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MicroBrewr Podcast

Updated 6 days ago

Arts
Business
Education
Food
How To
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Taking Your Microbrewery to the Next Level

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Taking Your Microbrewery to the Next Level

iTunes Ratings

111 Ratings
Average Ratings
94
12
3
1
1

Great Information

By Cabanero - Feb 23 2017
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Very well done. Lots of good information.

Microbrewr

By Barleyjac - Oct 10 2015
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Good info for people starting out.

iTunes Ratings

111 Ratings
Average Ratings
94
12
3
1
1

Great Information

By Cabanero - Feb 23 2017
Read more
Very well done. Lots of good information.

Microbrewr

By Barleyjac - Oct 10 2015
Read more
Good info for people starting out.
Cover image of MicroBrewr Podcast

MicroBrewr Podcast

Latest release on Dec 28, 2018

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 6 days ago

Rank #1: MicroBrewr 085: Starting a brewery is a full-time job

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Cody Martin worked in civil engineering and environmental engineering. After touring some breweries and seeing that they use familiar equipment, he asked his wife if he could start a brewery. She found work in Texas and he started Martin House Brewing Company in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Starting a brewery is a full-time job.” [Tweet This]

After they moved back to Texas, Cody worked full-time for 15 months to start his brewery.

“If you want to be a brewery in planning for 3 or 4 years,” he offers, “then go ahead and keep your job.”

In that time, he worked on his business plan, found partners and investors, introduced himself to local breweries, and work 20-30 hours per week for free in a local brewery.

Once the business plan was complete, they had 6 months allotted to finding investors and securing funding, and they got it done in only 6 weeks. They talked to anyone and everyone they could find or with whom they could make connections.

In the end, the owners with “skin in the game” had contributed approximately $60 thousand. Investors pitched in significantly more than that, he says. Approximately half of the capital came from friends and family, and about half came from other investors whom they had never previously met.

They were able to cut costs by doing the majority of the work themselves. “We literally built everything in this place ourself,” Cody remarks.

It helps that Cody is an engineer. They also called on old friends who gave them discount prices on skilled work.

Additionally, Cody says it very important to partner with people who compliment, rather than duplicate your own knowledge and skills.

“You need to make sure you have the team with the full talents of running a business,” Cody advises, “not just 3 brewers.”

Financially, it has worked well.

“We have zero debt,” says Cody, “so we were able to break even on that pretty quick. A few months in, we started paying ourselves a salary. And then our first full year of production, we were able to pay our investors back a little.”

Cody even had the opportunity to make a collaboration brew with one of his all-time favorite bands, Toadies.

In summary, Cody’s advice for starting a brewery:

  • Quit your job.
  • Have the support of your family.
  • Assemble a team with diverse skills.
  • Don’t buy a glycol chiller from China.

Brewery specs:

Kettle size: 30 BBL.

Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 4, 30-BBL; 2, 60-BBL fermenters.

Size and quantity of bright tanks: 1, 30-BBL; 1 60-BBL bright tanks.

Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production: 6,000-BBL capacity. About 2,800 BBL last year.

Square footage: 9,000 sq. ft.

Years in operation: 2.5 years (opened March 2013).

Listener question:

From Sean McKeown: Do you still have the same passion for beer after doing it as a job, at a commercial level?

Can’t-go-without tool:

Zip ties, duct tape, and Milwaukee 48-22-1901 Fastback Flip Open Utility Knife.

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Sour beer

Other resources:

You can reach Cody Martine and Martin House Brewing Company at:

Sponsors:

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 085: Starting a brewery is a full-time job appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Oct 13 2015

45mins

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Rank #2: MicroBrewr 054: Start a debt-free nanobrewery

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We all have a dream to start a brewery. Many of us don’t have the money required to start the brewery of our dreams. Lynn Jacobs and her husband, Jeff, started Great Storm Brewing in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with no debt. Best of all: They started making a profit immediately.

Great Storm Brewing opened in March 2012 with a 1-BBL system. Lynn and Jeff worked hard at first. But after 6 months they hired the first employee. The success has been so great that they contract brew larger batches under “alternative proprietorship” to help meet demand.

Now approaching their third anniversary, Great Storm Brewing has 8 employees and they’re preparing to install a 10-BBL system.

Lynn’s advice to someone who wants to start a brewery:

  • Save money
  • Practice your brewing
  • Create something you can duplicate on a larger scale

Brewery specs:

Kettle size: 1 BBL; in the process of expanding to 10-BBL.

Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 10, 1-BBL fermenters; expanding to 3, 15-BBL.

Size and quantity of bright tanks: none; will get tanks with the new system.

Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production: Current 260; last year 187; new system will be 390-BBL.

Square footage: 3,750 sq. ft.

Years in operation: 3 years (opened March 2012).

“As soon as you reach one goal, you make another for yourself.” [Tweet This]

Listener question:

From Russ Neis: How do you adjust a recipe from 10 gallons to a 7 BBLs or more?

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Experimental beers

Other resources:

You can reach Lynn Jacobs and Great Storm Brewing at:

Sponsors:

Audible

Download a free audiobook.

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 054: Start a debt-free nanobrewery appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Mar 10 2015

45mins

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Rank #3: MicroBrewr 068: An SBA loan can help open or grow your brewery

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Two years ago, Adam Charnack and his partners got a $254,000 SBA-backed loan to start Hi-Wire Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Today, they’re expanding to a second brewery with another SBA loan.

“The SBA involvement in craft beer,” says Adam, “has been a part of the success of craft breweries being able to open and grow.”

“The way that banks are willing to look at breweries is totally different under and SBA lens. We’re all just young guys that wanted to start a brewery. So we’re not rolling in [money] or have some big financing. Without SBA involved it definitely would make getting financing a whole lot more difficult.”

Adam advises to focus on your business plan. “If you show up with a notebook paper, or a page-and-a-half typed, with a bunch of typos on it, that’s not going to cut it.”

The financials are the most important things that banks look for when you apply for funding:

  • Financial projections
    • How much it’s going to cost to make things
    • When you’re going to get paid
    • What the prices are
  • Sources and uses of funds
  • Projected and net operating income (12 months, and next few years)
  • Cash flow

“A lot of that is a shot in that dark,” admits Adam, “but at least you’re making intelligent assumptions.”

