With Tom Whisenand (Co-Owner), Andy Kiekhafer (Multimedia Producer), Jon Eager (Brewer)
Northeast’s Original Taproom meets Northeast’s landmark diner. A few months back, we brewed a classic style root beer for our dear friends at Ideal Diner and voila! Ideal Root Beer was born. It was our first time brewing a non-alcoholic beverage through our system and it turned out pretty dang tasty. We chatted with one of our co-owners, Tom Whisenand, multimedia producer, Andy Kiekhafer, and brewer, Jon Eager, to get to the “root” of this collaboration.
How did this collaboration with Ideal Diner come around?
Tom: “It just seemed like a natural thing for Indeed to do. Myself and many Indeed employees love eating at the Ideal Diner and we love the owner Kim (the owner of Ideal Diner) and her employees. Speaking with Kim, I learned that she was having a hard time getting soda in keg form for her old school soda dispenser. That got me thinking about making her at least one of her sodas.”
Tell me about the root beer brewing process and what ingredients are used.
Jon: “Each time we brew the root beer, we try out a new method of brewing as our knowledge and techniques evolve. As far as ingredients, we use a secret percentage of high quality honey and cane sugar, and the sugars we use are all natural. I think our best and most creative non-alcoholic beverages are yet to come.”
Pretty sweet logo. What was going through your mind when creating the visuals for this collaboration?
Andy: “Thanks! I wanted a logo that felt authentic to both Indeed and Ideal Diner. I think both brands have their own sense of nostalgia and root beer is an awesome way to bring two neighborhood business together”
What is the relationship with Indeed Brewing and Ideal Diner?
Tom: “I think a lot of our employees would describe our relationship by saying ‘Breakfast Buddies’ which are the Ideal Diner's delicious and convenient breakfast sandwiches often spotted at morning meetings. Seriously though, I see our relationship revolving around being neighbors and like-minded businesses that really care about Northeast, and love being part of the community.”
Do you think it's important for local businesses to collaborate together?
Tom: “Absolutely. We live in a world where everything is being mass produced and most of the profit is going to a very small number of people at the very top. This collaboration with Ideal Diner is a great example of two small businesses finding something to work on together that is mutually beneficial, fun, and fits with each of our company's values.”
Okay so the real question is...what's your favorite dish from Ideal Diner?
Tom: “I officially have a ‘usual’ at the Ideal Diner and it is not on the menu... It’s a California Chicken Sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, raw onions, and mayo on a bun, with potato chips.”
Jon: “Let's not even pretend that anything could ever match the quality of a breakfast buddy on a muffin. You know it, I know it.”
Andy: “I love breakfast food. My go to is the ‘Working Man’ breakfast.”
And there you have it. The love of diner food really does bring us all together. Head into Ideal Diner to try the Ideal Root Beer or swing into our taproom for a taste! Cheers!