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Old 04-23-2013, 06:03 AM   #1
OrdinaryAvgGuy
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Something has recently caught my attention and it irks me just enough that I decided that I would write an excessively long rant about it.

Today's topic of discussion is the emerging trend of young men opening microbreweries.

I'm not talking about 30 something year or older men here. These guys are in their early 20's. I know of 2 breweries in a city outside of where I reside that recently opened and know of the owners through mutual friends. In addition I must have read about a half dozen or so others.

Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I am not envious of these folks. I love the american dream and the idea of success at a young age more than just about anyone reading this. Its just that something is not right here.

So why the rant?

First, how good can your beer possibly be? You are 22-23 years old, fresh out of college and likely have not graduated from a Mr. Beer kit. My personal beliefs are that a prerequisite for owing a brewery is that you must know what good beer is and how to make it. I'm assuming that the owner(s) are going to be the ones brewing the beer at least for a while.

Minimal, 30 - 40 or so years of age, a few gray hairs and some experience not only brewing beer but managing a business. These pricks most likely drank BMC exclusively up until a year ago and likely hold a degree in political science, philosophy or some other worthless field of study and have zero real life work experience.

Next up, financial backing.

The two that I know of received financial backing, and lots of it, from their daddies. This "here ya go son" support at such a young age can only spell disaster. What ever happened to busting your a$$ working a crap job as a corporate drone for several years, sacrificing, networking and doing it the way that many successful people have done in the past and not on the coat-tail of someone who has already done the hard part.

Lets face it, its very unlikely that someone in their early 20's is going to receive hundreds of thousands in unbacked financing to chase a beer brewing dream. And it is even less likely that such a business will succeed when the owner has no personal stake in the operation.

They will likely enjoy moderate success as it rises to their head. Once there, life in the fast lane beings. Nice cars, homes, toys, women, miles of cocaine, etc shortly followed by a sharp u turn and downward spiral.

Okay, well I guess it wasn't that long of a rant but thought I would share.
Anyone else seeing this trend?
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:20 PM   #2
Brulosopher
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Quote:
Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I am not envious of these folks.
Careful, you're starting to sound defensive

Actually, I think I can grasp, at least a little bit, where you're coming from. Just do a search for "beer" on Kickstarter- it's true, most new startup breweries seem to be spearheaded by younger dudes. That said, I've absolutely nothing against them! And I refuse to presumptively accept that their beer will be bad merely because of their age. The newest brewery in my area is being headed solely by a guy in his 30's, and his beer is truly fantastic- he was designing similarly fantastic beer in his 20's. My opinion: the more selection and variety, the better. If the beer is bad, the market will let them know.

Cheers!
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:36 PM   #3
mb82
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I will say just because Daddy fronted the money does not mean a business will fail by any means. Two friends have started flyshops soon after college with parents money. One I will say I know nothing of the finances but they are one of the most successful shops I have ever seen. The other shop I know dad fronted the money after years of asking and he did it with interest on the loan and partial ownership of the shop giving him the ability to watch over and make sure nothing is being done wrong. The shop is running smoothly making money and building customers with no interference from Dad. Of course I have seen Daddy front the money and the business fail nearly immediately also but those kids were messups before they even started.
Just because your young does not mean you are not willing to work hard, some of the hardest workers I know are below the age of 30, some of the laziest workers I know are over the age of 40.
About the recipes, maybe their parents brewed so they were beyond Mr. Beer long before they were 21. Maybe they stole recipes from people on the internet and scaled them up, maybe they had a couple of recipes they liked. I will give the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:43 PM   #4
BrokenDog
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Here's the thing, as long as their beer generally tastes like beer, they can produce enough and they advertise at least a little bit they will probably succeed. I've noticed that there are a lot of subpar breweries that manage to flourish around me just b/c people want to get behind their local brewery, plus most people don't know or style or care or even know what a well made beer tastes like. I was recently at a newly opened place around me and had their IPA which was a diacetyl bomb, I found the beer almost undrinkable, while the friend I was with thought it was a very unique IPA that he "quite couldn't put his finger on the new flavor but he really like it," to each his own I guess.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:17 PM   #5
OrdinaryAvgGuy
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I understand that some who are given a golden opportunity at a very young age could be successful and this does happen. However, IMO odds are stacked against one who is given financial backing from the start because they never experienced hardship and never had to sacrifice to get ahead.

