The Story of Black Rifle Coffee Company

By Bailey Winfree
Posted in #Gear
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The Story of Black Rifle Coffee Company

December 5th, 2022

6 minute read

Over the course of the last few years, Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC) has become a household name. I see their products on the shelves of local grocery stores, as well as Walmart and Sam’s Club’s over the past few years. But what is the story behind this company? This article will unpack the “need-to-know” information about BRCC.

black rifle coffee company in cooler
The successful Black Rifle Coffee Company has grown leaps and bounds in a very short time. The author explores how they got here. Photo: Black Rifle Coffee Company

“When the company first got started back in 2014 in Salt Lake City, Evan would spend hours roasting beans in his garage and making hundreds of pounds of ready-to-ship coffee on a small one-pound roaster,” said Toby Johnson, COO, Black Rifle Coffee Company.

Evan Hafer, Jarred Taylor, Richard Ryan and Mat Best founded BRCC in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2014. They wanted to give back to the community, and especially to veterans. In fact, they gave veterans significant employment opportunities within the company. As of this writing, 45% of all BRCC employees are veterans or veteran spouses, “This is about 10 times the national average,” said Johnson. “Our goal is to employ 10,000 veterans”.

Founding Principles

Since the birth of BRCC, they have held to the mission of “Serving coffee and culture to those who love America”. BRCC has remained consistent in its commitment to supporting veterans, active-duty military and first responders. They donate coffee to active-duty members as well as the broader community, and provide educational, employment and training support for veterans.

pouring black riffle coffee company
Traditionally, prototypical tough guys drank their coffee hot and black. Today, there are many more options. Photo: Black Rifle Coffee Company

Since its creation, BRCC has amassed a wide following. “According to a company survey, the top three reasons that customers purchase from BRCC are our support for the military and veterans, our great-tasting coffee, and our brand’s alignment with their values,” said Johnson.

“BRCC stands for more than high-quality coffee. We are a veteran-founded business operated by principled men and women who honor those who protect, defend and support our country,” said Johnson.

roasting coffee beans
The development of new coffee blends and flavors takes work and skill. Photo: Black Rifle Coffee Company

BRCC has remained consistent in their love and support for veterans, active-duty military and first responders. BRCC has a nonprofit organization called the BRCC Fund. According to Johnson, “The BRCC Fund was founded in 2021 to expand BRCC’s nationwide capacity for giving. The BRCC Fund is dedicated to serving and defending the principles of our country, while supporting veterans, first responders and their families, and helping conserve the great American outdoors.”

Recently, BRCC became a publicly traded company. “Going public provided capital to support BRCC’s continued growth across our direct-to-consumer business, expand BRCC’s product line, broaden distribution and extend the Outpost footprint,” said Johnson. BRCC is known for its donations of cash, coffee, and products to active military and first responders.

troops with coffee
BRCC makes its support of deployed servicemen a priority, as you can see here with these servicemen and women having received gifts of coffee from the company. Photo: Black Rifle Coffee Company

“After we went public, BRCC reorganized as a public benefit corporation to reinforce and help drive our mission, with a majority of directors being veterans,” said Johnson. “Our culture and mission are built on serving veterans, active-duty military, first responders, and those who love America. Going public didn’t change that.”

BRCC has a variety of ways that the consumer gets to connect with the company: social media, YouTube, its Coffee or Die magazine, and its podcasts.

My Tastes

BRCC was kind enough to send me a box of their coffee to try out. They sent two mugs and two bags of their coffee. The coffees were Gunship, an ultra-smooth light roast; and Just Black, a bold medium roast.

black rifle coffee delivered to writer
The author was given two mugs and two packs of coffee from the company to try out. Photo: Black Rifle Coffee Company

Before I jump into my review, I should mention that I prefer a cold brew with a little milk and a little sugar. I can and will drink hot coffee when it gets colder, but for now, I prefer a cold brew.

The first bag was the Just Black roast. According to their website, Just Black is “The coffee that started it all. There’s dark, light, and there’s just right. Our flagship coffee strikes the perfect balance between the bold and the smooth. This medium roast was developed to be the best drip coffee you’ll ever taste! Just Black features an aroma that’s a mixture of cocoa and vanilla, bold tasting notes, and brings it all home with a smooth buttery finish.”

The author believes the Gunship coffee to be the best she’s ever had. Photo: Black Rifle Coffee Company

I initially tried this as a drip and really enjoyed it. I first tried it straight black, and as someone who does not normally drink straight black coffee, I found I liked the taste. I then added my normal milk and sugar and was amazed at the flavor and smoothness of this coffee. With only milk and sugar, I could really taste the notes of the cocoa.

My next thought was, “If I like the hot coffee this much, I have to try it as a cold brew.” I made a pitcher of it this way, and went through the same steps of trying it as I did with the drip. The Just Black is amazing, no matter how you prefer to prepare it.

black rifle coffee in a can
In addition to traditional coffee blends, the company offers cans of cold brews. Photo: Black Rifle Coffee Company

The second bag sent was Gunship. According to their website, Gunship, “Like its namesake, Gunship has always soared in its role as a light roast that complements our heavy hitters with floral aromas, light caramel tasting notes, and an ultra-smooth finish. Beyond the coffee itself, the roast has become an icon that celebrates our military heritage at BRCC”.

This coffee was hands down the best coffee I think I have ever had. I had my roommates try the Gunship cold brew, and we all shared the same sentiment. As a cold brew with a splash of milk and a sprinkle of sugar, it was smooth, smelled amazing and had a great, light flavor.

founders of black rifle coffee company
The author found the company and its principles to be inspiring. Photo: Black Rifle Coffee Company


To my mind, Black Rifle Coffee is a fantastic company; their story, their mission, their social media presence and their coffee make them quite remarkable.

Evan combining his love of coffee and America, and growing the brand from a garage to this massive household name, makes for an inspiring story. On top of that, their truly amazing coffee has really won me over. I could not give more props to this company.

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Bailey Winfree

Bailey Winfree

Bailey Winfree was born and raised in Geneseo, Illinois. She grew up knowing Springfield Armory quite well, as her father has been an employee of the company for as long as she has been alive. From a young age, she was taught firearm safety and learned how to shoot from her father. Because she grew up around Springfield Armory, she has always had an immense love for the company. Now, she is a Senior at St Ambrose University, studying Public Relations and Strategic Communication and Marketing.

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