MicroBrewr 085: Starting a brewery is a full-time job
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: Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements) by John Palmer and Colin Kaminski. Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse (Brewing Elements) by John Mallett. For The Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops (Brewing Elements) by Stan Hieronymus. Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation (Brewing Elements) by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Sour beer Other resources: Deep Ellum Brewing Company, Dallas, Texas. The Florida weisse: a primer, Christopher Staten, DRAFT Magazine, March 18, 2014. Toadies on iTunes. Send Ska! Hawai’i’s Best of 2004, Gardenia Lane. McMaster-Carr Supply Company, supplies and products to maintain manufacturing plants and large commercial facilities worldwide. You can reach Cody Martine and Martin House Brewing Company at: martinhousebrewing.com Facebook: martinhousebrewing Twitter: martinhousebrew Instagram: martinhousebrewing Untappd: martinhousebrewing 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.
13 Oct 2015
MicroBrewr 054: Start a debt-free nanobrewery
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: Brewery Operations Manual by Tom Hennessy. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Experimental beers Other resources: U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Directory of State Alcohol Beverage Control Boards, MicroBrewr. BeerSmith Home Brewing Software. You can reach Lynn Jacobs and Great Storm Brewing at: www.greatstormbrewing.com Facebook: Great-Storm-Brewing/194072563976168 Twitter: GreatStormBrew 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.
10 Mar 2015
MicroBrewr 064: How to write a business plan for a brewery
Dave Lavinsky went to business school at University of California at Los Angeles. After he won a business plan writing competition, he wrote a few for other businesses. Then he started Growthink, in Los Angeles, to help entrepreneurs and business owners develop their business plans so they can raise capital and grow their business. 3 reasons why people don’t do a business plan: No time Don’t know what to write Don’t know how to do the financials Dave is steadfast that you shouldn’t take too long to write a business plan. “To spend more than 2 to 3 months to create your business plan is foolish,” he says, “because there is diminishing returns. After 3 months it’s not going to get all that much better, it just means that you’re probably procrastinating.” Here are the essential parts of a business plan that you must have: Executive Summary Company Overview Industry Analysis/Market Analysis Customer Analysis Competitor Analysis Marketing Plan Operations Plan Management Team Financial Plan Appendix To help explain how to write a business plan for your brewery, here are some notes on the outline above. Think of the Executive Summary as the sales piece to convince investors that you can execute this plan. It should be 1- to 3-pages in length. Do this last to summarize the whole thing. Write it in very approachable language. “It doesn’t need to be beautiful Shakespearian prose,” says Dave, “It needs to be something that’s accessible.” Be sure to include what Dave calls the “success factor line.” Write, “We are uniquely qualified to succeed because…” Explain any of your unique skills, expertise, or resources that will guarantee your success. This might be background or expertise, products or services, location, systems, intellectual property, or a built in customer base. The Company Overview is where you note the organizational structure and type of business entity. The Competitor Analysis should describe both direct competitors and indirect competitors. Your direct competitors are nearby breweries. Indirect competitors might even be supermarkets, taverns, or liquor stores that carry a good selection of craft beer. The Marketing Plan is where you talk about product and pricing, and how you will promote your product. In Management Team, of course describe who will be running the company. But also explain the gaps in management and how you will fill those gaps. Maybe you will find another partner, hire a manager, or outsource some roles. The Financial Plan has 3 spreadsheets: Income Statement (Profit/Loss) Balance Sheet Cash Flow Statement The Appendix has your supporting documentation. Include anything additional to help make your case that you can successfully execute on this plan. Some examples might include: lease agreement for the location, interior design plans, letters of commitment from buyers, customer surveys or other market data. Lastly, be sure to have somebody edit the entire business plan. You could pay a professional to give it a once over. At the minimum, ask a friend to check it for readability, grammar, and typos. Now you know how to write a business plan for your brewery. Let’s both take Dave’s advice and commit to finishing our business plans within 3 months! “Running a business is not doing everything yourself.” [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: Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh. Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Double IPA Other resources: Business Plan Guide, Growthink (FREE). Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template. How To Write a Business Plan, Dave Lavinsky, Forbes, January 30, 2014. 5 Business Plan Myths You Shouldn’t Fall For, Dave Lavinsky, Forbes, January 7, 2014. Business Plan Outlines – 23 Point Checklist for Success, Dave Lavinsky, Forbes, December 3, 2013. Writing a Business Plan: 5 Keys To Your Success, Dave Lavinsky, Forbes, August 19, 2013. Business Plan Template: What To Include, Dave Lavinsky, Forbes, July 18, 2013. You can reach Dave Lavinsky and Growthink at: www.growthink.com Facebook: growthink Twitter: growthink LinkedIn: growthink Sponsors: Audible Download a free audiobook. Support MicroBrewr Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help. The post MicroBrewr 064: How to write a business plan for a brewery appeared first on MicroBrewr.
