Owners of Montucky Cold Snacks
Jeremy – 31
Chad – 33
Where do you live now?
If you weren’t doing this, what would you do instead?
Jeremy – I’d be in grad school getting an MBA
Chad – I probably would have stuck with my day job [as an electrical engineer] until I found something better.
For Jeremy Gregory and Chad Zeitner, success means giving back. And selling cheap beer.
The two Montana natives teamed up in 2011 when they met through a mutual friend. Both wanted to start a brewery, but when they discovered 406 and Bridger Brewing were set to open, they changed course.
“We decided to go with a light [lager], to try and compete with PBR, since that’s what all the skiers and college kids drink,” Gregory said.
They got down to business, and since late 2012 Montucky Cold Snacks have been stocked in bars, gas stations and liquor stores statewide. Riding Montana pop culture, the 16-ounce cans are branded with the mountains of the 1990’s-era license plate, and a running white horse.
Right away they chose to give away 8 percent of profits to charitable organizations, and although margins have been thin, the duo has donated approximately $700 in cash and $5,500 worth of beer, which the nonprofits then sell at fundraisers.
Cold Snacks allows customers to suggest recipients, which have included Helena’s Vigilante Bike Park, Tanner Olson Memorial Fund, Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Big Sky Youth Empowerment, Haven, Thrive, Eagle Mount, Zoo Montana and Micros for Mamas.
But competing with big domestics is no small task, particularly since a Cold Snacks six-pack sells for between $5.50 and $6.50. To cut costs, Montucky Cold Snacks contracts a brewer in Lacrosse, Wisc., but the plan is to open a brewery near Bozeman in the next year.
“If we had 1 percent of the market, the amount of money we’d give back at 8 percent would be phenomenal,” Gregory said.
With distribution in more than 300 locations statewide, plus Portland, Ore. and Seattle, Wash., perhaps they’re on the way. – Emily Wolfe