Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nanobrewery Interviews: Lefty’s Brewing Co.

While most of us have just toyed with the thought of starting up a nanobrewery, others have taken the plunge. To find out who these people are and what makes them do what they do, Tom and I embarked on a series of interviews with regional nanobreweries to get their stories.

Lefty's Brewing Co.
Bernardston, Massachusetts

Next in our series of nanobrewery interviews, Lug Wrench got the opportunity to speak with Bill Goldfarb, founder of Lefty’s Brewing Co. in Massachusetts. Lefty’s kicked off his nanobrewery just this year (Jan 2010) with a 2 barrel brewhouse and 16 barrel cellar. Bill, a homebrewer for over 8 years, distributes his beer within 30 miles of the brewery in Franklin County, MA.

* * *

Lug Wrench (LW): What inspired you to start-up Lefty’s Brewing Co.?

Bill (BG): I have been a home brewer for years and brewing for a living has always been a dream of mine. Being a commercial roofer since I was 18, I did not want to grow old on the roof.

LW: Where did the Lefty's Brewing Co. name come from?

BF: My name in the roofing community (my prior trade) was Lefty.

LW: How did you gather the required capital to start Lefty’s?

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.

* * *

If you want to find out more about Bill or Lefty's, check out their website or better yet, if you are in the area, stop by the brewery. 
"I drink when I have occasion, and sometimes when I have no occasion"
-Miguel de Cervantes

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...