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Beer Business Radio
25 minutes | 5 years ago
037: Jordan Gardenhire - Baja Brewing Company
Episode 037: Jordan Gardenhire is the founder and brewmaster of San Jose del Cabo, Mexico based Baja Brewing Company which opened it's doors in 2007. Jordan moved from Colorado to Cabo and fell in love with the place. Not long after arriving, he founded Baja Brewing with his father Charlie. Worst Business Moment: Jordan shares a few "not so great" moments with us, including a time when a hurricane destroyed the entire area - including the brewery. Doors were ripped off hinges, windows shatter and mud from flood water ruined almost everything. About the only thing left standing were tanks that were full of beer!! Jordan is convinced if those tanks had been empty, they would have been swept away and destroyed. Most Rewarding Moment: For Jordan, Baja Brewing is more than a business, its also a life style.........I mean, he gets to live in Cabo, come on!! While the lifestyle and business are both very rewarding, Jordan loves going downstairs from his office to the brew pub and talking with people who are there enjoying his beer. Best Advice Ever Received: Figure out what you love and stick with it.........
41 minutes | 5 years ago
036: Nico Freccia - 21st Amendment Brewery
Episode 036: Nico Freccia manages all the operations and business development for 21st Amendment Brewery which is co-founded in San Francisco, CA with Shaun O'Sullivan back in 2000. The popular brewpub has grown to include a production division that is currently one of the fastest growing craft breweries in America. Worst Business Moment: "Don't worry about the money, the money is the easy part".....Well, the money turned out to be pretty tough. Being in San Francisco and opening right before the dotcom bubble burst and then 9-11 happening about a year later, times were tough. Knowing who you could pay and when became key to managing cash flow BUT the fellas at 21st Amendment always communicated with their vendors. Most Rewarding Moment: Hitting the road and telling the 21st Amendment story and simply talking beer is some Nico and Shaun love to do. Having a beer with people, talking about how certain beers came to be, how certain packaging was thought up, talking the history of beer styles are some of the most enjoyable things 21st Amendment gets to do...... Best Advice Ever Received: Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are.....
25 minutes | 5 years ago
035: Matt Leff - Rhizome Productions
Episode 035: Matt Leff is the founder of Rhizome Productions in Nashville, TN which started its mission of promoting and supporting craft beer in January 2010. Their main goal is to promote, educate and support local communities through craft beer. Topics Discussed in this Podcast: Benefits of a brewery being involved in a beer festival Benefits to the community/city in hosting a beer festival Tips for the brewery doing their first beer festival Tips and advice for beer festival attendees Other ways to promote your brewery to the community What's next in the world of brewery events and the Southern Brewers Conference - www.southernbrewersconference.com Best Advice Ever Received: "To know what you don't know...."
45 minutes | 5 years ago
034: Dave Thibodeau - Ska Brewing Company
Episode 034: Dave Thibodeau is a co-founder and president of Ska Brewing Company in Durango, CO which opened it's doors back in 1995. Dave and some buddies loved drinking good beer, but they had a little problem - They weren't old enough to buy it! So they figured if they brewed their own beer, then they'd have all the beer they would ever want. Worst Business Moment: Partnerships can be very rewarding and beneficial.......but, people are different. They have different view points, dreams, aspirations and interests. Even the best of partnerships can experience strain and stress even when things are going great from a business stand point. The 3 partners at Ska experienced this just a couple of years ago but thanks to the bond they had built over time and the mutual respect they all have for each other, they were able to weather this "storm" and remain partners to this day. Most Rewarding Moment: When Ska first started, Dave was working another full time job and his home was a VW Van parked in the driveway of a historic rental "mansion". His fellow co-founder Bill was renting a room in that "mansion" and also was working a full time job. Neither took a salary from the brewery that first year, but one of Dave's most rewarding memories was when the brewery started making enough money where he could quit his other job and go run the brewery full-time. Best Advice Ever Received: Have a quality control program and put in a lab as soon as possible...........
30 minutes | 5 years ago
033: Brad Wynn - Big Boss Brewing Co.
