A serendipitous discussion last year led me and three others to seriously consider a joint business venture. I'm the only one of the four who brews, but we all are passionate. I am no commercial brewmaster for sure. There is a landscape professional with 4,000 sq/feet of empty space available off an interstate, rent free at first to get going. He also has a loading dock, forklifts and other equipment at that facility and a concrete floor with drainage. A semi retired insurance company owner who owns almost 500 rental and commercial properties and is very successful in real estate. A laborer in his fifties who's hobby is travelling to micro breweries and dreams of partial ownership, who is jack of all trades with plumbing, electrical and construction. And me, a physician 13 years out from retirement who has a successful business and can craft a vision and make it happen. So the four of us make these assumptions: it is not get rich quick, chances of failure are high, we need to make GREAT beer first and foremost, and we need to partner with many people in our community. We have some resources, but will need to raise money too. Our discussions have revealed that a nano is the way to start to see if our product sells. We like the idea of a tasting room but really would like to produce and sell beer without a restaurant and food, as the location is not quite ideal for that and doing food may increase the chance for failure. We are looking at one full year of due diligence ahead of us and then we'll consider moving forward. The questions are this: Is it possible to hire a brew master on a consultation basis (i.e. not full time at first)? Would you, right off the bat, spend and budget significant resources on marketing before the product is rolled out (we disagree slightly as one of us says not to advertise at all until we have a product while three say start as soon as licensing is complete and brewing is imminent). How important is it enter "beer competitions" and win? I see this a lot with NY state wineries and still it means nothing to me, more to others. I let my palate judge this. Finally, anything I'm missing? We are not naive young guys who think this is our ticket to riches, and luckily none of us has to make money off this to live. We have well paying jobs but surely will have challenges if we don't have the staff to run day to day operations while we work. If there is one common thread is that each one of us is not passionate about what we do anymore and we want to make people smile with a creative product. As I told the guys, "we should turn over this stone and if there are worms we move on, if there's a golden salamander we should pick it up and nurture it."