12 May 2015
MicroBrewr 026: A microbrewery, a taproom, and a brewery incubator
Paul Benner had been operating his homebrew shop for 2 years before he opened Platform Beer Co., in Cleveland Ohio. Platform is a microbrewery and taproom. It is also an innovative* brewery incubator. Although business incubators are popular across the world and in a variety of industries—especially in technology—none exist solely to assist brewery startups. The program is free and, as you could imagine, there is already an extensive waitlist. The 12-week brewery incubator program teaches and assists on every aspect of brewery startup including: Apprenticing with a brewer Guidance on financing Sourcing equipment Selecting a property Designing the logo Writing the business plan Navigating regulatory issues Connecting with investors “You can’t just take your six pack of an imperial stout that everybody loves and sell it,” says Benner. “You have to become incredibly leveraged, you have to open a brewery. And most people don’t have the business savvy, or the funds, or the resources, or even know where to start. “We’re literally creating a platform for these people to have the public taste their beer, which is a dream come true for homebrewers! There’s no vehicle out there right now that allows for that.” Paul’s advice to a homebrewer wanting to start a brewery: Start making relationships with your local brewery Volunteer, observe, haul kegs, clean stuff Read like crazy Go to a bunch of brewing trade shows Be active in your local homebrew club Perfect recipes, make sure each batch comes out similar to the last * I wanted to say “first-of-its-kind,” but I found something online about The Brewery Incubator in Houston, Texas. Although it looks like it’s no longer operating. I was unable to confirm whether it ever got going at all. Listener question: From Cory Waller: What’s your favorite beer to drink? Book recommendation: Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery by Steve Hindy and Tom Potter. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Sour beer Other resources: The Cleveland Brew Shop JC Beer Tech 3 reasons you don’t need a business plan and 1 reason you do by Nathan Pierce’s blog, September 1, 2014. You can reach Paul Benner and Platform Beer Co. at: platformbeerco.com Facebook: PlatformBeerco Twitter: @platformbeerco Instagram: platformbeerco 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 026: A microbrewery, a taproom, and a brewery incubator appeared first on MicroBrewr.
9 Sep 2014
Most Popular Podcasts
MicroBrewr 044: What every brewery should know about trademarks
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: Make a polite phone call to the person who is using your trademark. Send a cease and desist letter. 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: California State Bar Court Reporter. The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Ginger beer soda Other resources: It’s the Law: Trademark, service mark, patents and copyright 101, Part 1, Paul Rovella L+G, LLP, San Benito County Today, August 1, 2013. How to apply for a trademark / service mark, Paul Rovella, MicroBrewr, January 8, 2015. Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Official Gazette, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Hollister, Calif., is at odds with Abercrombie over name, Hugo Martín, LA Times, April 24, 2009. MicroBrewr 038: Learn the classics and stay true to your genre, MicroBrewr, December 2, 2014. Empire Brewery Lets Lucasfilm Feel Its Force During Trademark Dispute, Rudner & Laeeudis, LLC, New York Liquor License Law Blog, January 6, 2015. Breweries Are Running Out Of Names, And Into Legal Spats, Alastair Bland, The Salt and NPR Food, KQEG, January 5, 2015. You can reach Paul Rovella and L+G, LLP Attorneys at Law at: www.lg-attorneys.com Facebook: lgatty LinkedIn: l-g-llp-attorneys-at-law 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.
