Hey guys and gals,
Some of you may know that I'm an attorney. But before I was even in law school, I was homebrewing. In fact, for the past seven years, I don't think a day (maybe more like an hour) has gone by that I haven't thought about beer and brewing. I've had family/friends encourage me to look into opening a production brewery for some time, but I've made excuse after excuse for not taking the plunge. Mostly, my excuses have centered around the fact that I have a sh$t ton of student loan debt from law school. But recently, I've come to the realization that while I think I am good at my job, I'm not happy doing it -- not even close. Life is way too short to waste away doing something that you don't like, even if you're good at it. Also, I refuse to be a slave to the student loan debt. I'll find a way to make my payments.
So, like many of you have already done, I've finally decided to take my passion for beer and brewing to the next level. I plan to open a production brewery called Bauhaus Brew Labs (aka Bauhaus Beer) in the next couple of years. Although I have yet to nail down the mission/vision for the brewery, the general idea is to apply the principles of the Bauhaus school from early twentieth Century Germany to craft beer. The Bauhaus was all about harmonizing art and design with industry. It was experimental, but rational. And it's aim (despite some over-the-top avant garde BS) was to make art accessible to everyone. In that vein, we will initially focus on filtering some of our favorite German styles (which I consider to be absolute works of art!) through an American lens. We figure that there are enough IPAs, APAs, Russian Imperial Stouts, etc., on the craft beer market today, so why not bring an Altbier with some cool American touches to market? Or maybe a Pilsner with Citra hops? What about a Vienna lager with an Amarillo nose? Anyway, these are really just ramblings at this point. But hopefully you get the idea. If not, well, I have a lot of work to do anyway!
The lawyer in me has already registered an LLC and drafted various organizational documents. I've also applied for several trademarks and have obtained federal and state tax IDs. The next step is going to be solidifying the brewery mission and drafting a comprehensive business plan.
I've got some great people involved already. My wife, who is way smarter and savvier than me, is going to be a big part of the planning and financial operations. My brothers are also going to be very involved. One has extensive experience in the retail liquor and hospitality business, as well as a ton of contacts with beer distributors in Minnesota. The other brother works for one of the top ad agencies in Minneapolis (one of his accounts is Comedy Central!). He's going to be helping out with branding/marketing.
We plan to begin by contract brewing to get two beers to market by (hopefully) the end of 2013. There is a lot to do, but I'm pretty excited about the possibilities. If you guys are interested, I'll post updates of our progress throughout the next year. I will also be starting a blog dedicated to documenting the progress. I'll post the link once it's up and running.
As things are developing, I would love to hear from some of you guys who have already walked down this path (Keith, Leos, miscager, a10t2, and others).
I'm looking forward to 2013!! Prosit!
President and CEO
Bauhaus Brew Labs, LLC
Edit: Also, please post if you are in the process of starting a brewery/brewpub/etc. or if you are interested in doing so at some point. I would love to hear about others' experiences.