MicroBrewr 061: Use social media to directly interact, with your customers with Untappd.

MicroBrewr 061: Use social media to directly interact with your customers

Tim Mather was just getting into craft beer when he and a friend created the highly-popular mobile app for beer drinkers, Untappd, based in Los Angles, California.

“Neither of us really knew anything about beer,” admits Tim. “I knew that I wasn’t too big into macros. I was just starting to get into larger craft brands. We were both really into social media.”

Tim and his partner, Greg Avola both work full-time jobs during the day. Yet they keep Untappd going in their spare time.

With over 2 million users who “check in” beers that they drink, Untappd is a unique, highly-targeted way to market your beer.

“Social media is important to any business’ marketing campaign,” Tim advises. “If you want to reach someone, you gotta be there. And honestly you gotta be active too. Because if you just do, once in a while you post something, people aren’t going to see you.”

RELATED: My #1 tool for growing an email list

Tim has some tips for interacting with your audience on Untappd or any social media:

  • Take criticism well
  • Toast people’s check-ins
  • Ask for feedback

It is extremely important to take criticism well. Remember, as Tim says, “Your comments are representative of your brand.” So don’t be a jerk, do be professional at all times, and remember that people have different tastes.

It’s okay if someone doesn’t like your beer. Ask the person some questions to get to know her tastes a little better, then think of a different beer to recommend.

Social media is all about relationships. Build relationships to sell more beer and make new friends.

SUPPORT UNTAPPD:

Become an Untappd Supporter

Untappd is run by just 2 people who both have full-time jobs during the day. Yet they work tirelessly to bring us this great app called Untappd. Become an Untappd Supporter to keep it going, say thanks, and help make the app better. Click here to become an Untappd Supporter now.

“Social media is important to any business’ marketing campaign.” [Tweet This]

 

Listener question:

From Mike B.: Was it worth it?

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Session IPA

Other resources:

You can reach Tim Mather and Untappd at:

You can reach Tim Mather and Greg Avola on Twitter at:

Sponsors:

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MicroBrewr 060: How to make a website that people find, with UnEarthed Creative.

MicroBrewr 060: How to make a website that people find

Allan Wolfe is a beer writer who started UnEarthed Creative in Chicago, Illinois. His online marketing firm helps small businesses in the new world of online marketing. They specialize in marketing for small breweries.

“If you’ve got the best beer, but nobody knows it exists, what’s the point?” says Allan.

“As the craft beer industry becomes so much bigger, every market has a certain point where it’s saturated,” Allan explains. “The craft beer market is heading directly toward the saturation point. I think that’s when the market is going to get really competitive.”

As competition among breweries increases, it’s more important to have a meaningful web presence.

“The easier you make it for people to find you,” advises Allan, “and then once they’ve found you, the easier you make for them to buy things from you, the better off you’re going to be absolutely.”

Allan says the first thing to consider when you make a website is to use an easy platform that a lot of developers and content management specialists are familiar with, such as WordPress. Next you need to create helpful, useful content. And make a website that uses a “responsive,” mobile compatible design.

RELATED: My #1 tool for growing an email list

Because search results are moving toward helpful, useful content for the user, your website must have a lot of content. Allan says every website must have a blog and he offers these ideas for writing new content:

  • Brewery updates and events
  • What you’re doing
  • New releases
  • New equipment
  • Any sort of update or message you want to communicate with your customers

“If you’ve got the best beer, but nobody knows it exists, what’s the point?” [Tweet This]

 

Listener question:

From TastingNitch on Twitter: What is your preferred beer drinking vessel and why?

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Experimental beers

Other resources:

You can reach Allan Wolfe and UnEarthed Creative at:

Sponsors:

Audible

Download a free audiobook.

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MicroBrewr 059: How to get the most out of a beer festival, with SuperFly Fabulous Events.

MicroBrewr 059: How to get the most out of a beer festival

Beer festivals are an important part of a startup brewery’s marketing plan. Stephanie Carson and SuperFly Fabulous Events in Asheville, North Carolina put on 11 beer festivals every year.