6 Jan 2015
MicroBrewr 066: How to get an SBA loan for a startup brewery
Kris Kennedy works in the Small Business Lending Group with First Community Bank in Roseville, California. They were the first financial institution listed as an allied trade member of California Craft Brewers Association. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s loan program makes it easier for small businesses to get funding from traditional lending institutions. Kris teaches us how to get an SBA loan for a brewery. All participating banks must go by the SBA guidelines. There are typically 5 criteria to judge worthiness for a loan: Cash flow – This could be historical or projected. Can you repay the debt? Economic environment of the industry – Also includes changes to the industry such a new regulations or supply issues. Collateral – Can include business assets and personal real estate. How much the borrower is investing – They typically require 20-25% for startups. Character – They check your credit score including public records such as judgments and liens. Credit score must be at least 680. Loan funds can be used for a variety of things. Eligible expenditures include: Operating equipment Real estate Tenant improvement to real estate Construction of a new building Refinancing for business debt Purchase of an existing business Working capital Loan amounts can range from $350,000 to $5 million dollars. Loans are offered in 10-year and 25-year terms. They’re fully amortized, meaning that the monthly payment will be the same through the life of the loan. There’s usually no pre-payment penalty after the first 3 years. Kris says the ideal candidate should have experience working in a commercial brewery. Planning on opening a brewpub, have restaurant or hospitality experience. Basically, show that your past experience applies to running a brewery. If you’re a homebrewer wanting to get an SBA loan, it could help to have awards for your beer. So start entering in contests! Lastly, Kris says, it’s good to work with a lender that has experience in the industry. If you’re in California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, or Oregon, and you need funds to start or expand a brewery, get in touch with Kris. “Not every startup is something that a lender is going to be able to finance.” [Tweet This] Listener question: From Josh Button: How much business experience should I have? What kind of experience or education would you ecommend? Book recommendation: The Umami Factor: Full-Spectrum Fermentation for the 21st Century by Robert Rivelle George. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Pale ale Other resources: Allied Trade Members, California Craft Brewers Association. SBA Lending, First Community Bank. Brewers finding it easier to access capital, Eric Gneckow, The North Bay Business Journal, February 10, 2014. Turns Out, Uncle Sam Is a Beer Lover, Darren Dahl, Inc. Magazine, June 2013. New Glarus tapped SBA resources from start, Jeff Engel, Milwaukee Business Journal, June 14, 2013. SBA 100 Dogfish Craft Brewery, U.S. Small Business Administration. You can reach Kris Kennedy and First Community Bank at: www.fcbconnect.com Email: kkennedy [at] fcbconnect [dot] com Phone: 916-740-1563 Sponsor: Support MicroBrewr Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help. The post MicroBrewr 066: How to get an SBA loan for a startup brewery appeared first on MicroBrewr.
26 May 2015
MicroBrewr 036: How to write a business plan for a gastropub brewery
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: Read Dick cantwell’s book: The Brewers Association’s Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery Go to business school or take a class on business Read other business plans “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: The Brewers Association’s Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery by Dick Cantwell. The Oxford Companion to Beer by Garrett Oliver (Editor). Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Sour beers Other resources: S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Directory of State Alcohol Beverage Control Boards. Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. REV (formerly True Market Solutions). Board of Equalization in your state. Labor Board in your state. Gose, German Beer Institute, The German Beer Portal for North America. You can reach Brian Kelly and Elevation 66 Brewing Company at: www.elevation66.com Facebook: pages/Elevation-66-Brewing-Company/161621110523403 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.
18 Nov 2014
MicroBrewr 068: An SBA loan can help open or grow your brewery
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: Have a business plan Read what others have 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: Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. by Ken Grossman. Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Beer from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery by Sam Calagione. Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery by Steve Hindy and Tom Potter. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Lager Other resources: Turns Out, Uncle Sam Is a Beer Lover, Darren Dahl, Inc., June 2013. MicroBrewr 066: How to get an SBA loan for a startup brewery, MicroBrewr, May 26, 2015. SCORE, free small business advice. South Yeast, the nations first bank for regionally unique microorganisms for the fermented food and beverage industries. What About Bob? movie in iTunes. Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference. You can reach Adam Charnack and Hi-Wire Brewing at: hiwirebrewing.com Facebook: HiWireBrewing Twitter: HiWireBrewing Instagram: hiwirebrewing 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.
9 Jun 2015
MicroBrewr 022: Expanding to… India!