With so many breweries in and around Asheville, there is an abundance of qualified workers. Even still, employee retention is important.

“We’ve never had anybody leave our company that started with us in the last 2 years in our brewery operations,” says Adam.

His tips on how to keep quality workers:

  • Throw parties throughout the year.
  • Organize fun company outings.
  • Have a lot of fun.
  • Respect people.
  • Provide opportunity.

“If you treat people right and you respect people,” says Adam, “we’ve had no problem retaining talent here.”

Other tips:

  • Bring on a partner with an understanding of, or background in, finance.
  • Assets or an alternative means to payback a loan helps to secure funding.

Advice for someone who wants to do what he has done:

Brewery specs:

Kettle size: 30 BBL + 30 BBL (two breweries).

Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 90-BBL and 30-BBL.

Size and quantity of bright tanks: 90-BBL and 30-BBL.

Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production: In September 2015, capacity will be approx.. 17,000 BBL/year. By year’s end, on pace of 10,000 BBL/year.

Square footage: 27,000 sq. ft. and 4,000 sq. ft.

Years in operation: 2 years (opened July 2013).

“I would definitely advise having a business partner.” [Tweet This]

Listener question:

From Daniel: What’s your biggest regret?

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Lager

Other resources:

You can reach Adam Charnack and Hi-Wire Brewing at:

Sponsors:

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 068: An SBA loan can help open or grow your brewery appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Jun 09 2015

48mins

Play

Rank #4: MicroBrewr 067: How to find investors for a brewery

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UPDATE: Mistakes and clarifications have been corrected, per Jenny Kassan.

You planned the brewery of your dreams. You researched the market and you know it will be profitable. But you don’t have a million dollars under your pillow to start it. Now how to find investors for a brewery?

Jenny Kassan, an attorney and consultant in Oakland, California, graduated from Yale law and worked for 11 years helping to build really small businesses. For the last 9 years she worked in securities law, “the very highly regulated world of raising money for a business.” Now she does consulting and teaches classes on how to raise funds for businesses.

As soon as you ask someone to invest in your brewery, you’re conducting a “security offering,” which is regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as the securities regulators in each state where you offer the investment.

“Even if the regulators don’t catch you and fine you, you have created this liability for your company,” cautions Jenny. “If, for example, one of your investors was unhappy later and wanted their money back because you couldn’t afford to pay them or something, they could complain. And then it would be uncovered that you never did comply with those laws. And they would have a pretty good case against you.”

First, some background info.

There are generally 2 kinds of investments:

  1. Equity – ownership in the company
  2. Debt (loan) – must be paid back

There are 2 kinds of investors:

  1. Accredited investor – A person with a net worth of $1 million (excluding his or her primary residence) or annual income of $200,000, or an entity with $5 million in assets.
  2. Unaccredited investor

If you offer a security only to accredited investors, the legal compliance hurdles are generally fewer. However, there are legal ways to include both kinds of investors in your offering.

Until you have ensured that your offering is legally compliant, don’t solicit investors directly. Also don’t advertise your offering publicly unless you have done the legal compliance that allows advertising. At this point, don’t solicit investors directly, just ask general questions.

Anything other than one-on-one communication is considered advertising, which is regulated by the SEC.

“Have some informal conversations with potential investors,” Jenny instructs, “and say, ‘I’m thinking about raising some money—I’m not doing it now, but I’m thinking about.’”

Then ask general “if scenarios.” For example, “If I were to offer an investment opportunity in my brewery:”

  • Would you be more interested in equity or debt?
  • How would you expect to get paid back?
  • How long would you be willing to have your money tied up?
  • What kind of perks would you want?

The laws are flexible enough that you can design your investment agreement in lots of different ways.

“There’s a lot of kinds of equity that can look a lot like debt,” says Jenny. “There’s also debt that can look more like equity, where the payment that you make to your investor can vary based on the success of the company.”

After both parties come to agreement, they each need to talk with an attorney to make sure their desired agreement is legally compliant.

Most investments require some kinds of securities filing at the state or federal level or both.

After you figure what you’re willing to offer, you might be ready to conduct an offering. Talk to an attorney to help you do the necessary filings.

Direct Public Offerings

If you want to do a Direct Public Offering which allows you to do public advertising and include unlimited number of both accredited and unaccredited investors, you may need to file a Form D with the SEC and register with your state regulators. The filing requires attachments such as:

  • “Prospectus”
    • Risks
    • Business Plan
    • Description of management team and qualifications
    • Anything investors would need to help them make a decision
  • Sample security to be offered
  • Organizational documents for the company
  • etc.

The filing fee can range from a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Legal fees usually range from $15,000 – $30,000. It sounds like a lot, but if you’re opening a million dollar brewery, it’s a worthy 3% of the overall budget.

“I think it’s possible to do without an attorney,” speculates Jenny. “It’s certainly not the best strategy. It may take you twice as long and it may be a nightmare, but you should be able to get through the process.”

If you go at it without an attorney, remember that the regulators are there to help. So work with them, respond to all of their questions, and make their requested changes.

Once you get approval from the regulators for your Direct Public Offering, now find money!

Advertise your offering:

  • Talk to media
  • Get in the newspaper
  • Put it on your website
  • Send mass emails
  • Host parties and events
  • “Set up a million meetings”

Have your investor packet ready for when people want to know more.

“The best thing to think about,” says Jenny, “is to put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, ‘What is everything I would want to know if I were them, before making a decision?’”

Include anything to help them make a decision, even the risks.

“If they find out later that you didn’t disclose something that was material to their decision,” cautions Jenny, “they could sue you and say you misrepresented what the opportunity was.”

Vet your investors

Another important thing is to make sure each investor is a good fit.

“You don’t want to accept the first investor that says ‘yes,’” cautions Jenny.

Find investors with whom you get along, and with whom your values and vision for the business align.

“When you are bringing in a fairly large investor,” says Jenny, “they may have a pretty big role that they are playing in your life for the next 10 years.”

And maybe we should saying something like… Of course this is lot legal advice. The laws are highly complex and vary from state to state. You need to speak to an attorney about your specific situation.

