Local brewing company growing through events, food and brews
Published 11:00 am Saturday, July 8, 2023
NILES — Niles Brewing Company has continued to grow through events, food and, of course, beer, since opening in 2020.
Owners Brandon and Alyssa Townsley have applied a variety of ideas to build their customer base and create an entertainment destination in downtown Niles.
The most attended of their events is the weekly Monday Night Trivia. Hosted by Alyssa, along with occasional guest emcees including local business owners and professional wrestlers, the event is usually the busiest two hours of their week. With many businesses closed on Monday nights, NBC has created a reason for customers to head downtown.
“We wanted to offer something for people that is fun,” said Brandon. “We love trivia.”
The Townsleys focus on topics that they know well, bringing in their favorite fandoms and drawing in the fans who love them. Themes like Harry Potter regularly fill the room. The subjects range from specific TV shows or movies to professional wrestling and more general trivia. On July 17th, they are partnering with the Niles District Library for a Literary trivia night. NBC also offers their space for private parties, with the option to book Alyssa to host trivia.
Another popular attraction is the Boozy Book Club. A regular and growing group of readers join to discuss a new title each month. Each attendee rates the books and takes part in thoughtful discussion led by Alyssa. Those who attend the meeting can suggest books to read and vote on the next book. The discussion and community continues in the Facebook Group with over 130 members.
“I love Book Club so much,” said Alyssa. “All the people that join us are fantastic.”
Still in its first year, the club has grown to the point where participants in July will now have two different nights they may attend, in order to make sure everyone can fit. Plenty of participants are not beer drinkers and attend for just the discussion and non-boozy drinks, such as soda or hot chocolate.
Alyssa has multiple event ideas she would like to try out in the coming months. NBC is especially interested in continuing to collaborate with other businesses. The Townsleys see the downtown business community as a unified force, working together to make a better city.
“It’s collaboration over competition,” Alyssa said.
“The more synergy we create down here, the more it benefits everyone,” Brandon added.
NBC is known for its ever-changing selection of unique beers, leaning often into unexpected flavors unfound in other breweries. Their newest offering is the recently released Sunset Milkshake IPA Series, with flavors including vanilla, strawberry, mango, and a watermelon collaboration with South Bend Brew Werks and Studebaker Brewing Company. For those unable to find their flavor in the house selections, they also offer a full bar, including beers from other breweries large and small, and a variety of cocktails. Rounding out the selections is a food menu of pub snacks and hot dogs. Additionally, customers are welcome to bring food from other restaurants into the brewery. Though he occasionally sees fast food packaging, most people use the opportunity to patronize local eateries, which is intentional.
“The idea is to support local,” Townsley said.
They are also working on ideas to extend the menu. Though the small kitchen limits options, they continue to apply creativity to bring in more offerings. NBC soon hopes to soon offer bagel sandwiches, including options such as chicken salad and peanut butter & jelly.
The brewery will be taking advantage of the new open space in front of their building, thanks to the recent streetscape renewal downtown. A few picnic tables will allow patrons to enjoy their beverages and snacks while sitting in the summer sun. As a member of the downtown social district, customers can also order their drinks to go, allowing them to wander downtown in the designated areas while they sip their beverages. Visitors to the Wonderland Cinema or Wings, Etc. will find NBC beers on tap.
Niles Brewing Company regularly posts on social media to update customers on events, new food, and new beer. More information can be found at nilesbrewing.com.
Justin Flagel is the founder of Red Chuck Productions, where he writes, tells stories, and creates new media. Follow his work at redchuckproductions.com. Feedback can be directed to email@example.com.