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MicroBrewr 029: Selling more beer through your local craft beer store, with 99 Bottles beer store.

MicroBrewr 029: Selling more beer through your local craft beer store

Tiffany Adamowski and her husband have been operating 99 Bottles beer store in Federal Way, Washington for the past 7 years. She tells us how to work with a craft beer store like hers to sell more beer.

99 Bottles has over 1,200 labels of craft beer in stock from over 40 different countries. They also have ciders, meads, and a gigantic selection of beer kegs. They do growler refills and they offer tasting flights every day.

99 Bottles has won a bunch of local awards like “best beer selection,” “best beer store,” and “don’t miss” bottle shop.

This a long episode, but stay tuned through the whole thing because Tiffany gives tons of super detailed advice on how to sell more of your beer at retail outlets like her beer shop.

Some of her tips:

  • Email before you visit a store, don’t stop in unannounced.
  • Use customer relations management (CRM) software to keep track of your contacts and to pass the information on to the next sales person.
  • Drop off samples with a business card, and a flier about your brewery.
  • Provide basic information about each beer including: ABV, IBU, description, format, shelf life, storage temperature.
  • When you go to brewer’s night at the shop, be sure to mingle with the customers.
  • Be careful about thin beer bottles, especially for bottle-conditioned beer, you don’t want your product exploding on the store shelf.
  • Bring extra labels when you visit a store, sometimes bottles arrive unlabeled.

SPECIAL BONUS:

Ask Tiffany any question about working with retailers to sell more of your beer.

Leave your questions in the comments section below.

Tiffany 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 99 Bottles beer store and thank Tiffany for being on the show and for helping us out with questions.

UPDATE: Thirty days is up, Tiffany is no longer monitoring the questions here. You can still reach her through the links below.

Listener question:

From Jon Tiffany: What is an upcoming brewery that we should our eye on?

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Scottish ale

Other resources:

You can reach Tiffany Adamowski and 99 Bottles beer store at:

Tiffany’s blog:

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.

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MicroBrewr 027: Family, church, and craft beer in a small valley town, with Dust Bowl Brewing Co.

MicroBrewr 027: Family, church, and craft beer in a small valley town

Brett Tate wanted to tell his family’s story. So he did it with craft beer and Dust Bowl Brewing Company in his hometown, Turlock, California.

Brett’s family left the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma and made a new life in California. Dust Bowl Brewing’s entire brand is a tribute to that story.

Turlock is a small valley town where Ripley’s Believe It or Not once counted the most churches per capita in the US. Now Dust Bowl Brewing is helping to revitalize the community with their brewery and their restaurant, and soon an expanded brewery.

Brett has a lot of great advice about:

  • Working with distributors
  • Managing a “team” of employees
  • Hiring a star brewer who can do more than make great beer

I got to meet part of the Dust Bowl Brewing Company team at Smoke on the River in Sacramento, California. Here’s a photo of sales manager, Scott Chaffee and me.

Nathan Pierce and Scott Chaffee, Sales Manager from Dust Bowl Brewing Company (left), at Smoke on the River, Sacramento, California, September 6, 2014.

Nathan Pierce and Scott Chaffee, Sales Manager from Dust Bowl Brewing Company (left), at Smoke on the River, Sacramento, California, September 6, 2014.

Listener question:

From Peggy Pierce: Is your water purified?

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Mega IPA

Other resources:

You can reach Brett Tate and Dust Bowl Brewing Company at:

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

Support MicroBrewr

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

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MicroBrewr 026: A microbrewery, a taproom, and a brewery incubator, with Platform Beer Co.

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:

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 Paul Benner and Platform Beer 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.

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MicroBrewr 025: A religious experience at the homebrew club, with Studio Brew.

MicroBrewr 025: A religious experience at the homebrew club

In 2009 Erich Allen had a “religious experience” the first time he went to a homebrew club. He started brewing all-grain batches and made 7 beers in one week. Soon he had a dream to open a brewery. Then it became his passion, and then his obsession. So he and his wife visited 48 breweries around the nation to get advice before they converted a photography studio at their home into a 3-BBL nano brewery: Studio Brew in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Erich tells great stories. He takes us on the long journey through the many permitting agencies. At first it didn’t seem possible to have a brewery at his home. But by working with the staff at the permitting agencies, they found a way and did it all working with the system.

Erich is an eloquent speaker. There are many gems in this episode including:

“I respect the beer styles that were set forth centuries ago, but try to make something that people will say, ‘That was the best beer ever.’”

“That’s what it’s all about: Make craft beer to share with those who love beer.”

Listener question:

From Mel Troha: Is a nanobrewpub always easier to start and sustain than a production nanobrewery?

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 Erich Allen and Studio Brew 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.

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MicroBrewr 021: The most expensive beer that’s been poured in Pinellas County, Florida, with 7venth Sun Brewery.

