Michael Tonsmeire joins me to discuss his experience starting a new brewery called Sapwood Cellars.
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Topics in This Week’s Episode (51:39)
- This week my guest is Michael Tonsmeire. Michael is the author of the book American Sour Beers (Amazon affiliate link) and also partner in a new brewery called Sapwood Cellars in Columbia, Maryland.
- Today he joins us to discuss some of the challenges and decisions to be made in opening a new brewery.
- Michael gives us a quick overview of the size and scope of the brewery where he primarily sells out of the taproom.
- We discuss his opening lineup of beers and how he decided which beers to brew.
- Michael explains how his lineup has evolved over time and which beers are now the top cellers.
- We talk about direct (taproom) sales versus distrubuting through other channels and also some models for growth.
- Michael explains some of the challenges in marketing and driving traffic to a new brewery, including things like social media and promotions.
- He shares some of the marketing and business lessons he learned.
- We discuss how he raised funding for the new brewery and also some of the surprises he ran into along the way.
- Michael explains the difference between brewing on a 10 barrel system and a 10 gallon brewing system
- He shares his closing thoughts for those looking to open a small brewery.
- Thank you to our sponsor Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine for sponsoring this episode. I encourage you to subscribe to their great magazine!
- And also Anvil Brewing Equipment. Anvil is a new line of kettles, burners and accessories from John Blichmann at Blichmann Engineering. They make top quality brewing equipment built to last a lifetime.
- Also check out BeerSmith, BeerSmith Mobile software and the new DVDs John Palmer and I filmed – How to Brew with Malt Extract and How to Brew All Grain are available now. You can subscribe to the BeerSmith newsletter for free to get some great articles on home brewing.
Thanks to Michael Tonsmeire for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
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