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How NOT To Start A Damn Brewery: the podcast

How NOT To Start A Damn Brewery: the podcast

By kelly meyer
People of Earth, I would like to welcome you to the How NOT To Start a Damn Brewery: the podcast.

In this podcast I consider it my duty to share the sometimes gory but always honest truth hidden in the craft beer industry. Mainly that it rarely operates like a business. Margins are trash, distributors are garbage and capital expenditures are a raging dumpster fire. But many of the people are badasses.

I will autopsy deceased breweries, retailers and distributors. I’ll talk with wineries, breweries and distilleries. All in the search for ways to lure out profitability and best practices.
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How NOT To Start A Damn Brewery: the podcast

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Eddie Anderson - Starlight Distribution (and a bunch of others)
Eddie Chimi, or Anderson, or whatever he's calling himself these days, is a craft beer industry veteran. He’s damn near an expert on getting beer from the manufacturer to the asshole waiting in line to buy a can of it. You know that I’m always on the lookout for people who’ve been around the craft beer block and lived to tell about it. And I’m fascinated to have conversations with people who are willing to disagree with me. Eddie fits both of those perfectly. He worked at Goose Island before and after the sale that changed the world. He’s been a brewery rep for both large and small players. He narrowly escaped the noose of opening his own money sinkhole-I mean brewery. He’s worked at multiple distributors, including one that went out of business. He saw the inside of Shelton Brothers during the collapse. And he managed to get the fuck out of the industry with minimal mental health issues. And through it all, he’s managed to stay just a swell fucking guy. His insights and experience shed light, maybe throw a little shade and educate and inform anyone considering a path down craft beer lane. Earthlings, please prepare yourself for my interview with Eddie Anderson. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops
01:34:52
August 18, 2022
Molly Ware - Infinite Monkey Theorum
Molly Ware heads up revenue production at The Infinite Monkey Theorem. I’ve long said that what other booze producers experience should inform and prepare us for what we face in beer. Molly was kind enough to step away from the highly competitive and unfairly overfunded wine industry to sit and answer my questions today. And I think if you listen to the end, you’ll be better for it. I asked her on the show to share the experience of closing 3 of their urban wineries. While the beer industry seems to think tasting rooms will save the world, I expect that Molly would disagree. What I didn’t expect was to find a person I respect. She has a competitive surfer’s strength and focus, and she attacks her job the way I did. Hearing her talk intelligently about some of her struggles and successes with honesty and integrity was refreshing. I truly feel that I learned something important from my time with Molly and I can’t thank her enough for sharing. I hope you enjoy today’s episode - because if you don’t, you’re an idiot. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops
01:34:41
June 21, 2022
Kevin Abbott - Barrel of Monks
You may not have heard of Kevin Abbott. But you’re not likely to forget him. He’s a guy who’s brewed at three different breweries. He was at Funky Buddha before the fairy tale exit that happened in 2017. He was the brewer back when they had a 1 BBL system in 2010, he was there for the 30BBL expansion in 2014 but he was safely gone when they sold for 80 million 4 years later. He was at Due South during their formative years. Due South closed their tasting room a few months ago. Then he worked his way from sweat equity brewer at Barrel of Monks Brewing to Partner & Operations Manager. He’s distributed nationally, then internationally. He started with traditional cork and cage and now is playing the fucking can game. He merged with another brewery. The reason we needed to talk with Kevin is that Kevin knows some things. His insights should inform your plans and educate your opinions of what’s to come in this industry. And he’s a Hell of a lot of fun to interview. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops
01:50:04
May 26, 2022
Alex VanHorne - Intergalactic
