Nanobrewing Beer with Michael Mraz – BeerSmith Podcast #57

by Brad Smith on April 11, 2013 · 4 comments

This week Michael Mraz joins me to talk about his new project starting a microbrewery. Mike is a nationally award winning home brewer who is now launching his own nano-brewery on a full time basis in El Dorado Hills, CA. We talk about some of the challenges a starting pro-brewer faces including setting up the business, getting the licenses and actually brewing the beer.

CHANGE: The opening for Michael’s New brewery has been pushed back to 1 May!

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (41:00)

  •  Michael Mraz from Mraz brewing Company is this week’s guest. Michael was twice California Homebrewer of the Year and has also won national home brewing awards. He joined us earlier in podcast 42 to discuss brewing sour beers.
  • We start by talking about how Michael got the idea to start his own small brewery.
  • We talk a bit about the business end of things – items such as writing a business plan, raising money and starting on a shoestring.
  • Michael explains how he selected a location, negotiated the lease and put the partnership together.
  • We talk about some of the harder pieces of pulling the facility and brewing equipment together.
  • Michael talks about the challenges of starting a brewery while still holding a full time job
  • We discuss beer – the types of beer he wants to brew and how he selected them as well as how he selected his equipment
  • Michael discusses some of the challenges with purchasing supplies and finding ingredients
  • He shares his thoughts on what will make his brewery unique and different
  • Michael shares some closing thoughts on his experience to date

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

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Vera April 20, 2013 at 11:40 am

I really enjoyed this. I’ve been contemplating going pro, and I love some of the ideas and insights Michael has. I also like the fact that he started small. Seems like everyone is telling me to start big. This just confirms that small and “select” in good. This enables him to stay true to the styles he likes.
Thanks for a great podcast!

Kerry Hales June 6, 2013 at 3:52 pm

A great interview with Mike. I had thought about going pro for some time now and really never considered anything less than 7 barrels. Of course, this put too much stress on our finances. I refuse to mortgage our home or do something ridiculous to put my wife and I at risk financially. I think I found an answer by teaming up with some very small brewers in another city not to far from me. The costs would be minimal and maybe something I could do. I never really thought about going nano due to all the problems associated, as Mike mentioned. I think it may be good for me and other small batch brewers to team up with others to start a nano brewery.

Matt Heagney July 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm

If you are thinking about opening a nano, listen to this interview. I loved the lease options ideas he listed ( like getting out of the lease if the fed, state, and local authorities couldn’t all approve the use of the building for a brewery ). I wish Mike all the best and thank him for taking the time to be interviewed.

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