Two breweries with unconventional business models are trying to help each other compete in a frothy industry.
Lady Justice Brewing Co., which brews from a 300-square-foot spot in Wheat Ridge, announced this week that it will start selling kegs to Factotum.
Factotum, located at 3845 Lipan St. in Sunnyside, rotates its taps between staff-made beers and ones made from local home brewers. Lady Justice will join the brewery’s permanent lineup on Feb. 17 at Factotum’s three-year anniversary party.
Lady Justice has been using a membership model to sell its beers, said co-founder and brewer Betsy Lay. A monthly membership included access to the brewery’s nine beers in at $15 to $20 per bottle.
“We knew exactly how much to brew and when,” she said. “We’ve been debt-free since we opened, so being small is the model that works for us.”
But Lady Justice’s current brewing space is a bit too diminutive, Lay said. It will still use the production space and will sell kegs to Factotum. She said that since Lady Justice has only made kegs for one-time events, she is unsure how much more beer it will need to be on tap permanently.
The model is slightly different than Factotum’s current set up. Homebrewers bring recipes to the brewery, and for $495, Factotum will brew it and offer it on tap.
Laura Bruns, half of the brother-sister team that runs Factotum, said the move will help the breweries better share resources.
“Instead of having two owners that are doing everything, we have five,” she said. “My personal weakness is marketing, so now I’m able to bounce those ideas off of someone where that’s their strength.”
Bruns said the group was inspired to collaborate after Strange Craft Beer Co. and Wit’s End Brewing Co. announced their shared space in October.
“From that moment on we just started exploring the legal possibilities,” she said.
While Lady Justice will stay in its current space for now, Bruns said the two breweries are working toward legally being able to both brew at Factotum.