Today’s guest got bitten by the brewery bug in 2012. Back when there were less than 2500 breweries nationwide and you could still convince yourself that there was room for one more. Like many of us he thought, start small, build it up slowly and grow incrementally over time. Invest in growth, recapitalize and add market share along the way to success. But his multiple award-winning brewery got swallowed first by the massive growth of his massive brewery neighbors and then by an oversaturated industry overall. He made great beers, great friends and left a lasting impact on the San Diego craft beer scene. Join us as we discuss what it’s like to build a dream and watch it metamorphosize into a nightmare before your eyes. This is the story of Alex VanHorne and San Diego’s Intergalactic Brewing Company. It’s honest, raw and inspiring in its own way. And I’m honored to be able to share it with you. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops
02:00:06
May 10, 2022
Scott Birdwell - DeFalco's Home Wine & Beer Shop
If you’ve been paying attention over my last 20-whatever episodes you know that craft beer is an ugly place to try to make any money. You do not go into beer to get rich. Or even to pay your light bill. Well, here’s a news flash I bet you didn’t see coming: HOMEBREW SHOPS AREN’T MAKING ANY, EITHER. For today’s episode I sat down with Scott Birdwell to discuss what it’s like to own a homebrew shop for over 40 years and then watch it slowly die. This cat was selling homebrew equipment back when it was illegal. He understood the business, his customers and the industry. But even he wasn’t ready for the disaster the industry experienced over the last 5 years. We talk about leases, about beer and about business. I learned that the homebrew industry also struggled because of the overwhelming proliferation of breweries in America. Who knew that going from 1500 breweries in 2011 to 9000 in 2022 would create a problem? I did, and I’m on a mission to share that story with everyone who’ll listen and 5 guys who won’t. So sit back, crack a beer and listen to Scott’s story and the story of DeFalco’s Homebrew shop. You might just learn something. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops
01:40:06
April 27, 2022
Gene Bouck - Genetic Brewing
Earthlings, meet Gene Bouck, the mad scientist from the late Genetic Brewing in Florida. Gene started as a home brewer, like many of you. Gene dreamed of the freedom of entrepreneurship like many of us. And, as part of an ever-increasing pool of dead and dying breweries, Gene watched his brewery suffer and die. The goal of this podcast has always been open and honest conversation with people who’ve been there. People who’ve put their futures on the line in an attempt to craft something beautiful. Gene’s story is hard to hear. There’s anger and pain and disillusionment. I’ve been right where he was and it was hard for me to ask some of the things I had to. But it’s part of the story of American craft beer, particularly in 2022. It may be your future, it may be your past. Hell, it might just be something compelling to listen to while you work in an industry that doesn’t chew up and spit out its producers. No matter who you are, where you come from or what you love, please keep in mind all that Gene gave to keep his business alive. And remember that every brewery near you is somewhere on a similar timeline - so go spend some money with them. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops
01:37:56
April 11, 2022
Dan Garrison - Garrison Brothers Distillery
Dan Garrison is the founder and proprietor of TX’s first legal bourbon distillery, Garrison Brothers in Hye, TX. I wanted to interview Dan because I knew that there were lessons we could learn from how spirits goes to market. I was positive that there were overlaps in the cash flow model for aging bourbon vs fermenting beer. I knew that he had overcome massive obstacles on the path to building his nationwide brand. And I was certain that understanding his business would make us better in ours. What I didn’t know was that he was still chasing profitability after 17 years. That some of those struggles he overcame almost killed his small but high-end bourbon distillery. And I was surprised to hear him predict a saturation point similar to what the beer industry is experiencing now. Dan and I recorded this episode in the sunshine on the grounds of Garrison Brothers. I wasn’t the only one enjoying the TX bourbon that day so you’ll hear people talking, dogs barking and even a small plane circling overhead. I hope that helps you imagine you’re sitting at the table with us, enjoying the company and the bourbon. Dan was a gracious host. He was open with his story, freely discussing his successes and failures in ways few can manage. I was struck by his passion and inspired by his poetic description of the role of bourbon in a fulfilled life. I truly hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed recording this episode of the podcast. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops
