Nano-Brewery Start Up with Michael Mraz – BeerSmith Podcast #97

by Brad Smith on February 4, 2015 · 1 comment

PodNew200Michael Mraz from Mraz Brewing joins us to follow up on his nano-brewery startup. Michael launched his own 3 barrel brewery specializing in Belgian beers in a tiny 1000 sq foot shop in the Spring of 2013, and this week he shares some of his lessons learned in moving from amateur to pro-brewer.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (48:47)

  • My guest this week is Michael Mraz, an award winning home brewer who used his personal savings to establish a small 3 barrel brewery in El Dorado California. Michael is the founder and brewmaster at Mraz Brewing Company, specializing in Belgian and sour beer styles.
  • Thank you to our sponsor Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine who is still offering a 15% discount with your subscription or other items when you use the new offer code beersmith2015 when you purchase.
  • Also check out BeerSmith Mobile softwaree and , the new DVDs John Palmer and I filmed – How to Brew with Malt Extract and How to Brew All Grain are both available now.
  • Michael brings us up to date on his brewery which we initially discussed back in episode #57.
  • He tells how he manages to brew 500 barrels a year from a tiny 1000 sq ft, 3 barrel brewery
  • We discuss his focus on Belgian ales and sour beers – specialty beers that take a long time to create and age.
  • Michael shares his thoughts on the tap room, which account for almost 80% of hit sales.
  • We talk about the public’s reaction to his beer.
  • Michael has moved to bottling many of his Belgian beers, and we discuss bottling as well as the four sample beers he sent me (which are amazing).
  • We discuss some of the challenges of operating a small business including managing deliveries, storage space, space for aging barrels and business considerations.
  • Michael shares some lessons learned from his original business plan
  • We talk about his plans for expansion and new space he has leased
  • Mike shares his advice for those looking to go from home brewer to pro-brewer without spending a ton of money
  • He shares his closing thoughts.

Thanks to Michael Mraz for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all 81 audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Phil Wages February 5, 2015 at 8:03 pm

Thanks for this interview! I’m starting a micro/nano in the middle of nowhere (West Plains, Missouri), and this has confirmed much of what I was thinking in our own approach. Cheers!

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