I asked her, how much do beer festivals play a part in a startup brewery’s existing marketing plan?

“I think it’s everything,” says Stephanie. “A startup brewery is not going to have the marketing budget, they’re not going to have the advertising budget, they might not even have a contact at a good distributor.”

“So I think attending a festival is really important.”

When you’re getting ready to attend a festival as a brewery, you’ll need to make sure you have several items. Some events will provide these, so always check beforehand to make sure you know what you’ll need to bring.

Stephanie says to make sure you have these items:

  • Creative looking tap handles
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) canisters
  • Ice
  • Jockey box
  • Tent/awning
  • Items to sell
  • Something to entice the customers back to your brewery

The beer festival is a key part of getting your product out to the public. People attending the beer festival are your core customers: They love craft beer, and they seek out new beers.

There are some things that you can do to best leverage your presence at the festival. Make a good impression, initiate contacts, and turn those into long-term customers.

This is what Stephanie recommends to get the most out of a beer festival:

  • Help promote the event.
  • Be organized and on time.
  • Give a creative take-home item, so the attendees will remember you.
  • Bring a unique beer that is not available elsewhere.

“With so many craft breweries opening up, you can’t just have your old standards.” [Tweet This]

Listener question:

From Conrad B.: Why do you do what you do?

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Dark beers

Other resources:

You can reach Stephanie Carson and SuperFly Fabulous Events at:

Sponsors:

InMotion Hosting

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Support MicroBrewr

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MicroBrewr 058: Be confident to get where you need to go, with Stone Brewing Co.

MicroBrewr 058: Be confident to get where you need to go

Laura Ulrich is the small batch brewer at Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, California. She has worked there for 11 years, after working in the bottling line at Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado.

“Twelve years ago,” says Laura, “There wasn’t a focus on having the degree in brewing.” She says she would have liked to take more science classes to understand the technical sides of brewing.

It doesn’t seem to be hindering her. She created the widely popular Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean.

Laura has worked on the bottling line, in the cellar, and finally in the brewhouse. “Everybody’s gotta work together to make the end product get to the public,” she says.

Brewery specs:

Kettle size: 2, 120-BBL brewing systems.

Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 68, 400-BBL fermenters; 6, 150-BBL.

Size and quantity of bright tanks: 2, 150-BBL; one, 390-BBL; 5, 650-BBL; 4, 850-BBL.

Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production: Brewed 285,075 BBL in 2014.

Square footage: 55,000 sq. ft. brewery, with 65,000 sq. ft. packaging hall.

Years in operation: 18 years (opened August 1996).

“If you really want it, you can have it.” [Tweet This]

 

Listener question:

From John D.: What’s your least favorite style of beer?

Book recommendation:

  • “I haven’t been reading books, I’m awful. I need to get back into it.”

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Session IPA

Other resources:

You can reach Laura Ulrich and Stone Brewing Co. at:

Laura is on Twitter at:

Sponsors:

Audible

Download a free audiobook.

Audible. Download a free audiobook. http://microbrewr.com/audible

Support MicroBrewr

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

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MicroBrewr 057: Create new revenue streams for your brewpub, with Wisconsin Dells Brewing Co.

MicroBrewr 057: Create new revenue streams for your brewpub

Jamie Baertsch did an internship with Wisconsin Dells Brewing Co., in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, and she stuck around until they started paying her. Today she’s the brewmaster, winning awards for her beer, and planning the expansion to a production facility.

Wisconsin Dells Brewing Co. is the brewing part of Moosejaw Pizza brewpub, which experiences 50% of their sales just in the summer months. During that time the brewing capacity is maxed out, but in the rest of the year it’s much slower. To keep busy and to make up for lost revenues in the slow times of the year, Wisconsin Dells Brewing how found creative ways to find income.

