MicroBrewr 016: Nanobreweries rise up!
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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
From Christina Sierra: Tell me why you brew what you do.
- Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements) by John Palmer and Colin Kaminski.
Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.
An upcoming beer style:
- 61 Brewers Speak Out: What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting a Brewery by Joe Shelerud, February 9, 2014.
- Flanders Red Ale Beer Recipe, American Homebrewers Association, February 8, 2013.
You can reach Nick Ellis and Opposition Brewing Co. at:
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Great Listen. You could hear the pain in Nicks voice discussing the struggles of having to fight and lose the naming right battle he experienced. Thoroughly enjoyed the articulated advice and solid questioning.
Matt, Thanks for chiming in. This is still one of my favorite interviews. These guys at Opposition Brewing Co. have HEART! And an important lessons they shared.