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Messages - nateo

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Going Pro / Re: Biggest barrier?
« on: April 26, 2014, 04:52:15 PM »
I agree with Keith. Money is the biggest barrier to entry. The biggest barrier to success is your own ignorance, followed closely by money again.

I've read a lot of business plans over the years. My sample size is pretty limited, since if you know what you're doing, you wouldn't ask me for advice. But of the plans I've seen, none of them followed accounting practice. (Protip: If you think you found a way to have a 75% margin on your beer, you forgot about labor and overhead. D'oh! Also, depreciation is a thing that exists, so maybe it should exist in your business plan too.)

None of them knew how to make a detailed cash budget. In the real world, your cash flows aren't matched perfectly with your expenses, and you need to plan for that. I think that's partly where the "take your costs and double them, that's how much cash you need" rule of thumb came from.

I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but something like 65% of bankrupt businesses have positive annual net profits, but they can't match their in-flows with their out-flows. So even making and selling a lot of good beer may not be enough to keep your business running.

Some of those breweries have actually gotten off the ground, and haven't exploded yet, so maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt they'll last more than 5 years or so.

Going Pro / Re: Biggest barrier?
« on: April 25, 2014, 07:44:12 PM »
I don't think you get successful by accident. If you are smart you can be successful and you don't need a ton of money but you need to make good beer. If you don't make it I don't think you lose the total value of your equipment, like lottery tickets.

One other thing a would be brewery owner should ask themselves is what is my goal with this business. You have to be realistic and honest with yourself. What do you consider successful ? Don't worry what others think. If you want to be a millionaire, yes by all means buy them tickets.

I disagree.  plenty of smart people have made great beer and gone out of business. plenty of dumb people make bad beer and make a killing.  I wish the world was fair, but it's not.

The Pub / Re: Imported beer, German edition
« on: April 25, 2014, 03:26:26 PM »
Between opening a brewery and living a year or so in Germany I guess I'd take the latter. I'm jealous. Have fun.

after my previous adventure in being self employed, I think it'll be a while before I want that much responsibility again. I figured this was probably the only time in my life to move abroad easily, before we buy a house and have kids.

The Pub / Re: Imported beer, German edition
« on: April 25, 2014, 12:15:36 PM »
Pretty cool. Poking around in Pro Brewer looked like you were opening a brewery. That still coming to fruition?

That was the plan, but I know better now!

I'm finishing my master's in finance, should be done in August. I'm looking for work in investment banking or corporate finance now. Maybe if I get an awesome job and get crazy rich I'll open a brewery someday, but I'm putting it on the far back-burner right now.

Going Pro / Re: Biggest barrier?
« on: April 25, 2014, 06:54:27 AM »
ROI's for most small businesses are negative for something like 5 years, at least. Beer is a low-margin, capital-intensive industry, so I suspect it's worse than that, on average.

However, I know of a few breweries that got crazy successful accidentally, so I guess it's kind of a toss-up between spending $1m on a brewery vs $1m on lottery tickets.

The Pub / Re: Imported beer, German edition
« on: April 25, 2014, 04:30:42 AM »
I've been in Germany since February. I have no idea how the fishing is here but I'm having a great time regardless. I've heard the fly fishing licenses cost a few grand here but I haven't looked into it personally.

The Pub / Imported beer, German edition
« on: April 24, 2014, 06:56:26 PM »

Saw this in the Feinkost (fancy food) section of a local supermarket. A single can will set you back about $2.20, plus $0.35 for the deposit. Below are cans of Busch, also the same price.

For reference, a .5l bottle of something you'd actually want to drink runs about 0,65-0,95 euro here, with an 0,08 Pfand.

They do have a few good American beers here, but I haven't bought any. You can buy 750ml bottles of Brooklyn's Local 1 for around 20 euros ($27-ish). They also have 330ml bottles of Firestone Walker for 3 euros.

Going Pro / Re: Biggest barrier?
« on: April 24, 2014, 06:19:14 PM »
How many folks here have tried and failed?

Funny thing about the Internet, people love to talk about how awesome they are, but they get real quiet when they fail. It's really too bad, because I think there's a lot to be learned from failure, and better still when it's others' failure.

I worked for me for almost 30 years.  It sucked.

I have to agree, although luckily my stint was only ~3 years.

It's really awesome to be able to go on vacation now.

Beer Travel / Re: Köln, Dortmund and Düsseldorf recommendations?
« on: March 17, 2014, 12:22:00 PM »
I think Ron's guide is a bit dated. I didn't find it all that helpful in Munich. Maybe the Duesseldorf and Koeln guides are better.

I went to Fuechschen and Schloessel yesterday. I think I liked the former better than the latter, but I'll give it another shot the next time I'm there.

Beer Travel / Re: Köln, Dortmund and Düsseldorf recommendations?
« on: March 12, 2014, 06:13:49 AM »
Awesome! thanks for the recommendations. I've got a train+bus pass for the whole state so it's no problem getting around.  I haven't been to Bonn yet either but it's on my list.

Beer Travel / Köln, Dortmund and Düsseldorf recommendations?
« on: March 11, 2014, 07:17:53 PM »
anyone have any must-try beers from the region? of the Kölschs I've tried Mühlen, Früh, Sion, Küppers, Gaffel, and Testers. The last was my favorite so far.

 of the alts I've tried Diebels,Hannen and Frankenheim. Hannen is the cheapest beer I've found in Germany, but also one of my favorites.

I haven't made it to Dortmund yet, but if anyone has any recommendations, please let me know!

Beer Travel / Re: trip to europe
« on: March 04, 2014, 09:21:52 AM »
Yeah, the best part about London was the cask ales on hand pump. Plus the ambiance of drinking in a 400-year-old pub. I don't think you can really bottle that.

I talked to a British expat in München, and he said the beer he'd buy there tastes different after the 10-hour car trip to England. I'm not sure what the deal is, but it must be something about the beer not traveling well.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Cornelius-Bräu Sanctus
« on: March 04, 2014, 09:19:55 AM »
I picked up a bottle of this the other day. It's brewed here in Aachen, but I thought it was a really good Belgian-style blond. I think the brewery is pretty low-tech. The bottles had uneven fill-levels, and I've read reviews where the carbonation level was off, either too much or too little. The bottle I had was perfect. It was pricey (3 euros per bottle), but if you're in the area I think it's worth trying.

Beer Travel / Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
« on: February 20, 2014, 06:18:24 PM »
I got a head-flu yesterday, so that's put a damper on my drinking. Hopefully I'll rally enough to make it down to Borough Market before I leave on Monday!

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