It’s not coffee but rather a passion for it that makes the CEO and Co-Founder of RISE Brewing Co. Grant Gyesky jump out of bed each day. Yes, he really does rise to every occasion to improve the way people consume coffee — four billion cups of it are served daily, after all.
“If you do not jump out of bed excited to make that day’s progress, you need to make changes until you are,” Gyesky told us when we asked him to share some insights about his journey launching the nitro cold brew coffee brand alongside childhood friends, co-founders Jarrett McGovern and Justin Weinstein, and co-founder Hudson Gaines-Ross.
Read on to learn more about RISE Brewing Co. and how it’s brewing up unique innovations in coffee since its launch in 2015.
ForceBrands: What inspired you to launch RISE Brewing Co.?
Grant Gyesky: RISE was born from a very simple idea: to create a better-for-you, better tasting beverage than the existing offerings on refrigerator shelves. Coffee is unique in that it is one of the most shared passions throughout every culture on the planet. When we discovered that, we had a real opportunity to improve the way that people consume coffee. We dove head first into making an impact on the 400,000,000 cups of coffee served per day!
FB: Coffee is a saturated and highly competitive category. What makes RISE Brewing Co. stand out from other nitro cold brews on the market?
GG: Our focus is on flavor, ingredients, and innovation. We have tried hundreds of beans from around the world and probably another hundred different brewing processes over the last four years. We did not stop until we landed on the taste profile that had the ability to raise the bar of cold brew. We also do not compromise on ingredients, period. Lastly, and what I believe allows RISE to truly stand out, is our innovation. From the beginning, we have been inventing our own products and processes without a roadmap. Our brewery is a combination of a coffee roaster, a beer brewery, and a space lab. We had to build custom equipment and create brewing techniques that were a step up from our early days in a garage brewery. Even during our earliest days, there has always been a culture at RISE Brewing Co. to innovate without limitation. It has led to the development of our citrus lines and our new oat milk-based lattes. Both are made in the country’s only shelf-stable nitro coffee can.
FB: Who is your target consumer and how are you marketing to them?
GG: We believe that all coffee drinkers will eventually become consumers of RISE. We currently find our community to be made up of young professionals who take their careers, their health, and their free time quite seriously. We like to think that RISE has the ability to fuel them through each of those passions.
FB: Let’s chat team building. How have you approached hiring at RISE Brewing Co. and how would you describe the team culture?
GG: We have a very autonomous work environment which provides incredible opportunities for our employees. I remember hiring someone last year who was a great fit for the company and after we had finalized everything he nervously said, “There is one more thing”. Uh oh, I thought. He proceeded to tell me that the short, cold winter days in New York really get to him so he likes to take a couple two-week trips to someplace warm between December and March. He does not view these as vacations as he works full 10+ hour days wherever he sets up.
It made me want to hire him more as he knows what it takes to remain inspired and engaged. He has been one of our best hires to date.
FB: Do you have any industry mentors who have helped you along the way? Do you have any best pieces of advice you could share for anyone looking to launch their own brand in the CPG space?
GG: I have found the food and beverage community in CPG to be incredibly open and helpful. I do not have one person who I reach out to on a regular basis but I instead have a network of people. For the most part, they have already made the mistakes we are looking to avoid and are happy to share those experiences.
I think the most important advice is to make sure you are enjoying the journey. It is too hard and too long to not be enjoying the day-to-day. If you do not jump out of bed excited to make that day’s progress, you need to make changes until you are.
FB: What’s ahead for RISE Brewing Co.? Do you have any partnerships with any alternative dairy brands or any new product innovations in the pipeline?
GG: We just launched our new line of Latte SKUs. This includes a Classic Latte, an Oat Milk Latte, and an Oat Milk Mocha Latte. We explored doing some partnerships with a couple of very exciting oat milk companies. We wanted to use all organic ingredients with our oat milk and were unable to find any companies that made one. So falling back to our history of innovation, we went out and made our own from an organic oat farm in Finland.
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