MicroBrewr 021: The most expensive beer that’s been poured in Pinellas County, Florida

Justin Stange opened 7venth Sun Brewery in Dunedin, Florida in January 2012. They’re contributing to the explosive growth of beer in Florida by focusing on consistency and creativity. 7venth Sun made the first canned Berliner Weisse in Florida. And their first beer sold for $203 per pint—the most expensive beer that’s been poured in Pinellas County, Florida!

About his proudest moment as a brewery owner, Justin says: When I saw my beer being poured out in other accounts for the first time, that was really cool because then I felt amongst my peers, the other friends I have that own breweries, and even the national brands, too. You really feel like you’re part of the club then.

Among other great info in this episode, Justin advises:

  • Double-batch to correct mistakes
  • Utilize mobile canning to win a bet
  • Take good notes on every batch

Listener question:

From Jon Tiffany: What do you feel are the most important aspects of your brewing? How do you approach improving on that?

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Berliner Weisse

Florida Weisse

Other resources:

You can reach Justin Stange and 7venth Sun Brewery 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.

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MicroBrewr 020: Beer for every man, woman, and child in Big Sky Country, with Philipsburg Brewing Company.

MicroBrewr 020: Beer for every man, woman, and child in Big Sky Country

Cathy Smith and her husband opened Philipsburg Brewing Company in Philipsburg, Montana. They found a cool, old building, built in 1888, spent a few years fixing it up, and hired Mike Elliott to be their pro-brewer.

In August 2012, Philipsburg Brewing opened to a crowd of about 100 people—and that’s in a town with a population of about 850!

None of them had ever owned a brewery before, but they’re business is doing fantastic. They say that their biggest mistake was not being ambitious enough. They currently are operating a 10-BBL system, and are planning to expand to larger facility with a 50-BBL system within a year!

Cathy tells us why they walk customers to the door. Mike tells us about his invention for the bar.

They are both great speakers and this interview has tons of fantastic advice, such as:

  • Hire great people
  • Put customers first
  • Give quality in every area
  • Reach out to other breweries

“The brewery business is an amazing business,” says Cathy. “We’re not all competition, we’re all in it together.”

“People will let you pick their brains to a surprising extent,” adds Mike.

You won’t guess their answer to the question, Cans or bottles? They have some great thoughts on the dilemma.

Listener question:

From Adeen McKuin: What’s your favorite beer?

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

California Common

Light beer

Other resources:

You can reach Cathy Smith, Mike Elliott, and Philipsburg Brewing Company at:

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

Support MicroBrewr

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

Subscribe on iTunes             Listen to Stitcher

MicroBrewr 018: Start a commercial FrankenBrewery for $18,000, with Horsefly Brewing Company.

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

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

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

He offers some great advice, like:

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

Listener question:

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

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Session beer

Other resources:

You can reach Nigel Askew and Horsefly Brewing Company at:

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

Support MicroBrewr

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

Subscribe on iTunes             Listen to Stitcher

MicroBrewr 017: work with customers to make award winning beer, with Birdsong Brewing Company.

MicroBrewr 017: Work with customers to make award winning beer

In this episode, I talk with Chris Goulet from Birdsong Brewing Company, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Chris and some friends were so impressed by 21-year-old homebrewer, Connor Robinson, that they started a brewery to showcase his beers.

Birdsong Brewing Co. was just the fourth production brewery in Charlotte. Although they have been operating less than 3 years, they’re making award winning beer using customers’ ingredients, and they’re leading craft beer in the Charlotte metropolitan area.

Birdsong will soon expand into a larger facility with a brewhouse 3 times the size of their current one. “Happy staff make happy beer,” says Chris. So they used lessons learned, to design floor space for efficient workflow.

Chris tells us the story of their award-winning Mexicali Stout. One of Birdsong’s regular customers, Jason, brought in a bunch of peppers from his home garden. The “talented, secret genius brewer” threw them together with locally-roasted coffee to make what would become one of their most popular seasonal beers.

Chris also shares some great advice about:

  • Making agreements with the landlord
  • Educating the customer about unfiltered beer
  • Hiring a well-connected salesperson

Listener question:

From Erik Cotten: Is it local?

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 Chris Goulet and Birdsong Brewing Company at:

If you like the show, please subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher. When you subscribe, it’ll let you know when there’s a new episode and 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

MicroBrewr 016: Nanobreweries rise up! with Opposition Brewing Co.

MicroBrewr 016: Nanobreweries rise up!

In this episode I talk with Nick Ellis, founder and brewmaster at Opposition Brewing Co. in Medford, Oregon.

In 2011 Nick was employed as a bookkeeper when he received notice that he would loose his job within a year. So he and his wife, Erin partnered with Dennis and Penni Poncia to start the nanobrewery in Oregon’s Rogue Valley. They began with a 0.5-BBL system, but soon moved up to a 1.5-BBL system. Now they’re getting ready to install a 7-BBL system and are planning to package beer for distribution.

In the beginning, all 4 of them worked 12-hour days, 7 days a week. Now approaching their second anniversary, they’re getting things smoothed out and they each work about 9-hour days, 6 days a week.

