7 Bridges Brewery is the first of its kind in Danang. Although the city is late on the craft craze, 7 Bridges plan to convert new fans to craft beer in the city through cooly decorated Art Deco labels and a conscious approach to the consumption and sale of beer. The company plan to bridge business and social causes with a range of “good brews” made in collaboration with environmental and social groups.
“We are an impact brewing company, we focus on sustainable social and environmental change, and by the way—we make great beer,” founder and CEO Stanley Boots begins.
Vietnam is one of the top beer consuming countries in the world per capita, with growth above 7% per year. Premium beer consumption in Vietnam more than doubled between 2011 and 2016. With the craft scene centered around Hanoi and Saigon, besides 7 Bridges Brewery’s CEO Stanley Boots, we spoke to brewer Darren Provenzano, and production manager Michael Hardy about their passion for craft and ambition to do good after founding the first craft brewery in Danang.
How did your passion for craft beer begin?
Stanley: I went to law school in Oregon which exposed me to a world of craft beer—the town had 39 breweries with around 70 varieties of beer. Nearly every night after school I was at the pub “studying.” That’s when I fell in love with craft.
Darren: Living in southern California it was all about wine. Then I got into Belgian beer before starting to delve into craft beer. I think that for a brewer, transitioning from wine to craft works well. If you taste my brews you will see that many lean towards the hoppier side but without a heavy bitter bite, while the aromatics are pulled from the hops.
How would you describe the 7 Bridges brewing philosophy.
Stanley: We made a clear decision to create flavors that matched this environment and to strike a balance between both European and American Craft styles. A good example is our Vietnam Red Ale—it’s a distinct blend that uses European malts and strong American hops. So instead of calling it an IPA we’re calling it a VRA.
A year ago our beers were more European-focused because we thought that’s what the Vietnamese market would prefer. We tip our hat to Heart Of Darkness for really pushing hop-forward beers. We saw the market respond really well to their style and that helped encourage us to approach our brewing with a more liberal mindset. Once Darren came on board, we began to play with hybrids. We went from using only six varieties of hops to twenty-four!
What’s the concept behind the 7 Bridges Brewery brand?
Stanley: There are two different “bridges” we are building. We want Vietnamese drinkers to fall in love with craft. And we also want the industry to grow in a way that is both socially and environmentally sustainable.
Social and environmental outreach are a core value in your business. Tell us more about that.
Stanley: It’s easy for a company to give a percentage of its profits back to a good cause. I was raised to believe that your main purpose in life is to give back, but simply dishing out money to charities isn’t enough. It needs to be streamlined into your business model from the ground up—it’s a powerful, fast, and action-oriented way to help. From the beginning I had the desire to build charitable projects into the core of our business. For us, it’s not just what we brew, it’s what we do.
What are some community projects you’re currently involved with?
Stanley: 7 Bridges Brewery has pulled together two coalitions to release a new environmental beer series called “The Good Brews.” The soon-to-be-announced coalition involves a key food and beverage player in Vietnam, an international wildlife conservation group, a Vietnamese plant conservation group, and a Danang City research institute. The first of “The Good Brews” will be an ocean plastics focused beer, inspired by the beach conditions in Phu Quoc. The series is slated to be released by the end of summer when the coalition will officially announce the initiative strategy together.
Another project is Beer United, a beer festival in Hoi An happening on July 1st. It’s in […]