“You really have to vet your investors in the same way that they’re vetting you.” [Tweet This]

Listener question:

If you could ask one question to every brewer or brewery owner, what would you ask? Let me know.

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Cider

Other resources:

You can reach Jenny Kassan and her legal work at:

Sponsors:

Audible

Download a free audiobook.

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 067: How to find investors for a brewery appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Jun 02 2015

1hr 9mins

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Rank #5: MicroBrewr 077: The importance of writing your goals

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Michael Peticolas learned about homebrewing from his mother. After achieving all the goals he set for himself in the legal field, he decided to pursue his passion of beer with Peticolas Brewing Company in Dallas, Texas.

Michael says he feels very fulfilled with having achieved his list of goals. He saved a lot of money while working in law, which allowed him to start his brewery debt free.

“We didn’t open up this big huge, grand brewery, which I see all over the place,” said Michael. “This was my money. So my wife and I decided, ‘How much are we willing to lose?’ Most small businesses go out of business within 3 years.”

“I’d rather fail than to have not tried it at all.” [Tweet This]

“If you don’t know how to write a business plan,” Michael advises, “learn how to write a business plan.”

The process of writing a business plan helps:

  • Delve into the potential problems
  • Focus on completing your goals

“Plan in the beginning,” instructs Michael. “Address the good news and the bad news, up front. That business plan is going to guide you. So put in the time before you get started.”

“It is going to make you answer the difficult questions that are going to cause you to go find the resources to help you address those issues.”

Related: MicroBrewr 064: How to write a business plan for a brewery

Three and a half years later, they have 10 employees and expanded capacity from an initial 3,000 BBL to 9,000 BBL.

“Not only am I trying to put together an awesome brewery, but I’m trying to wind back the clock to 1950 when folks worked for one employer for 20 or 30 years. So I concentrate on making us an awesome place to work.”

  • Health insurance
  • 401(k) plan
  • Take care of the market, consumers, retailers and employees

“I’d rather hire someone I’ve known and connected with than just some stranger who looks really awesome on paper.”

Brewery specs:

Kettle size: 15 BBL.

Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 12, 30-BBL fermenters.

Size and quantity of bright tanks: 3, 30-BBL bright tanks.

Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production: Added tanks yesterday, changing capacity from 6,000 BBL to 9,000 BBL. Production last year was 3,500 BBL. On pace for 5,000 BBL this year.

Square footage: 9,000 sq. ft.

Years in operation: 3.5 years (batch one brewed December 30, 2011).

Listener question:

From Cianna Dona: Where did you get the capital to start?

Can’t-go-without tool:

Hand-held temperature gauge.

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Sour beers

Other resources:

You can reach Michael Peticolas and Peticolas Brewing Company at:

Sponsors:

Audible

Download a free audiobook.

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 077: The importance of writing your goals appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Aug 18 2015

56mins

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Rank #6: MicroBrewr 079: The importance of budgeting for working capital

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Wim Bens was born in Belgium and moved to Texas when he was 7 years old. He applied to American Brewers Guild just to have the option. Now, 3 years after opening Lakewood Brewing Co. in Garland, Texas he can barely keep up with demand.

“If you start doubting what you’re doing, then you shouldn’t be doing it.” [Tweet This]

Wim’s original business plan called for 3 employees, adding about 1 employee per year, for every 1,000 barrels produced. They had planned to expand production to 7,000 barrels in year 7.

Two years later after opening, they had 13 employees and had started looking for a larger venue.

Today, just 3 years after opening, Lakewood Brewing Co. has a staff of 22. They produced 7,500 barrels last year, are on track to produce 10,000 barrels this year. They are projecting next year’s production at 15,000 – 20,000.

RELATED: MicroBrewr 077: The importance of writing your goals.

Wim says you must have:

  • Good culture
  • Good people
  • Investment
  • Ability to invest at the right time
  • Make smart investments in your business
  • Good beer
  • Consistently good beer

“And I think if all those things come together, especially in a market like Dallas-Fort Worth that had a local beer drought, then you have a good recipe for success,” advises Wim.

On convincing family, friends, and fools to invest in your brewery:

  • It’s very important to believe in yourself.
  • It’s very important to believe in what you’re doing.
  • Hire people who are smarter than you.

“If you start doubting what you’re doing,” says Wim, “then you shouldn’t be doing it.”

“A lot of people think when they open a small brewery, “I’m going to be the brewer.’ Ok, well who’s going to do payroll? And who’s going to do HR? And who’s going to be ordering supplies? And who’s going to be doing facility maintenance? And who’s going to be doing all your advertising? And who’s going to be doing distribution?

“There are so many things that have to happen in a brewery to be successful that you have to be able to delegate that and hire people who are experts in those fields.”

Wim reminds us to budget for working capital. His advice is to double your budget—and then add 20%.

“Working capital is not talked about enough,” says Wim. “You have to have enough money to pay your employees, to order your raw materials in large amounts so that you get a quantity discount so that you can eventually turn that into a more profitable margin. You have to have a lot of working capital until you start seeing the money come back.”

Brewery specs:

Kettle size: 30 BBL.

Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 30-180, 1,440 BBL total fermentation vessel capacity.

Size and quantity of bright tanks: 180, 90, 80, 60, 40.

Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production: 2014: 7,500 BBL.

Square footage: 30,000 sq. ft.

Years in operation: 3 (opened August 2012).

Listener question:

From Peter Stillmank: How much beer do you need to produce each year to break even?

Can’t-go-without tool:

Rubber mallet.

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Sour beers

Other resources:

You can reach Wim Bens and Lakewood Brewing Co. at:

Sponsors:

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 079: The importance of budgeting for working capital appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Sep 01 2015

1hr 7mins

Play

Rank #7: MicroBrewr 063: A hundred-page business plan and barely enough money

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At the height of the great recession, Kevin Selvy had a hundred-page business plan and started Crazy Mountain Brewing Company in Edwards, Colorado with $500,000. He calls it an irresponsible amount of money and estimates that nobody should do it with less than $1.5 million.

Nonetheless, he met his 3-year sales estimates within 3 months. After 5 years, their beer is distributed to 18 states and Europe, and they just entered the California markets.