I myself light up when I hear about young people who run a successful business. I think its fantastic! If I then find out they were not self made (please not looking for an argument about there being "no such thing as self made") I immediately discredit their success and attribute it to whoever laid the foundation.

As for the beer I agree. We have a couple breweries around here that have okay beer but seem to stay busy. I will say that some of the best beer that I have tried came from a 40 + bearded man who has been brewing for more than decade, not a recent grad who learned how to make hooch when it was illegal to buy alcohol.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:29 PM   #6
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Quite judgmental. The actual fact is, young brewers are creating incredible beers. The owners of Pipeworks (best new brewery in the WORLD for 2012) are under 30. I am currently in the licensing stage for our brewery. I am 28, my money came from my bank account as well as my partners, and we make damn good beer. I also know of several Chicago brewers opening up around my age that secured their financing from banks, so to say that it's not possible means you have never tried. If you have a sound business plan, banks will talk to you.

 
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:32 PM   #7
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I hate to break it to you but young dudes (and ladies) using daddies and mommies money to start a small business isn't exclusively a brewing phenomenon. And nothing has happened to working a crap job, busting your ass and climbing up the proverbial ladder, its just that these guys don't have to do it. And if they are receiving this money they are already in the fast lane living in nice homes, with toys, women and cocaine(?) so if/when they fail they will probably be alright.

Don't get me wrong, I mostly agree with you, but this is just how it works a lot of the time. One of the advantages of being loaded is that your kids don't need to do **** if you don't want them too. Sure some of these will fail but some of them might actually make it because they are good enough to make it. And others might make it because they will just throw enough money at it to fix their shortcomings.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:59 PM   #8
OrdinaryAvgGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demon View Post
Quite judgmental. The actual fact is, young brewers are creating incredible beers. The owners of Pipeworks (best new brewery in the WORLD for 2012) are under 30. I am currently in the licensing stage for our brewery. I am 28, my money came from my bank account as well as my partners, and we make damn good beer. I also know of several Chicago brewers opening up around my age that secured their financing from banks, so to say that it's not possible means you have never tried. If you have a sound business plan, banks will talk to you.
While only 6 years there is a big difference between 28 and 22. At 28 you have been in the working world for a few years and have had a chance to earn money and prove yourself. The two that I am referring to are 21 and 22 years old.

I'm 31 and started my first business around the age of 27. Yes the banks will talk to you and yes it is achievable.

I wish you success and I'm sure you guys will do well, especially since you have your own funds and likely assets at stake.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrdinaryAvgGuy View Post
First, how good can your beer possibly be? You are 22-23 years old, fresh out of college and likely have not graduated from a Mr. Beer kit.
I stopped reading right here when you made a very bold and ridiculous assumption.

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Old 04-23-2013, 02:07 PM   #10
Gitmoe
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I'm a little confused by this rant. Who cares where the money came from or how old the owner/brewer is. If the beer is good that's all that matters. If you like the beer support the brewery and they will do well. If the beer sucks then don't ever buy from them. I live just outside Philly where we have new breweries stacked on top of new breweries. Some of them make garbage beer and I don't go to their brewpub or buy their beer at the distributor. Some of them make great beer and I often buy their products. I started brewing when I was about 22 and now I'm 29. I have enough recipes that are great to open a brewery if I wanted to. I've even been offered money from my father in law to open one. At this point I have no interest in opening a brewery. The market is heavily saturated in my area and I've worked with local breweries and know exactly how much work it is to start a brewery. It's just not something I'm interested in. Anybody who starts one gets my respect for at least trying to make it work.

 
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