If you want to take your basement operation to the next level but don’t know where to begin, get yourself to Findlay Market on July 20 for the Sam Adams Brewing the American Dream Speed Coaching Event. There you can meet up with professional brewers who will cover small-biz basics like negotiating a lease, buying equipment, sourcing ingredients, acquiring construction permits, navigating wholesalers and franchise laws, and organizing branding and PR. “When you start up a brewery, only part of it is making beer,” says Jim Koch, co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company (the company that produces Samuel Adams). “There is a whole other part of it that is just nuts and bolts. The event is basically to keep people from making a lot of the same mistakes that I made,” Koch says. And some of those mistakes can be costly.
When Koch co-founded his company in 1984, he was overwhelmed at the prospect of organizing payroll details like Social Security and FICA withholding for his single employee. “So I said to myself, Well, I don’t know if Sam Adams is going to make it. And if we don’t make it, nobody is going to care that I didn’t fill out all those forms. And if I do make it, I’ll hire somebody to fix all these problems,” Koch remembers. “And then 4 months into it I was actually telling this to a bar manager and he said ‘Jim, you got it wrong. You call a payroll service. There are people who do this. Find one you like, they’ll handle it all, and you won’t go to jail.’ ”
While Koch won’t personally be at this event, you will meet Sam Adams pros from Cincinnati and Boston who work at just about every level of the operation, from brewing to marketing. If you’re a homebrewer with big ideas or even just a craft beer fanboy (or girl), this is a can’t-miss event.
July 20, 6–8:30 p.m., Findlay Market Outdoor Pavilion, 1801 Race St, Over-the-Rhine, findlaymarket.org; Event is free; Register here: eventbrite.com/e/samuel-adams-brewing-the-american-dream-brewer-specific-speed-coaching-event-cincinnati-july-20th-tickets-16382867598