Monday, December 29, 2008

What should I be posting about?

When I was in the initial phases of starting The Bruery, this blog was a great way for me to bitch and complain.  Today, I don't have much to bitch and complain about.  Well... I always have things to complain about, but the blog isn't the greatest medium for my bitching these days.

Many people discovered The Bruery from this blog, and I want to keep it a source of information about beer and share how I started a brewery.  I'd like to gather some comments on this and see what you'd like me or anyone at The Bruery to write about.  Post away and let me know what you'd like to know.

Potential topics I was thinking about because they are relevant to what I'm currently doing (some may be interesting to a general audience, some are extremely dry but useful to aspiring brewery owners):

-- Choosing Distributors
-- Expansion (Space, capacity, and employees)
-- Barrel aging / approach to flavor
-- Merchandise
-- Guide to getting a job in a brewery
-- A Checklist to State and Federal Regulations
-- Taxes
-- A Guide to Successful Delegation (I wish I could find a good source on this right now!)
-- Importance of tasting rooms / tours in production breweries
-- The Bruery in 10 Years: How Big is Too Big?


Marvin said...

Hi, I discovered your brewery back in November in that LA times story and have been lurking about your blog and site ever since. Since you asked, I'd like your thoughts on getting a job in a brewery.

How does a relative novice like myself get his foot in the door at a place like say, The Bruery? I love craft brews and try to learn something new with each new beer I try. I have only a very general knowledge of beer styles. And I have zero experience homebrewing. Is it possible at all for someone like myself to get a job at a brewery?

Kevin said...

I think all that stuff would be cool to hear about, it is all interesting. Also, inside looks at what is going on at the bruery. What you are brewing, what you have planned, new styles or ingredients you are working with.

mcarver said...

Patrick - First, I wanted to thank you for sharing your experience with all of us. I'm in the process of writing a business plan for a start-up brewery, and your blog has been a great resource for me. Someday I hope to visit the Bruery and drink the beers I've been reading about for months. Now to answer your question. There are four topics listed above that I would love to hear more about - Regulations, Taxes, Expansion, and Tasting Rooms/Tours. You've already covered a little of the State and Federal regulations, but it never hurts to have as much information as you can about that topic. And even though I'm in a different state it still helps to hear how you dealt with the bureaucracy. Same goes for taxes, anything you can cover there would be great. It would be boring to most people, but helpful to people like me. The expansion information would be helpful for the 2nd and 3rd years of my plan. Things such as, when do you add a full time sales person?, when do you add additional fermenters?... Lastly, the tasting room topic may be the most interesting for me. I would love to have the interaction with the public, but don't know whether it would be worth it to take the extra steps to have a tasting room. One topic I'd like to add to the list, since it's probably the most important to me right now, is Financing. This is a wide topic and could cover leasing/purchase of equipment, bank/SBA loans, municipal grants/loans, friends and family investors, debt repayment structure, ownership structure, etc. If you don't want to share this information, I understand that most businesses want to keep this confidential. I think it will be the hardest part of the start-up process and probably the most important in the long term success of my business. Thank you again for all the information you have provided.

T.R. said...

It's always good to hear what's going on at The Bruery and the pains of living a life of beer.

Of your list of topics, the barrel aging stands out to me the most. More than just oak chipping a beer, it seems that the previous barrel owners really benefit the beers. So, I have two questions from this:
1) What styles of beer is barrel aging limited to?
2) With its increased popularity and limited supply, will we see a ceiling on the production of barrel aged brews or a weakening of flavor due to more turns (per barrel)?

And if i don't say it enough, I appreciate what you all do over there. Keep up the great work.

Square Timber Brewing Co. said...

(sent to

Hello Patrick,

Season's Greetings. I have enjoyed reading the info on your blog and website and of your success since opening your brewery. I have been a lurker of the blog since it's start. Congratulations on everything you and your team have accomplished so far. I am in the beginning/start-up phase of a small brewery in Pembroke, Ontario, Canada, in an area known as the Ottawa Valley. I am currently employed as a full-time touring musician and am on
the road approx 200-250 days a year which makes planning/opening a brewery a challenge to say the least. Over the years, I have been on dozens and dozens of brewery tours and have spent many an afternoon in tasting rooms all in
the name of research. I have a passion for beer having been born in the industry. My father has worked 40 plus years in the beer industry (and still is) so it comes naturally. I will be quitting the road sometime mid 2009
(June-ish) in order to commit to the full time planning and opening of our brewery. We hope to open late fall 2009 but that will depend on a lot of things, as you know all too well how those things can go.

Anyway, back to my current job, our band ( will be playing in your area January 9 and I would like to come and visit your brewery, if that would be possible. Also, if you and your wife or anyone from your team wants to come and check out our show I would be happy to add you to our guest list. Let me know if that would be of interest to

Well, I'm sure you folks are run off your feet these days so I will let you go. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2009.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks and take care.

Marc Bru
Square Timber Brewing Company

Ted said...

I first heard about The Bruery while visiting Stone and talking to the tour guide a few weeks ago, and just found this blog tonight. I've been homebrewing for 8 months or so, and I have been seriously considering turning it into a career. My dream is to open a brewpub or a brewery.

Like Marvin, I would also like to learn about how to go about getting a job at a local brewery. I live in Newport and will hopefully be visiting the tasting room this weekend, so maybe I will get to talk to you guys about it there too.

Square Timber Brewing Co. said...

Well, my time in the area has come and gone and wasn't able to reach anyone at the Bruery. I guess it will have to wait until next time. :(