Matt Greff fell in love with beer while at university in Germany. He and his wife, Rene Greff, opened Arbor Brewing Company Brewpub in Ann Arbor Michigan in 1995. Since then, they opened a microbrewery in nearby Ypsilanti, Michigan and, just a year and-a-half ago, opened a brewpub in Bangalore, India! They operate under the principle of “capitalism with a conscience.” Rather than being focused solely on profits, they aim for their business to be good for the community and good for their employees. “The best decision we every made,” says Matt, “was giving our management team a lot of autonomy.” Do you want to open a brewery? This is Matt’s advice for you to start doing tomorrow: Develop a vision Do your homework Get experience Matt also talks about: How his love affair with beer started How to use geothermal cooling to reduce energy costs How being named “best brewpub in the Midwest” affected their sales Support Arbor Brewing Company’s crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo ABC Microbrewery Needs a Kitchen (Deadline: September 4, 2014, 11:59 p.m.) UPDATE: They met the goal of their fundraising campaign. Woohoo! Listener question: From Tanner Munro: Have you thought about pairing beer to food, as a compliment beverage to food? Book recommendation: Building a Business the Buddhist Way by Geri Larkin. There’s GOT to be an easier way to run a business: How to have a successful company — and a life! by Bill Marvin. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Session IPA Other resources: www.indiegogo.com crowdfunding. The Lunchbox (2013) movie. Earl & Tiffany on Vine. My continuing battle against perfectionism—part 1 of ? by Nathan Pierce, July 28, 2014. Arbor Brewing heads to India by Chris Staten, DRAFT Magazine, June 25, 2012. Arbor Brewing Company: India’s First American Craft Brewery by Craft Beer, February 27, 2013. MicroBrewr 008: Raise Money for Your MicroBrewery Without Having to Give Away Any Ownership w/ CrowdBrewed, April 22, 2014. Six Session IPAs Ranked by John Verive, Paste, April 9, 2014. You can reach Matt Greff and Arbor Brewing Company at: www.arborbrewing.com Facebook: arborbrewing Facebook: CornerBrewery Twitter: @ArborBrewingCo Twitter: @ArborBrewIndia 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 022: Expanding to… India! appeared first on MicroBrewr.
12 Aug 2014
MicroBrewr 002: Using a Flagship Beer To Build a Brand w/ Alamo Beer
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.
24 Feb 2014
MicroBrewr 031: Accounting solutions for your craft brewery
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: Not having enough capital on hand. You’ll need more than 3 month’s cash on hand. Not planning for information flow. Set up processes to make sure information and documents flow efficiently from one department to another. Not having funds for contingencies. Set aside 10%-15% for unexpected expenses. 6 tools she suggests to manage your breweries finances: Set aside time each week to handle paperwork. Take a cash flow class at the community college. Use Microsoft Excel or simple accounting software to track your data. Ensure information is communicated between all departments of the brewery. Build a budget annually and review it monthly to stay on track. 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: The Brewers Association’s Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery by Dick Cantwell. Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Beer from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery by Sam Calagione. Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. by Ken Grossman. Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Session lager Other resources: U.S. Department of the Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau Directory of State Alcohol Beverage Control Boards MicroBrewr 008: Raise Money for Your MicroBrewery Without Having to Give Away Any Ownership w/ CrowdBrewed, April 22, 2014. MicroBrewr 010: How Ninkasi Went From a 15BBL System to the 30th Largest Craft Brewery in the Nation w/ Ninkasi Brewing, May 6, 2014. What Does Your Beer Really Cost? Establishing and Effective Beer Costing Program in the Brewpub by Scott Metzger, The New Brewer, January/February 2012. What San Francisco Giants Brewfest taught me about the future of lagers by Nathan Pierce’s blog, June 7, 2014. You can reach Audra Gaiziunas and Brewed For Her Ledger at: www.brewedforherledger.com Facebook: brewedforherledger Twitter: @BeerMudderAudra LinkedIn: Audra Gaiziunas, MBA 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.
