Three Notch’d Brewing Company
Three Notch’d Brewing Company is proud to have become one of Virginia’s largest independent craft breweries.
What began in 2013 has grown to achieve a palpable footprint throughout the Commonwealth, with a flagship Charlottesville production facility and taprooms in four different communities. Today Three Notch’d produces 15,000 barrels annually.
When Quality Matters Most
But for production manager Rob Mullin and the rest of the team at Three Notch’d, quantity isn’t nearly important as quality. “Dave, our brewmaster, has knocked the ball out of the park when it comes to juicy IPAs,” says Mullin.
This is not just a biased, in-house opinion. The independent Draft Magazine ranked Three Notch’d Minute Man IPA #10 in its rather comprehensive 2017 rundown of the country’s best IPAs, and that flagship beer remains the brewery’s top-selling beer.
Minute Man IPA is accompanied by a whole array of juicy and hazy IPAs that have brought customers into one of their taprooms time and time again.
While Three Notch’d leans on local growers and maltsters for its supply of specialty malts, it needs a larger source of quality pale malts to keep up with production quotas.
The team began using base malts—most notably Two-Row Pale and Winter Wheat—from Prairie Malt when it added a grain silo to its Charlottesville production facility. These base malts have performed well in their brewhouse, laying the foundation for an ever-growing lineup of extraordinary styles.
“With rare exceptions, Prairie Malt is in all of our beers,” says Mullin. “The quality is fantastic. Obviously, we wouldn’t be using them four years later if we had any question about the quality.”
Customer Service Is Key
Beyond the quality of its products, Prairie Malt has also impressed the Three Notch’d team with its level of service and commitment.
“The customer service that Prairie Malt offers will make it very hard for someone else to get my business,” says Mullin. “The sales team is out front, taking care of my needs. And the inside team could not be better at taking care of us an established customer."
“I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and I’ve used a bunch of different maltsters and a bunch of different suppliers, and I don’t think I’ve dealt with a grain company that is so well set up for customer service.”
Rooted in Community
More than anything, Three Notch’d is focused on its home state of Virginia and the communities in which it operates.
“We’ve found that having that tie to local communities is really essential to us,” says Mullin. “Our brewers in each community are connected. The big thing for us is collaborations with the local community—with local nonprofits, small businesses, local bands.”
In fact, the brewery uses its 7-barrel pilot system in Charlottesville to brew smaller batches for nonprofits and local organizations and events. They also do special one-offs, canning 25 to 50 cases at a time for a wedding party, for example.
This level of personalization allows Three Notch’d to remain quite connected with local communities and build brand equity across the state, and that is paying off.
“Anytime we do something like that, it deepens those ties to the local community,” says Mullin. “People have warm fuzzies for Three Notch’d because we’re able to come up with a good thing, which is essential to what we’re trying to do.”