In early 2015, 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, the three longtime friends began cold-brewing small batches of coffee inside their New York City apartments. The group soon expanded to include Hudson Gaines-Ross, who was already brewing his own coffee products, and Melissa Kalimov, who brought a background in strategy and operations. They started making batches of coffee in kegs with nitrogen gas, and RISE Brewing Co. was born.
RISE began searching for an innovative way to make larger batches of their cold brew. They researched the benefits of infusing it with nitrogen and storing it in kegs. This ultimately gave the co-founders the drink they’d been craving—one more closely resembling a robust stout than a typical cup of coffee. The cold brew process made their coffee taste naturally sweet while the nitrogen infusion gave a beautiful cascade and added a smooth, frothy, “latte-like” experience. This was all achieved without the addition of cream or sugar.
As soon as they tasted their innovation, they knew they had tapped into something special and were driven to share their nitro cold brew with the world.
Within a matter of weeks, the group moved brewing operations out of McGovern’s apartment and began packaging mini kegs of nitrogen-infused coffee in Gyesky’s garage and driving them to bars, restaurants and juice shops across New York City.
The co-founders soon found their first client, a Brooklyn restaurant with an espresso machine that had broken earlier that week. 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 started regular deliveries to corporate offices nationwide, most notably several professional baseball clubhouses.
After months of overnight brewing out of Gyesky's garage, RISE 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, and also distributes kegs for offices, restaurants and professional sports teams from its brewery in Stamford, Connecticut. Its product offerings have also expanded to include new flavors, dairy alternatives such as oat milk and collaborations with local breweries to offer coffee-infused lagers.
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.
JPMorgan Chase's Commercial Banking team has helped RISE navigate business challenges and unleash growth every step of the way. This has included supporting the company's financial needs and simplifying treasury management with Cashflow360SM and assisting with the Paycheck Protection Program when the pandemic hit. RISE also works with Commercial Banking's Beverage Banking unit and the Corporate & Investment Bank’s Consumer Products team.
"JPMorgan Chase delivers the financial capabilities and insights that RISE needs to be successful today while working with us on a personal level to help us plan for what's next. Their expertise and ability to move with speed will continue to play an important role in RISE's journey." - Jarrett McGovern, RISE Co-Founder, Chief Creative Officer
With some exciting plans on the horizon, RISE hasn't slowed down experimenting with new and innovative flavors, ingredients and brewing techniques—just as its co-founders did in apartments years ago.
"This is only the beginning of the RISE story. As we continue advancing toward 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." - Grant Gyesky, RISE Co-Founder, CEO
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