Besides a variety of beers, Wisconsin Dells also makes a line of hand-crafted soda beverages. Additionally, they put their beer into cans and bottles for off-site distribution.

Brewery specs:

Kettle size: 15 BBL.

Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 4, 15-BBL fermenters; 1, 30-BBL fermenter.

Size and quantity of bright tanks: 2, 30-BBL bright tanks for beer; 9, 15-BBL bright tanks for beer; 4, 16-BBL bright tanks for soda; 2, 2-BBL bright tanks for soda.

Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production: 1,405.70 BBL.

Square footage: 200 sq. ft. brewhouse, 2 walk-in coolers, 3 large warehouses, 2 forklifts, one truck, 2 pallet jacks.

Years in operation: 13 years (opened May 2002).

“I spent 12 years learning how to brew. And now packaging is a whole new thing.” [Tweet This]

 

Listener question:

From 76Johnyb: Where do you get inspiration for your unique brews?

Book recommendation:

  • Phone book.

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Red IPA

Other resources:

You can reach Jamie Baertsch and Wisconsin Dells Brewing Co. at:

Sponsors:

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MicroBrewr 056: Applying organic chemistry to brewing, with Golden Road Brewing.

MicroBrewr 056: Applying organic chemistry to brewing

Nadia Vazirzadeh had only a bachelor’s degree in biology, zero knowledge of beer, when she started working on the quality control team at Golden Road Brewing, Los Angeles, California.

“I knew I wanted to do something the rest of my life that I loved,” she says. “I still had people trying to convince that, ‘Don’t you want to be a doctor? What’s beer really doing for anybody?’ I take pride in what I do in the beer industry. I think it’s really important. I really like what I do and this alone is really fulfilling to me.”

As part of her job to make sure that the brewery brings consistently great beer, her daily duties are:

  • Check gravities
  • Get yeast for new batches of beer
  • Use the alcolyzer
  • Conduct grist analysis
  • Check IBUs
  • Put together sensory tasting for staff
Nadia Vazirzadeh, at Golden Road Brewing, convinced the 7 brewers into dressing up like Snow White's 7 Dwarves for Halloween.

Nadia Vazirzadeh, at Golden Road Brewing, convinced the 7 brewers into dressing up like Snow White’s 7 Dwarves for Halloween. Source: Facebook.

Nadia recommends reading about what you’re working with and reading about other breweries. “Everybody does something different,” she says. “Read. That’s really my main recommendation.”

Brewery specs:

Kettle size: 50 BBL.

Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 16, 300-BBL fermenters, including some conversion tanks.

Size and quantity of bright tanks: 3, 200-BBL.

Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production: About 30,000 BBL in 2014.

Square footage: 32,000 sq. ft.

Years in operation: 3.5 years (founded 2011).

“I knew I wanted to do something the rest of my life that I loved.” [Tweet This]

 

Listener question:

From Pour & Beerded: How did you get yourself to make the leap to go all in or nothing? Especially if you quit a decent job…

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Sour beer

Other resources:

You can reach Nadia Vazirzadeh and Golden Road Brewing at:

Sponsors:

InMotion Hosting

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Support MicroBrewr

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

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MicroBrewr 055: Use contract brewing to de-risk, with minimal cash injection with Two Birds Brewing.

MicroBrewr 055: Use contract brewing to de-risk with minimal cash injection

If you’re like me, you don’t have a million dollars to start the brewery of your dreams. If you have brewing skills and can create recipes, contract brewing could be a way to create a product and establish a customer base with minimal initial investment. That’s how Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen started Two Birds Brewing in Spotswood, Victoria, Australia.

Jayne and Danielle were longtime friends when they realized they each shared long-term life goals. Danielle had a background in marketing and sales, while Jayne had years of experience as a commercial brewer.

Nine months after they made the decision, they were working for themselves. For about 3 years Jayne brewed on dozens of other systems. Finally, about 9 months ago, they had increased their brand and their market enough to open their own package brewery.

Their whole business has been financed by themselves. So they don’t have outside investors.