01:23:33
March 27, 2022
Jen Price - Atlanta Beer Boutique
What happens when a successful craft beer blogger, author and educator decides to dip her toe in the business side of craft beer? Does the SBA switch horses mid-stream? Does she get dizzy navigating the logistics of Atlanta’s city, county and local government permitting processes? Does a worldwide pandemic and a heartless landlord throw rocks at her like a sweaty bully on the playground? Jen Price is one of those people that makes this industry fun. She cares. She inspires. She reminds us not to take the beer more seriously than the fellowship around it. She’s brought countless people into the industry and then formed bonds of community between them. She embodies what craft beer originally claimed to be. But when Jen decided to follow her dreams and open a brick and mortar taproom/bottleshop craft beer forgot to show her the same love she’s spent years showing it. He struggled, she failed and she learned. Learned what she wanted to do next and is throwing all her considerable energy into that. Throw on your headphones and take a listen to the story of Jen Price and the Atlanta Beer Boutique. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops
01:50:06
March 15, 2022
Joe Ploof- Hanging Hills
Today’s craft beer badass is Joe at Hanging Hills brewing in Connecticut. He’s a guy that’s been run through the ringer. He’s lost a best friend to craft beer. He lost money. He was marked for pain and suffering by an internet douchebag. He’s fought and bled to build his business, only to watch it cough and die in his arms. But through all that, Joe Ploof is still a believer. He still wants to make beer and sell it to people. He scraped his shit together and 8 months after his closure he reopened as a contract brewery. He shares how he restructured his distribution footprint, reworked his recipes and even hired one of those fancy social media people. In this episode he shares why he did it and why he believes he’s on the pathway to purpose in his life. It’s too early to tell if he’ll be more or less profitable than the tired old brick and mortar brewery model. But by the end of my time with Joe I found myself wanting to believe. He’s a great guy who makes great beer and I appreciate the Hell out of everything he shared with us. Our yourself a beer and let’s get to it.
01:56:03
February 22, 2022
Adam Metcalf - Aces and Ales
Today my friends and foes, we sit down with Adam Metcalf, General Manager and all-around cool dude at Aces and Ales in Las Vegas, Nevada. Aces represents the trail-blazing craft beer bar. You know what I’m talking about because we all have an example of one near us. In virtually every market over the last decade, someone has come on the scene with a unique take on selling beer to people. They develop relationships with distributors, offer the most interesting and dynamically rotating craft beer selection in town and add personality to the process of boozing it up. Selling craft beer at a craft beer bar isn’t unique. But what is unique is to grow from one location to two, and then two locations to a third, complete with a brand-new brewery. Aces and Ales has crafted a solid business in a shaky industry. And I wanted to sit with Adam in hopes that you and I might find out why. He was terrifically open and honest and by the end, I realized there was something special going on at Aces. Somehow years in this industry hadn’t beaten them down. I was struck by the fact that he was still passionate, still looking to the future and somehow still fucking happy about it. There’s a lot to take away from this interview and for your sake, I hope to take it all. Cheers and listen in. Episode Sponsored By: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops
01:51:41
January 25, 2022
Lauren Kendzierski - - Black Rabbit Farms
Our guest today is Lauren Kendzierski of the late Black Rabbit Farm Brewery in Southwick, MA. She did beer the way I did. Only more authentic and actually on a farm. Sadly, we can’t taste her beer now that her brewery has closed but we can hear the story and feel the passion that went into every bottle. And I hope that both of those come through in this interview. She tells her story from inspiration to construction all the way to distribution and final dissolution. There’s a lot in there and I’m eternally grateful that she took the time to share it. She knows her shit. She’s an artist. She even understands business. But as we’ll hear over the next couple of hours, it wasn’t enough to keep her farmhouse brewery alive. You’ll notice I’m a little annoyed and maybe a little sad during parts of this interview. Lauren and her team got to do what I wanted to do. My long-term plan was to get back to the land and make beer the way they did. I’m well-aware now that it wouldn’t have changed the outcome of story, except maybe to add a few hundred thousand more to the amount of money I lost. But imagining how those days were spent still makes me nostalgic about it. I hope you enjoy this episode and Lauren’s brewery’s story as much as I enjoyed recording it for you. Cheers and listen in. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops The Beer Attorney
