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Old 05-26-2011, 02:29 PM   #1
Brewstress
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Default New nano comming to KCMO

Hello all,

I wanted to introduce myself to the community. You guys are a fun and informative group and I am always looking through posts to find answers to my questions but have never written anything. So here goes!

My fiancé introduced me to brewing a few years ago for a fun night it. I don't think he knew what would happen next you can't just introduce a microbiologist/ chemist to the art of brewing and think she won't obsess over it. I fell in love with the art immediately! Soon he was making a lauter tun out of 5 gal buckets and it just spiraled from there to the point where we are now building a 1 bbl design to start our own brewery. We are working through this slowly, but will be taking on the KC area hopefully by the end of the year. I thought that it would be fun to post here so others could follow our progress if interested. There are so many success stories out there that have inspired us to give it a go too.

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Old 05-26-2011, 02:37 PM   #2
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That sounds awsome, I live in leavenworth. Ks and look forward to hearing about your progress and eventually trying your beers.

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Old 05-26-2011, 02:48 PM   #3
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Good luck!! Starting a brewery, even a nano is a LOT of work and $$$$. If you need an impartial evaluation on your pilot brews, I would selfishlessly volunteer my palate

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Old 05-26-2011, 02:50 PM   #4
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So I guess that I will start with our current status.

Aaron is the brains of the setup and I am the brewer. Kinda funny as he was the one that really started this.

Our current status is that we have almost all of the pieces in the basement for the brew station sans the pot (has been on the way for almost a month now). Aaron is currently finalizing the control panel and then will be moving on to the brew stand. We have both learned a lot about electronics already, and will be moving on to welding soon I guess. After the brew station is setup we will start brewing a lot of variations on a them of a few successful recipes that I have developed over the years. Once all that is done, we will have a tasting event to assess the labors of all of our hard work so far. We are both currently employed full time so this is what we do in out spare time. That being said, we will have a novel brew station design in little over 3 months from idea to operational. The next major hurdle is finding a space that we can afford until we can legally sell our beer. There are a few spots that I have in mind, but I am still working on our business plan to see what would fit in best.

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Old 05-26-2011, 03:03 PM   #5
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Many of us only dream of opening a brewery (mostly while starring blankly at a computer screen in a cube farm while growing fatter and fatter every day). The prevailing wisdom seems to be that starting a brewery takes a commitment of at least a 7bbl system and many many years of starvation levels of cash-on-hand to get it started. For many of us this barrier-to-entry is too high and too risky to overcome(especially with a wife and 2 children who are living quite comfortably from our cube sitting efforts). However, Nano brewing seems to be the reasonable answer to starting small and growing. I'm just now sure how to go from Nano -> Micro -> Craft levels.

Would you be willing to share your plan with us on how you intend on making the Nano brewery profitable? Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking for numbers, just wondering what strategy you are thinking about taking for growing (or not) your business.

Thanks. I don't mean to pry.

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Old 05-26-2011, 03:30 PM   #6
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A very good question! The basic idea started when Aaron and I were down in the basement in mid feb with me near the opened back door boiling away and he at his computer concerned that I was going to kill us both if I don't keep that door open (too cold though). So he started coming up with an idea to go electric. He has a friend who owns their own electrical contracting business that we asked to come over and look at our design. He then implanted the idea in our brains that once we complete the design we should sell it as a kit and make our money back. So we started down that path and are still on that path. I have crunched the numbers slightly for just the brewery and cannot see it sustaining us full time even if we sold 200 bbl a year. That was a little frustrating. So I started looking around at many of the other successful operations out there to see if I could figure out what their secret was. It looks like most have to be a bar/restaurant to be successful. So here is our rough idea so far, it is obviously in the process of constant revision. We have two paths: 1) the diy path of no investors or loans. This is a much longer path, and we would be putting all of our excess money into the business until it started to become self sustainable. That includes depending on the brew station profits to fund the brewery until we can get enough money to invest in a larger system and become a microbrewery. There are two empty brewhouses that I know of in the KC area that need new occupants. Until then we will be perfecting our recipes and having tasting events. 2) The other idea is to start a brewery/convenience store. Where one could take a beer out of the fridge and sit down and enjoy a nice drink or just take it to go. We would sell our beers on tap but also carry other craft beers. This would require an investment to buy the inventory and set up the store. However, we would be able to increase our sales with the convenience store side that will hopefully make it possible for one of us to quit our day job and support the store full time. We would still have the nano brewery size, but a larger income. Aaron also wants to sell BBQ supplies. All just ideas right now, but we keep working on them everyday.

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Old 05-26-2011, 04:11 PM   #7
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Ever think of instead of the store idea do a homebrew shop next to it. I've been thinking that there needs to be a homwbrew shop in kc on the Missouri side. I think north kc would be an ideal location. What homebrewer wouldn't love a homebrew shop where you can get good beer too.

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Old 05-26-2011, 06:42 PM   #8
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Yes, that is a good idea too. Hmmmm.... I have to run it by my partner and see what he thinks.

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Old 05-26-2011, 06:47 PM   #9
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Best of luck to you. I will be keeping an eye on this from down the road in Topeka!

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Old 05-26-2011, 06:50 PM   #10
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Thank you! It is nice to know that The Midwest has so many craft beer fans!

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