Brewbound Podcast Episode 44: Julie Verratti Talks Expansion, Debt Management and Diversity & Inclusion in Brewing

As Denizens Brewing prepared to open its second location in Maryland’s Riverdale Park neighborhood earlier this year, co-founder Julie Verratti was “staring down the reality of not knowing what you don’t know.”

The company’s new 12,000 sq. ft. production brewery and taproom, which features a 30-barrel brewhouse, enables Denizens to produce about 10 times more beer than it did in 2018.

The expanded brewing capacity also comes with additional distribution opportunities throughout Maryland, northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Working with wholesaler partners was something Verratti wasn’t as familiar with, however. Prior to the opening of its Riverdale Park location, Denizens had self-distributed all of its beer.

But with extra brewing capacity and more beer to sell, the company needed to evolve.

So Verratti got to work vetting and selecting distribution partners.

Her process?

“Interviewing a lot of distributors; asking other distributors what they thought of other distributors; asking retailers what they think; asking breweries what they think, and narrowing it down from there,” she said.

In episode 44 of the Brewbound Podcast, Verratti discusses her experience opening a second brewing location, and explains why the company structured its debt around reasonable growth projections. She also dives into the topic of diversity and inclusion within the brewing industry and shares strategies for reaching a more diverse set of consumers.

Listen to episode 44 of the Brewbound Podcast above, as well as on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, and Soundcloud. New episodes of the Brewbound Podcast, which is co-hosted by Chris Furnari and Justin Kendall, are published every Thursday.

Episode 45 will be released on Thursday, July 18.

For questions, comments or suggestions, please email

Show Notes:

0:00 – 15:30: Chris Furnari and Justin Kendall introduce episode 44 and recap their Fourth of July vacations.

15:30 – 46:05: Furnari and Kendall interview Denizens Brewing co-founder Julie Verratti

46:05 – 1:14:07: Furnari and Kendall share takeaways from the interview, select their four-pack of all-time summer blockbusters, and do some “dumb journalist math.”

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The Brewbound Podcast features interviews with beer industry executives and entrepreneurs, along with highlights and commentary from the weekly news. New episodes every Thursday.