From the November/December 2020 issue of the Rincon Voice
The Rincon Economic Development Corporation (REDCO) has been hard at work for the Rincon Tribe through the rebranding and success of the Rincon Reservation Road Brewery.
Early in 2020, the REDCO board took a hard look at what components were necessary to achieve ultimate success at the brewery. While the board has experience with a diverse collection of business acumen, we realized we needed someone at the brewery who was an expert in the beer field.
In March of 2020, we hired Marc Martin to fill that position. He is a senior level executive with significant accomplishments in the Beverage and Franchising industries. His focus is in increasing sales to nearby casinos, hotels and restaurants. Before we could get too much traction, COVID shut down restaurants, bars and casinos, which unfortunately, directly impacted the re-branding and re-launch of the Rincon Reservation Road beer. Marc, being a result driven entrepreneur, pivoted and worked to distribute beer to virtual beer tasting events, which cleared out a significant amount of stock in the warehouse.
“The only mistake is if you don’t recognize what isn’t working, change it, and then build off the change,” said Ruth-Ann Thorn, Chair of the Rincon Economic Development Corporation. “Change is not always easy, but we have seen big things happening in spite of all that 2020 has thrown at the Rincon Reservation Road Brewery.”
Through the spring and into summer, came improved recipes that were put into newly designed cans. The outdoor beer garden was successful and beer sales started to increase. Quickly, the Oasis Blonde, named after Rincon’s own oasis, was the number one selling beer. Into the fall, despite COVID curves, the brewery was tenacious and endured, similar to what the Rincon people have done for generations.
Beyond the day-to-day operations, REDCO is actively building brand awareness of the very first brewery in Southern California that is owned and operated by a Tribal Nation. Marc continues to work daily on sales of kegs and cans and self-distributes in a borrowed truck. He cautiously announced a huge win for the 3R brewery, which is a specially packaged “Tribal Variety” 12-pack, that will be soon found in regional Costco’s just in time for the holidays. The Rincon Tribe can be proud to find this Native-owned product nestled onto the hallowed shelves of this mega-retailer.
A brand is not just sales and some may be critical of the path the REDCO board has taken with the brewery, as related to the slow rise of its success. Be assured that we are strategic in our approach of recreating a good brand, to what we now consider a great brand with lots of upward potential.
Each member of the REDCO board is proud of the work we get to do for the Rincon Tribe and we are just getting started.