Episode 033: Brad Wynn is a co-founder and the brewing supervisor of Big Boss Brewing Company in Raleigh, NC. Brad teamed up with Geoff Lamb in 2006 to open the brewery, shipping its first beer in the 2nd Qtr of 2007. Prior to starting Big Boss, Brad had been professionally brewing for many years with Victory, Wild Goose and Native Brewing Companies. Worst Business Moment: Early on Big Boss bought a bottling machine in Germany and they did not go over and take a look at it.......They asked questions and got answers, but something must have been lost in translation. The machine arrived and while it was a truly beautiful piece of German machinery, it needed so much work that they are 5 years in on this ongoing restoration project. Most Rewarding Moment: Being able to pay your bills, hire people and create a beautiful local business are the things that Brad finds the most rewarding aspects of running his brewery. Best Advice Ever Received: Brew what you want.......don't compromise
34 minutes | 5 years ago
032: Chris Brown - Holy City Brewing
Episode 032: Chris Brown is a co-founder and production manager of Holy City Brewing in Charleston, SC. Four guys from different backgrounds decided to open a brewery in 2011 when Charleston was on the cusp of a serious craft beer culture. Since opening, Holy City has become a local favorite in a very short time. Worst Business Moment: The early years of business can be tough and the first year and a half for holy city were especially rough. Entering into bad finance agreements on equipment to working through the growing/learning pains of business partners with different points of view and opinions were all situations that Holy City had to navigate through in those early years........ Most Rewarding Moment: One of the most rewarding things for Chris is having a group of employees who love working at the brewery. Having those employees be behind what you are doing as a company and love being at work is the most satisfying things for Chris. Best Advice Ever Received: SLOW DOWN........take it easy, step back and take the emotion out of decisions - just slow things down a bit.
22 minutes | 5 years ago
031: Will Hamill - Uinta Brewing co
Episode 031: Will Hamill is the founder of Uinta Brewing Company which he open its doors in the winter of 1993 in Salt Lake City, UT. Since then, the proud Utah company has experienced massive growth and expansion while picking up several awards & medals from regional, national and international competitions. Worst Business Moment: When you are a small growing business, often times you feel doing things yourself is both the best and most cost effective way to get things done. Will shares a story of a time he should have let the professionals handle the installation of a new piece of equipment. To this day he has an item from that experience on his desk to remind him that he can't do it all himself. Most Rewarding Moment: Seeing some one chose to purchase you beer is something that is truly rewarding for Will. Watching the families of his now 110 person work force is another thing that Will finds extremely rewarding. Best Advice Ever Received: Employ great people and let them do their job. Verify their abilities, but don't micro-manage...........
20 minutes | 5 years ago
030: Sumit Vohra - Lonerider Brewing Co.
Episode 030: Sumit Vohra is the CEO, Co-founder and Chief Drinking Officer of Lonerider Brewing Company in Raleigh, NC. Sumit was an avid home brewer and in 2008, quit his comfortable corporate job and poured his life savings into his passion launching Lonerider with a couple of buddies in 2009. Worst Business Moment: The industry was heading towards cans and Lonerider made the decisions to switch from bottling into cans to stay ahead of the trend. They sold off their bottling line and bought a canning line. The canning line was delayed and then when it came, it didn't work! For three months they had to delay a seasonal, cash flow wasn't coming in and there was difficultly with distribution partners. It took about a year for Lonerider to fully recover from all of this. Most Rewarding Moment: When you are sitting at a bar and someone orders your beer and says, "man this is damn good beer." They have no idea who you are and that you work for the brewery and you just sit there and talk to them about why they like the beer. Sumit says this is some of the most rewarding times of being a brewer. Best Advice Ever Received: Make a decision and move on.....
43 minutes | 5 years ago
029: Ted Rice - Marble Brewery
Episode 029:Ted Rice is the co-owner, president and brewmaster of MarbleBrewery in Albuquerque, NM. Marble was founded in 2008 in theheart of downtown Albuquerque. While Marble brews craft beerclassics, they also relentlessly push boundaries and raiseexpectations. In 2014, they were named the GABF's smallbrewery of the year.Worst Business Moment:Entering into new markets and not fully vetting who yourdistribution partner is going to be can lead to some sleeplessnights down the road. Ted suggests talking with buyers,talking with those in the market using the distributors you arelooking at and even having your contracts fully vetted by a breweryconsultant.Best Business Moment:With growth comes the ability to hire people and watch themgrow. Most folks on the production side of the brewerystarted with Marble at entry level positions. As theseemployees grow in their skill and knowledge, one of the mostgratifying things for Ted is to see them walk across the stage atan event to receive an award for a beer they created.Best Advice Ever Received:Whatever you are going to do in life, be truly passionate aboutit..........
44 minutes | 5 years ago
028: Aaron Morse - Dark Horse Brewing Co.
Episode 028: Aaron Morse is the CEO and Owner of Dark Horse Brewing Company in Marshall, MI. Aaron started Dark Horse in early 2000 and lets just say that traditional, cookie-cutter and conformist are not words that you would use to describe Aaron or his brewery. Worst Business Moment: The first 5 to 7 years in the life of a brewery are tough and cash is huge. The roller coaster of cash flow is one of those things that keeps you up at night with your stomach in knots wondering where you are going to come up with the cash to pay this bill and that bill. Other Cool Stuff Dark Horse is Doing: General Store Motorcycle Shop Skate Shop Woodworking Shop (Making furniture out the aging barrels) Maple Syrup & Cider Company Honey Company Fruit Farm with 13 acres of Hops Bakery Candy Shop Roaster & Coffee House Creamery and coming soon, cabins so you can hang out for days!! Best Advice Ever Received: "Shut your mouth and listen"
29 minutes | 5 years ago
027: Marcy Larson - Alaskan Brewing Co.