“The best advice I could give,” says Kevin, “is give up your day job and go work for a brewery. When it comes to finding investors, if you can say, ‘I’ve got several years of experience in the industry, I know what I’m doing,’ that goes a lot farther than somebody saying, ‘I just like making beer in my kitchen.’”

Kevin sent his business plan to more people than he could count. He drove 10 hours and slept in the back seat of his car to meet with a potential investor.

“Raising money is a very difficult aspect of starting a brewery,” warns Kevin. “You’re going to get 900 ‘no’s before you get one ‘maybe.’”

Here’s some of his advice:

  • Research your business plan
  • Have a packet ready for when investors ask
  • Don’t give up

Although Kevin’s business plan was about 100 pages, lots of it was graphs and financial tables.

“Make sure it’s very thorough and points a really good picture of what you’re trying to accomplish.”

Brewery specs:

Kettle size: 20 BBL.

Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 23 tanks, 20-BBL, 40-BBL, and 60-BBL.

Size and quantity of bright tanks: 1, 40-BBL; 1, 20-BBL; and 1, 60-BBL bright tank.

Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production: 17,000 BBL brewed in 2013. 20,000-BBL capacity.

Square footage: 10,314 sq. ft.

Years in operation: 5 years (opened 2010).

“The best advice I could give is: Give up your day job and go work for a brewery.” [Tweet This]

Listener question:

From Kevin Scott: Can you talk about the pros and cons of contracting for raw materials for your beers (i.e, hops, malts, etc.)?

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Session IPA

Other resources:

You can reach Kevin Selvy and Crazy Mountain Brewing Company at:

Sponsors:

InMotion Hosting

“Fast, reliable, affordable, web hosting.”

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 063: A hundred-page business plan and barely enough money appeared first on MicroBrewr.

May 05 2015

56mins

Play

Rank #8: MicroBrewr 005: The Start of the Journey of Building a Brewery w/ Nathan Pierce

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Grab a Beer and Join Us in the Journey of Starting a Brewery

Welcome to the 5th edition of the MicroBrewr podcast!  Due to the success and support I’ve seen for the previous podcast, I’ve dialed up the frequency now to weekly.  If you’re new to the podcast, I’m a craft beer fanatic who loves to hear about the journeys of those in the craft beer industry.  With the experiences of some amazing people, hopefully I can give back to this community to help inspire brewers to start a brewery or provide tips on what’s working right now for the lucky people who already run their own brewery.  Even if you’re not in these two camps, these guys and gals have some amazing experiences to share that hopefully can provide some entertainment to your daily commute or work out.

Meet Nathan Pierce Who Will Give Us a First Hand Look at Starting a Brewery

I originally got in touch with Nathan Pierce after starting MicroBrewr who is currently in the process of starting up a brewery.  Nathan worked at the air pollution control district in California before quitting his job to follow his dream and start a brewery a couple of months ago.  Nathan has been gracious to share his journey along the way to help out others that are thinking of starting a brewery and we’ll be coming back in future podcasts to catch up on progress.  In this podcast, you’ll get to ride along for the initial steps of the journey where Nathan is working to turn his dream into a reality.

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

In this podcast we’ll cover:

  • Setting goals and how to stay focused on the end result
  • Transitioning to less structure without the 9-5 job
  • Productivity tips and some great ways to stay motivated
  • Where to go for creating a business plan
  • Selectively choosing what information you need to know along the process
  • Dealing with friends or family who don’t support your vision or want you to succeed
  • Following through on your dreams and telling as many people as you can about those dreams to keep you accountable

Here are links that we talked about during the podcast:

Entrepreneur on Fire Podcast

Storyline Productivity Schedule

Beyond the To Do List

Brewers Association

Connect with Nathan on Twitter

Join the MicroBrewr Community

Like what you’ve heard and want to get updates on upcoming articles and podcasts?  Click the button below to sign up for the email list.  As my thank you for joining the Microbrewr community, I’ll send you a free copy of our e-book “6 Free Social Media Tools To Get Your Beer in the Hands of More People.”

Sign me up!

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 005: The Start of the Journey of Building a Brewery w/ Nathan Pierce appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Apr 01 2014

34mins

Play

Rank #9: MicroBrewr 006: Developing Your Brewery Business Plan w/ Aaron Brodniak

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Here’s the Podcast to Entertain You While Traveling to the CBC

The Craft Brewers Conference is here and I think that this podcast will be a great way to pass the time as you travel to Denver (if you’re not already there).  I’ve been asked by a number of people if I’ll be there this year and unfortunately I won’t be able to make it.  My wife is currently seven months pregnant with our first and its getting to be that time where she probably wouldn’t be too happy with me if I left for four days.  While I won’t be able to make it, I’ll be there in spirit and keep me updated on Twitter or Facebook on how it’s going.  If you’re enjoying the MicroBrewr podcast, make sure to spread the love at the CBC and tell your friends about it.  Have a beer for me and hope you have a great time!!

Developing Your Brewery Business Plan w/ Aaron Brodniak

This week, I am really excited to welcome Aaron Brodniak to the podcast.  Aaron Brodniak has worked in a number of different breweries and has held the titles of Head Brewer for a microbrewery and Regional Brewer for a chain of brewpubs. He has over 18 years of craft brewing experience and serves as a brewery consultant who assists with both start-up and operational brewery business plans, human resource plans, product development, marketing and so much more.  This week, we’ll focus on the different aspects you’ll need to take into account when developing your brewery business plan so get ready to take some notes on this one!

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Meet Aaron Brodniak

Here are just some of the topics that we cover:

  • Where to start once you decide you want to start a brewery
  • Some free ways to do market research for your brewery
  • The trick on being able to get information from other busy brewers for your business plan
  • How to decide between a distribution brewery or a brewpub
  • Find out how building relationships is key for everything
  • Major factors to think about when sizing your brewery
  • The power of having a home brewing competitions at your brewery
  • Key differences of breweries that take off versus struggle
  • How a vision or end goal is important to the success of the brewery
  • The typical cost raw materials and equipment for the brewery business plan
  • I had about another 10 bullets points on what we covered since Aaron provides so much great info but figured I’d just let you listen

The Craft Beer Startup Workshop

If you liked what Aaron had to offer in the podcast, I recommend that you check out the Craft Brewery Startup Workshop II offered by Oregon State University. Refine your brewery vision online with fellow entrepreneurs and then travel to Portland, Oregon to work with consultants during a four-day workshop to fine-tune your craft brewery business plan. Also, if you have the best business plan at the end of the workshop, you will be offered a three-day internship with Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene. If you’re serious about starting up a brewery which will probably cost you $1 million and up, I’m sure that investing money in a great course like this will pay off in the long run.

