Full Barrel Co-op Builds Community at Common Ground Center

We were pleased to host Full Barrel Co-op Brewery and Taproom's recent strategic planning retreat! Over a dozen volunteers, pledges and investors spent the day diving deep into their mission, vision, and values. They also hammered out bylaws and worked on marketing ideas. The day was facilitated by Cecile Green of Round Sky Solutions, a local business that does organizational consulting and facilitation. The group was grateful to have Cecile's guidance to help them stay focused and plan next steps.

To celebrate their accomplishments, the group enjoyed a potluck dinner, a tasting of their prototype homebrews (which Common Ground Center staff can attest are very tasty!), and sledding in the dark.

We had a chance to ask Matt Cropp, one of the co-op's founding members, some questions about their experience. Here's how he responded:

Q: How did the location or space impact your ability to work together & get things done?
A: The space was great for a number of reasons. It was a reasonable distance from Burlington, but far enough out that it made sense for most of the folks who came to commit to the whole day and to step away from distractions. The Common Room area was good for our meeting; it fit everyone comfortably, was easy to rearrange for different activities, and the kitchen was a really great feature. Furthermore, the guest rooms allowed participants to stay overnight, and the informal socializing and conversations that occurred during the evening was great for processing the work of the day and coming up with new ideas. Finally, a few of us ended the evening with a hike around the property, which was quite fun.

Q: There is lots of craft beer & independent brewpubs in Vermont...what sets Full Barrel apart?
A: Full Barrel's key differentiation from other brewpubs is our cooperative structure. Because we inte

nd to be owned by the community of consumers who drink our beer, our project will allow for deep and diverse avenues for broad-based involvement in our work, and that structure will allow for the focus to be on building the strongest community possible rather than having a myopic focus on profit.

Q: Do you see a synergy between what Common Ground Center and Full Barrel are trying to accomplish?
A: I think there's a lot of common ground (pun intended) between the values of CGC and Full Barrel. We're both community-centered, one of our core values is sustainability, etc.

Common Ground Center staff looks forward to watching Full Barrel develop as a business and eventually becoming members of the co-op!

For more information about hosting your own retreat at Common Ground Center, contact Jean Tufts, rental coordinator, at rentals[at]cgcvt.org.

(Photos courtesy of Charles Root and a few other folks too!)