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Old 09-17-2009, 09:07 PM   #21
nostalgia's Avatar
Feb 2008
Port Murray, NJ
Posts: 2,404
Liked 97 Times on 57 Posts

Originally Posted by Gordie View Post
If you don't need a ladder, the brew house should be bigger.
Dig it

Thanks for this!

I'm opening a brewery! Man Skirt Brewing

Progress is always up on my Facebook page

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Old 09-17-2009, 09:57 PM   #22
Oct 2007
Posts: 66

Awesome post. I'm sure you've had some interesting times getting to where you are, and more in front of you!

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Old 09-17-2009, 11:41 PM   #23
Brewin_CRAZY's Avatar
Jun 2009
Posts: 412
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

Originally Posted by conpewter View Post
Hey Gordie! Good read. Do you think you could do some section on the legalities of this sort of venture? I always figured you'd need to have a commercial facility to sell your beer to anyone, health inspections etc. Thanks!
+1 to that, im very curious as well!
Primary: Air...
Secondary: 10gal-Double IPA, 5gal-Pure Apple Cider,
Kegged: 10gal-Christmas Ale, 5gal-Hopped Up Stout, 5gal-Light Rye Ale, 5gal Dunkel Bock
Bottled: DFH 120 Clone (Kicks your A$$)

"Brew happy, brew often, and always brew with friends." -Me
"I dont home brew because I'm poor, I'm poor because I home brew!!!" -Me

"If I ever leave this world alive ill be drinkin up in the sky, with you my friend by my side" RIP B.G.
And always remember friends "Do NOT set yourself on fire"

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Old 09-18-2009, 02:07 AM   #24
Oct 2008
Posts: 106
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Originally Posted by Gordie View Post

Most importantly - the beer has to taste good. Sweat the details. If your beer isn't tasty, nothing else matters.
So explain the proliferation of light beer, please.

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Old 09-18-2009, 02:36 AM   #25
Jun 2009
Posts: 131

Awesome post Gordie!

Thank You.

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Old 09-18-2009, 02:55 AM   #26
Sep 2009
Detroit, Michigan
Posts: 802
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

Thanks for sharing. I would love to run one someday...

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Old 09-18-2009, 02:59 AM   #27
riverfrontbrewer's Avatar
Sep 2009
Denver, CO
Posts: 1,123
Liked 34 Times on 29 Posts

I need to respond to post #7 augusus.....

I am a CPA, and there is one MAJOR flaw with your final paragraph....If this was any other business you would be correct in your assessment, but when it comes to alcohol, there are many other permits, licenses, etc that you have to have BEFORE ever selling an adult product.....therefore you have an illegal business, and prob shouldn't be trying to depreciate things......

I've been drinking a bit this eve so thats all I can say for now, but let me know if you have any accounting related questions.


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Old 09-18-2009, 06:44 AM   #28
Jul 2008
Portland, OR
Posts: 550
Liked 10 Times on 7 Posts

Thanks for posting your experience Gordie, I'd love to hear more.

I'm curious if there is a special category in CA for a nanobrewery.
I'd love to hear more about your process for starting the brewery, especially what types of beers you've chosen to brew.
Also, I'm curious if you have a day job, and how much you've invested/borrowed for this venture.
Lastly, where can I sample some of your wares?

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Old 09-18-2009, 08:29 AM   #29
Feb 2008
Healdsburg, CA
Posts: 380
Liked 29 Times on 9 Posts

Wow. Lots to respond to... Thanks for all the support and "atta boy" 's. I should also say that I have a day job that nanobrewing at the level I'm doing will not let me quit. Also, without the ability to self distribute and the absence of a rent/lease payment, nanobrewing at this level also wouldn't work. More specifically...

Smizak - I grew up on Lexington Ave. off Elmwood on the west side of Buffalo. If there was ever a place that loved its beer it's Buffalo. We made Genny profitable for generations, for christ sake...

Agustus - the chefs I sold to were alternately buying it for their crew and pairing it with other meals. I'm blessed to be in an area where having a story about the small production hand crafted and cult/underground/you-can't-get-it-without-knowing-someone nature of a beverage (wine, mostly) makes you a rock star, particularly cooks that are offering something different or off the beaten path. I fit that role pretty well, especially with the heightened beer-food-pairing foodie movement. My brewery not being well known (and producing limited, hand crafted, etc...) was actually a valuable selling point for the chefs. In terms of deductions, you actually have to be in the business. Selling would be required and evidence of some income - or the good faith pursuit of some - is a must. That requires licensing and actually being in business. Unfortunately, no shortcut. Oh - and I'm only kegging. I originally was going to only bottle but the logistics and space requirement and whatnot made it kinda unworkable. And you've got to deal with reporting and payment of conservation fees and whatnot for recycling bottles and other crap...

JohnnyO - Thanks for following! If there's any questions or anything I can answer in the process (or days afterwards) shout them out!