Brewery specs:

Kettle size: 18 hL (15-BBL).

Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 4, 36 hL (4, 30-BBL fermenters). 2, 72 hL (2, 60-BBL) due in June 2015.

Size and quantity of bright tanks: 36 hL (30-BBL). 72 hL (60-BBL) due in June 2015.

Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production:

Square footage: 460 sq. m. (4,951 sq. ft.).

Years in operation: The production brewery has been operating for 9 months (opened June 2014). The brand has been operating for 3 years and 9months (opened June 2011).

“You’ve gotta do what you have to do, in order to do what you want to do.” [Tweet This]

 

Listener question:

From Chris Tiffany: How do you preserve fresh hop character, especially aroma, when bottles may sit for a while before being enjoyed?

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Sour beers

Other resources:

  • Pink Boots Society to empower women beer professionals to advance their careers in the beer industry through education.
  • Pink Boots Society Australia on Facebook.
  • International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day.
  • MicroBrewr 002: Using a Flagship Beer To Build a Brand w/ Alamo Beer.
  • MicroBrewr 015: Randal Denver’s advice for a homebrewer who wants to become a professional brewer.

You can reach Jayne Lewis and Two Birds Brewing at:

Jayne and Danielle on social media:

Sponsors:

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Support MicroBrewr

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MicroBrewr 054: Start a debt-free nanobrewery, with Great Storm Brewing.

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:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Experimental beers

Other resources:

You can reach Lynn Jacobs and Great Storm Brewing at:

Sponsors:

Audible

Download a free audiobook.

Audible. Download a free audiobook. http://microbrewr.com/audible

Support MicroBrewr

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

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MicroBrewr 053: Pink Boots Society empowers women in beer, with Teri Fahrendorf.

MicroBrewr 053: Pink Boots Society empowers women in beer

Teri Fahrendorf had been brewing professionally for 19 years when she went on a road trip. She visited 71 breweries, brewed at 38 of them, and blogged the whole way. Throughout the trip, she did meet a few other women working in craft beer. They always asked whether there were others. So they started the Pink Boots Society.

Pink Boots Society is a non-profit to empower women beer professionals to advance their careers in the beer industry. Today, Pink Boots Society has over 1,500 members in 40 chapters worldwide.

You don’t have to be a brewer to be a member of Pink Boots Society. As long as you earn income from beer in some way, you can join Pink Boots Society. Members include brewers, loan officers, jewelry makers, lawyers, and blog editors.

Roles for women have traditionally been volunteer roles, says Teri, like child rearing or housekeeping. Consequently, modern society often expects women to work in volunteer positions.

“Your value that you are putting into the world,” says Teri, “needs to be recognized in a value that the world recognizes, which is cash.”

In addition to moral support and educational seminars, Pink Boots Society has a scholarship fund for women in the beer industry.

CALL FOR HELP:

Volunteers needed

Pink Boots Society is an almost entirely volunteer organization. So they’re always looking for more women to join and for volunteers. If you are a statistician or can work with data and numbers, Pink Boots Society needs your help. Get in touch with them here or through the contact info below.

“Your value that you are putting into the world needs to be recognized.” [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.

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Saison

Other resources:

You can reach Teri Fahrendorf and Pink Boots Society at:

Teri’s other blogs:

Sponsors:

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MicroBrewr 052: Share your brewery’s story with a podcast, with Short's Brewing Company.

MicroBrewr 052: Share your brewery’s story with a podcast

Joe Short started Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire, Michigan in 2004. Today Short’s Brewing is one of the fastest growing of Michigan breweries. Their young, savvy marketing program includes a podcast.

“A large part of making people aware of us,” says Joe, “is the fact that we are always able to just tell our story through photos and blogging in the early days through our website. When we added more people to the team, we started picking up things like Facebook and Twitter. Now we’re able to work with Mike to bring us to the next level, which is the podcast.”