02:16:38
January 12, 2022
Dean Brundage- New Republic Brewing
Our guest today is Dean Brundage of New Republic Brewing Company.  Like any good drama, this is a story of love, hope, betrayal and complete annihilation. He and his business partner started their brewery together with stars in their eyes back in 2010. Only a few years later their disagreements turned into Dean being forced out of the company he helped found, create and build. New Republic has always had a cult following here in TX and to this day they have a legion of loyal fans. These guys produced a selection of straightforward beer styles with recognizable packaging that should have had a brighter future. I’m fond of saying that I don’t interview assholes that make shitty beer in ugly packaging and New Republic is a perfect fit for this podcast. Well, at least the partner I interviewed anyways……  We recorded this episode at The 101 in Bryan/College Station and owner Jeremy joined us in drinking, commenting and even a little bit in lamenting the direction this industry we all love is headed. I do want to apologize for some of the audio. There were some fans blowing and some cars passing by. I’ve cleaned it up substantially but there are some noises inherent with on-site interviews. I think loosening Dean’s lips with a steady flow of beer and the addition of Jeremy’s insights was worth the little bumps in the audio. I hope you agree. Dean also references how to take a deeper dive into the emotions and truth of exactly how he got ousted from the brewery he helped imagine into existence. His wife Adrienne had some things to say and I love it.  Here's that blog post.  Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops The Beer Attorney
01:59:08
December 28, 2021
MixTape Beverages - - Chad Mitchell
Our guest today is Chad Mitchell from Mixtape Beverages in SouthEast Asia.  He shared the story of his day job, BeerVana International with us in Episode 16 so if you haven't listened to that one yet, I'd recommend you do that first.  His brewery is contract-brewed, which I'm starting to think might be one of the best business models under 10K annual BBL of production. He's got a ton of useful insights and stories to share and he's just a blast to hang out with.  Sit back and listen, you might just learn something. 
44:02
December 14, 2021
Chad Mitchell - Beervana International
Welcome To Craft Beer's ONLY Voice of Reality Episode 16 Our guest today is Chad Mitchell  from BeerVana International in Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. They distribute beer from all over the world but have an especially strong affinity for what we call American Craft Beer. As you'll hear, they are an anomaly in beer distribution; they actually care about the art and craft of the beer they represent. They believe in giving honest feedback, legitimate sales projections and partying like you love your job. They are beer nerds in a beer job and just listening to Chad's passion should inspire you to be better at what you do. Because I care about making you better in your career I asked Chad to talk to us about what his team looks for in a supplier partner and how you and your brewery can partner with them to tackle Southeast Asia. You'll hear my guests and I discuss depth vs width in regards to your distribution footprint and I believe you need both to diversify your sales channels enough to weather the inevitable storms in your future. He talks about mistakes he's seen, mistakes he's made and how breweries can learn from both. Chad's a super-cool guy and it was an honor to talk to him about Beervana as well as his brewery project, Mixtape Beverages. I decided to make our Mixtape conversation a bonus episode 17, so sit back and enjoy episode 16 as we focus on the story of Beervana and international distribution done right. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops The Beer Attorney
01:28:35
December 14, 2021
Southern Star Brewing - Dave Fougeron