We discuss the viability of CSA programs for homebrewers. Following the Community Supported Agriculture model, a box would be delivered to your doorstep on a regular basis. Rather than produce, it would have locally-grown ingredients for making your own beer.

Nick fully debunks any claims that nanobreweries cannot be profitable.

He also shares some great advice, including:

  • Vet and register your name before using it
  • Plan for yeast management
  • Engage your customers with a fun, creative club

Listener question:

From Christina Sierra: Tell me why you brew what you do.

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Flanders red

Other resources:

You can reach Nick Ellis and Opposition 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 015: Randal Denver’s advice for a homebrewer who wants to become a professional brewer, with Yards Brewing Company.

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

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

Randal started homebrewing several years ago and got hooked.

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

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

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

Some advice he shares:

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

Listener question:

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

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Session IPA

Other resources:

You can reach Randal Denver and Yards Brewing Company at:

Support MicroBrewr

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

Subscribe on iTunes             Listen to Stitcher

MicroBrewr014: Zachary Typinski's career in craft beer culminates in a craft brewery, with Neighborhood Brewing Co.

MicroBrewr 014: Zachary Typinski’s career in craft beer culminates in a neighborhood brewery

In this episode I talk with Zachary Typinski from the upcoming, Neighborhood Brewing Co. Urbanrest Brewing Co. in Ferndale, Michigan.

Zachary has years of experience throughout the beer industry. He has worked in merchandising and retail, distribution and sales. He’s also a draft certified technician, Certified Cicerone®, BJCP Novice Judge, and an award-winning homebrewer.

Currently Zachary is the Michigan sales manager for Oskar Blues Brewery, and he is in the process of opening his own brewery.

He shares creative ideas for “getting liquid to lips,” and what it takes to bring beer “from grain to glass.”

He shares his breadth of knowledge on a range of topics including:

  • Merchandising
  • Packaging
  • Keeping clean draft lines
  • What it’s like to see his award-winning homebrew go into production and be widely distributed

Listener question:

From Eric Simon: What beer do you want to brew, but aren’t going to because it’s too risky or won’t be popular enough?

Book recommendation:

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

Your Free Audio Book

An upcoming beer style:

Patersbier

Other resources:

You can reach Zachary Typinski at:

Support MicroBrewr

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

Subscribe on iTunes             Listen to Stitcher

Canning-Versus-Bottling-Beer

MicroBrewr 009: Getting Distributors to Sell More Of Your Beer and the Benefits of Canning w/ Tyson Starling

Canning Versus Bottling Beer and Getting Your Distributors to Sell More of Your Beer

In this podcast, I had a ton of fun talking with Tyson Starling from Atlantic Brewing Company.  Tyson started as a credit analyst and after having to foreclose on somebody, decided that this was not the career path for him.  Tyson switched careers to work as a sales rep for a beer distributor in Maine and then was approached to work on the day-to-day operations for Atlantic Brewing Company.  In this episode, we go into detail about the pros and cons on canning versus bottling beer and why Tyson would be canning if he could do it all over again.  Tyson also has some cheap and easy tips on how to get your distributors to sell more of you beer and the importance of branding for your brewery.

Topics that we covered:

  • Why working in a brewery and a bank are more similar than you’d think
  • The importance of picking a distributor since you’re locked in once you make your choice
  • Unique and cheap ways to get your distributor to help increase your beer sales
  • The scary truth about how long your beer can sit in a warehouse before making it to your customer
  • The power of consistency in all of your labeling or branding
  • How to use MicroStar to sell kegs out of state and not having to worry about having your keg returned
  • The pros and cons of canning versus bottling your beer and why canning may be better for your microbrewery

Here Are All the Great Resources Discussed in the Podcast

Microbrewery Canning Versus Bottling

Craft Beer Business – How to get in contact with Tyson

Atlantic Brewing Company

“So You Want To Open A Microbrewery Podcast” w/ Collin McDonnell – Talks about the real life of being a craft brewer

“Branding and Transforming Your Beer into Art” w/ Harvey Shepard – Recommendations on branding and labeling your beer

MicroStar Kegs

Keg Credit

Cask Canning Equipment

“Developing Your Brewery Business Plan” w/ Aaron Brodniak – Goes into the cost of starting a brewery

Your Free Audio Book

I Need Your Help To Spread The Word

If you like this podcast on canning versus bottling beer and increasing your sales through distribution, I would really appreciate it if you would give me a rating in iTunes to help spread the word about the podcast.  All you need to do is search for MicroBrewr in the iTunes store or you can use link this link here (then just click “View in iTunes”).  If you’ve never given a rating in iTunes before, I put together these instructions to walk you through the 2 minute process.  Giving a rating in iTunes will continue to push the podcast up in the rankings which help get the podcast into the ears of more people.  Thanks in advance!

Give the MicroBrewr Podcast a Review on iTunes

Support MicroBrewr

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

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