Aly Tomlin and Ralf Rosenke of Riot Brewing. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Riot Brewing makes a comeback thanks to anonymous investor

Chemainus-based craft brewery putting start-up hurdles behind it

Riot Brewing Co. is making a comeback thanks to an anonymous donor.

The difficulties encountered by the Chemainus operation were not a secret, but now it seems back on track.

“We struggled personally, financially and emotionally,” conceded co-owner Alyson Tomlin in a press release. “We had no plan for dealing with these hurdles. But we stayed positive, sought out expert help and started clawing our way back.”

Tomlin and business partner Ralf Rosenke facilitated the initial launch of the craft brewery by attracting start-up investors through good old fashioned conversation.

When stock began running out and operations all but screeched to a halt, Riot was the subject of much speculation. Tomlin and Rosenke then followed the same recipe that achieved initial success by converting a loyal customer into a vital new investor – just in the nick of time.

“I had never dreamed of investing in a brewery,” confessed the investor, who has requested to remain anonymous. “When stopping in for a quick beer one day, I started chatting with Aly (Tomlin) and I learned about the financial difficulties they were experiencing. I was really impressed with not only the product they put out, but all their achievements.

“After only a few days of watching the workings of the brewery, the comradeship of the team and the relationship they have with the community, I decided to call my investment partner and the rest is history.”

Riot Brewing Co. is now back into full scale production. As products once again start hitting the shelves in local beer and wine stores, the brewery’s tenacious and unconventional entrepreneurs say they couldn’t be more grateful for the unwavering and overwhelming community support.

“Cheers to everyone who is helping us get back on our feet after that gnarly wipeout.”

Riot has won a multitude of awards, including gold and bronze medals at the 2018 World Beer Cup Awards in Nashville, TN.

Some of that instant success was overshadowed by drawbacks. The owners claimed a lack of preparation for managing rapid growth, coupled with significant product losses following last winter’s power outages, and that led to serious cash flow problems.

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