Our guest today is Dave Fougeron from Southern Star Brewing Company in Conroe, TX. By now you know that  my focus is interviewing struggling and failing beer businesses so that we can learn from their mistakes. I want to assure you, that’s not why I asked Dave to be on the show. No, I reached out to Dave so that he could tell us all what we’ve all done wrong and, hopefully, how we can fix it. See, Dave’s brewery has been around since the late 2000’s and he’d been a strong force in Texas craft beer ever since. He is one of those patriarchs of craft beer that has helped define the marketplace the rest of us have been playing in. I figured we’d get under his hood to break down all the moving parts, the well-oiled systems and identify the special modifications that make it work so well. Instead of learning from his mistakes we’d learn from his successes so we could take that valuable knowledge back to our own business, apply it and get just a little success of our own. Of course, nothing is ever that easy……. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops The Beer Attorney
01:39:25
November 30, 2021
Beer Business Daily - Harry
Your best friend Harry has a brother Larry In five days from now he's gonna marry He's hopin' you can make it there if you can 'Cause in the ceremony you'll be the best man While the lyrics of that 1989 Young MC jam have nothing to do with this episode, they’ve been bangin’ around in my head while I’ve edited it so now they’re in yours. Our guest today is none other than the ubiquitous Harry Schumacher, the founder, writer, editor, podcaster and all-around badass at Beer Business Daily. His is a publication that’s been reporting about beer and the business of beer since before most of us even know that it was possible to make beer that wasn’t fizzy yellow piss water. He’s seen Kings made, empires fall and has insight into what makes the encumbant leaders in the beer business tick. He knows these CEOs personally and has reported on their successes as much as their failures. And that’s why I wanted to have him on the show. He shares a perspective that most of us didn’t even know that we didn’t know. Since we only talk to other craft beer guys, we tend to miss some of the macro business metrics that drive the broader beer market. But Harry was generous enough to share his insights with us. So buckle in and knuckle up because Harry is about to take us on a big beer ride. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops The Beer Attorney
01:33:00
November 16, 2021
Kris Jones Wandering Boots Distribution
My guest today is Kris Jones, co-founder of Wandering Boots Beverage Distribution from Houston, TX. He’s one of those guys that when you meet him you immediately know two things: 1.  He’s a REALLY fucking nice guy 2.  This industry is gonna eat his lunch Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened. He was a teacher back in 2012/13 when an uncle said something like “Hey you and your wife wanna do a beer distribution business in TX?” to which Kris said something like “heck, yeah.” He admits to having no idea or experience in the industry, like most of us starting out, but figured the stacks of the uncle’s cash would support them long enough that they could figure it out. Kris’ now ex-wife and co-founder had a real job so the day-to-day fell to him. So Kris hit up Google and read everything he could. Then he figured he’d go to breweries and How NOT To Start A Damn Brewery:the book, available on Amazon Episode Sponsored by: Simpson Motorcycle Helmets www.simpsonmotorcyclehelmets.com Brewery Direct www.brewerydirect.com
01:42:47
November 13, 2021
Rabbit Hole Brewing - Laron Cheek
Today we are joined by Laron Cheek from the late Rabbit Hole Brewery outside of Fort Worth. Laron and his co-founders learned the hard way that owning a brewery is hard. Like really hard. During the time we shared together Laron offered advice about distribution, packaging and management. He's got opinions about the state laws here in TX, what it would take to actually run a profitable brewery and how inane online beer reviews can be.  But it's the poem he wrote and presented as a toast on the final day the brewery was open that really struck me.  So we'll begin this episode with the final words he spoke to friends and family on his retirement day.  " As this journey down the rabbit hole is coming to an end,  And although we've all gone mad, I'm proud to call you friend.  As we toast this final brew, from our heart and from our soul,  We thank you all for joining us, down the Rabbit Hole. " Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops
01:24:02
November 01, 2021
Brigadoon Brewery-Alan Ward