14 Oct 2014
MicroBrewr 067: How to find investors for a brewery
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: Equity – ownership in the company Debt (loan) – must be paid back There are 2 kinds of investors: 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. 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: The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Cider Other resources: Is a Country Club Membership a Security?, June Lin, Primerus. Amanda’s Million, Yancy Strickler, The Kickstarter Blog, June 4, 2012. Amanda Palmer: The art of asking, TED, February 2013. Kiva, loans that change lives. Fast Answers, Form D, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Securities regulators for each state, North American Securities Administrators Association. MicroBrewr 063: A hundred-page business plan and barely enough money, MicroBrewr, May 5, 2015. MicroBrewr 064: How to write a business plan for a brewery, MicroBrewr, May 12, 2015. MicroBrewr 037: A forty-year career at the epicenter of craft beer, MicroBrewr, November 25, 2014. You can reach Jenny Kassan and her legal work at: www.jennykassan.com Facebook: jenny.kassan Twitter: jennykassan LinkedIn: jennykassan 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.
2 Jun 2015
MicroBrewr 041: A flagship nanobrewery in a tourist town
Danny Robinson had the choice of building a giant brewery in the middle of nowhere, or a tiny brewery right on the beach and boardwalk. He chose the later and made Backshore Brewing Co. in Ocean City, Maryland. “The plan from the beginning was to have this nanobrewery up on the boardwalk, be the flagship of the brand.” It seems to be working. In a town whose population fluctuates from 3,000 in the winter to 300,000 in the summer, Backshore has a 1-BBL brewhouse and has beer made under contract to meet demand. I first heard about Backshore Brewing from Alexis Irvin, who spoke with us on MicroBrewr Podcast 040. Check out episode 40 to hear about Blood, Sweat, and Beer documentary and to get a coupon code for 20% off the price when your order a digital download of the movie. Some of Danny’s advice to others: Get really deep with the math. Get a mentor and find more mentors. Play to your strengths. Be honest with yourself, but keep trusting yourself. Don’t underestimate the power of packaging and marketing. Brewery specs: Kettle size: 1 BBL. Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 4, 2-BBL fermenters. Size and quantity of bright tanks: 2, 2-BBL bright tanks, sometimes used as fermenters. Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production: Brewed 200 BBL last year, contracted 400 BBL for distribution. Square footage: 600 sq. ft., with 500 sq. ft deck. Years in operation: 2.5 years (opened May 2012). “A business is very different from a hobby.” [Tweet This] Listener question: From Federico Nussbaum: How can we find out how many beers to have on tap in the start? How can we find out which styles to serve in our local area? Book recommendation: How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Ciders Other resources: MicroBrewr 040: Keep persevering to get to the end, December 16, 2014. MicroBrewr 015: Randal Denver’s advice for a homebrewer who wants to become a professional brewer, June 28, 2104. Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. You can reach Danny Robinson and Backshore Brewing Co. at: backshorebrew.com Facebook: Backshore Twitter: BackshoreBrewCo Instagram: backshore Support MicroBrewr Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help. The post MicroBrewr 041: A flagship nanobrewery in a tourist town appeared first on MicroBrewr.
23 Dec 2014
MicroBrewr 033: Wastewater treatment solutions for a craft brewery
Wastewater treatment is a key issue for a craft brewery. John Mercer from Brewery Wastewater Design in Montrose, Colorado has more than a decade of experience. He shares wastewater treatment solutions for a craft brewery. For every gallon of beer produced, a typical brewery uses 7 gallons of water. If your municipal wastewater treatment plant can’t handle it, you could be facing high fees for wastewater treatment. Brewery wastewater can fall into one of several categories: Floor drains in the brewery, which contain alcohol, sugars, and other contaminants. Kitchen drains, which includes grease. Restrooms, which typically go the sewage treatment plant. Side stream, which is a way to divert extremely concentrated wastewater such as spent yeast, waste beer, fermenter blow-off, and trub. If your brewery is in an area that has municipal sewage service, you might not have to do anything. If you’re in the county with no sewage service, you’ll likely have to build your own brewery wastewater treatment infrastructure. Solutions will vary depending on your brewery wastewater characteristics, or who designs your system. Diverting the very concentrated sources through a “side stream,” could reduce the contaminants in your wastewater by 90%. Which could mean reduced fees for treatment. Key questions to ask: Is the wastewater facility at capacity? How much would the fees cost? Does your consultant have experience designing systems for breweries or other food manufacturers? SPECIAL BONUS: Ask John any question about wastewater treatment for your brewery. Leave your questions in the comments section below. John will keep watching the comments for the next 30 days to answer as many of your questions as he can. Be sure to connect with Brewery Wastewater Design and thank John for being on the show and for helping us out with questions. UPDATE: Thirty days is up, John is no longer monitoring the questions here. You can still reach him through the links below. Thanks for your great questions everyone! Tweetable: “I came back to brewery work because the people are the greatest and the industry is the greatest.” [Tweet This] Listener question: From Megan Tolbert: How low environmental impact is your business? Book recommendation: Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. by Ken Grossman. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Sour beer Other resources: Your city public works department. Your county environmental services department. Brewery Wastewater 101 by John Mercer, Brewery Wastewater Design. Water and Wastewater: Treatment/Volume Reduction Manual by Brewers Association. The growing challenges of brewery wastewater systems by Keith Gribbins, Craft Brewing Business, September 6, 2013. How side streaming your brewery wastewater can save you money, John Mercer, MicroBrewr, December 11, 2014. You can reach John Mercer and Brewery Wastewater Design at: brewerywastewater.com Facebook: brewerywastewater Twitter: @BreweryWastewat Support MicroBrewr Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help. The post MicroBrewr 033: Wastewater treatment solutions for a craft brewery appeared first on MicroBrewr.
