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

by Brad Smith on February 4, 2015 · 2 comments

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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{ 2 comments… read them 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!

sbrewing company October 11, 2023 at 7:08 am

I fully loved this Beersmith podcast with Michael Mraz. It’s pretty insightful for everyone searching to task into the world of nano-breweries. Michael’s trip and the precious guidelines he shared grant gorgeous thought and instruction for aspiring brewers. Thanks to Beersmith for bringing such informative content material to the brewing community! Cheers to the artwork of crafting super beer.

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