Our guest today is Alan Ward from Brigadoon Brewery and Brew School. Alan’s brewery is likely one of the most unique beer producers in the US. They are located on the grounds of the Texas Renaissance Festival, are only open 19 days per year, and even brew some of their beer on equipment and using techniques from 500 years ago. Alan has served as president of District Texas of the Master Brewer’s Association of the Americas and he hosts a bi-weekly radio show reviewing beer. So he knows how to make beer and how to taste beer. But it’s his experience opening and, subsequently closing, a second location South of Houston that interested me in having him on the show. His story offers some insights and experiences in everything from dealing with city government to the challenges of self-distribution. Please open your minds and open your ears because Alan is about to teach us How NOT to Start A Damn Brewery.  Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops The Beer Attorney
01:41:48
October 23, 2021
Gather Brewing Company - Mike and Justin
Hey cocks and chickens, welcome to the first episode of the second season. Today our guest is Mike from the as-yet-unopened Gather Brewing Company. He’s joined by his brother-in-law Justin also. Gather will be located in the North San Antonio suburb of Universal City. It’s going to be a medium-sized brewpub next to an airforce base that plans to offer draft, cans to go and not a thing to distribution. Today we talk about what Mike learned, how he’s learned it and how he plans to apply it when he finally opens the doors in November 2021. We share each other’s beer, stories about guns, tasting beer with beards in it and even hopes for a successful future. My goal in interviewing these guys is two-fold. One, I hope they can provide some insight into what it’s like to be in the middle of the build-out still answering questions about how they’ll run the business while being fully pot-committed to actually running the business. Two, I truly hope to interview them 1-2 years in to shed some light on how their plans evolved once they opened the doors. What worked, what didn’t and what should have. Like Mike Tyson said. “Everyone hath a plan till they get punch-thed in the fathe.” But that, fair friends, is a podcast for another day. For today, just kick off your penny loafers, sit back and take a listen to my interview with Gather Brewing Company. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops The Beer Attorney Be a cool kid and grab a copy of my book here!
01:46:27
October 10, 2021
Solid Rock Brewing - Curt Webber
Our guest today is Curt Webber from Solid Rock Brewing. He co-founded his brewery just before the craft beer scene in TX really started to take off. They had enough early success that any of us start-ups in the early 2010s would be lying if we said we weren’t measuring our potential by what they’d accomplished. Like many of us, their plan was to learn as they went. And for awhile it looked like they were going to keep growing. But navigating the distribution business, maintaining a positive cash flow, and getting attention as new breweries flooded the market proved an overwhelming feat. After 6 years, Solid Rock closed its doors. Curt asked if we could do the interview on his boat on Lake Travis. I brought some Texas whiskey, he brought cigars, Irish Whiskey and some really great conversation. Lake Travis brought the wind, passing boats and giggling paddleboarding girls, and while I could have edited them out, I decided to leave them all in so you can experience the conversation like I did. When we wrap up at the end I’ll remind you that Curt has agreed to record a follow-up episode with questions submitted by you. Please feel free to send them to me on social media, email or Hell, if you have my mobile, give me a call. It will become obvious very quickly how much fun we had recording this episode and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops
01:47:29
September 26, 2021
WhichCraft - Jody
Our guest this week is non other than Jody Reyes. The founder, proprietor, marketer and all-around swell motherfucker from WhichCraft in Austin, TX. If you don’t know Jody, your life is worse off for it. The beer industry is overflowing with misguided arrogance and dripping with rampant douchbaggery. Yet somehow Jody has managed to stand right in the center of the Austin craft beer scene for close to 8 years and still maintain a state of influence. And zen. I’m well aware that you didn’t but if you ask me, I’ll tell you that he’s the Jodhi-sattva of Texas craft beer. Whichcraft is maybe the most important craft beer account in maybe the most important craft beer city in TX. But the road to that much notoriety didn’t come any easier than a drunk redneck. Jody struggled against city ordinances, relocation construction and a dynamically changing marketplace. The main reason I asked him to share his story with us is because what he’s seen as he grew his business is what you need to know to grow yours. If you want your business to thrive, you’ll need mavens like Jody’s team at Whichcraft to stand up for you and your beer. Let’s start by asking him about what he’s seen work from breweries in Austin. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops
01:10:42
September 18, 2021
Day Off: Hot Tub Beers
Today I’m doing something a wee bit different. I’m basically co-hosting a mashup of my podcast and the Hot Tub Beers podcast. Hosts Tim and Jake brought a pickup-mounted hottub to my brewery parking lot and mic’d up. So I threw on some Speedos, jumped in and kinda took a day off from my hosting duties. We’re joined by my old brewer Nathan and some unsuspecting tourists that are walking by. My wife even takes a break from taking embarrassing pictures of me to jump in for a few minutes. No not in the hottub, in the conversation. We get a chance to discuss some of my mistakes, taste some of my beer and discuss their evolution. The last segment is a sneak peek of their show, which I hung around and recorded for a few more hours after this. Hot Tub Beers isn’t just a hang out and drink show and it isn’t just a shit-on-all-the-beers I hate show. Somehow it’s more and I hope you enjoy it. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops
01:14:42
September 11, 2021
Audacity Brew House - John Culp
John Culp was a minority investor in Audacity Brew House in Denton, TX. Towards the end of Audacity’s lifespan he started a mobile caning company that he still runs today. Beer Dudes Mobile Canning. Like many of us mis-guided souls, he had always dreamed of owning a brewery but UNLIKE us he knew he didn’t have the time to devote to it. So he settled for being a volunteer around the brewery, particularly on canning day. Eventually, Audacity needed money and he was given the opportunity to invest. The brewery needed a bunch of cash and targeted around 300,000 at a valuation of 7.5 million. Which is not only innaccurate, its really fucking way the hell off. Only a week after he sunk his cash in, the brewery laid off the entire staff. Which basically meant that John had just bought himself a job at a 10BBL Brewery. Only one without a 401K, a fancy insurance package or even a damn paycheck. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets Yakima Valley Hops
01:34:18
September 04, 2021
Part 2 of 2: Theresa and Brett of Fetching Lab Brewery
What I have here for you today is Episode 2 from my interview with Bret and Theresa of the late Fetching Lab brewery. If you haven’t listened to the first episode, well, get off your ass and go cue it up. Go ahead, we’ll be here when you get back. While you’re at it, maybe listen to any of the others you’ve missed, as well. My guests and I have spent precious time and energy making these things, and if we can’t agree that you should be listening to each of them, how the Hell do we expect to tackle the abortion debate.? In this episode we discuss the role distribution played in their decline, the insanity of German chocolate cake and, ultimately, what it was like to finally close the doors on their brewery. This was a nearly 6 hour interview and by the end, I couldn’t help but be pissed that craft beer lost these two passionate souls. So get comfortable, take a listen and see if you agree with me. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct Simpson Motorcycle Helmets
01:45:14
August 28, 2021
Josh Cunningham - Kora Kora Coffee
My guest today is not a beer manufacturer. He doesn’t distribute beer and likely hasn’t ever carried a half barrel keg up a flight of stairs. He does drink it but that’s not why I’ve asked him to sit down with us today. See, I’ve always felt that if lessons are principles then they have to be universal. And they’re only universal if they can be applied across multiple disciplines and industries. If the 10 mistakes I wrote about in my book are worth the paper they are printed on, then I would be able to discuss them with someone far from beer and still have it make sense. I’ve also always believed that you can learn valuable insights by seeing how owners in other industries tackle their challenges. So I asked Josh Cunningham if he’d sit down with us and talk about how my mistakes applied to his career. He is a detail-driven coffee guy who until last year was also a coffee shop owner. Josh got interested in coffee through everyone’s favorite gateway drug, weed. If you’ve ever been to a coffee shop in Amsterdam, that wouldn’t sound weird at all. Josh started working in coffee as a kid and actually got some artisanal training. But it was really just a job and he never quite appreciated the art of the thing until he got a job in college. At fucking Starbucks of all places…….
