In the midst of the recession, Laughing Dog Brewing is breathing fresh energy into a well trenched beer industry.
Laughing Dog Brewing was started by Michelle Douglass and Fred Colby in 2005. Colby was a home brewer for many years and won several home brew competitions. So with Colby’s passion for good hand brewed beer they decided to put their hard work into their own business and opened Laughing Dog Brewing.
Laughing Dog is profitable and thriving. Their beers have won several awards, ranging from bronze to double gold. The brewery has also been awarded the 2006 Chamber Small Business Appreciation Award. Their distribution network has grown to 11 states. They brew twelve different beers, consisting of Ale, Reserve and Seasonal, with the best seller being Alpha Dog.
In 2010 Laughing Dog was in need of a larger space for production and recolated to a 10,000-square-foot space on Highway 95, in the former Kmart building. The new site provided not only a larger manufacturing capacity, but also a larger tap room with an interactive high definition golf game, electronic dart board, and outside seating. Tours are available on a daily basis and canine pals of Benny, the mascot of Laughing Dog Brewing depicted on the logo, are welcome.
Idaho Small Business Development Center Business Coach Mike Wells who has been coaching Colby and Douglas said, “Fred and Michelle are perfect business owners to work with, they are passionate about their business, committed to a quality product and have a vision of what their future business model will look like. They also grasp the importance of business fundamentals, such as profit margins and customer service.”
Douglass attributed part of the business’s success to the Idaho SBDC, saying “The coaching and knowledge the Idaho SBDC has provided to help with business decisions and expansion has been great. At any stage of business from startup to growth, they are a wealth of information.”