This discussion bridges the dream with the preliminary steps you will need to take to create your initial business plan, and these topics – though critical – are not necessarily dream crushers. Some can inspire you to evaluate and shift in the necessary direction to find a solid path forward. Others may be of greater consequence and require a significant overhaul.
Tom Hennessy, Colorado Boy Brewery
Tom Hennessy has opened seven breweries of his own and helped open over 130 more with his Colorado Boy Brewery Immersion Course. He is the founder, along with past partners of multiple restaurants in multiple states. His video Frankenbrew, from 1995 has become a cult classic in the brewing world. His three previous brewing books include The Brewery Operations Manual, The Affordable Brewery, and Colorado Boy SOP. Tom lives, brews and writes in his mountain town of Ridgway, Colorado, with his wife Sandy.
Jeff Mendel, Left Hand Brewing Co.
Jeff Mendel was one of the founders of Tabernash Brewing in 1993. In 1998, Tabernash merged with Left Hand, and Jeff worked with them for over a decade more. Jeff was, and still is, very active in the brewing world, and also teaches a beer appreciation course. Jeff was also Co-Founder and Director of the Colorado Brewers Guild, a member of the Brewers Association events committee since 2003 (assisting with the planning and execution of signature events such as GABF, CBC, and SAVOR), former Director of the Institute of Brewing Studies, and awarded the Brewing Studies Recognition Award in 1993.
Kary Shumway, Craft Brewery Finance, Beer Business Finance, University of Vermont
Kary Shumway, owner of Craft Brewery Finance and Publisher of Beer Business Finance, brings a wealth of experience in strategic planning, finance, distribution, logistics, pricing strategies, cash flow planning, budgeting, and more to UVM’s Business of Craft Beer program. Kary is a CPA, a former CFO for a beer distributor and current CFO for Wormtown Brewery in Worcester, MA. He’s spent the last 20 years using finance to help improve financial results in his beer businesses; now he helps other craft breweries do the same.
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.