Well, we’ve been busy…
I figured at some point, something would happen that would light a blazing fire under my ass to get the brewery started. And it did. We found… The One…
…Building, that is. We actually stumbled upon it while surfing Google Maps street view over some beers one night, right before Thanksgiving. After the turkey dance was over, I called the owner, and we went to tour the place. And we fell head-over-heels in love.
I’m not giving up the deets on the place yet. Not until we’ve signed a lease and it’s official. But things are looking good at this point. We got the blueprints and have been excitedly planning out (aka obsessing over) our brewery and taproom layout.
I got in touch with a commercial realtor to tour some comparison properties as well. There was one other location that we liked quite a bit, but it was nowhere near as awesome as The One. Good to know we have a backup if things fall through though.
Finding the perfect location and not being able to start leasing it IMMEDIATELY isn’t the greatest feeling. We need dolla bills y’all. And the only way to do that is to finish this beast of a business plan once and for all. I’ve been diligently plugging away at it for weeks, and it’s getting really, really close to done now.
We’ve been toiling over our startup capital… It’s a delicate balance between making sure you have enough money to successfully start up, but also making sure you don’t end up asking for so much that banks and investors look at you cross-eyed. A lot of research has gone into our numbers, we’ve been back and forth with vendors, getting quotes, and trying to think of every possible cost we might encounter. Seems that it’s never-ending, but we’re almost there.
On top of that, there’s all the other financial data that goes into a business plan. Profit and loss, break-even analysis, cash flow, balance sheets… It’s enthralling, let me tell you. But I’m almost done with it, and once we finalize all our numbers, I can close the book on the business plan.
Meanwhile, we’ve been making lots of contacts and moving toward getting our financing. As I mentioned, we met a lot of great people at Venture Local. Through that conference, I got a meeting with the local SBA office last week, which was fantastic. I think the SBA is going to be immensely helpful in this process. They’re going to assist me in setting up meetings with banks next month to start the loan application process. With a little bit of leg work, and a little bit of luck, we should be able to reach our funding goal between bank loans and investors.
In between all this madness, we decided to buy larger brew pots to upgrade our pilot system from 5 gallons to 1/2 bbl. We’ll actually have up to 20 gallon capacity with these bad boys.
We also picked up a cute little plate filter for funsies. It cleared out our pilsner perfectly!
So yeah, lots going on. I’m currently in a race to see how much I can get done before the holidays. In fact, I’d better get back to it.
(Lies, I’m gonna go bake some Christmas cookies. But right after that I’ll get back to it. Promise.)