28 Oct 2014
MicroBrewr 079: The importance of budgeting for working capital
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: Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation (Brewing Elements) by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Sour beers Other resources: American Brewers Guild, education for working or would-be brewers who can’t get away. Brewers Association, promoting independent craft brewers. Stop calling beers ‘sours,’ Joe Stange, DRAFT Magazine, June 25, 2015. You can reach Wim Bens and Lakewood Brewing Co. at: lakewoodbrewing.com Facebook: LakewoodBrewing Twitter: LakewoodBrewing Instagram: lakewoodbrewing Untappd: lakewoodbrewing 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.
1 Sep 2015
MicroBrewr 077: The importance of writing your goals
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: Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Sour beers Other resources: Great American Beer Festival, Brewers Association. New Glarus Brewing, New Glarus, Wisconsin. Avery Brewing, Boulder, Colorado. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. Organic Gardener Podcast. You can reach Michael Peticolas and Peticolas Brewing Company at: peticolasbrewing.com Facebook: PeticolasBrewing Twitter: Peticolas Instagram: peticolasbrewing 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.
18 Aug 2015
MicroBrewr 046: Start your brewery as a worker-owned co-op
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: Companies We Keep: Employee Ownership and the Business of Community and Place by John Abrams. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Pale Ale Other resources: Beer geeks’ dream: A Full Barrel co-op, Sally Pollak, Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, USA Today, September 9, 2014. Co-op Breweries: Craft Beer in The New Economy, Joshua Nelson, Post Growth, February 22, 2013. A New Way to Get Your Brew: Start (or Join!) a Brewpub Co-op, Emma Christensen, The Kitchn, February 14, 2013. New Belgium Brewing becomes a 100% employee-owned company, Adam Nason, Beerpulse.com, January 15, 2013. Tapping Community, a rise in community-supported breweries is a good thing for craft beer, and for communities, Whit Richardson, All About Beer Magazine, September 1, 2012. You can reach Janelle Orsi and Sustainable Economies Law Center at: www.theselc.org Facebook: theselc Twitter: TheSELC YouTube: theselctube 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.
20 Jan 2015
MicroBrewr 063: A hundred-page business plan and barely enough money
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: Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles by Ray Daniels. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Session IPA Other resources: General Solicitation Ban Lifted Today – Three Things You Must Know About It, Tanya Prive, Forbes, September 23, 2013. What Small Companies Need to now About Soliciting Investments, Javier Espinoza, Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2013. Startup Podcast, Gimlet. Business Plan Pro, Palo Alto Software, in Amazon. 115: Crazy Mountain – All About Startups, Craft Conscious. You can reach Kevin Selvy and Crazy Mountain Brewing Company at: crazymountainbrewery.com Facebook: crazymountainbrewery Twitter: crazymtnbrewery Instagram: crazymtnbrewery 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.