Short’s Brewing contracts with Mike Moran, Quarter After Productions, to produce their weekly podcast. His team of 3 editors and 2 interns works on 9 podcasts.

“This story is very honest,” says Mike, “and it’s one of the coolest business stories I’ve seen in Northern Michigan in a long time. I’m super lucky to be able to be a part of it and capture it.”

The podcast, called Short’s Cast, is a great tool to keep the brewery’s audience updated. Regular features on the podcast include:

  • Music recorded from live performances at the pub.
  • Announcements of beer releases.
  • Interviews with musicians who perform at the pub.
  • General announcements.

“We’re sharing the business story or a culture we’re creating,” explains Joe.

A podcast provides an outlet to share your brewery’s story with a worldwide audience.

“The majority of the listeners,” says Mike, “are outside of the Northern Michigan area. It reaches out to a lot of the fans who can’t be here in Northern Michigan. They use the podcast as a source of information [about the brewery].”

Brewery specs:

Kettle size: 32 BBL.

Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 4, 100-BBL fermenters; 1, 70-BBL fermenter.

Size and quantity of bright tanks: 16, 90-BBL bright tanks and 7, 60-BBL bright tanks which are sometimes used as fermenters.

Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production: 60,000 BBL/year capacity. Brewed 34,443 BBL last year (1.067 million US Gallons or the equivalent volume of 6.44 billion melted M&Ms).

Square footage: 13,500 sq. ft.

Years in operation: 10 years at the brewpub (opened 2004). 6 years at the production brewery (opened 2009).

“A large part of making people aware of us is that we are always able to tell our story.” [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.

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Gose

Other resources:

You can reach Joe Short, Mike Moran, and Short’s Brewing Company at:

Sponsors:

InMotion Hosting

“Fast, reliable, affordable, web hosting.”

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Support MicroBrewr

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

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MicroBrewr 051: Augment your brewery’s marketing plan, with a podcast with Entrepreneur On Fire.

MicroBrewr 051: Augment your brewery’s marketing plan with a podcast

Podcasting is exploding. Even breweries are using podcasts to share their story or as part of their marketing plan. John Lee Dumas, founder and host of Entrepreneur On Fire, in San Diego, California is the expert on podcasting and starting a podcast. He sheds light on using a podcast for a brewery.

Podcasting can be a great way to gain access to experts in your field. People who wouldn’t normally have time to set aside and give you their tips, are more willing to do it to gain exposure through your podcast.

Podcasting is also a great way to increase online sales. Podcasts are accessible to anyone around the world who has internet access.

If you hire dedicated staff or contract with someone to produce your brewery’s podcast, you can sell advertisements to offset the cost. Just make sure the advertisements are relevant and useful to your listeners. “Whenever you’re offering your listeners value and you’re doing it in a classy and genuine way, it’s a good thing,” says John.

The podcast demographic is growing rapidly. And the podcast audience overlaps the craft beer audience considerably.

According to John, the current podcast demographic is mostly 24- to 38-year-olds. “You’re definitely starting to see the age range increase,” says John.

Podcast listeners are 57% male. “Right now it’s skewed male, not by a ton, but seeming to get less so.”

The most important thing for starting a podcast also applies to your brewery as a whole.

“The most important thing,” advises John, “is to sit down and sketch out your perfect listener. Once you know who that perfect listener is, every single decision after that point, number one become easier, but number two becomes correct because you know what your perfect listener would want on that decision and you take action on that knowledge.”

“Podcasters are kind of starting to go mainstream now.” [Tweet This]

 

SPECIAL BONUS:

Download John Lee Dumas’ book for free

Podcast Launch: A Step by Step Podcasting Guide

John Lee Dumas wrote the book on podcasting—literally. And he’s giving away free copies to the MicroBrewr audience.

For your free copy, click here: eofire.com/gift

Be sure to connect with Entrepreneur On Fire and thank John Lee Dumas for being on the show and for giving us his book.

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.

