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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

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Support MicroBrewr

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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 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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MicroBrewr 044: What every brewery should know about trademarks, with L+G, LLP Attorneys at Law.

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:

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

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

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

 

Listener question:

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

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Ginger beer soda

Other resources:

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

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

Support MicroBrewr

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

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MicroBrewr 042: Open a microbrewery to revitalize an economy, with The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company.

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:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Sour beers

Other resources:

You can reach Matt Katase and The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company at:

Support MicroBrewr

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

Subscribe on iTunes             Listen to Stitcher

MicroBrewr 041: A flagship nanobrewery in a tourist town, with Backshore Brewing Co.

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:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Ciders

Other resources:

You can reach Danny Robinson and Backshore Brewing Co. at:

Support MicroBrewr

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

Subscribe on iTunes             Listen to Stitcher

MicroBrewr 039: Apprenticing in a brewery incubator program, with Ferndock Brewing Company.

MicroBrewr 039: Apprenticing in a brewery incubator program

Kyle Roth is just about to finish the brewing apprenticeship through Platform Beer Co.’s incubator program. Soon he, his brother and cousins, partners in Ferndock Brewing Company in Sandusky, Ohio, will venture out on their own.

We heard from Paul Benner, who told us about Platform Beer Co.’s incubator program, in MicroBrewr Podcast episode 026. Kyle is the first person to go through the brewing apprenticeship program and he’s so glad that he did.

The apprenticeship gave Kyle a jumpstart in everything he needs to know to open a brewery.

His advice to a homebrewer who wants to start a commercial brewery:

  • Start earlier
  • Make connections
  • Find a mentor
  • Talk to brewers

“Best idea so far has been joining Platform Beer Co. and taking this opportunity to go pro.” [Tweet This]

 

Listener question:

From Jimmy Batte: How do you get your percent cost mark up? Is there a typical 30% you apply to everything? What is the general guideline?

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 Kyle Roth and Ferndock Brewing Company at:

Support MicroBrewr

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

Subscribe on iTunes             Listen to Stitcher

MicroBrewr 037: A forty-year career at the epicenter of craft beer, with Anchor Brewing.

MicroBrewr 037: A forty-year career at the epicenter of craft beer

Mark Carpenter wasn’t happy with his job. One day, he took a tour of Anchor Brewing, San Francisco, California, and thought it would be a fun place to work. Over 40 years later, he’s still the brewer.

Shaun O’Sullivan, Founder and Brewer of 21st Amendment Brewery says Anchor Brewing is “the epicenter of craft beer for all of us in this industry.”

Anchor Brewing has been operating in San Francisco under the same name since 1896. The company struggled severely in the mid-1900s. Fritz Maytag loved to drink Anchor Steam Beer on tap, and he bought the company in 1965.

Fritz had to learn to brew, and he invested heavily in brewing equipment and modernizing the processes. It is no wonder he is often called “the father of modern microbreweries.”

And Mark Carpenter, has been there almost the whole time. It was an honor to be able to speak with Mark on-site at the same brewery location where he’s been making beer since 1979.

When Mark started working at Anchor in 1971, they were producing “the only beer in America that really wasn’t just a yellow beer.”

When Anchor Porter was released in 1973, not one porter was being made in England. Most dark beers, were simply the light beer with coloring added.

Liberty Ale, with its Cascade hops, came out in 1975, a time when not many—if any—other breweries were using the Cascade hops as an aroma hop.

In 2013, Anchor was ranked the 21st largest craft brewery in the nation.

Anchor gallery

Anchor Brewing, San Francisco, California on October 28, 2014. Nathan Pierce and Mark Carpenter, Brewmaster from Anchor Brewing (left), at Anchor Brewing, San Francisco, California, October 28, 2014. Bobby, leading a tour at Anchor Brewing, San Francisco, California, October 28, 2014. Anchor Steam Beer fermenting at Anchor Brewing, San Francisco, California, October 28, 2014. Anchor Steam Beer on tap at Anchor Brewing, San Francisco, California, October 28, 2014.

Of the early years at Anchor, Mark says, it was an “unbelievable place to learn to make beer. It was just a lot of fun.”

Mark is very humble. When I asked him the best idea he ever had for the brewery, he replied, “Boy, I don’t know. You’d have to ask somebody else.”

He says the biggest mistake he ever made is knowing that he had to let an employee go, but not doing it soon enough.

“Breweries are kind of magical places.” [Tweet This]

 

Listener question:

From Michael Rohleder: Has the market reached the saturation point, is there still room for another craft brewer?