Resources for Developing Your Brewery Business Plan

Here’s a list of the difference resources that Aaron covered. Also, I included some links on how to get in touch with Aaron if you’re looking for a consultant to help you out starting up your brewery.

Connect with Aaron on LinkedIn

Aaron’s Blog

Small Business Administration

U.S. Census

Department of Labor

Brewers Association

The New Brewer (Membership with the BA required)

Probrewer.com (Aaron’s username is malty1)

Brewers Association School Links

CrowdBrewed

Northwest Beer and Cider Sessions, Oregon State

Breweries Mentioned in the Podcast:

Diamond Knot Brewery

Pyramid Breweries

Santa Barbara Brewing Company

Amnesia Brewing

Sirius Brewpub

Karbach Brewing

3Sheeps Brewery

North Coast Brewing Co

Bull City Brewery

New Belgium Brewing Co

J Wakefield Brewing

Henhouse Brewing

Join the Community

Want to learn more?  To get updates on when new content comes out, make sure to connect with me by clicking the button below.  As my thank you for joining the community, I’ll send you the 6 Free Social Media Tools To Get People Talking About Your Beer e-book for free.

Sign me up!

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 006: Developing Your Brewery Business Plan w/ Aaron Brodniak appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Apr 07 2014

39mins

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Rank #10: MicroBrewr 002: Using a Flagship Beer To Build a Brand w/ Alamo Beer

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We Made It To Podcast #2 (I’m going to have a beer to celebrate)!

First off, I have to say thanks for the amazing support and feedback that we’ve got for the MicroBrewr site and the podcast.  In just the first week of having the site up, MicroBrewr has already had over 25,000 visitors.  I’ve been able to talk to so many people who are thinking of taking the plunge into starting their own brewery (or who already have) and it’s no lie that the craft beer community is awesome!  If you want to subscribe to the MicroBrewr podcast instead of listening to it on the site, the podcast is now up on both iTunes and Stitcher which you can find by just searching for MicroBrewr in either program.

Using a Flagship Beer to Build a Brand with Alamo Beer Company

In the second podcast, I had the pleasure of talking with Eugene Simor from Alamo Beer Company.  One of the reasons that I wanted to talk with Eugene is that he’s taken a different approach to getting into the craft beer industry by using his flagship beer, Alamo Golden Ale to build his brand.  Up to this point, Eugene has used contract brewing (“kind-of”) to brew Alamo Golden Ale and is currently in the process of planning his own brewery.  With his 10+ years already selling his beer, Eugene has proven his brand (which helped him get a $5 million SBA approved loan for his brewery) and has a ton of great information to share.

In this episode we’ll talk about:

  • How to get your start in the industry through contract brewing to prove that your brand works
  • Picking a distributor to sell your beer and leveraging them to increase sales
  • How to promote and grow your brand
  • The importance of focusing on your local market and creating a personal connection
  • What events are working for Alamo to promote their beer
  • Planning a brewery that will be ready for future growth
  • How to raise money to start your brewery and selectively choose investors

Go Find Alamo Golden Ale

Make sure to pick up some Alamo Golden Ale to give back to Eugene for sharing all of the knowledge that he has gained starting up Alamo Beer Company! Here’s some of the links to find out more about Eugene and Alamo.

Links Mentioned in the Podcast:

Alamo Beer Website

Alamo Facebook Fan Page

Spec’s Liquor to Order Alamo Golden Ale

Like The Podcast?

If you want to get updates on future podcasts and join the amazing MicroBrewr community, you can click the button below.  To try to give back and to show my thanks for joining, I’ll send you a free copy of our “6 Social Media Tools to Get People Talking About Your Beer” e-book.  You rock! Let me know if there’s anything else that I can do for you!

Sign me up!

You might also like:

MicroBrewr 019: Marketing a flagship beer with Roswell aliens, with Sierra Blanca Brewing Company in Moriarty, New Mexico.

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 002: Using a Flagship Beer To Build a Brand w/ Alamo Beer appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Feb 24 2014

40mins

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Rank #11: MicroBrewr 007: So You Think You Want to Open a Microbrewery… w/ HenHouse Brewing

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Have You Ever Thought that You’d Like to Open a Microbrewery?

Through connecting with the MicroBrewr community and doing the weekly podcast, I’ve been lucky to talk with so many amazing people who are looking to turn their dreams into a reality and open a microbrewery.  The thought of leaving the 9-5 and going on your own path is an adventure that sounds like a dream come true.  Being able to leave the office behind to brew and drink beer all day, what could be better?  Well, we don’t want to kill anybody’s dreams but there is a lot more work that comes when you open a microbrewery than just brewing and drinking beer.  In this podcast, we’ll go through the typical life of a brewer to try to give a good perspective on what to expect if you do take that next step to open a microbrewery.

Meet Collin From HenHouse Brewing Company

Collin McDonnell is one of the three founders of Henhouse Brewing Company.  HenHouse started selling beer two years ago and over that time have been raising money to quit their jobs to go at it full time.  One reason why I really wanted to talk to Collin is that he wrote a great article on the “real life” of working in the brewery where he was very transparent on the not so exciting parts of running the business day to day.  As we went through the podcast, you can tell that Collin’s focus on the details comes from a passion that HenHouse puts into their beer to make sure they are making a quality product that they can be proud of.

