Trophy Brewing Co. Is About More Than Just Beer and Pizza

10 years of impact on Raleigh

Over the past 10 years, Trophy Brewing Co. has churned out nearly a thousand-some beers—but the brand is about more than just beer. The award-winning brewery has also spent the last decade contributing to the community in immeasurable ways. For starters: A big chunk of those labels were brewed in partnership with—and to benefit—local nonprofits, community organizations
and beyond. 

To wit, the brewery has created collaboration beers for Note in the Pocket, The Women’s Center, Pope House Museum, Dix Park and Planned Parenthood—to name just a few—as well as partnered with such orgs as Raleigh Pride and the LGBT Center of Raleigh for its annual Run for Love 5K (taking place June 3 this year), and Healing Transitions for its Trophy Trot. This month, Trophy is also doing an orange wine event for Wear Orange/National Gun Violence Awareness Day at State of Beer

Since Trophy’s inception, the team’s top priority has been to give back. “We always wanted to become a bigger part of the community,” says Trophy co-owner Chris Powers. “We make it a priority. It’s something we think about on a regular basis—like what can we do?”

It started with putting nonprofit imagery and QR codes on cans that were distributed across the Triangle as a way to establish authentic connections. It worked—and Trophy’s contributions to the community have only escalated since. 

Take the pandemic, for example. The Trophy team saw how much the community—and particularly those in the food and beverage industry—were hurting. And, so, they started a public pantry of sorts, serving up the likes of food, toilet paper, etc., open to all.

“We’re still focused on running a business and trying to make money 80–90% of the time,” says co-owner David Meeker, “but if we can give 10–20% of our time to help the cause, we want to be doing that. And hopefully other businesses see it working for us and do it too.”

It’s not unusual for a brewery such as Trophy to provide so much to the community, given the craft beer industry as a whole is pretty generous, according to Chief Brewing Officer Les Stewart. But it’s an MO the entire team stands behind—and one that’s constantly evolving as they think up new ways to be
great neighbors. 

“Through the partnership we have as a team, as well as now in our community—because it is our neighborhood, it’s where we live—it allows us to really continue growing our roots and leave this place better than it started,” says COO Rebecca Couch.

Adds Stewart: “One of those ways we look at our business model is it’s valuable. It’s a good business practice to reinvest in our community. We see people appreciate us for that and come back to our taprooms for that.” Clearly, the love goes both ways.

Albright Studio

Trophy Treasures

  • Trophy Pizza
  • Trophy Maywood 
  • Maywood Hall & Garden
  • Young Hearts Distilling 
  • State of BeerBusy Bee + The Hive (now defunct/precedes official co.)
    Trophy Tap + Table (now defunct)

Trophy Stats

  • 1st brewery 500 sq. ft. —> now production area 15K sq. ft. (then till now)
  • 400 barrels of year —> 5K barrels per year (then till now)
  • Top 20 brewery in state by volume
  • Largest self-distributing brewery in Triangle
  • No. 2 user of NC grain
  • 120 employees

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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.