Denton Main Street Association member, Denton County Brewing Company, is celebrating its 5 year anniversary this month. Help us celebrate Seth Morgan and his team’s accomplishments in Downtown Denton, and their continued growth and impact in our community.
Finding Purpose in Entrepreneurship
During his college days at UNT, Seth Morgan tapped into his adventurous spirit and became an exchange student in England for a year. In this Keystone-less country, he had to quickly learn to adapt his light beer loving taste buds into a more sophisticated palate for craft beer.
This life-changing experience planted a small seed in his heart that would blossom into an entrepreneurial endeavor years later.
After graduating, getting married, and obtaining a good-paying job in the corporate world, Seth became friends with a home brewer and learned the tools of the trade in 2003. Home brewing not only became an unexpected passion of his, but also a necessary escape from the daily grind of his job.
But deep down, Seth knew he wanted something more — something with a purpose.
Almost a decade later in 2012, a bad day at work became the spark he needed to do something about it (thanks to the encouragement of his wife, Jen).
That spark was opening his own brewery.
For the next few years, Seth took advantage of his traveling corporate job to meet with brewers (over 300!) all over the country. He did all the research, scouted all the available locations, and tweaked his business plan to prepare for opening his own brewery.
Thankfully, in 2015 a law passed that breweries no longer had to conduct business in industrial areas, so Seth took the opportunity to look for an available location in a commercial area.
Lo and behold, the perfect place opened up just east of the Denton square, and Denton County Brewing Company was on the verge of becoming downtown Denton’s first brewery.
Even though he wanted to open his brewery right away, there were several barriers that delayed the process. The City of Denton didn’t know how to handle this new type of business, and city laws didn’t exactly make it easy for him to get the stamp of approval — from the lack of business categories to appropriately fit a brewery in, to over 82 inspections, and everything in between.
Finally, in 2017, Denton County Brewing Company was (officially) born.
But the obstacles didn’t stop coming.
For the first 6 months after opening, they seemed to operate more as a bar than a brewery due to a very unfortunate, faulty brew system they were sold (and scammed). These extremely expensive, faulty systems were sold to brewing companies all over the country, including some in Dallas. That setback forced Seth and his team to rely on selling beers from other distributors and sell small-batch beer made on his home brew system.
After forking out the money to get yet another brew system (one that actually worked), they could finally get down to business and start brewing their own beer on a consistent basis.
Just when they started getting into the flow of things, the pandemic hit.
Then Came COVID-19
As soon as the announcement of a shutdown was going to happen, Seth brought all his staff together and told them to never forget that day — a day that they had to make an important choice.
Crisis can equal destruction, or it can equal opportunity.
Whether the pandemic would last a month or a year (or unbeknownst almost 2 years), they were given the opportunity to do something special with their life and take advantage of the situation. From helping others to being the voice of reason and a positive light in a world full of chaos and negativity, these words Seth spoke made a deep mark in each person that they still carry today.
During the pandemic and shutdown, Denton County Brewing Company not only found opportunities to pivot, but also found the silver linings in the struggle.
The shutdown gave them the time they needed to focus on improving their systems, streamlining and automating their administrative processes, and creating additional revenue streams to stay afloat. They started doing distribution (including selling in restaurants that were open before bars), got a canning machine to sell beer to-go, and started milling for other breweries and distributors.
Because of those shifts they took during the pandemic, they have continued to see profit growth from those added revenue streams, no one lost their job, and it allowed Seth to provide pay increases to employees.
As a small business owner, Seth knows firsthand that unexpected things will always happen. But thankfully, even in the worst case scenario, there's always beer behind the counter.
DCBC Celebrates 5 Years
When Seth first decided to open his own brewery, it was his mission to create a place that every walk of life can come in and visit with others. Because beer is an every-person drink, people can come together over a beer to celebrate both everything that makes us different and things we have in common.