Here’s some of the topics that we’ll cover in the podcast:

  • The amount of data collection that is required to put out quality beer that tastes the same every time
  • How much cleaning is really required in the brewing process
  • The benefits of leasing space from another brewery (alternating proprietorship) instead of starting with your own equipment
  • The need to think about how your brewery will be different that others in the area
  • How to pick your partners to leverage their strengths when you open a microbrewery
  • Why maintaining great relationships with regulators needs to be a priority
  • The benefits of working at a brewery before you start your own
  • The power of a vision to keep you focused on the end goal

Here are the Links of Stuff We Talked About and Spots Where You Can Find Out More About HenHouse

HenHouse Brewing Company Facebook Page

HenHouse Twitter Page

Collin’s Article “So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery”

Petaluma Hills Brewing Company

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)

61 Brewers Speak Out: What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting a Brewery

An Ode to Beer Drinkers by Collin McDonnell

Beer Talks 2014 w/ Collin

21st Amendment

Beach Chalet

Drake’s Brewing Company

Are You Enjoying the MicroBrewr Podcast?

If you like this podcast on what it’s like to open a microbrewery, I would really appreciate it if you would give me a rating in iTunes to help spread the word about the podcast.  All you need to do is search for MicroBrewr in the iTunes store or you can use link this link here (then just click “View in iTunes”).  Giving a rating in iTunes will continue to push the podcast up in the rankings which help get the podcast into the ears of more people.  Thanks in advance!

Give the MicroBrewr Podcast a Review on iTunes

 You might also like:

MicroBrewr 022: Expanding to… India!, with Arbor Brewing Company Brewpub in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 007: So You Think You Want to Open a Microbrewery… w/ HenHouse Brewing appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Apr 15 2014

40mins

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Rank #12: MicroBrewr 044: What every brewery should know about trademarks

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There are so many stories about breweries in trademark disputes. The last thing you want is to get sued or pay legal fees to protect yourself. Paul Rovella is attorney and partner at L+G, LLP Attorneys at Law in Hollister, California. He tells us all about trademark issues for your brewery.

Although “common law” provides some protection, you are still at risk.

One especially painful story is that of Backshore Brewing Co. The owner, Danny Robinson told us on MicroBrewr Podcast 041 that he had to change the name of his brewery—and he was still sued for $800 thousand and has already racked up $500 thousand in legal fees.

Some other breweries who have shared their trademark issues on MicroBrewr have included Opposition Brewing Co. (episode 16) and Ferndock Brewing Company (episode 39).

Here are some basic steps to protect yourself:

  • Use the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s search tool to see whether someone else is already using the name you want.
  • File for a trademark.
  • Use photos or documentation to prove when you start using your business name and your trademark.

“The importance of trademark registration is actually enforcing,” says Paul, “which could be a time consuming and an expensive endeavor.”

There are other options besides suing to protect your brand.

“I always encourage my clients to try to deal directly with their adversary,” Paul advises. “Because then you’re not paying an attorney to create more paper to send to another attorney.”

From the least strenuous to the most, here are the best options for enforcing your trademark:

  1. Make a polite phone call to the person who is using your trademark.
  2. Send a cease and desist letter.
  3. Get a restraining order or injunction and get a judge to make them stop.

PLEASE NOTE: Nothing on this podcast should be deemed legal advice. If you have any questions about the discussions or subject matter of this podcast, you should consult an attorney.

“Smaller businesses gotta be a little more diplomatic in getting someone to stop using your label.” [Tweet This]

Listener question:

If you could ask one question to every brewer or brewery owner, what would you ask? Let me know.

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Ginger beer soda

Other resources:

You can reach Paul Rovella and L+G, LLP Attorneys at Law at:

Image showing 3D Judges Gavel by Chris Potter on flickr (CC BY 2.0) was modified from its original state. (www.stockmonkeys.com)

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 044: What every brewery should know about trademarks appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Jan 06 2015

56mins

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Rank #13: MicroBrewr 015: Randal Denver’s advice for a homebrewer who wants to become a professional brewer

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In this episode I talk with Randal Denver, brewer from Yards Brewing Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Randal started homebrewing several years ago and got hooked.

“It was kind of the first thing that I ever felt I was good at,” he said.

So he applied for a job with Yards Brewing Company and started working on their packaging line. Since then, he has moved up to brewer, and makes any beer in the Yards Brewing lineup.

Randal offers great advice for a homebrewer who wants to become a professional brewer.

Some advice he shares:

  • Clean and sanitize always
  • Immerse yourself in beer knowledge
  • Brew as often as you can, as many different types of beer as you can

Listener question:

From Josh Pierce: Do you think alcohol levels will start to come down anytime soon?

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Session IPA

Other resources:

You can reach Randal Denver and Yards Brewing Company at:

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 015: Randal Denver’s advice for a homebrewer who wants to become a professional brewer appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Jun 29 2014

30mins

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Rank #14: MicroBrewr 046: Start your brewery as a worker-owned co-op

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The cooperative business model is gaining popularity. Even many craft breweries are forming as co-ops. If you want to form your brewery as a co-op, Janelle Orsi, Executive Director of Sustainable Economies Law Center, in Oakland, California can answer your questions.

The cooperative business model is still relatively unknown. A worker-owned “co-op” is usually democratically organized, so each employee gets a vote on business decisions and elections for the board of directors. Employees earn dividends based on patronage—the amount of time they have invested in the business, rather the amount of money they have invested.

Other podcasts about breweries as co-ops:

MicroBrewr 047: Proof of concept for a brewpub co-op

MicroBrewr 049: Planning California’s first cooperative brewpub

Cooperative businesses provide many benefits to society:

  • The work source is stable because the employees aren’t as at-risk of layoff.
  • Profits stay in the local economy, rather than going to faraway shareholders.
  • Customers are happier because they know the product is made by sustainable jobs.

Cooperative businesses experience many benefits:

  • Decisions are made from many contributors.
  • Don’t have to pay double taxes like C-Corporations.
  • Workers are happier because they have a say in their environment.

“If we buy beer from a worker-owned cooperative, we’re actually reversing the flow of wealth.” [Tweet This]

Listener question:

If you could ask one question to every brewer or brewery owner, what would you ask? Let me know.

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Pale Ale

Other resources:

You can reach Janelle Orsi and Sustainable Economies Law Center at:

Sponsors:

Audible

Download a free audiobook.

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 046: Start your brewery as a worker-owned co-op appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Jan 20 2015

44mins

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Rank #15: MicroBrewr 036: How to write a business plan for a gastropub brewery

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Brian Kelly opened Elevation 66 Brewing Company 3 years ago in El Cerrito, California. It was his first business and they paid off their major investor ahead of schedule, just 2 and-a-half years after opening.

