As a craft brewery owner there is no greater feeling than being at the bar, anonymous to the consumer, and watching someone step up and order your beer. It is the culmination of your dream; the beer you created is wanted by someone who could have ordered anything. But what that consumer never sees is the years of hard work and the personal and financial risks you have taken to get to where you are. And you’re not “there” yet, not yet satisfied that you have fulfilled your mission to make great beer and have built a sustainable, successful business.
I’ve worked with both large and small brands, and I’ve found that building small brands is more fun and rewarding—which led me to go out on my own and start a craft brewery. That was in 1997, back when the first wave of craft beer began to fade before its renaissance in the early 2000s. My company, Rheingold Brewing Company had some great success, especially in the then-gritty neighborhoods of the Lower East Side of Manhattan and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We had one of the top selling beers in CBGB’s and other bars that set the stage for the craft brewery movement. It was a fantastic journey, but we also had our challenges.
I know what craft brewers go through every day—the great joys of being in the best business in the world, with pride in the product and brand you created and the camaraderie with great people. At the end of the day, we all enjoy great beer. I also know how much work goes into it—behind the glamour you have quality control, cash flow, employees, distributors, investors, banks and compliance.
There are always challenges and opportunities to be addressed, and sometimes it is hard to know where to go to get sound advice from someone who can immediately grasp the situation and help you see clearly where the right path is. Sometimes when you are working so hard it is impossible to focus on working through important issues and making the big decisions about the brewery you risked so much to build.
Brewers Advisory Group is not a big company. When someone needs our help we become your partner, if only for a while, and we want you to succeed. We want to free up your talents while we help you figure out the