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Client Stories

RISE to the Top

The team behind RISE Brewing Co. turned a craving into a new concoction, creating an organic coffee drink that’s won the attention of restaurants, grocery stores, offices and even a few sports teams.


In the early days of 2015, three longtime friends—Grant Gyesky, Jarrett McGovern and Justin Weinstein—were searching for a tasty and organic coffee to fuel their on-the-go lifestyles. But to their surprise, there were limited options available beyond the high-sugar bottled coffees and energy drinks that lined grocery store shelves.  

With no intention of starting a business, just looking to quench their thirst, Gyesky, McGovern and Weinstein began cold-brewing small batches of coffee inside their New York City apartments. The group—which soon expanded to include Hudson Gaines-Ross, who was brewing his own coffee products, and Melissa Kalimov, who brought a strong background in strategy and operations—found additional inspiration from the beer industry. They started making batches of coffee in kegs with nitrogen gas, and RISE Brewing Co. was born.

 

An Unexpected Breakthrough

A brewing mistake gave RISE’s five co-founders the drink they’d been craving. When they inadvertently reversed the flow of nitrogen gas from ‘in’ to ‘out’ during the brewing process, that particular batch was infused with nitrogen—resulting in a brew more closely resembling a robust stout than a typical cup of coffee. 

“As soon as we sipped that accidental batch of coffee, there was a moment when we looked at each other and, without saying a word, knew that we’d tapped into something special,” said Gyesky, who is now RISE’s CEO. 

Despite their lack of experience in the coffee industry, the group was optimistic that their new creation was worth sharing. Within a matter of weeks, they began packaging up mini-kegs of nitrogen-infused coffee in Gyesky’s garage and driving them to bars, restaurants and juice shops across New York City. 

 

A Swift RISE

The co-founders soon found their first client, a Brooklyn restaurant with an espresso machine that had fatefully broken earlier that week. After RISE stepped in with one of its nitrogen-infused cold brew kegs, it was an instant hit and restaurant patrons immediately started requesting orders for their own workplaces.

It wasn’t long before RISE Brewing started regular coffee keg deliveries to corporate offices nationwide, most notably several professional baseball clubhouses.  

After months of overnight brewing out of Gyesky’s garage, the RISE team scaled its production and distribution to fulfill sales across the country. It began packaging its cold brew in aluminum cans, giving the product its signature “roar” upon opening. 

Today, RISE distributes cans of its brews across North America online and through major grocery chains, along with kegs for many offices, restaurants and professional sports teams from its brewery in Stamford, Conn. Its product offerings have also expanded to include new flavors, dairy alternatives like oat milk and collaborations with local breweries to offer coffee-infused lagers. 

 

A Trusted Relationship 

With RISE’s rapid expansion, its co-founders knew the importance of having a commercial banking team with beverage industry expertise and a deep understanding of high-growth startups and solutions tailored to scale with them. 

From supporting the company‘s financial needs and simplifying treasury management with Cashflow360SM, to assisting with the Paycheck Protection Program when the pandemic hit, RISE’s JPMorgan Chase commercial banking team has helped the company navigate business challenges and unleash growth every step of the way. Rise also works in partnership with the firm’s Commercial Banking’s Beverage Banking and Corporate & Investment Banking’s Consumer Products teams.

“Our JPMorgan Chase banking team delivers the financial capabilities and insights that our business needs to be successful today, while helping us look around the corner to plan for what’s next,” said Ryan Williams, RISE’s Vice President of Finance & Operations. “Their expertise and ability to move with speed will continue to play an important role in RISE’s journey.”

 

Next on Tap

With some exciting plans on the horizon, the RISE team hasn’t slowed down experimenting with new and innovative flavors, ingredients and brewing techniques—just as its co-founders did in apartments six years ago.

“This is only the beginning of the RISE story,” Gyesky said. “As we continue advancing toward our long-term goal of developing a full line of organic beverages, the genuine curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit that led to our very first RISE cold brew keg in 2015 will always remain our driving force.”

 

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