Episode 027: Marcy Larson is the co-founder of Alaskan Brewing Company which she started with her husband Geoff back in 1986. The brewery is located in Juneau, Alaska and was the 67th independent brewery in the United States and the first brewery in Juneau since Prohibition. Worst Business Moment: About two years into the operation of Alaskan Brewing things were going pretty well, but money was still tight. Then one random Thursday afternoon, their bank goes under! On Friday, the brewery had no access to the money in their account. They weren't able to access any of their cash for over a week.........talk about stressful!! Best Business Moment: Early on, the brewery was selling beer in Alaska and the locals loved it......Unknown to the Brewery, someone had taken some of their beer down to a seminar being given at UC Davis. The seminar was part of a course on brewing and flavor profiles and they did a blind tasting. Alaskan Amber was thrown into the mix and it came out on top out of other beers form the lower 48 that the brewery never considered themselves worthy of competing against. Best Advice Ever Received: Make a good beer! Whatever you do make sure the beer is great because your beer not only represents you, but represents all of us in the industry.
28 minutes | 5 years ago
026: Tom Kehoe - Yards Brewing Company
Episode 026: Tom Kehoe is the President and Co-Founder of Yards Brewing Co. in Philadelphia, PA. Tom started Yards out of garage back in 1994 after home brewing throughout his time in college. From first selling beer in the parking of a Dead show to a handful of moves & expansions, plus several awards along the way, Yards Brewing has seen a lot of growth over the years but more importantly has been Philly's hometown brewery from day one. Worst Business Moment: Like a lot of brewers, Tom and his original partner started out for the love of beer and were extremely passionate about making beer and being the "beer guys." When you are the owners of a small company and the last ones to get paid sometimes reality trumps that passion. One of Tom's worst moment in business was when his original part left the company. They were small, not producing a ton of beer and Tom's partner felt he needed to leave to "make money" and provide for this family. This was a difficult time Tom, his business partner and the brewery. Best Business Moment: The little moments when someone might recognize you as the Yard Brewing guy and just want to talk beer for a bit or when you over hear the person next to you (whom you don't know) say "I love this beer" as they drink the fruits of your labor........those are some of the best moments for Tom. Best Advice Ever Received: Don't get too big too fast......
30 minutes | 5 years ago
025: Jason Ebel - Two Brothers Brewing Co.
Episode 025: Jason Ebel and his brother Jim started Two Brothers in late 1996. The brother's love of flavorful beer started with travels throughout Europe in the late 80's which led them to opening a home brew and wine making store in 1992. The more they were around brewing, the more passionate they became about opening their own brewery. Worst Business Moment: Managing employees is hard, especially when you go into business at a young age without a lot of experience. Early on Jason struggled with being a good manager and seeing that their may be more than one way to do something. After an unpleasant interaction with one of his first employees, Jason set out to learn everything he could about being a good effective manager and leader of people. Something he says he still works on each and every day. "Light Bulb" Moment: Validation of a risk you take in business doesn't always happen........and when that validation does occur, sometimes it is many years in the making. One of Jason's best memories is a risk they took in sour beer that was validated over 6 years after taking the plunge. Best Advice Ever Received: Make sure that whatever you do for a living everyday, is something you love........when you stop enjoying what you do, its time to move on.
20 minutes | 5 years ago
024: Scott Hovey - Adelbert's Brewery
Episode 023: Scott Hovey is founder and brewmaster of Adelbert's Brewery which started back in 2012 as a tribute to his late brother, George Adelbert Hovey. Scott was a passionate home brewer for years before starting his brewery and believes in brewing beer that he likes to drink. Worst Business Moment: A seasonal sales cycle can be tough on cash flow, add some change and things really get interesting. During a recent transition from self distribution to going with a distributor new sales took a nose dive as retailers worked through the inventory they already had on hand, coupled with a traditionally slow seasonal period for the brewery. While sales went down, expenses did not and caused a stressful strain on cash flow. "Light Bulb" Moment: Scott has had several light bulb moments over the years.....One is getting into cans! Other "light bulb" moments have been in hindsight, in what the general public will actually like. Scott said "You just never know what's going to resonate with people and you have to be open to some experimentation and thinking out side the box." Best Advice Ever Received: Plan for the unexpected......especially financially.
