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April 09, 2020

Fishtown brewery spiked with nostalgia and social impact

OnUp Innovators features Trevor Hayward, creative mastermind behind Evil Genius Beer

Innovation Entrepreneurs

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Their website boasts wild and creative names like, “Pics or it Didn’t Happen,” “Bye Felicia!” and “Fly like an Eagle.” So it only stands to reason, co-founder and owner Trevor Hayward named his brewery Evil Genius when it started in 2011.

Besides the quality and care put into every batch, Hayward knew that he wanted a nostalgia-driven brand. “When you see that name, whatever it happens to be, we want that to evoke a memory of when you heard that song, saw that movie, remembered that meme,” says Hayward. “And you’re creating a new memory when you drink that beer.”

When it was open, “The Lab,” tasting room was littered with 80s and 90s throwbacks, from PacMan posters lining the walls to a Saved by the Bell theme in the front hallway. Hayward has always been inspired by his memories.

Villanova MBA graduate Hayward took the memories he made in Philadelphia and distilled them into a desire to give back to the community. It turns out that Evil Genius is not so evil after all. “We provide so many opportunities for staff and customers to get involved. From our Evil Does Good summer charity nights where we give $1 of each beer purchased back to local nonprofits, to our involvement with the SPCA and MS Society,” says Hayward.

One of Hayward’s favorites includes a 0.5K Christmas Race, which he describes as a run around the block with beer and Santa hats. The event raises money to buy gifts for lower-income families in Philadelphia.

So how is Evil Genius helping during the COVID-19 outbreak? Representatives say they are partnering with Bikes and Beers for their Virtual Social Distancing Ride which gives proceeds to families affected by COVID-19. The Fishtown brewery hasn’t shut down completely. "During this Shelter at home time, Evil Genius is still meeting the needs of our customers at grocery stores, independent beer distributors.” Hayward says The Lab is open for takeout daily. “What a lot of people need right now is to have fun, so we engage our audiences every day on social media to give them a distraction from life."

Another distraction is its newest beer name based on reality show Tiger King: “Felt Cute, Might feed my Husband to a Tiger Later, IDK,”

Trevor Hayward shares his favorite beers, work ethic, and the importance of community with OnUp Media in Episode 5 of a 6-part series titled, OnUp Innovators. Watch the full interview here.

Follow @onuomedia across social media.

The Uncommon Individual Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit leader in mentor-based learning, founded in 1986 by Dr. Richard E. Caruso. A successful entrepreneur, Caruso attributes his entrepreneurial success to the mentors he encountered throughout his life. UIF is his way of ‘mentoring it forward,’ to help individuals and organizations succeed through curated connections to mentors in Business, Education, Media, and Technology. For more information about UIF, visit: UIF recently launched a new media studio to help innovators navigate the media landscape. Visit: