BG: Life savings as well as a small loan from my grandfather. The beauty of a nano-brewery is that it does not take a lot of capital to start up as long as you are creative with how you do things. You don't need all the bells and whistles with a small operation.
LW: How have you involved the community in your brewery? Do you interact with local homebrew clubs?
BG: The community is involved in the brewery through tours and retail sales out of the brewery. This allows the surrounding community to see where and how the beer is made, as well as give input and opinions. I also send the spent grain to local farmers as feed for their cattle. Currently, I don’t have any official affiliation with any local homebrew clubs, other than just informal conversations.
LW: With regards to selling your beer, what has been the biggest challenge you have faced in getting draft accounts or shelf space?
BF: I have had no challenges getting draft accounts or shelf space. Every draft account and package store carrying my product has come to me. Currently Lefty's has a waiting list for wholesale accounts. I believe that the positive response is due to the appreciation for local business in my area.
LW: If you were speaking to an individual who is considering the prospect of opening their own nanobrewery, what advice would you give them?
BF: That the paperwork and prep time for a nano-brewing operation will take much longer than expected. Be prepared to keep working your current job while getting the operation set up. It will be a long time until you can actually fire up the kettle for the first time. The biggest hurdles that I encountered opening the business were local, state and federal licensing.
"I drink when I have occasion, and sometimes when I have no occasion"
-Miguel de Cervantes