Our Favorite ‘Small Batch’ Stories from 2018

Our Favorite ‘Small Batch’ Stories from 2018

While 2018 has been a whirlwind year, we have been very fortunate to work with some incredible food and beverage entrepreneurs as well as innovators in other markets. It’s almost surreal that we get to work with clients who fuel our passion for what we do—helping food and beverage businesses get started and grow with quality legal and organizational advice, plus a little wisdom.

Perhaps my most favorite project to take on this year has been the Small Batch blog. This is where we can take a step back and write about what interests us the most. The stories we tell are on a variety of food and beverage topics and they feature people who inspire us or challenge our perceptions. We sincerely hope you have enjoyed reading Small Batch as much as we have enjoyed writing each blog post. 

Our final post of the year will be a recap of our ten favorite stories (in no certain order) and an update on things to come in 2019. We hope you enjoy!

The Small Batch Blog Manifesto

This is where it all began.

In June 2018, we released the first post in the Small Batch blog. The Small Batch Blog Manifesto explained what led us to this place. It spoke of how Matthew McLaughlin and the team at McLaughlin, PC, feel about what we do and why we continue to do it.  It laid out the roadmap for our blog, which we strive to stick as closely to that as we can.

  • This blog will not feature highly technical legal jargon.
  • This blog will provide industry insights and stories on entrepreneurs and organizations challenging the status quo.
  • This blog will empower entrepreneurs and organizations with a voice and a platform to discuss topics and issues relevant and timely to developing, launching, and operating entrepreneurial endeavors primarily in the southeastern United States.

There is always room for improvement, but since launched we’ve worked diligently to offer some great information and insight into exactly those entrepreneurial topics. And, of course, we’ve got plenty planned in the new year, which we cannot wait to share with you soon!

What Food and Beverage Manufacturers Can Learn from Craft Beer

Perhaps one of the hottest topics in craft beer is collaboration. We not only spoke about it in this post, but also in one devoted entirely to collaborations titled, Collaboration Brews: Cooperative Cross-Promotion in the Craft Beer Industry.

In addition to collaborations, food manufacturers can learn from the craft beer industry’s ability to be innovative, to be disruptive (brewers tend to be rebels), how to engage with consumers by way of an association that speaks on their behalf, and how to tell a brand story that helps like-minded consumers relate to your brand and join your tribe.

We’ve found that, while there are some specific legal and regulatory hurdles in beer and food, the two industries are more alike than they are different, particularly when it comes to finding and audience, growing the brands and “being local,” including opportunities such as collaborating with other similar companies in the market.

Women in Beer: From Ale Wives to Barley’s Angels

This article has great information on the part women played in the history of beer. As most of you know, the craft beer industry, specifically the brewing side, is male-dominated. It’s no secret. However, did you know woman are largely responsible for the creation of beer? It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that brewing beer became more mechanized, creating higher-volume businesses that men took over.

Here we are, nearly 2019, and women are still severely underrepresented in this industry. However, thanks to women who forge the way and organizations like the Pink Boots Society and the Barley’s Angels women can not only gain knowledge on this craft but succeed in this industry.

D.J. Baker: Partnering for Good Food and Gardens

Jackson, MS is full of movers and shakers; those who see the city’s potential and strive to make it better. D.J. Baker is one of those people. He is a Jackson transplant, moving here in 2015 from Oklahoma as part of his stint in FoodCorps. His passion is good food and educating people how to garden and eat cleanly.

Baker started his business, Esculent, with the hopes of one day owning a store front. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Baker.

Urban South Brewery: Tapping the Taproom to Grow Community

If you haven’t been to Urban South by now, what are you waiting for? This New Orleans gem is putting out some spectacular beers and encouraging growth in their community at the same time.

This brewery caters to locals and tourists alike. They see the need to bring in new clientele and to take care of those who are residents.  In their second year of operation, Urban South donated $30,000 in cash and product to places in their community. They hope to double that in their third year.

Put this brewery on your list of places to check out next time you are in the Big Easy.

Troy DeRego: From Baking, to Bakery, to the ‘Next Big Leap’

Our goal with this blog is to promote thought leadership and to showcase those in the southeast who are doing big things in their industries.  Both of those topics are covered when we talk about Troy DeRego. His Starkville-based bakery is taking the idea of baking crackers to the next level.

DeRego’s Grain Elevator teams up with breweries to use their spent grain (grains used to brew beer) to create delectable crackers and baked goods. (Notice that idea of collaboration creeping into the discussion again.)

This year Grain Elevator was selected as a Good Food awards finalist. Winners will be announced in January 2019, and we are excited to see where this Mississippi company will place. To keep up with Grain Elevator, be sure to follow them on Facebook. Their account is very active and fun to follow.

Craft Beer Goes Light (Lager)

Yup, we’re seeing a trend. Some craft brewers—who frequently focus on heavier beers, higher alcohol content and bigger, bolder, tasting beers—have started to brew light lagers for a few good reason: People like them.

Sometimes you just need a good, crisp, light beer. Don’t get me wrong, hops are great, and nine times out of 10 I will select an IPA over anything else, but it is also nice to have a couple of light beers to unwind at the end of the day.

Until recently, Mississippians were only able to select light beers from the macro brands—with their oh-so-macro flavors. Now, they can choose a local option to enjoy while fishing or working in the yard. Look for selections from Lazy Magnolia, Lucky Town, and Southern Prohibition. You won’t be disappointed.

Five Reasons Why Supporting Local Businesses is Important

This article was, hands down, my favorite article to write. While it seems we like the idea of supporting local, there tends to be a disconnect when it comes to “putting your money where your mouth is.”  This article dives into the importance of supporting these businesses.

Supporting local businesses is something we will continue to focus on in 2019.  If you have ideas for local businesses you would like to see us showcase, please let us know. We would love to promote and support them.

Kayaking Our Way to Clean Waters

This was the first and only guest blog of 2018.  We are grateful to Shanna Head for explaining the significance of cleaning and protecting our waterways while showcasing a fun way to do it.

We hope to hear more from Head in 2019 and look forward to ways we can help support the cause.

Local Businesses We Love for ‘Me Time’ During the Holidays

We love supporting local. (Have we mentioned that?) This post showcased a few local establishments we like to frequent. We hope you enjoyed it and had a chance to check out some of the places we suggested.  If not, there is still plenty of time. Make a point to support some local establishments in 2019.

Here’s to 2019!

We are grateful for those of you who take the time to read Small Batch. We enjoy coming up with and writing stories that we feel will be pleasurable to you guys. We are always looking for new ideas and will be bringing you some really cool topics in 2019. We hope you will continue following us. Again, if you have any topics you want us to cover, just let us know. We welcome any comments and ideas.

Have a wonderful 2019 from all of us at McLaughlin, PC!

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