36 minutes | 5 years ago
023: Joey Redner - Cigar City Brewing
Episode 023: Joey Redner is the founder and CEO of Tampa, FL's Cigar City Brewing which opened its doors in the Spring of 2009. The award winning brewery started as a modest two person brewery and after a few years of rapid growth is one of Florida's largest breweries. Worst Business Moment: Joey's initial vision for his brewery was to be a small specialty brewery. Early on, after some guidance from his father, this initial vision was reshaped.......He states one of his biggest mistakes was not fully understanding how the choices they made early one, as far as the direction of the company, would ultimately take them. "Light Bulb" Moment: Joey's "pride bone" gets tickled every time he sees some pick up a their beer and put it in their shopping cart. To know that somebody likes something you've done enough to spend money on it is a "pretty cool thing." Best Advice Ever Received: Be honest with yourself........have a clear idea of what makes you tick and what you are likely going to stay committed to over the long term.
53 minutes | 5 years ago
022: Brent Ryan - Newport Storm Brewery
Episode 022: Brent Ryan is the president and co-founder of Newport Storm Brewery which released it's first beer in July 1999. Started by four friends after graduating college, Newport Storm has steadily grown over the years and has even launched a distillery. Worst Business Moment: Your brewery is your "baby." You can get emotional about it, take things personally and sometimes over step your boundaries when it comes to critiquing partners like your distributor. This is exactly what happen with Newport Storm when they were working on a project with their distributor. Things got a little scary and they weren't sure how and if the relationship would bounce back. "Light Bulb" Moment: Watching that first person whom you don't know purchase the beer you make is an awesome experience. Best Advice Ever Received: Its about selling beer.........you need to connect with the people who are buying the product you make.
28 minutes | 5 years ago
021: David Valentine - Rethink Creative Group
Episode 020: Episode 020 is a slight departure from our normal podcast of interviewing brewery peeps. This episode features David Valentine of Rethink Creative Group based in Dallas, TX. Rethink is a full service creative agency and David is a co-founder and the Chief of Dream Topics In This Episode Include: The importance of a brand presence, packing, name, logo, etc. Why you MUST tell your story and how....... Consistency of both message and delivery and why its so valuable Can a brand stand on its own or do you need a "face" to your brewery? How best to refresh a brand and/or completely re-brand yourself. What packaging flies of the shelves?
28 minutes | 5 years ago
020: Oscar Wong - Highland Brewing Company
Episode 020: Oscar Wong is the owner and founder of Highland Brewing Company located in Asheville, North Carolina. Highland rolled out its first kegs in December 1994 with a system built almost entirely of retrofitted dairy equipment. Worst Business Moment: Three years after starting Highland, Oscar was talked into starting a brewpub. Oscar said this venture really took a lot of the "gas out of his tank". The pub took his "eye off the ball" in regards to the the brewery and two years later he closed the pub. "Light Bulb" Moment: Highland's distributor was pushing them to get into 12oz bottles. They were very reluctant as they had no space and would be forced to move locations to make this happen and that was a daunting task. Once they made that leap however, production really took off. Best Advice Ever Received: Be honest with people........
38 minutes | 5 years ago
019B: Robbie O'Cain - Starr Hill Brewery
Episode 019B: Robbie O'Cain is the Brewmaster at Starr Hill Brewery which started in September 1999 . As the second oldest craft brewery in Virginia, Starr Hill has been a pioneer in the industry and has helped lay the ground work for the growing craft beer community in the region. Worst Business Moment: When you put your heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into a business, it hurts when others don't feel the same way. One of the low points in business for Robbie is when some employees didn't believe in the direction the brewery was going and in what the brewery was trying to achieve. "Light Bulb" Moment: Your flagship product that makes up 30% of your sales is doing great, but you have a "light bulb" moment that things really need to change....everything from packaging to recipe! Scary as all get out, but you know you have to do it.......that is what Starr Hill experienced not too long ago. Best Advice Ever Received: "Create your own luck through HARD WORK! "
36 minutes | 5 years ago
019A: Robbie O'Cain - Starr Hill Brewery
Episode 019: Robbie O'Cain is the Brewmaster at Starr Hill Brewery which started in September 1999 . As the second oldest craft brewery in Virginia, Starr Hill has been a pioneer in the industry and has helped lay the ground work for the growing craft beer community in the region. Worst Business Moment: When you put your heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into a business, it hurts when others don't feel the same way. One of the low points in business for Robbie is when some employees didn't believe in the direction the brewery was going and in what the brewery was trying to achieve. "Light Bulb" Moment: Your flagship product that makes up 30% of your sales is doing great, but you have a "light bulb" moment that things really need to change....everything from packaging to recipe! Scary as all get out, but you know you have to do it.......that is what Starr Hill experienced not too long ago. Best Advice Ever Received: "Create your own luck through HARD WORK! "
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