01:27:04
August 22, 2021
Part 1 of 2: Theresa and Brett of Fetching Lab Brewery
There was so much to share with this interview I had to break it into 2 shows. Part 2 will come out later this season.  My guests today are Brett Bray and Theresa Hutchinson of the late Fetching Lab Brewery down in way South Houston. Brett was a full-time financial advisor and a part-time homebrewer so he has qualified to own a brewery as most of us in the beginning. Based on Brett’s research, he felt opening a brewery when there were less than 50 TX breweries was “so darn viable that you’d be a total idiot not to do it.” In 2011, he announced on Twitter with the only tweet he’s even sent that he was going to open a brewery. At this point, he’d already been thinking about it for 2 years. So he homebrewed hard for a year and a half every weekend on an all-grain system he cobbled together himself, with a little design help from Theresa. After 6 long years of due diligence, practice and planning, Theresa and Brett finally ripped open their doors in 2015. After ditching names like BadAss Brewing, at the last minute they decided to have the entire brewery inspired by their 11 week-old yellow lab. Which Theresa can do a much better job describing than I can…. Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct  Simpson Motorcycle Helmets 
01:07:48
August 15, 2021
Chris Rhodes - Off Rhodes Craft Beer Station
Today I am joined by Chris Rhodes of Off-rhodes Craft beer station. It’s a small taproom/bottleshop located here in New Braunfels serving arguably the best selection in town. He and his wife took what looked like a risk at the time and worked their tails off to make it a recognizable brand and loyal customers Chris got his start in the industry working in bar management and even spent a brief sentence as a server in my Tasting Room. Prior to opening his shop he also started a Craft Beer Tour company right as the scene in our area started to take off. He’s well-known in our area and has been retailing beer now in his second location for years. It’s that experience that made me intrigued to interview him. Since he’s the at the end of the 3-tier system, his insights will help suppliers and distributors understand the market better. When asked why he wants to peddle craft beer he answers like most of us do. How NOT To Start A Damn Brewery:the book, available on Amazon Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct www.brewerydirect.com Simpson Motorcycle Helmets www.simpsonmotorcyclehelmets.com
01:31:30
August 07, 2021
Byron Lewis from Altmeyer and Lewis Brewing Company
My guest today is Byron Lewis, co-founder of Altmeyer and Lewis from San Marcos, TX. They were a brewery known for classic styles and solid execution. They never packaged and never signed with a distributor. And although Byron does have some regrets, that is NOT one of them. We get into the logistics of building and managing a brewery and even some of the emotions around tearing it back down. The idea for the brewery came around Christmas of 2012 when Byron’s wife’s sister’s husband called. He said, “Hey I got some money and I want to open a brewery. Wanna be my partner?” As a homebrewer, it was an offer Byron couldn’t pass up so A&L began making beer as a family partnership 2015. Since Stewart brought cash to the table, he was 51% owner. As the sweat equity guy, Byron had…… How NOT To Start A Damn Brewery:the book, available on Amazon Episode Sponsored by: Brewery Direct www.brewerydirect.com Simpson Motorcycle Helmets www.simpsonmotorcyclehelmets.com
01:45:18
August 05, 2021
Chris Rigoulot from Noble Rey Brewing
My guest today is Chris Rigoulot, the founder of Noble Rey Brewing in Dallas. Noble Rey came on the brewing scene in 2015 and made a splash with their can artwork. They quickly expanded across Texas and captured the attention of the craft beer scene with cool names, good beers and unique marketing. They expanded to two locations and by the end of 2018, word got out that they were in bankruptcy. Chris got his start in this industry like most of us did. Brewing beer at home, working jobs he hated and dreaming of opening his own business making beer. He and his father bonded over their beer and decided to take their game pro. In 2011 Chris started working at Dallas favorite, Peticolas Brewing, got into the American Brewer’s Guild school and finished up at Lakewood Brewing. It was during that time that he figured out the name he wanted to give the brewery and found himself overcome by the excitement of owning a beer business. How NOT To Start A Damn Brewery:the book, available on Amazon Episode Sponsored by: Simpson Motorcycle Helmets  Brewery Direct 
01:44:08
August 04, 2021