For their 5-year anniversary party, everyone from local beer lovers to fellow Denton business owners and brewer friends from all over the metroplex came to celebrate with a beer in one hand and giving high fives with the other. They had local bands playing live music all day, lots of raffles and drawings, food trucks and more.
What makes this 5 year celebration so special is that it’s an important milestone for an entrepreneur. With over 50% of new businesses likely to fail within the first 5 years, getting past this mark is something worth celebrating.
Another long-time brewer once told Seth if you can make it to 5 years, everything in your brewery has either broken down or had an issue (which Seth has found to be true), so he has learned a lot about his business during his journey.
Cheers to the Future (& Now)
DCBC has all kinds of events going on a consistent basis that you don’t want to miss out on.
They will be releasing a NEW beer every Friday, from small-batch creations to beers going on the permanent menu.
Are you a Denton Diablos soccer fan or want to be? Come to DCBC to attend their watch parties for all away games, where Runningboards Marketing will have the game playing live on their huge digital screen! Plus, there will be “dollar Devils” (Devil’s Tears beer) specials each time the Diablos score.
DCBC continues to partner with The DIME Store, Ten:One Artisan Cheese, Karma Yoga (will be looking for another yoga opportunity since it has discontinued), and Denton Chamber of Commerce “Wake Up Wednesday” networking mixers on the first Wednesday of every month.
The Blind Fox food truck will be out at DCBC every weekend for dinner, from Thursday to Sunday.
DCBC has partnered with the City of Denton Parks & Rec to host their cornhole leagues on the patio!
Karaoke every Thursday!
Every other Thursday, DCBC will also host their disc golf league on the patio. They are also a sponsor of the new disc golf course on North Lakes Park.
- Check out DCBC’s upcoming events on Facebook.
They also have a VIP Program! For just $36 per month:
- Get one free beer EVERY DAY
- Get one specialty 4-pack every month
- Get to try new beer before anyone else
- Participate in sensory classes and training, such as Beer 101 and Behind The Scenes
- Attend “Pasture Parties” where you can see the circle of beer life, drink beer and meet the farmers who grew the grain that beer was brewed from.
- And other special parties!
They’re in the process of coming up with new can designs so they can sell in local places. Plus, they’re also looking into adding another DCBC location in the far-but-foreseeable future.
A Little Beer Trivia
Did you know….
All the wheat DCBC uses in their beer is grown locally (from Denton to Sanger). Over 100 families are benefited by us using their grain, so each glass of beer you drink makes a big impact on the livelihood of local farmers.
DCBC has multiple local partnerships. They created a light beer for the Denton Diablos called “Devil’s Tears,” and they created a beer for the Denton Parks Foundation called “Triple Play” where a dollar for each one sold goes back to the nonprofit.
- Seth is also co-founder of Orant Charities, which makes a sustainable impact in highly impoverished communities of Malawi, Africa (one of the poorest countries in the continent) through agriculture, business, healthcare, education, clean water and sanitation. On Wednesdays, DCBC has “Water Wednesdays” where proceeds are donated to support the charity, with a focus on funding clean water for Malawi.
DCBC in the Community
Seth knows firsthand the impact of being a member of the Denton Main Street Association. As a small business owner, it’s extremely important to have community, knowing others who are walking the same walk as you and providing support when you need it.
Fellow member businesses are consistent patrons of each other’s businesses, help each other get through hard times, and establish a tight-knit camaraderie. Because strength truly is in numbers. Relationships Seth has built through the DMSA have turned into friendships, and the organization has helped provide the resources and events needed to bring more foot traffic into his brewery.
Whether he is going to committee meetings or participating and volunteering in DMSA events, he truly believes his involvement is part of something bigger than himself. And he gets a lot of energy and inspiration from others who do the same alongside him within the organization.
His wife, Jen, is also on the DMSA board.
In addition to being an active member of the Denton Main Street Association, Seth is on the board of the Denton Chamber of Commerce and won the 2021 Small Business of the Year Award.
He is also on the Board and Government Affairs Committee of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild.
Author: Courtney Stucky | Aspiro Agency