The original location opened in Lansdale in 2018 and features live music, local art, and a kitchen. In 2022, they purchased a taproom and brewery in Ambler with hopes of expanding operations – now in progress, thanks to a partnership with Ambler Savings Bank.
“We ran out of space in Lansdale and had to figure out what to do to get more production,” said Doug Bellenger, Co-Founder and CEO, Well Crafted Beer Company.
Expanding to a second location in Ambler has allowed them to put in larger 20-barrel fermentation tanks, giving them the ability to double batch, expand distribution, and grow the business – something the first location couldn’t provide.
A Positive Partnership
“We approached Ambler Savings Bank because they were the community bank and we had heard nothing but great things,” Doug commented.
Helen Graner, Ambler Savings Bank Commercial Lending Officer, started working with Doug and his team to apply for a Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan in 2022. The SBA offers lending options that are competitive, have lower down payments, and may not require collateral for some loans.
“One of the benefits of working for a small community bank is that I am able to work one-on-one with each borrower by designing banking products and services that fit their individual business needs,” says Helen.
“We talked to Helen and told her our needs and that we want to work with one partner. Ambler Savings Bank helped craft the right financing package that allowed us to consolidate and drive the business forward,” Doug recalled.
The positive experience at Ambler Savings Bank was a result of one-on-one lending support.
“I was able to help Doug and the Well Crafted team brainstorm several options by providing a cost/benefit analysis that allowed them to purchase equipment and consolidate existing loans, which ultimately helped them achieve their goal of expanding the business,” explained Helen.
“The personal touch that we had and working with the team was amazing,” continued Doug.
Adding the tanks and taproom has doubled their capacity to brew, increasing their staff from around 30 to 50 people and extending their footprint outside of the Philadelphia suburbs into Northern Pennsylvania.
A Well-Crafted Mission
The owners, a group of college friends, made beer together in the garage for 13 years before going pro. Rick Solomon, now co-owner and head brewer, went to school at the American Brewers Guild in 2015, paving the way for the future that would become Well Crafted.
“The Well Crafted name started from the concept of well water, but it moved on to being a mission, to make great beer,” remarked Doug.
In addition to the production expansion, the loan from the Bank allowed them to add new reverse osmosis, UV, carbon and sediment filtration systems to ensure the quality is bar none.
“Brewing is the blend of art and science together,” says Nica Bellenger, Marketing Director, Well Crafted Beer Company.
“Take baking cookies, for example. Sometimes the first batch of cookies comes out great but sometimes you need to try the recipe 150 times before you get the perfect chocolate chip cookie. With our IPAs, lagers and pilsners, you can’t hide anything. The clarity of the beer, the taste of the hops, and the malt all contribute to the overall flavor. It’s really important for us to start with quality water for consistent beer flavor,” she explained.
Located in the up-and-coming Ambler Yards
The location is inside the premiere commercial space, Ambler Yards – which is comprised of a variety of businesses, from corporations to a skate park, CrossFit gym, and more.
“The beer garden has been a space that brings the community together through events like Food Truck Fridays and a variety of others,” commented Nica.
Well Crafted is also outward-focused with its desire to help the community and local charities.
“We want to use our platform as much as we can to bring people in and support issues affecting our community and other local businesses,” says Nica.
On tap, their Pils for Puppies helps raise money for a local animal shelter. They’ve also been host to fundraisers for Wissahickon Trails, Mattie N. Dixon Community Cupboard, and The ALS Association, to name a few.
Learn more at Ambler Savings Bank.