Article for the Times Call, Vince Winkel
A pair of Longmont's newer businesses are brewing up a partnership that will bring new beer downtown and more opportunities for workers.
The brewing started this week, at 5:30 Thursday morning, when Ryan Wibby of Wibby Brewing and Mark Sample of Samples World Bistro began the meticulous process of making their new German-style beer, Downtown Hop.
The hoppy helles bock will be sold at Wibby Brewing and Samples World Bistro starting January 21, and more new brews are planned down the road.
But the collaboration goes further than simply making beer.
Samples World Bistro is under the umbrella of Sample Supports, a Longmont-based agency with a focus and commitment to improving the quality of life of persons with developmental disabilities. Sample Supports, founded by Mark and Carmen Sample in 2010, helps these individuals train for work and find jobs. The couple opened Samples World Bistro restaurant and bar on Main Street in June.
"We hope to include some people with disabilities that have the skills to come here to Wibby and can learn about this," said Carmen Sample. "We hope in future cycles of the beer we can have employees with disabilities actually help to create the beer."
In addition, Sample Supports clients will be called upon to do landscaping work at the brewery.
"We opened the bistro with collaboration in mind, wanting to collaborate with all of the downtown businesses," Mark Sample said. "I really feel like the rising tide is going to raise all ships, and downtown just keeps getting better and better."
The bistro has also collaborated with The Roost restaurant, sharing some of their staff to give Samples clients an opportunity to gain work experience at other community locations.
On Thursday, Wibby Brewing also announced that they will begin canning beer at their Emery Street facility in February. The beer will be available for the first time at local liquor stores.
Sample Supports marketing manager Tiffany Holcomb is confident that more collaboration across downtown Longmont is on the horizon.
"I think this is the perfect marriage of two local, downtown businesses," said Holcomb. "Mark and Ted take it a step further. It's not just about their businesses, it also comes to all the downtown businesses. Things are changing here."
Vince Winkel: 303-684-5291, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/vincewinkel