Starting a brewery is not as easy as a home brewer increasing his production. It deals with the same obstacles and challenges that any start-up business trying to take off. This process can be overwhelming for the amateur hobbyist, and a new website is here to help.
Called StartABrewery.com, the free online resource was created by industry veterans Candace L. Moon and Laura Lodge, who have 35 years of experience. Moon is a San Diego-based lawyer specializing in the craft beer industry, while the resident of Vail Lodge is the co-founder of the annual Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines festival. it’s happening in Breckenridge.
The two met years ago at a reunion of the Pink Boots Society, a women’s advocacy group in the brewing industry, and Lodge asked Moon about the Big Beers festival brand. The festival has always had an educational component, and Moon found himself frequently answering the same questions over and over for startups, so the idea of ââcreating a tool naturally arose out of their professional and personal relationships.
The site became more tangible during the pandemic, when someone approached Moon to sell the URL. She brushed it aside first, but then thought more, and Lodge spearheaded the effort.
âSharing our knowledge and insight into the brewing industry is something that Candace and I have been doing for quite some time now, and it’s our way of formalizing it, bringing in other knowledgeable people from the industry and raise the bar for startups by providing the necessary resources and guidance, âsaid Lodge.
The site is broken down into plan, action, openness and growth – four divisions of time and phases that a brewery will focus on during its lifespan. The plan includes the preliminary steps to put the ideas in order while the act involves more tangible steps such as setting up financial investments. A brewery is then in the opening phase until it is ready to expand.
While most of the site is aimed at beginners, it has some useful information for all stages of the business, as the grow section covers a bottling or row, creating additional space for a beer garden. or extending to an entirely separate location. The site also covers topics such as marketing, quality control, and sales.
Information will generally be general as laws and practices vary from state to state and country to country, but Lodge said the basic guidance provided remains the same. They will tackle common issues like having independent contractors versus employees, becoming a limited liability company versus a corporation, or deciding whether to self-distribute.
âThe cast has changed so much over the past 10 years that it’s a whole different animal now,â Lodge said. âThe basics still apply, but not the strategy. “
All information on the site will be completely free thanks to advertising so that no membership or other payment is required.
âFrom day one, it has to be free for people who need it,â Moon said. â… We will benefit from having better and more educated clients. “
But what really sets the website apart is that Moon and Lodge aren’t the only experts sharing their information. Contributors range from Jeff Mendel of Left Hand Brewing Co. to Carol Cochran of Horse & Dragon Brewing Co. and Todd Olander of Root Shoot Malting to Julia Herz, the former director of the craft beer program at the Brewers Association.
âIt’s kind of a credibility statement that it’s not coming from just anyone,â Lodge said. âWe have worked really hard to find people with knowledge of their various areas of expertise to contribute. “
While the site is still in its early stages, Moon and Lodge plan to eventually add a forum, webinars, podcasts and more. For Lodge, the saying “a rising tide makes all boats float” is a key part of the website.
“I really think this is a super awesome gesture on behalf of all the people in the industry who have offered their wisdom just to promote better breweries and better community engagement and better beer quality at every level.” Lodge said. “I think this is a pretty impressive example of how the craft beer industry is community driven.”
Jefferson Geiger is the Arts and Entertainment Editor-in-Chief for the Summit Daily News and the Editor-in-Chief of Explore Summit. A question about beer? Email him at [email protected]