith also plans on creating an outdoor beer garden for the warmer months of the year. Once completed you will find some fun events and visiting food trucks as well. They also have hired a new sales person who is focusing on expanding the tap presence around the city. If you follow Bad Tom Smith on social media you probably have been seeing a ton of posts about new taps popping up around town already!
They also have 3 new 15 Barrel Fermenters that are to be delivered in the next 75 days by Las Vegas Stainless & Copper Works. They are also manufacturing their new 30 Barrel brewing system that we will be expecting to be implemented by the end of 2016. There are going to be some more delicious beers flowing soon!
Bad Ass Beer Fest
In 2014 Bad Tom Smith organized the first ever Lunken Beer Festival which turned out to be a great success! However, it didn’t return the next year. Why? Well if you keep up with local craft beer news you know Bad Tom Smith changed ownership around the time the second beerfest would have happened. Sadly because of this there just wasn’t enough time to organize the event for it’s second year. But never fear! Bad Tom Smith just announced a new beer fest for this summer, the Bad Ass Beer Fest!
The Bad Ass Beer Fest will take place on
The beer fest will feature up to 15 local breweries in which $5 will get you a 12oz glass and $2 will get you a 5oz glass. Musical entertainment will be provided both evenings, with Halfway to Hazard bringing their “Redemption” as the headline act on Saturday. Make sure you stay tuned for more information as they release it!
Of course they are also planning on honing their brewing skills and developing some new beers in 2016. They recently released a double IPA which is amazing! The great part about Bad Tom Smith is they seem to be one the most active local breweries on Untappd and other social media platforms that are looking for constructive criticism. If you go to their brewery don’t be afraid to chat them up and let them know exactly what you like and don’t like. They plan on improving their staples as time goes on! And if you weren’t impressed in the past I highly suggest you give them another try as their beers have improved across the board! I am really excited to see how Bad Tom Smith is going to grow this year and beyond! Make sure you stay tuned here as well as on their Facebook and Twitter for any news!