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

German Styles

Other resources:

You can reach Mark Carpenter and Anchor Brewing at:

You might also like:

MicroBrewr 010: How Ninkasi Went From a 15-BBL System to the 30th Largest Craft Brewery in the Nation w/ Ninkasi Brewing, from Eugene, Oregon.

Support MicroBrewr

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

Subscribe on iTunes             Listen to Stitcher

MicroBrewr 036: How to write a business plan for a gastropub brewery, with Elevation 66 Brewing Company.

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:

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

He also suggests overestimating costs and underestimating revenues.

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

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

 

Listener question:

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

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Sour beers

Other resources:

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

Support MicroBrewr

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

Subscribe on iTunes             Listen to Stitcher

MicroBrewr 035: Staying creative and innovative with partner brewing, with 21st Amendment Brewery.

MicroBrewr 035: Staying creative and innovative with partner brewing

21st Amendment Brewery opened their brewpub in 2000. In 2006 they started canning beer. After a long search, 21st Amendment started “partner brewing” with Cold Spring Brewing in Minnesota in 2008. The relationship has benefitted both companies very well.

Shaun O’Sullivan moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1990s and got a job at the storied Triple Rock Brewery. He met Nico Freccia who was writing for Celebrator magazine. But when they later met again in brewing classes at University of California, Davis, they decided to become partners on their own brewery.

21st Amendment gallery

21st Amendment logo
Brew Free or Die IPA Hell or High Watermelon

21st Amendment doubled production from 2011 to 2012. Based on 2013 numbers, 21st Amendment was the 50th largest craft brewery in the nation.

And they’re coming home. Their new, hundred thousand-square-foot brewery in San Leandro, California will soon begin production.

Operations will continue in Minnesota. The partnership has been helpful to both companies. Each has learned from the other and each has grown significantly through the partnership.

“We call it partner brewing,” says Shaun. “We don’t like using the word ‘contract.’ We do have people out there. We have a lot of samples that are sent back and forth. It’s a huge amount of information that goes back and forth.”

“We don’t try to hide behind what we’re doing or what we’re not doing.”

With nearly 15 years of experience, Nicco has suggestions for a brewer wanting to start a brewpub:

  • Raise more money.
  • Consider your floor plan carefully.
  • Find someone with business sense.
  • Don’t stress out; be proud of what you did.

“There is a concern that there’s a bubble that’s going to burst, which I think is crap.” [Tweet This]

 

P.S. I found who said, “You can’t improve the beer, you can only keep it the same or hurt it. So your goal is to keep it the same when you’re putting it into packaging.” It was Rich Weber, in episode 019. I think it got cut out in post-production, but it was documented in episode 021.

SPECIAL BONUS:

Win a FREE T-shirt from 21st Amendment Brewery

Answer the following question in the comments section below:

What was the first beer from 21st Amendment Brewery that was sold on a Virgin America flight?

Two winners will be selected at random in 3 weeks (December 2, 2014). I’ll get in touch with you. Then Shaun will mail the T-shirt in your size.

Be sure to connect with 21st Amendment Brewery and thank Shaun for being on the show and for giving us 2 free T-shirts.

UPDATE: The winers have been selected! See below for more deets.

Listener question:

From Derrick Hamrick: What is the suggested process in hiring a brewer?

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 Shaun O’Sullivan and 21st Amendment Brewery at:

Shaun’s social media:

Support MicroBrewr

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

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MicroBrewr 034: Guerrilla marketing in the outdoor activity mecca of Southern Nevada, with Boulder Dam Brewing Co.

MicroBrewr 034: Guerrilla marketing in the outdoor activity mecca of Southern Nevada

Boulder City, Nevada is between Las Vegas and Hoover Dam. The city was formed to temporarily house workers during the dam’s construction in the 1930s. After the dam was complete, residents incorporated and formed a city. In 2007, Todd Cook opened Boulder Dam Brewing Co.

Today Boulder Dam Brewing provides craft beer in a wide variety of styles. Todd grew up a “military brat” who moved around a lot. In college, a friend had a constant supply of European beers. The offerings from Boulder Dam Brewing reflects this vast geographic influence.

Boulder Dam Brewing also participates heavily in fundraising efforts for disaster preparedness and veterans care.

Although Todd previously ran an advertising business with offices in 2 states, he says business experience isn’t necessary to opening a brewpub. The only restaurant experience he had was working at McDonald’s when he was 16. Instead, Todd learned from Running a Restaurant for Dummies and Guerilla Marketing.

