DYERSVILLE, Iowa — Sometimes brewing the beer isn’t the most difficult part of the process.
Earlier this year, as the owners of Textile Brewing Co. were finalizing work on a light ale, they embarked on the difficult task of determining its name.
“It is kind of like having a baby,” Carol Olberding said with a laugh. “You have to come up with a name. And eventually, something just sticks.”
Carol and her husband, Tom, who co-own the Dyersville brewery, eventually settled on two names for the beer: TrALEblazer and Bobcat. The former is a nod to the mascot at Beckman Catholic High School in Dyersville, while the latter acknowledges that of Western Dubuque High School in Epworth.
The Olberdings decided that a portion of profits from the beer’s sales would be distributed to the high schools that inspired its names. Moreover, they gave area residents a chance to determine where that money would go.
Customers who order the light ale can choose whether it will ring up as a TrALEblazer or a Bobcat. Their choice determines where the proceeds will go.
Through the first quarter of sales, the TrALEblazer has generated $860 for Beckman, while proceeds from the Bobcat have yielded $350. The Olberdings plan to present a check to each school in January, which will include proceeds from both first- and second-quarter sales.
Carol is confident it will be a significant chunk of change.
“That beer is our biggest seller, hands down,” she said.
The promotion holds a special meaning for Tom Olberding, who graduated from Beckman in 1984.
He lived outside the area for three decades, residing in Georgia for the majority of that time. The Olberdings moved back to Iowa in 2015 and made their way to Dyersville two years later.
They opened Textile Brewing Co. at 146 Second St. NE in July.
“To move back to Dyersville and get reacquainted with the community, that has been a great experience,” he said. “Doing something like this and giving back to the schools is such an honor. It is kind of surreal.”
Administrators at both schools are thankful for the donations.
“We are always grateful for any business that wants to contribute,” said Beckman Principal Marcel Kielkucki. “Businesses contribute in different ways. Some prefer to do in-kind donations. (Textile) is doing it in a way that works for them.”
Tom Olberding said he hopes some of the proceeds from the beer sales will support art, band and music activities at Beckman. He also noted that he has been collecting “wish lists” from Beckman teachers and hopes to provide them with some of the items they desire.
Jacob Feldmann, principal at Western Dubuque High School, said the Textile contribution will support upcoming service days, during which students carry out volunteer projects in the community.
“When the schools and the businesses and the community are working together it is a great thing,” said Feldmann. “I think it is important for our kids to see that.”