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Craft beer in cans

Other resources:

You can reach John Lee Dumas and Entrepreneur On Fire at:

Sponsors:

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Support MicroBrewr

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

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MicroBrewr 050: Have passion and be persistent, with Craft Conscious.

MicroBrewr 050: Have passion and be persistent

Drew Dillman from Craft Conscious, in Cincinnati, Ohio, interviews all sectors of the craft beer industry. Rather than beer tastings or reviews, he pulls back the curtain on the business of beer.

Nearly 100 audio interviews are in iTunes and many more full video interviews are on the website.

“It’s something new every single time,” says Drew. “Ninety-four different breweries so far, and each one I keep thinking to myself, ‘I’m going to run into the same content over and over again.’ But I never really do.”

Craft Conscious interviews craft beer’s top experts, entrepreneurs, and innovators. In addition to breweries, they interview retail outlets, distributors, and media companies.

“What I’ve really found as a consistent thematic thread is to have passion and to be persistent with that and you’ll be able to turn that passion into profit.”

“I can’t stop liking beer.” [Tweet This]

 

Listener question:

From Beer Nerdette: What’s the weirdest beer you’ve ever come across?

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

India Pale Ale

Other resources:

You can reach Drew Dillman and Craft Conscious at:

You might also like:

MicroBrewr 040: Keep persevering to get to the end with Blood, Sweat, and Beer documentary.

Sponsors:

Audible

Download a free audiobook.

Audible. Download a free audiobook. http://microbrewr.com/audible

Support MicroBrewr

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

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MicroBrewr 049: Planning California’s first cooperative brewpub, with San Jose Co-op Brewpub.

MicroBrewr 049: Planning California’s first cooperative brewpub

You’ve decided that your brewery is going to be a cooperative. Now you need to find others who will share the burden and resources. You can work together to start your own brewery. That’s what Christian Borglum and others are doing with San Jose Co-op Brewpub in San Jose, California.

San Jose Co-op Brewpub is still being planned. So it’s not certain what the future establishment will look like. A dedicated group of people are volunteering their time and pooling resources toward their shared dream: to own and operate a brewpub.

Other podcasts about breweries as co-ops:

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

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

Christian is currently on the volunteer board. He gives us insight to the progress.

  • It will be a democratically run business.
  • The members will own a part of the company and have voting rights to elect the board of directors.
  • Membership lasts a lifetime.

San Jose Co-op Brewpub is currently doing a membership drive. They’re trying to double their membership from 300 to 600, by April 2015. Now is your opportunity to own a part of California’s first co-op brewpub.

“You drink the beer, you should own the bar.”

Check out their website to learn more.

“Principle advantage of doing this as a cooperative is you have a lot more people to draw from.” [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.

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Session Beer

Other resources:

You can reach Christian Borglum and San Jose Co-op Brewpub at:

Sponsors:

“Compare free quotes from top suppliers within 48 hours.”

Kinnek "Compare free quotes from top suppliers within 48 hours." http://www.kinnek.com/microbrewr

Support MicroBrewr

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

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MicroBrewr 048: Package your beer cheap and easy with mobile canning, with Mobile West Canning.

MicroBrewr 048: Package your beer cheap and easy with mobile canning

You pinched every penny. You begged, borrowed, and stole to start your brewery. People are enjoying your beer at the taproom, and now you want to expand your reach. You still don’t have capital to buy a dedicated canning or bottling line. Matt Woempner, from Mobile West Canning, in San Diego, California, explains how mobile canning can work for you.

Mobile Canning West serves San Diego, Arizona and Southern Nevada. Mobile Canning Systems provides training and guidance to all of their affiliates. So if you’re outside of

Mobile West Canning’s area, you can likely find another affiliate who will come to you.

The system is pretty similar throughout.

Contact the mobile canners when you start a new batch of beer. So they’ll have enough time to schedule your job.

This might be the first time that you’re beer in being packaged, so attention short be given to the label. “Artwork, artwork, artwork,” says Matt. TTB has requirements for your label design, and many state alcohol control boards have additional requirements. The mobile canner will help make sure your labels are in compliance.

