Sandhills Brewing Receives Small Business Award
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Good morning! Today I am honored to present the July Small Business Award to Sandhills Brewing.
Pippin and his identical twin Jonathan developed a love for brewing and began by making beer in their basements, kitchens, and garages where they fell in love with the blend between chemistry and spontaneity. Brewing beer allowed them to be as simple or complex as they liked. After moving back to Hutchinson in 2013, Pippin began exploring the idea of opening his own business, and on April 28, 2018 Sandhills Brewing officially opened its doors.
From the beginning, this business was designed to be an exploration of Pippin’s and Jonathan’s love of brewing beer, but it was also a dream of theirs to create an environment that truly became a gathering place for locals. Their focus is on creating a space that makes people feel comfortable and welcome, and they love that many groups of regulars have found the Sandhills taproom to be just that.
The business was an experiment they didn’t know was going to work so they made the decision to start small. When Sandhills opened it was literally a warehouse with a kegerator. Their plan was that if people were liking and buying the beer, then they would expand. According to Pippin, it was super rough to start, but it did allow them to get their foot in the door and gradually begin to build their taproom. To this day, they continue making incremental improvements, including the extension of the patio which is a work-in-progress.
With Pippin’s brother Jonathan living in the Kansas City area, they opened a second location in Mission, Kansas. They are one of very few breweries to open two simultaneous locations at a small scale from the beginning. It took about six months to find the space and get the equipment for the Mission location and they opened that taproom one year after the Hutchinson location. Each location has several differences, but these differences allow each location to play to its strengths.
One other unique part of the Sandhills Brewing story is their desire to utilize as many local ingredients as they can in their brewing processes. Their love for experimentation has allowed them to focus on brewing barrel-aged beers with different types of fermentation processes that result in unique sour ales. It’s pretty amazing to be able to enjoy a beer and also hear the story behind the sourcing of the ingredients—and to know that many of them come from right near here.
Unlike most hospitality industry businesses, Sandhills Brewing has a no-tip policy. From the start, they decided to pay their staff a full, livable wage that is not dependent on tips. Instead, as a way to give back to the community, Sandhills Brewing donates any tips received from customers to local charities, which changes each month. This is a practice in both Hutchinson and Mission, and it’s a great way to support local causes in each community.
Thank you, Pippin, for all you do for our community.