Hey guys, I hope this isn't against the rules. I'm a longtime homebrewer and forum contributor, but I am not looking to go pro, myself. I want a passionate brewer to put a brewery in the city where I live and work: Merced, California. I work for the City Attorney's Office and have worked with the Department of Economic Development for the city in efforts to recruit brewers to start a brewery in our city, especially in our downtown area. I have not been asked to reach out in this way, or anything, but I figured I would spread the word to my fellow homebrewers in case anyone was looking to start a brewery and finding the costs/competition daunting in the bay area or LA. If any of you are from the bay area, Sacramento, or southern California and thinking of going pro, here's a few reasons why you should come to Merced instead:
- Tons of available appropriate downtown space
- A local government that will work with you 100% from start to finish
- Population of 85,000 and growing
- A fast-growing major university (UC Merced, projected to have 10,000 students by next year and 30,000 by 2030)
- A major railway hub development downtown (fist ACE connecting to San Jose/Stockton and then CA High Speed Rail connecting to Fresno/Bakersfield first, then eventually Sacramento/San Francisco/LA/San Diego -- Merced is the most probable hub)
- EXTREMELY CHEAP real estate for California
- Low cost of living (buy a 3BR house on a quarter acre for $250,000-$300,000 a few minutes from downtown)
- On Hwy 99 -- making self-distribution manageable to the east bay, Sacramento, and Fresno
- Zero direct competition
- Lots of existing downtown development (invest now and save $$$)
- Tourists stop in Merced for a night before/after going to Yosemite -- literally buses full of French/German/Chinese/east coast people fill up the hotels every night, and they have no "destination restaurant" -- fill that niche!
- Venture Labs (UC Merced) is available to help you develop your business plan and seek investors
- Take a look at the nearest mid-sized breweries (Dust Bowl in Turlock and Tioga-Sequoia in Fresno) to see what you could build towards in this region
- Plenty of local small-scale ($5,000 - $25,000) investors waiting for a brewer-owner to take this on
Anyway, if you have questions, feel free to reach out to me here or contact the City's department of economic development and talk to Frank Quintero or Maria Mendoza.