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Old 08-29-2006, 04:16 AM   #1
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Default Trying this at home part 1

First off..BrewPastor I just wanted to say thank you for your write up. It was a great bit of reading that I read over and over.


Ok, as I mentioned in BrewPastors thread, my family and I are going to do this. We are heading out in October to look at a couple acres between 2 Ski resorts close by. The plan as of now is something small. Maybe a 10bbl brewpub, with a decent kitchen, and rather large patio with a view. We thought about doing a brewpub here locally, but I think we are all ready for a change of scenery.

Anyways, being that Im brewing so much lately, its been decided that Im the one to go to school. Now with that said, Im not ready to leave SWMBO and the kids for a year to pursue education, even if it it would be worth it. So, I have a couple options.

1. My brothers have worked and have remained friends with a successful brewery here in AZ. Im willing to quit my current job to basically volunteer for 3-4 months as an unpaid apprentice/brewers bitch basically. Trying to learn as much as possible about running and operating a brewery. I honestly don't think I would learn enough in that amount of time.

2.Head up to University of California, Davis for my professional brewers Cert.

3. Which is what im leaning to most, is take the 28 week online course through the Brewer's Guild. And still be able to do my 5 week apprenticeship here locally. Now Im kind of hesitant being that Im not sure how well an online course will teach you without labs, but Im willing to take a shot.

http://abgbrew.com/distancedinfo.htm

So much has happened last week, that Im about to bust with excitement. I just need to calm down and think about this logically, and what really would be the best course of action to take to learn how to run a brewery.

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Old 08-29-2006, 04:28 AM   #2
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Personally, I think you should go with option 2. Keeps you close to your family, which is most important in my book. What good is it to be the most successful brewer in the world if you have to leave your family behind?

But mainly, I think that their are a lot of HBer's out there who make beer that is good enough to be a successful commercial brew. The issue is how good of a businessman are you. I think option 2 will be your best bet at getting the knowledge you need to make it.

Just like with running a restaurant, making good product is much less important than running your business right. Not that I have any experience with it, but I bet that's the way it works.

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Old 08-29-2006, 05:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Emporer BillyBrew
Just like with running a restaurant, making good product is much less important than running your business right. Not that I have any experience with it, but I bet that's the way it works.

I'm still thinking about the rest, but I think I disagree with this Billy. ESPECIALLY when it comes to a Brewpub. It appears, in order to be successful, there are three things you need... 1, a quality product. 2, a good biz plan. and 3, Location AND atmosphere... sad but true, the two go hand in hand....

MHO of course.... This is what I would shoot for...

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Old 08-29-2006, 05:52 AM   #4
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Just an experience that I had here locally where we have several micros. We went to one of the newer brew pubs and the building was very nice, the atmosphere seemed good but the food and beer were very mediocre. I think my beer tasted better than the amber I had there. I have not gone back. There were not a lot of people in there as well.

Now there is this other place that sells about 100 or so beers with about 30 on draft all the time. They do not brew beer there but the food is good and they do a bang up business. Got a catchy name in 99 bottles. Its not a brewery but we go there all the time.

Something like that while honing the brewing skills.

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Old 08-29-2006, 01:50 PM   #5
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So what led you in the direction of the brewpub versus starting a micro and focusing on distribution? Not questioning your choice, but that sounded like the much easier path for you to get started on given your connections to the distribution channel.

In any case, I wish you well, I hope that making this a business doesn't take the joy out of it!

I'm jealous as f*ck...

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Old 08-29-2006, 02:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ize
I'm still thinking about the rest, but I think I disagree with this Billy. ESPECIALLY when it comes to a Brewpub. It appears, in order to be successful, there are three things you need... 1, a quality product. 2, a good biz plan. and 3, Location AND atmosphere... sad but true, the two go hand in hand....

MHO of course.... This is what I would shoot for...

Ize
I agree with you almost completely, except that number 1 should be number 3.
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Emporer BillyBrew
I agree with you almost completely, except that number 1 should be number 3.

Fair enuf!

I heartily agree with The Bird as well... I'm highly jealous.


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Old 08-29-2006, 02:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
So what led you in the direction of the brewpub versus starting a micro and focusing on distribution? Not questioning your choice, but that sounded like the much easier path for you to get started on given your connections to the distribution channel.

In any case, I wish you well, I hope that making this a business doesn't take the joy out of it!

I'm jealous as f*ck...
Well to be totally honest, distribution was my plan from the beginning. It would have been a piece of cake here in town, with the contacts Ive made over the last 15 years of being here. My brothers and I were ready to go and start the paperwork on everything.

Then we get word of some investment property out to where we are going. While we were out there, we got to talking to this guy who owns a winery. Long story short, he has been open for 5 years, and cant keep up with the business. And he just went on and on about how he wishes someone would come in and open a brewery. He actually wanted to share the business with someone. I guess he is ready to retire and go travel. Anyways, we said what the hell, and decided havign a brewery in a ski town is the way to go. I am kind of worried about the business in the summertime, but apparently it's busy year round. So we'll see.

Right now I think Im going to go with option 3. I may do a longer apprenticeship if possible, but for something small like a 7-10bbl brewpub, I think I will pick up enough to do well. And of course ask the headbrewer there if I can keep him on retainer in case I do run into any problems.

I'll be sure to keep this thread updated for the progress.
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ize
I'm still thinking about the rest, but I think I disagree with this Billy. ESPECIALLY when it comes to a Brewpub. It appears, in order to be successful, there are three things you need... 1, a quality product. 2, a good biz plan. and 3, Location AND atmosphere... sad but true, the two go hand in hand....

MHO of course.... This is what I would shoot for...

Ize
Well not always. Not that I am in anyway saying Im going to have poor beer, I will close down before htat would happen, but Ive been to a number of small brewpubs where the beer is.....meh, nothing to write home about. And the place stays consistant. I wont go back to those places, but there are those who will.

But 1 will be taken care, and hopefully a gvery good quality product. #2 is taken care of, we are just going to hire someone to do the business plan, find the money, demographic....etc etc. We have dealt with them before, and they are extremely thorough. #3 well that should speak for itself. Ill post pics in October when we get back.
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Old 08-29-2006, 03:12 PM   #10
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Sincerely, good luck! We're planning on being out that way next summer, so I'll be hoping to pay a visit to your new endeavour.


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