It’s a partnership that has worked well and helped spread the wealth just a little bit.
“I would just highlight the word grateful,” Josh Malcolm at Oakdale-based brewery Dying Breed expressed, “hopefully that’s a resounding term that comes out and it shows in our actions.”
Malcolm, along with partners Dan Wood and Joe Novotny, all expressed continued thanks for the community’s support as they’ve worked to open Oakdale’s newest brewery. As a thank you, they collaborated with Other Half Brewing in New York to create a hazy IPA called “All Together.” The mission for this brew is that proceeds made from it will go back into a nonprofit to help the local community.
“We really wanted to do something to pay back the community for how great they’ve been,” Novotny shared. “Some breweries actually gave the money back to their employees, some took a portion and donated it back. We donated a hundred percent back to the bars and restaurants in Oakdale.”
When Novotny first heard about this collaboration, about 200 breweries had already joined in. As of last Thursday, 865 have partnered with Other Half across all 50 states as well as 53 countries.
Dying Breed decided to partner with the Oakdale Enrichment Society, a local nonprofit, with the idea of giving back to local businesses. OES helped the brewery connect with these bars and restaurants and will be the ones cutting the check to each of them.
“We didn’t even have to think about it, we just said ‘yes, let’s do this!’” Cherilyn Bairos, vice president of OES relayed, “we can be that link.”
Oakdale Enrichment Society’s mission statement is “Dedicated to enriching our community by creating experiences meant to keep people here in our town versus finding entertainment elsewhere. We are ambassadors bringing community together.”
It’s safe to say that when partnering with Dying Breed, they’re able to achieve this goal. Members of OES joined in recently with the staff at Dying Breed for the presentation of the oversized check – which will be broken down into smaller amounts by OES to help out multiple businesses.
Oakdale City Manager Bryan Whitemyer assisted in the effort by providing Dying Breed and OES with a list of local establishments. On Thursday, Novotny and his fellow team members had already called a few of them to share the news.
The All Together brew launched early May and initially was only available through curbside pickup. Malcolm, Novotny, and Wood made the best of it and put on drive-thru concerts for customers picking up orders. In fact, some of the bands that played for them – like Willy Tea Taylor and the Randy Mandy Band – donated their tips back to the cause.
Though they began their new brewery venture with just a soft opening and curbside pick-up, all three partners were surprised by how many people came to support them and grab a beer.
“It definitely allowed us to do a slow start and get a feel for what the demand was going to be,” Wood explained. “We learned we need to start brewing early on.”
Initially, just Malcolm, Novotny, and Wood were working at the brewery with their families. They quickly realized they needed to add some more members to the team, especially as they were able to start opening up to the public about a month ago.
“We have 17 employees as of today,” Malcolm said. “We hired a brewer and a brewer assistant the first week of May because with the drive-by at the end of April, it just became us brewing and cleaning and our normal jobs. The support was more than we’d anticipated for.”
With all three men working full-time jobs, only being open for a few hours in the evening for curbside pick-up for their beginning stages, relying on family to help service the brewery, and all other COVID-related restrictions, the trio still managed to raise $8,333 to support the cause.
“We’re just really proud to give this donation back to Oakdale,” Novotny expressed on Thursday night, June 18 as he, Malcolm, Wood, and their wives, Kristi, Kathleen, and Kristine, gathered up on Dying Breed’s stage to present the check to members of OES. Novotny continued, “So I know it’s 29 bars and restaurants out there, and when you do the math, it’s just under three hundred bucks (per business), but right now, paying a PG&E bill – anything helps ... and in a world where there’s not a lot of good news, this is good news.”
Overall, the term grateful is definitely resounding. Just as Dying Breed is grateful for the Oakdale community for showing up and supporting them despite redirected opening plans, so the local businesses that will be receiving their portions of these checks have already expressed how thankful they are.
“And we’re grateful Oakdale has an appetite for beer,” Wood added with a laugh.
Though the All Together beer will no longer be on tap, as it was for this special occasion, Wood assured that there’s still a hazy available and they’re bringing new brews in all time.
Dying Breed is at 963 Shepard Court, Suite B in Oakdale and is currently open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturdays noon to 10 p.m.; and Sundays noon to 8 p.m.
For more information, visit their website dyingbreedbrewing.com.