Somerset’s first craft brewery has been recognized not only for its successful entry into the local economy, but also for the spirit of collaboration, community and revitalization it has embraced during its first six months.
The Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce presented its 2016 New Business of the Year Award to Jarfly Brewing Company Jan. 19, 2017, at its annual banquet.
The Chamber asks its members and the community at large to submit applications for a variety of awards given at the banquet. A committee comprised of community leaders reviews the applications and selects winners based on chamber involvement, community involvement and overall success of the business. Any New Business of the Year nominee must be a current Chamber member that has been in business for no more than 18 months.
Since opening the brewery and taproom on Aug. 4 in the former Goldenberg Furniture building on West Mount Vernon Street, owners Daniel Stroud and Delaney Stephens have been dedicated to crafting local beer “fueled by creativity and community involvement.”
“It’s through this demonstration of unity and community outreach, combined with careful attention to detail, that Jarfly has been able to offer Somerset a new take on going out and drinking a beer,” Chamber Executive Director Bobby Clue said Thursday when introducing Jarfly as the recipient of the award.
That new perspective is evident in Jarfly’s efforts to give back. Jarfly regularly donates hundreds of pounds of spent grain each week to local farmers and producers to feed livestock. And in October, the brewery introduced a charity series called Jarfly Loves, a night each month dedicated to raising awareness and assisting non-profit groups in the community. Through this program, the brewery has partnered with the Pulaski County Animal Shelter, the Young Professionals of Lake Cumberland, Somerset Junior Women’s Club and PRIDE, donating time and resources to these organizations that has helped find homes for animals, granted Christmas wishes for 81 local children and provided necessities for neighbors in need.
Stroud and Stephens worked for nearly a year to renovate the Goldenberg Furniture building, which was a retail hub in Somerset for 105 years. The taproom features bench seating and tabletops that were handcrafted by a local artisan from wood reclaimed in the original Goldenberg’s showroom. The centerpiece of the bar is a two-ton safe used as part of the store's operations since the early 1900s.
Jarfly’s flagship beers include a dry-hopped Nice Day Session IPA; Baxter’s Coffee Stout, which is infused with locally roasted coffee; and a pre-prohibition style Kentucky Common Ale. Seasonal and experimental brews have also been a focus since opening in August, and patrons are now able to purchase 32-ounce, recyclable crowlers of their favorite brew to take home. Though initially only open 4 p.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday, as popularity for the beer and atmosphere increased, Stephens and Stroud expanded the brewery’s hours in November to include 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday.
The brewery’s popularity has also expanded in industry circles — Stroud was a panelist at the 3rd annual Appalachian Food Summit in Berea in September, and the brewery has participated in several beer festivals across the state, including the Lexington Fest of Ales, Kentucky Kicks Ass Brew Fest and Ethereal Brewing Funky Farmhouse Festival.
While they are pleased with their early achievements, Stephens and Stroud are quick to give all of the credit to the collaborative members of their community — local businesses, artists, farmers, musicians, craftsmen and creative minds — for helping Jarfly bring new and engaging products and experiences to Somerset.
“Connecting with our patrons I think has been the most notable and meaningful accomplishment,” Stephens said. “Most people that come through the door, either for the first time or the 20th time, see and understand what we’re trying to do. It’s more than just making good beer.”
Delaney Stephens, left, and Daniel Stroud, owners of Jarfly Brewing Company, with Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce President Seth Atwell, right, after receiving the 2016 New Business of the Year Award Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Chamber’s annual banquet.