Not too bad for coming up on Boulder Dam Brewing Co.’s “8th annibrewsary” in February 2015.

Some of Todd’s advice in this episode:

  • It all depends on how bad you want it.
  • Learn from your mistakes and get back on the saddle.
  • Running a business requires a lot of time in the office.
  • Get in front of your customers and talk to them to see what they like.

“I do for a living what I used to pay for.” [Tweet This]

 

Listener question:

From l.seber: What are the best classes to take to prepare for opening a brewpub?

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Session Dark Beer

Other resources:

You can reach Todd Cook and Boulder Dam Brewing Co. at:

Support MicroBrewr

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

Subscribe on iTunes             Listen to Stitcher

MicroBrewr 032: Export beer to tap new craft beer markets, with London Ale & Co.

MicroBrewr 032: Export beer to tap new craft beer markets

Maximus BumSoo didn’t like beer so he told his friends that he was allergic to hops. Finally, one night in London, he drank a London Pride and loved it! He emailed the company and spent the next 3 weeks learning about beer. Then he flew to London and got the exclusive distribution deal.

Now Maximus is CEO and President of London Ale & Co. in Seoul, Korea. They are the exclusive distributor of Fuller Smith & Turner’s beers from the United Kingdom.

If you have excess product or if you want to expand to new markets, you might want to export beer to tap new craft beer markets. American craft beer is popular in Korea, and other foreign markets are craving craft beer from the U.S. and elsewhere.

Some of Maximus tips on how to export craft beer:

  • Contact your local governing agency about legal requirements.
  • Pick an importer who loves your beer.
  • Pick an importer with enough funds to move large shipments of your product.
  • It’s best to ship the product with climate control the whole way, but it’s not always feasible.
  • Get paid up-front.

Listener question:

From Nick Bray: Why are you doing this work?

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 Maximus BumSoo and London Ale & Co. at:

Diagram showing the Chief Winds of the World and the Average Rainfall (1922) by Eric Fischer on flickr (CC BY 2.0) was modified from its original state.

You might also like:

MicroBrewr 045: Launch your brewery with a strong opening night, featuring West Cork Brewing Company in Baltimore, Ireland.

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

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MicroBrewr 031: Accounting solutions for your craft brewery, with Brewed For Her Ledger.

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:

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

6 tools she suggests to manage your breweries finances:

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

SPECIAL BONUS:

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

Leave your questions in the comments section below.

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

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

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

Listener question:

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

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

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Session lager

Other resources:

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

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

You might also like:

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

Support MicroBrewr

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

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MicroBrewr 030: Hire a mobile canning system and put your beer cans on store shelves sooner, with Borderlands Brewing Co.

MicroBrewr 030: Hire a mobile canning system and put your beer cans on store shelves sooner

Myles Stone was in his second year of medical school when he and Michael Mallozzi started Borderlands Brewing Co. in Tucson, Arizona with just $2,000. They both have full-time jobs besides the brewery, but they make it work. “Our secret,” says Myles, “Is to have wonderful people around us.”

Water is scarce in the deserts around Tucson. Conservation is central to Borderlands Brewing Co. operations. They save water in the following ways.

  • Cut water use one-third by running hot water in the heat exchanger, through cool water in a rainwater harvesting system.
  • Save rinse-water by adjusting pH to use it again, before putting it down the drain.

I wasn’t expecting a discussion about mobile canning companies. Yet Myles offers great insight on using mobile canning systems for his craft brewery.

Three years since opening, Borderlands Brewing Co. is already canning beer. Rather than buy their own canning line, Borderlands Brewing Co. hires mobile canning companies to package their product into beer cans.

Mobile canning is becoming very popular for small craft breweries. After investing in all the normal brewing equipment, there is no capital left for luxuries like a beer canning system.

There are now several mobile canning companies in the US. Usually their truck will travel wide, often spanning several states. Reservations must be made well in advance. A large truck will come with fully operational, mobile canning equipment, and package your product on-site.

Check out the resources below and find out whether mobile beer canning is right for your craft beer.

Listener question:

From Sean Myles: Is it important to allow customers to see the production facility? If so, how much do you let them see? What do you want to keep out of their view?

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Dark beer

Sour beer

Other resources:

You can reach Myles Stone and Borderlands Brewing Co. at:

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

Support MicroBrewr

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

Subscribe on iTunes             Listen to Stitcher