When the canners arrive, they’ll wheel the machine into your brewery, within several feet of the fermenter or bright tank. They will bring one or 2 people, and they’ll need the help of a few people from your brewery.

At the end of the day, your beer is in 12 oz. or 16 oz. cans, and ready to be sold!

There is a ton of detailed information in this episode—too much to recap here. So listen to the whole episode and see if mobile canning can help you achieve the goals for your brewery.

“This is a tremendous business to be in, and it’s an exciting time to be in that business.” [Tweet This]

 

Listener question:

From Lester Foldi: Is the Craft Brewers Conference worth the price for a nanobrewery still in the planning phase?

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

India Pale Ale

Other resources:

You can reach Matt Woempner and Mobile West Canning at:

Sponsors:

Kinnek

“Compare free quotes from top suppliers within 48 hours.”

Kinnek "Compare free quotes from top suppliers within 48 hours." http://www.kinnek.com/microbrewr

Support MicroBrewr

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

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MicroBrewr 047: Proof of concept for a brewpub co-op, with Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery.

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

If you’re thinking of starting a brewpub, the cooperative business model might be the way to go. Chris Hamje has been at Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery, in Austin, Texas, since shortly after they opened. He explains how the cooperative model plays out for their operation.

Jessica Brook Deahl, an accomplished and self-proclaimed "Beer Artist" at her opening show with head brewer Chris Hamje of Black Star Co-op.

Jessica Brook Deahl, an accomplished and self-proclaimed “Beer Artist” at her opening show with head brewer Chris Hamje of Black Star Co-op.

“There’s a lot of precedence for a worker-owned factory model,” explains Chris. “When you look at beer, this is a very high-tech fabrication plant. The model works very well, the precedence is there historically, for this exact operational process. When you take the people who are moving parts of this factory, giving the most creative input in what the product is like, you suddenly have something really special. And that works really well in the craft beer movement.”

There are many ways to organize a brewery co-op. Black Star has 2 member bases.

There are about 3,000 “patrons” worldwide, who pay $150 for a lifetime membership, and gain the right to elect a 9-seat board of directors.

The “workers assembly” has great autonomy as they follow the board policies on a day-to-day basis. Employees must work at the co-op for one year before going before an election to gain a place on the workers assembly. The workers assembly has one meeting each month, and votes on day-to-day operations.

Other podcasts about breweries as co-ops:

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

MicroBrewr 049: Planning California’s first cooperative brewpub

Chris is currently preparing to start a production, package brewery, 4th Tap Brewing Co-op, in Austin that will also be a co-op. He has lots of advice, including:

  • Look at how your state’s laws treat a co-op.
  • Choose a location with high visibility.
  • Take a class in organic chemistry.
  • Hire an extra staff member.

Last week we talked with Sustainable Economies Law Center to get an overview of the cooperative business model and how it might apply to a brewery. Next week we’ll hear from San Jose Co-op Brew Pub about their plans to start California’s first co-op brewery.

Brewery specs:

Kettle size: 10 BBL.

Size and quantity of fermentation tanks: 4, 10-BBL.

Size and quantity of bright tanks: 5, 10-BBL.

Annual brewing capacity/last year’s production: A little over 700 BBL.

Square footage: Around 900 sq. ft., including a mezzanine.

Years in operation: 4 years (opened 2010).

“Always have that little bit of fear that drives you to learn more.” [Tweet This]

 

Listener question:

From Zack Chance: Where do you recommend buying ingredients on the West Coast? How do estimate the number of customers in a year?

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Sour Beer

Other resources:

You can reach Chris Hamje and Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery at:

Sponsors:

San Jose Co-op Brewpub

“Be co-owner in California’s first co-op brewpub.”

San Jose Co-op Brewpub "Be a co-cowner in California's first co-op brewpub." http://sjcoopbrewpub.com/microbrewr/

Support MicroBrewr

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

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