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"Drink in the future" with TapRm

What is TapRm?

TapRm helps micro-craft beer brands become more accessible. As a craft beer lover himself, founder Jason Sherman experienced firsthand the disappointment of not finding beer locally from some of his favorite out-of-state breweries. And he wondered why only 0.2% of beer purchases take place online.

About the industry

In sectors like the beer industry, contracts between distributors and retailers often make it difficult for smaller brands to get their products in front of customers. Regulations vary from state to state. And, typically, there is a three-tiered system in which different stakeholders produce, distribute, and sell alcohol. So, Jason used his experience working as a lawyer in the beer industry to find unique existing licenses and incorporate them with other specific licenses to combine those tiers, enabling TapRm to act as the wholesaler, retailer, delivery courier, and marketer for its brand partners.

The creation of TapRm

The first brand TapRm partnered with was this little outfit in Nicaragua called Nicaragua Brewing Company that made these little, eight-ounce, very small cans that were for surfers. TapRm bought 10 pallets of beer from them- which turned out to be a lot more product than they thought. The next step was to set up shop on Squarespace. But because UPS (at the time) and FedEx weren't delivering alcohol, Jason and his wife drove all over the city making deliveries. By the end of the first eight months, TapRm had about 15 brands that were selling to them directly into their warehouse. There websites set up for each their partners, creating a marketplace where every time somebody would order, it would come through TapRm. It became a nice dual model, especially for new brands that are launching. They get awareness of the marketplace and can sell to customers on their website, while TapRm do all the work in between. Soon after that, TapRm worked with other distributors in New York City, taking the company from 15 to 100 brand partners.

The company vision

While TapRm is continuing to build its footprint in New York with its 2 Brooklyn locations, working with breweries to sell their beer to more than 650 bars, restaurants, and supermarkets, the team are planning to expand into more cities. TapRm also has a thriving online marketplace selling brands that you can't find anywhere else directly to consumers.

Customer experience

When the pandemic kind of hit in March, TapRm was already accelerating pretty quickly. It had a lot of brand partners. The marketplace was becoming more robust in New York. The company was selling a lot to bars, restaurants, and supermarkets as well. TapRm had integrated websites. TapRm had the marketplace. The pandemic hit and everybody in New York wanted beer badly delivered to them at home. Then TapRm was in chaos mode. Orders went from 10 a day to 700, yet not a single day of deliveries was missed. TapRm really felt it was its mission to keep this going.

There were breweries at the time that had called the company and said TapRm was the only reason they didn’t have to lay off staff because they could keep sending product for them. And so, TapRm really felt like it was sort of a mission to keep people employed, keep customers happy, and get more brands on board. So, the company decided to throw more bodies at this problem, and hired 40, 50 people to come work in the tiny warehouse to keep helping.

About the team

The craft beer industry is built on gathering, on socializing, on sharing, and on supporting each other. And since Jason founded this business in 2019, leadership at every level has become the most critical element of its success. It initiates ownership and empowers team members to stop making excuses and step up and lead. But it's not just taking ownership of the wins but also the losses. TapRm is a company of owners who have diverse backgrounds and skills, but they are all passionate about building a more efficient and inclusive infrastructure — together. So, they are never satisfied with their results and take responsibility as a team without any excuses or blame. Leading up the chain of command creates a culture of accountability that is crucial for accomplishing goals, completing assignments, and making decisions. It also strengthens their bond as a team.

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