DEPARTMENT: Carbondale Creative District

In July 2018, Magazine by Aly SanguilyLeave a Comment

The Heart of a Business

It’s all in the family: Batch Founder Aly Sanguily, daughter Harlow, and husband Chase Engel, Brew-master and CEO, Roaring Fork Brewing Company

By Batch Founder, Aly Sanguily

Passionately owning a business under the umbrella of the Carbondale Creative District and personally on the chair for CCD, I have been consistently inspired by CCD and our town and the passion to make it stand out, and enhance it, while still holding true to its purpose and preserving its history. Improvements do not happen overnight for a small town. It takes lots of community hands-on help, thoughtful planning and executing, grant writing, and a whole lot of positive action to make things happen. Our community relies on its small businesses to play a large part in that and to host space for those amazing brain storming sessions. I’ll admit from hands on experience that it helps to pair those sessions with a craft beer made right here in our one of a kind valley.

I have been told that my husband (Brew-master and CEO for Roaring Fork Beer Co) makes the beer great and that I give that beer a life.

Over the last four years, I’ve learned what that really means as a business owner in a small town, trying to prosper, and find my place under Carbondale’s sun.  When Chase and I started our business plan for RFBC almost 5 years ago, we were 29 and feeling anxious, motivated and somewhat terrified. We both knew that producing fresh, approachable and non-pretentious beer was the most important goal, but we also knew that we wanted to be fully philanthropic; and at the time, we did not know how much that would evolve to where it is today.

As Director of Brewery Experience (Marketing, Tasting Room and Special Events) I’ve always wanted to celebrate each release of a beer with a party for a purpose, and in turn, we have had more parties than beers four years later. That’s been a good thing. Celebrating a local farm, a new series of paintings from a local artist, water and environmental conservation, non-profits, chefs and anyone trying to follow their own dreams, quickly became our identity as a business.

It has also helped me to find my own identity as a female entrepreneur and also as a citizen.

Custom taps by Kenichi Woodworking for Glenwood Adventure Caverns. Several Carbondale artisans have ties to the Caverns and RFBC’s presence on tap there symbolizes the spirit of collaboration within the valley’s business community.

RFBC threw so many parties at the old tasting room on Dolores Way, that at times, I did wonder, Are we being cohesive with our brand and the actual beer? Or are we just hosting space for anyone that has something to celebrate?  It was certainly the ideal (to us) location to build our company at and share our passion of what a really good craft beer should taste like while executing successful events in a somewhat difficult location of town. We were lucky to share a neighborhood with other incredibly talented and like-minded artisans like SILO, Osmia, Board by Design, Kenichi Woodworking and so many others that not having a packed house every day of the week was not a stress because we loved what we were doing and who we shared walls with. I quickly realized that the vibe we were creating was the vibe we were receiving.

Carbondale has an undeniably special existence and something of a fiery passion in everything that it does. That comes from the people that live here and the small businesses that have the opportunity to hold space and heart for its community.

Carbondale’s Business Community: Unmatched

I’ve found it a challenge to find a town that shares such close connections with its local businesses like Carbondale does. With statewide distribution for RFBC and a new tasting room location on Main Street called Batch (aka my blood, my heart, my all), we have been able to elevate our connection with our community as well as visitors, and it is deeply felt when you walk into our space at Batch, or so I have been told.

We always hope to set an example and to be an inspiration for other businesses to be involved in more than just themselves. I can promise that there are greater rewards than they would expect. A word to other small businesses, new and old– don’t be scared or intimidated to jump in socially with this community, because in this current moment of our times, it seems more beneficial to open the doors than to shut them.  This town and the people are spirited, passionate, intense, turbulent and kind and I am happy to serve them a cold beer while they are on their quests to build a better place to play, live and visit.

Open the doors. Tear down the walls. Make moves.