5 May 2015
MicroBrewr 038: Learn the classics and stay true to your genre
Dan Gordon enjoyed beer from the young age of 15 years. In high school, he lived next door to 2 brewers when he studied in Austria. Then in post-grad, he studied Brewing Engineering and Beverage Technology in Germany. Back home in Palo Alto, he partnered with restaurateur, Dean Biersch, to open a brewpub in Palo Alto, California, which later became Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose, California. Gordon Biersch went on to open brewpubs throughout the U.S. and abroad. They had to divest, but remain connected. Meanwhile Gordon Biersch Brewing Company was the 49th largest craft brewery in the nation based on 2013 numbers. Their beers won 4 medals in the 2014 Great American Beer Festival. Dan and Gordon Biersch were part of the famed craft beer class of 1988. He has a wealth of insight. Here are some of his suggestions: Get industrial experience from a legitimate brewer Invest in quality equipment Stay true to your genre Start bottling sooner rather than later Hold your breath and wait a little bit “[Homebrewing] is a foundation and building block for making beer popular these days.” [Tweet This] Listener question: From Trina Christensen: What is the most rewarding thing about brewing? Are you tired of cleaning yet? Book recommendation: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Pilsner Other resources: Garlic Fries… HOME RUN! by Eric Kauschen, Baghdad By The Bay, April 3, 2012. Reinheitsgebot, Wikipedia. What is the Reinheitsgebot? by Jennifer McHavin, About Food. Michael Jackson’s Beer Hunter. How to Build a Small Brewery by Bill Owens. You can reach Brian Kelly and Elevation 66 Brewing Company at: www.gordonbiersch.com/brewery Facebook: gordonbierschbrewingco Twitter: GBBrewingCo Twitter: Gordon_Biersch You might also like: MicroBrewr 035: Staying creative and innovative with partner brewing, with 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco, California. Support MicroBrewr Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help. The post MicroBrewr 038: Learn the classics and stay true to your genre appeared first on MicroBrewr.
2 Dec 2014
MicroBrewr 042: Open a microbrewery to revitalize an economy
Matt Katase wasn’t yet legal drinking age when he read an autobiography of a brewery owner. Then he and his friend, Asa Foster, toured a large craft brewery and thought, we can do that. At age twenty-three, they opened The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company in Braddock, Pennsylvania. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Matt has the following advice: Don’t do it. Strategically schedule donations and media interviews throughout the campaign. Get lots of donations the first day to foster media impressions. Research for optimum length of time. I first heard about The Brew Gentlemen from Alexis Irvin, who spoke with us on MicroBrewr Podcast 040. Check out episode 40 to hear about Blood, Sweat, and Beer documentary and to get a coupon code for 20% off the price when your order a digital download of the movie. Matt’s tips to successfully start a brewery: Have confidence in yourself, stay true to your mission. Learn construction from YouTube videos. Make the women’s restroom really nice. Care about quality, your customers, and your brand and image. Brewery specs: Kettle size: 3.5 BBL. Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 4, 7-BBL. Size and quantity of bright tanks: 1, 7-BBL. Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production: 400-600 BBL. Square footage: 1,500 sq. ft., plus taproom, plus event space. Years in operation: 7 months (opened May 2014). “You’ve gotta have confidence in yourself and stay true to your mission.” [Tweet This] Listener question: From Robert Villareal: How much did you invest in your very first homebrew and equipment? Book recommendation: So You Want to Start a Brewery?: The Lagunitas Story by Tony Magee. Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business by Danny Meyer. Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here. An upcoming beer style: Sour beers Other resources: MicroBrewr 040: Keep persevering to get to the end, December 16, 2014. Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Beer from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery by Sam Calagione. Superior Motors: Community Restaurant & Farm Ecosystem, Kevin Sousa’s Kickstarter campaign. Cicerone Certification Program. 8 things you need to know before brewing up a business from scratch, by David Johnson, Fast Company, November 21, 2014. Brettanomyces Project, by Chad Yakobson. ABC Microbrewery Needs a Kitchen, Arbor Brewing Company’s Indygogo campaign. MicroBrewr 022: Expanding to… India!, August 12, 2014. You can reach Matt Katase and The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company at: brewgentlemen.com Facebook: brewgentlemen Twitter: brewgentlemen Instagram: brewgentlemen Support MicroBrewr Help keep MicroBrewr on the air. CLICK HERE for ways you can help. The post MicroBrewr 042: Open a microbrewery to revitalize an economy appeared first on MicroBrewr.
30 Dec 2014