Episode 014 explores the business approach to opening a brewery based on contract brewing and alternating proprietorships. Alisa Bowens-Mercado of Rhythm Brewing tells her story of the search for contract brewing, while Phil Markowski of Two Roads and Matthew Osterman of Sleeping Giant share the backstory and intent behind their purpose built contract brewing facilities. Relationships are key, as we learn, and all three guests share tips, tricks, and best practices throughout this episode.


Phil Markowski, Master Brewer/Co-Founder, Two Roads Brewing Co.

Master Brewer Phil Markowski comes from an engineering background. After dabbling in home brewing and winning a few competitions back in the 1980s Phil made the bright decision to go into the craft beer world as a career.

A long career at various breweries has led to dozens of medals from the GABF and WBC, along with many other medals at regional and international competitions. Phil also wrote the book on Farmhouse Ales, literally, and is thrilled to be in his dream job: working with friends to create a brewery from scratch with state-of-the-art equipment.

Alisa Bowens-Mercado, Owner/Brewmaster, Rhythm Brewing Co.

Rhythm Brewing Co. is a New Haven, CT based brewery, founded by Alisa Bowens-Mercado. Realizing the lack of craft lagers on the market, Alisa decided to create her own. Her flagship beer, Rhythm, is a modern American-style lager with an ABV of 5.5%. Brewed with South African hops, Rhythm is unfiltered, flavorful, and has a slight bite that leaves you wanting more. 

Music, Dance, and Beer have played a significant role in Alisa’s life. Both of Alisa’s Grandmothers’ were beer drinkers, and on special occasions, they would sip, dance and converse about “Finding your Rhythm in Life”.

Matthew Osterman, President & Founder, Sleeping Giant Brewing Co.

Sleeping Giant Brewing Co. is the result of President & Founder, Matthew Osterman creating the type of contract brewing facility that he and his business partner were looking for when they needed one. Listen for the colorful story of his homebrewing journey in his college dorm through the advent of Sleeping Giant and its current role in the Denver and regional area.

About StartABrewery

StartABrewery is a collaboration amongst a fun group of craft beer industry veterans who are often invited to speak at beer business / brewing education programs. Each has offered to share their knowledge and experience to support the craft beer community as a whole by helping fledgling breweries in planning.

Conceived and coordinated by Candace L. Moon, The Craft Beer Attorney, and Laura Lodge of  Customized Craft Beer Programs, StartABrewery is provided as an educational resource for those dreaming of opening a brewery, those who are taking steps to make their dream a reality, and those who are opening their brewery doors and living it.