Initially, they wanted to have a mill and limit the food offerings to paninis and salads. About halfway into the design process they decided to rework it and plan for a full kitchen. It was more expensive to build, but it was worth it.

“That has turned out to be one of the better ideas for this place,” says Brian. “Our food has really taken off. Without our kitchen, I don’t know if this place would be nearly as successful. Salads and paninis is nothing like the food we put out right now.”

And the food at Elevation 66 is great. They were recognized as having the best artisanal pub food in the East Bay.

Brian’s advice to someone just starting is:

  • Understanding the laws is crucial
  • Be as professional as possible at all times
  • Hire help

Elevation 66 is still new, but their 7-BBL system can hardly produce enough beer just for their in-house sales. (Elevation 66 doesn’t package any beer for distribution.) They are starting to plan for expansion and have begun developing the brewery business plans for different possibilities.

So I asked Brian how to write a brewery business plan. He said start looking into the red tape.

“These permits that you have to get and all this red tape that you have to go through can be a long and arduous process. You really want to have a solid plan of attack on how you’re going to do all these things.”

Brian’s top 3 resources for writing a brewery business plan:

“Honestly,” says Brian, “I just went online and read other people’s business plans.

He also suggests overestimating costs and underestimating revenues.

“That’s the whole purpose of a business plan to me. It’s like, let’s be realistic. What’s the worst case scenario? If that does happen, can we still make this work? If you can, and you do better than that, then it’s golden.”

“If you have a feeling that this is going to succeed, don’t doubt that.” [Tweet This]

Listener question:

From Hayden Little: How much trouble did you have coming up with a name? What was the inspiration for the name?

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Sour beers

Other resources:

You can reach Brian Kelly and Elevation 66 Brewing Company at:

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 036: How to write a business plan for a gastropub brewery appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Nov 18 2014

53mins

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Rank #16: MicroBrewr 062: Cohesive brand development for your brewery

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Measured Methods is a multi-purpose agency focusing on craft breweries and other artisanal crafts. They’re based in Burlington, Vermont, but they can provide a variety of services for breweries anywhere. They focus both on the front end, such as branding and anything a customer would see, and also back end, such as processes and supply chain issues.

In this episode, Eric Lussier and Bethany Baker, talk with us about branding, how to develop a look and feel to your company image.

“Behind your product quality,” says Bethany, “the single most important thing about your brand is to have a cohesive look and feel.”

A lot goes into a cohesive brand, such as:

  • Shelf-appeal
  • Color palate
  • Style
  • Event selection

When picking names, whether it’s your brewery, or your beers, think of something that sounds great.

“I often like to tell people that naming conventions are like tattoos,” says Bethany. “Everyone loves a good back story & meaning behind it, but sometimes it’s just because you enjoy the sound of it.

A name should also have a story behind it. And this long-term about the themes that you convey. You don’t want to alienate your audience by mixing it up too much, but you also don’t want to pigeonhole your brand by sticking to strictly to one theme.

“Before you brew your first batch, start promoting your brand.” [Tweet This]

Listener question:

From MoonFace on Twitter: What’s your go to beer or brewery?

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Sour beers

Coffee-infused beers

Other resources:

You can reach Eric Lussier, Bethany Baker, and Measured Methods at:

Eric Lussier on Twitter:

Bethany Baker on Twitter:

Sponsors:

Audible

Download a free audiobook.

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 062: Cohesive brand development for your brewery appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Apr 28 2015

1hr 7mins

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Rank #17: MicroBrewr 031: Accounting solutions for your craft brewery

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So you want to start a brewery and you don’t know what to do about bookkeeping and accounting. Audra Gaiziunas, Brewed For Her Ledger, guides us through accounting solutions for your craft brewery.

With a degree in accounting and a Masters of Business Administration, Audra worked as controller for Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Later, she served on the board of North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild and worked as CFO of Mother Earth Brewing.

Now Audra provides a “kind of one-stop shop, mercenary, CFO for hire” for craft breweries. She helps with accounting solutions such as business plans, pro-formas, costing templates, and software implementation. She also does operational audits and more.

Recently Audra won a business plan competition at Oregon State University to earn an internship at Ninkasi Brewing. At the brewery in Eugene, Oregon, she enhanced her first-hand experience in production, technical, and maintenance aspects of Ninkasi’s operations.

The 3 biggest mistakes she sees breweries make:

  1. Not having enough capital on hand. You’ll need more than 3 month’s cash on hand.
  2. Not planning for information flow. Set up processes to make sure information and documents flow efficiently from one department to another.
  3. Not having funds for contingencies. Set aside 10%-15% for unexpected expenses.

6 tools she suggests to manage your breweries finances:

  1. Set aside time each week to handle paperwork.
  2. Take a cash flow class at the community college.
  3. Use Microsoft Excel or simple accounting software to track your data.
  4. Ensure information is communicated between all departments of the brewery.
  5. Build a budget annually and review it monthly to stay on track.
  6. MOST IMPORTANT: Understand how much your beer costs at any given time, by beer type and by packaging type.

SPECIAL BONUS:

Ask Audra any question about accounting, finance, and strategy for your brewery.

Leave your questions in the comments section below.

Audra will keep watching the comments for the next 30 days to answer as many of your questions as she can.

Be sure to connect with Brewed For Her Ledger and thank Audra for being on the show and for helping us out with questions.

UPDATE: Thirty days is up, Audra is no longer monitoring the questions here. You can still reach her through the links below. Thanks for your great questions everyone!

Listener question:

From Orlando: How do some breweries buy or lease a building for sometimes years while completing renovations and licenses?

From Dan: How much capital does a brewery need to start? Where can they get the capital?

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Session lager

Other resources:

You can reach Audra Gaiziunas and Brewed For Her Ledger at:

If you like the show, please subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher. When you subscribe, it’ll let you know when there’s a new episode, you won’t miss a thing!

You might also like:

MicroBrewr 033: Wastewater treatment solutions  for a craft brewery, with Brewery Wastewater Design in Montrose, Colorado.

