Saturday, May 9, 2009

I'm starting a brewery

Yes, you read that right. I made the decision this week. I want to start my own brewery. Why not? Many others have done it, and been very successful at it. Why not me? Many have failed. But I don't plan on being one of them. It is going to be a long process. Are you ready? I know I am.

I have been a working man for most of my life. I really don't remember a time in my life (aside from being a child) where I didn't have a job, or some sort of income. I remember, in 3rd grade, I would buy a pack of candy filled wax sticks for $1. I would take them to school, and sell them. I turned each pack into $10. I bought 2 packs the next time, and turned that $2, into $20.

Then in 6th grade, I got a paper route. I didn't tell my parents. I saw a commercial on TV, and called the number. As luck would have it, our regular paper boy was quiting, and I started a mere week later. I made good amount of money doing that over the next 2 plus years. Enough to buy my my first CD player, and put the down payment on my first truck.

In the summers, I would go to work for my dad. He didn't pay me a lot, but as a 12 year old kid, getting paid $200 a week was a lot of money! Sure, I blew so much of it on stupid stuff, but I did manage to save a lot of it. Ever summer through High school, I worked. It allowed me to have a nice car, nice things, and save for my future. Most of all, it instilled in me that money doesn't come easy. And business is hard, yet fulfilling.

Four years ago, my dad decided to retire, and sell his company. I didn't like his decision, but in my heart, I knew it was the right choice for him. But it left me working for someone else. Something I have never done before. From that time in 3rd grade selling candy, I was my own boss. Even with my paper route, I collected payment whenever I wanted. And as I grew up, every summer I made my own hours and my own money. I answered to myself.

When the time came for me to work for someone else, I hated it. How was I going to do it? I don't know how I did it, but I did, for 3 plus years. And I was good at it. I worked my way up to the top. However, I was never happy. No matter how high I worked my way through Corporate America, there was always going to be someone above me, telling me what to do. I hated it. I hated it with a passion. But I sucked it up, and did a great job.

In the back of my mind, I longed to be my own boss again. That is what I spent most of my life doing. And I really missed it. About a year ago, I was offered a position in a start up company. I jumped on it! And I really enjoy it. However, it just doesn't have the same feeling for me. I miss being my own boss. Not for the feeling of being the boss, but for the feelings of being "the man". I miss it being my name on the bottom line. I miss calling the shots. But most of all, I miss that feeling that it was mine.

I am in the process of starting 3 different small companies. One is for fun. The second is for fun, with the possibility of growing into something serious. The third is a business that I have been doing for nearly 20 years now. It is a business I could do on a full time basis, and make a living at.

However, I don't know if it is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Like I said, I have been the man, and I have worked for the man. And trust me when I say, being the man is better. But being happy is so much better. In order to do that, I need to be the man, in a business that would make me happy. And what might that business be? Beer.

So right there, right now, I am putting it out there for all to see. I am going to start my own brewery. I know it is going to be hard, And I know it is going to be a lot of work. I don't think it will be easy by any means. But I know I can do it. I know I am going to do it!

I'm not going to open a brewery next week, or next year. I am being serious about this. I don't jump into anything until I have researched and educated myself as much as possible about it. And that is the way I am going to do it. I am going to immerse myself in research and education. How did the other breweries do it? What education can I get before I start? What is the best plan of attack? That is what I am doing now.

What does the future hold for me? I don't know. But I am going to do whatever I can to make it fun. And in the words of Curt Schilling, I am going to do "Whatever it Takes" to succeed.

As my plans evolve, I will be sure to post them for you to read. This is going to be a 3 to 5 year process. I'm not going to rush it. I'm going to do it right. Wish me luck.



Brian P said...

Wow that's huge news. You are living my dream. Good luck with the endeavour.

Good Burp said...

Thanks. It still feels like a dream to me as well. As soon as my brew system is started, I will feel like it has started.

Paul said...

I appreciate your balls and our visions and story are very similar. I am also starting a brewery and have started the process a few months ago.

We have just about completed the biz plan. My partner is attending Brew School and we are finished with labels, caps, etc.

next is looking for location and getting some help with plannong and equipment..

Some advice..

1. Know your craft. Get educated on the brewery business and making beer.
2. get a good lawyer, someone who knows the local laws and is knowlable in trademarks, etc.
3. Create a name that is unique and tells your story
4. Have fun

Good Luck to you

Tom said...

First, work in a small brewery rather than a large one. Watch the brewing process. We have a 4 minute video on our brew day you can see at I would also recommend getting the video Frankenbrew from Then look for locations. The location will drive the whole project. Find a small restuarant, or coffee house for rent. It will be much cheaper to convert. If you want a spreadsheet to play around with to see if it is feasible, you can e mail me through our web site - Good luck!