Splastik - A word about Brian and Moonlight - probably the best thing to happen to me is that I got to know Brian. I listen INTENTLY to everything he says. I'm of the opinion (and I'm not alone) that he's part Yoda and part Dumbledor. The man has forgotten more about beer than I may ever know. He's really the original one-man-brewing-army and he started almost 20 years ago when all this wasn't cool. In my mind, his credibility and integrity are unsurpassable. His beer is crazy tasty too. Beyond that, I think he's absolutely right about a minimum of a 7bbl system, and I'd actually go a bit further and say if you're going to run a 7 bbl brewhouse you may as well be running a 15 bbl brewhouse. As I mentioned above, I'm still into my day job and going to stay there for a while. If (actually when) I expand this, I wouldn't go smaller than 15 bbl. I may add a fermentor or something to my current setup, but if I'm going to go bigger - 15 bbl minimum (just my opinion, and there are plenty of others out there).

Wortmonger - dude, YOU are the one who taught ME all the fun things that you could do with a sanke...

ClaudiusB - send me a link to your local regs and I'll see if I can find a solution... (I've had some success at that sort of thing...)

Tomwirsing - light beer = marketing budget. Give me the Bud Light marketing funding and the ability to produce carbonated water with a 3.2% abv and I will rule the world.

gxm - Actually, there's no category for a nanobrewery. I have a Type 23 small brewer's license which would allow me to produce 60-80,000 bbl a year (I forget). I'm in a relatively small town that's kinda a hub/destination for wine. As the "regulars" I'm making (I've got about a dozen "irregulars") an English-style IPA, a Blonde (which is trending towards a summer ale) and an Irish red, all of which were closely considered and developed for reasons that have more to do with what I WANT to do with my brewery than what I may have thought I NEEDED to do. I've made a number of choices on beer type/name/etc. based on how I see my brewery that different brewers would not have made for how they saw their own breweries. I haven't taken on any debt and I've basically funded it through trickling cash at equipment over time. For a few months, I designated the mileage reimbursements for my car to brewery cash infusions. Overall, my rig is no more involved or extensive (with the exception of having almost 30 5 gal sanke kegs) than many of those on this forum. I've got a (large) Brutus type brewhouse, 3 chest freezers that I've rigged as fermentation chambers, and an understanding spouse. Finally, I'm on tap at Johnny Garlic's in Windsor, CA presently (Guy Fieri's place from the Food Network) and another small restaurant in Healdsburg, CA but they're both almost out. I'm rolling out another handful of kegs of IPA on 09.26 to a few locations and I'll give a shout out as to where they're going around then. Johnny Garlic's will get a few and a few places in Healdsburg as well.

I gotta go to bed. I'm sure I missed a few comments/questions so feel free to repeat them. Thanks for all the shout outs too!


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Old 09-18-2009, 05:32 PM   #30
thantos's Avatar
Jun 2009
SF Bay Area
Posts: 172
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Hey all,
I just wanted to chime in here and say thanks to Kevin and his wonderful family for all the fun in the sun and great beer! The invite to the house for the after party was great, and the tour of the brewery and its works was even better!!! And there is something magical about being able to watch the brew master open the cooler, and seeing a keg with your name on it at the brewery! Sorry we couldn't hang out longer, but the two hour ride home wouldn't have mixed with me doing anymore drinking!!! The Healdsburg beer in the plaza event was a lot of fun, there were 35 breweries from all over present, along with some good food and a great blues band. We tried a lot of new beers and found a few that I will be looking for locally to add to my stock. The highlights for me were the;

Firestone - Union Jack IPA, a hop heads dream, 6 different hops melded together to the point where you can taste each hop type individually in a cascading wash of hop bliss!

Grand Teton - Double Vision Doppelbock, this is a private reserve limited quantities, large bottle 33.8oz beer, and it is amazing. If you can find it, try it!

North Coast Brewing - Brother Thelonious Belgian, Beergasm was achieved with this beer! I think I could drink this for a long long time!

Healdsburg Beer Co. - IPA, I Loved this beer immediately, with its very clean and snappy hop taste, lately I have really been bummed about the way people have butchered IPA's as a whole. I think it has become to excepted to brew an overly bitter beer lacking the character that should be found in an IPA. That can not be said here, this beer has a great malt base to it that starts the beer off and then finishes with very crisp and clean hop flavors that actually allow you to taste and differentiate hop types! Along with a great finishing aroma and an almost, dare I say it, Cream/Caramel mouth feel.... All that adds up to what I say an IPA should have "Character" not just bland bitterness!

Originally Posted by WortMonger View Post
Gordie is my new hero!!! Now, all I need is a personal picture and I'll send it to FatHead for a nice wall poster in my bedroom, sorry Incredible Hulk.
Let me help you make that dream come true !!!

Here he is the Man, the Myth, the Legend, WortMongers new Hero !!!

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"I love the Devil, Cause the Devil is Rock n Roll ! ! !"

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