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 031: Accounting solutions for your craft brewery appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Oct 14 2014

1hr 4mins

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Rank #18: MicroBrewr 087: Differentiate your brewpub with unique menu items

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At 55 years old Ken Carson tried to get a job at a brewery, but nobody would hire him—even for volunteer. So with no brewing nor restaurant experience, he started Nexus Brewery in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“I fell in love with the concept of beer and community.” [Tweet This]

Ken did have some business experience: he was president of a small bank. He joined the bank in their first year and helped it grow from $7 million in assets to $150 million and 5 branches.

When Ken saw an ad for making a batch of beer at the local Kelly’s Brew Pub, he went and tried it for fun. He never knew someone could make their own beer. And he got the bug.

While working for the bank, Ken often traveled for work and always toured breweries in every city he went. After touring about 150 breweries, he though he wanted to do something different. So he cashed in the stock he had saved for retirement and convinced his wife to let him start a brewery.

RELATED: 61 Brewers Speak Out: What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting A Brewery

“So I had a good background in business,” says Ken, “but absolutely no experience in either one of these 2 businesses that I was getting into.”

Ken says there are 2 things anyone needs to start a brewery:

  • You need to know the numbers
  • You need to have good customer service

During his time at the bank, he had required hundreds of businesses to write business plans. Now he was on the other end, needing to write a business plan for his brewery. He used the online tools provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“When you’re thinking customer service, it’s to produce the best beer you can,” explains Ken. “And we’re trying our best to produce the best food that we can.”

One thing the SBA materials asked was how Ken would differentiate his business from the competition. And food was one way that Nexus Brewery is differentiating themselves.

“I started seeing new breweries opening. I said, ‘This is going to be a problem if all the breweries get up here and I’m not different, I’m just like everybody else.’ So I picked a different food and made it unique.”

Nexus Brewery has what they call “New Mexican soul food,” a blend of foods from their African American heritage with local flavors of New Mexico.

They started out with 10 items on the menu, and kept adding more as customers made requests and suggestions.

Ken said it’s working out really well. “It’s distinguished us from all the other breweries in town.” It’s also helpful that they are serving a type of food that that is not normally associated with brewing industry.

Brewery specs:

Kettle size: 7 BBL.

Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 4, 7-BBL fermenters; 2, 15-BBL fermenters.

Size and quantity of bright tanks: 7 Grundies; 6, 15-BBL bright tanks.

Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production: 650 BBL.

Square footage: 2,500 sq. ft. for the brewery.

Years in operation: 4.5 years (opened May 2011).

Listener question:

From Jeff Lennon: Why did you choose the brewpub or production brewery model? What factors led to that decision?

Can’t-go-without tool:

Victorinox Swiss Army Super Tinker Pocket Knife.

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Scottish Ale

Other resources:

You can reach Ken Carson Jr. and Nexus Brewery at:

Sponsors:

Audible

Download a free audiobook.

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 087: Differentiate your brewpub with unique menu items appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Oct 27 2015

47mins

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Rank #19: MicroBrewr 018: Start a commercial FrankenBrewery for $18,000

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In this episode, I talk with Nigel Askew from Horsefly Brewing Company in Montrose, Colorado. As a teenager, Nigel made beer for his dad in Zambia. In the 1990s he was homebrewing in Los Angeles. When he moved to Colorado, he took his 1.5-BBL homebrew system. He and friends pooled money and started their brewery for $18,000. A year later, they moved to a larger facility and expanded to a 10-BBL FrankenBrewery. Now they’re getting ready for a 20-BBL system.

Horsefly Brewing Company’s main operating tenet is to be fair and honest. Nigel is super generous with stories and advice. He tells us about piecing together their brewhouse, and finding amazing deals on equipment.

He offers some great advice, like:

  • How to get a fair price from your suppliers
  • Don’t over plan
  • Start small
  • Sanitize and clean

Listener question:

From Kristine Dubie: What are the pros and cons of whole cone hops vs. compressed hop pellets?

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Session beer

Other resources:

You can reach Nigel Askew and Horsefly Brewing Company at:

If you like the show, please subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher. When you subscribe, it’ll let you know when there’s a new episode, you won’t miss a thing!

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 018: Start a commercial FrankenBrewery for $18,000 appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Jul 15 2014

42mins

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Rank #20: MicroBrewr 075: Recruit the right people for the right job

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Mark Doble opened Aviator Brewing Company, Fuquay Varina, North Carolina, in November 2008. In less than 7 years he has started a brewery, a trucking company, a restaurant, two bars, and soon a new brewery with a distillery. All of these business are still operating.

“Not having to work at a corporate job anymore, that’s one of my favorite things about the brewery.” [Tweet This]

With over 100 employees total, Mark says hiring the wrong person is one of the biggest mistakes he has made in the past. He recommends spending time to recruit the right person for the right job.

“Sometimes we get the wrong people in the wrong job,” says Mark, “and that ends up costing us in the long term.”

Hear another brewer’s perspective on this: MicroBrewr 037: A forty-year career at the epicenter of craft beer, MicroBrewr, November 25, 2014.

Mark’s tips for hiring the right person:

  • Get people to talk about themselves.
  • Get to know them and their work ethic, to decide whether the job is a good fit for them.
  • If you have an employee in the wrong position, move her right away to a better-suited position.

Click the player above to listen to the full interview podcast for more tips and advice.

Brewery specs:

Kettle size: 30-BBL.

Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 10, 100-BBL and 3, 60-BBL fermenters. 2, 30-BBL foeders.

Size and quantity of bright tanks: 2, 100-BBL brite tanks.

Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production: Brewed 10,000 BBL last year. Probably will brew 14,000 BBL this year.

Square footage: 23,000 sq. ft.

Years in operation: 6.5 years (opened November 2008).

Listener question:

From Adam Shay: When did you know that starting a real brewery, as a business was the right move? Do you wish you would’ve done it sooner/later?

Can’t-go-without tool:

Keg cleaner, Premier Stainless.

Book recommendation:

Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.

An upcoming beer style:

Sour beer

Other resources:

You can reach Mark Doble and Aviator Brewing at:

Sponsors:

Audible

Download a free audiobook.

Support MicroBrewr

Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help.

The post MicroBrewr 075: Recruit the right people for the right job appeared first on MicroBrewr.

Aug 04 2015

55mins

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