Toro Creek Brewing: How A Senior Project Turned into a Brewery

Not everyone gets to drink a beer while doing their reporting, but we were the exception.

Toro Creek Brewing is a small brewery where you can only get the beer in the tasting room. Our question to begin was, how could you possibly compete with the bigger, more commercialized breweries that consumes most of the Central Coast?

We started by surveying what people knew about beer and the beer industry on the Central Coast. As we assumed, most people like the bigger breweries with beers you can get all nationally.

Brendan Cosgrove begun Toro Creek Brewing as a Senior Project at Cal Poly. He was a business major, so he knew he had to create some kind of business. He knew he wanted to incorporate beer into the mix.

“In 2008, the market for beer looked good. I foresaw what is happening now in the craft beer industry,” Cosgrove said  “I needed to make a business plan for a marketing class, and who doesn’t like beer? I saw an opportunity and went with it.”

Lena Binley was our head reporter and writer. She met Cosgrove with Ethan Roman where they went on a tour of the brewery and tasting room.

“I’ve always enjoyed drinking beer, but I found it super interesting to learn more about the production side of beer by working on this project,” Binley said. “It was fun to see the tasting room, but I really would’ve loved to take a tour of the actual brewery and hop garden. I found what Brendan had to say about brewing beer to interesting, that I wanted to learn more just out of curiosity!”

However, we did find some difficulties even for the light-hearted topic we chose.

“I found the interactivity portion of the project surprisingly difficult, but also rewarding as I feel it gave me an opportunity to exercise creativity in a way the other areas tend to lack,” Roman said. “I enjoyed finding a way to tell a story beyond using words or video. However, I think the Instagram component is a weak tool as far as furthering the story goes. People don’t look at Instagram stories to learn something, generally it’s just messing around. I know I don’t want to see something like that unless it’s from a company I’m following.”

I agree with Roman, most people don’t take the social media aspect very seriously. It could be because we are still young and in college and no one is taking anything very serious. I understand the tool of using social media, but like Roman said, it should be used by the company.

We were all happy with how the project turned out. It was an interesting topic to begin with but we knew we hadn’t to make it not a promotional piece which was the hardest part for us.

“Toro Creek Brewing was an awesome company to do a story on,” Julia Glick said. “There was so much material that the video was hard to figure out how to cut down, but it ended up coming together really nicely and I am proud of the project as a whole.”