Meet your new host: Nathan Pierce.

Meet your new host for the MicroBrewr podcast

MicroBrewr podcast has a new host, Nathan Pierce. You might remember me from episode 005, where we talked about my plans to start a brewery close to my home, near Monterey, California. I’ve hit some speed bumps in that process, so it’s becoming more of a longer term goal. More on that later.

When Joe Shelerud announced on episode 012 that it would be the last episode, I was shocked. I was driving in my car when I heard him say it. I immediately paused the podcast and gave Joe a call.

I know he made the right decision for himself. I support him in that. He and his wife are expecting their first child. They have to prioritize.

Yet I couldn’t keep from being disappointed at losing this great resource. I learned about MicroBrewer from a link on Facebook to Joe’s blog post, 61 Brewers Speak Out: What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting a Brewery. I’ve been really excited about the podcast since I first listened to it. The information was timely for me, plus it’s just fun to listen to. It’s like sitting down for pints with brewers and brewery owners, listening to them talk about about their product and their business. Awesome!

I also thought about the community that’s building around MicroBrewr. One of things I really like about craft beer is the sense of community among its consumers. Wait, I realized that I just referred to a beverage as a place or a culture. A community has grown around a product, the fans are enthusiastic and loyal. Also, the people involved in craft beer, from the makers to the consumers, are really fun, helpful, and transparent. MicroBrewr has created a venue to facilitate that. It’s neat to watch comments on the blog posts and in the Twitter and Facebook feeds. I’ve enjoyed being a part of this community and I want to help keep it going.

MicroBrewr is the best beer podcast I’ve found. I want to carry on right where Joe left off. I do want to make it a little more consistent, so listeners will have a better idea of what they can expect. There will be a set of questions that I’ll ask every guest. The questions help us go deep, to get inside the industry and inside the heads of people who work there. I’ll also have guests from other sectors of the industry, like distributors, retailers, and marketers. I’m still playing with the format, so let me know if you have suggestions or if there’s a question you’d like to ask our guests. Leave a comment below!

A personal update

Also in this post, I want to give an update on my progress on starting a brewery in the Monterey area. The draft business plan is complete. I have been getting a lot of helpful suggestions and comments from friends and family. After incorporating the suggested improvements into the plan, my partners and I will be ready to go look for money.

There is one minor problem. All of my partners left the project a couple months ago. This did set me back a bit, and it has been a great learning experience.

At varying levels, I was anticipating each of the partners to leave. The brewer is in another state with a child there. The chef is already tending to 2 of his own businesses half a state away (California is a big state). And my friend since junior high school and I, the main partnership since the beginning, butted heads kind of seriously on more than one occasion. Outside of this project, he and I don’t really get into arguments. We didn’t want to risk our friendship. Yet, even though I was expecting it, it still brought me down. I had to pick myself up, refocus, and get back on track.

There were other minor disagreements since the beginning, usually revolving around each partner’s vision for the final project. One of us would compromise and we’d reach an agreement. Yet problems would eventually come back up, because none of us was really willing to let go. To put it simply, we didn’t share the same vision. We were trying to do different things.

The biggest lesson I learned from all this is to make sure that my partners and I are trying to do the same thing.  Read more about my tips for finding partners with shared vision here.

The next steps for me are:

  • Incorporate changes into the business plan

  • Solidify my vision

  • Find partners

After that, we can start looking for money! Stay tuned to the podcast for occasional updates along the way to starting my own brewery.

So why am I doing a podcast?

This podcast won’t get in the way of my plans to start a brewery. Nor is it a stretch in my life—it’s actually kind of a logical progression. I used to do audio journals. Inspired by NPR, I carried a digital audio recorder with me on vacations or at special events. I described what was happening, interviewed friends about the experiences, and captured ambient sounds to record the memory.

I even mentioned in episode 005 that I had considered doing a podcast about beer, but I had decided against it because I didn’t want it to get in the way of starting a brewery. Well, now my plans have slowed significantly and I have time to do this. Plus, I’ll be able to incorporate into my future brewery everything that I learn from interviewing other brewers and brewery owners.

A few months ago, I posed a question to my friends and family on Facebook. I asked them, “What is the single thing I do best?” At the time I thought it peculiar and useless that the resounding response was, “conversation.” Really. The thing I do best is holding a conversation. Who knew. Anyway, I’ll put that to use in MicroBrewr, and hopefully it pays off by provoking interesting, insightful discussion from our guests.

I’m so glad that you’re joining me on this journey.

Remember, this website and the podcast are all about brewers and beer fans helping each other out. So if you have any questions or comments, please contact me any time.

In the meantime, What is one question you would like to ask every brewer? Let me know in the comments below.

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