MBG Board Changes for 2018

Members of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild (MBG) board of directors are volunteers that serve to further the work of the association and its mission -- to protect and promote the interests of Massachusetts craft brewers.

Unlike many nonprofit boards that serve to advise the organization’s staff, MBG board members also have to serve as staff, and work on behalf of the organization to deliver the created objectives and goals. With the support of only one full-time staff member, board members spend an average of 10 to 25 hours a month working on the MBG’s initiatives -- depending on the project or work cycle.

The guild board of directors currently holds eleven seats, six of which are up for election in January 2018.

Co-leader of the government affairs committee, Rob Martin from Ipswich Ale Brewery, co-leader of the finance committee, Dan Kenary from Harpoon Brewery, head of the marketing committee, Keith Sullivan from Medusa Brewing, and MBG Treasurer Sam Hendler from Jack’s Abby, will all rerun for a two-year term (the 2018 to 2020 calendar year.)

After serving as veteran board members since the MBG’s inception, both Gary Bogoff from Berkshire Brewing Co., and Ned LaFortune from Wachusett Brewing Co., will step down from the board’s daily duties as members, and serve as board advisors. LaFortune and Bogoff will remain supportive guides to the board of directors when called upon for advice.

The MBG’s board is seeking brewers, and brewery staff to consider joining the nonprofit’s leadership team to help further its work by donating their time, expertise and passion for the industry.

The board’s nominating committee, which consists of Michelle Sullivan from Boston Beer Co., and Rob Burns from Night Shift Brewing, are now accepting resumes with a letter of intent detailing the goals or changes that candidates would like to help implement within the organization.

Those submitting their resume should plan to get involved with the organization prior to the start of the year by joining a working committee. It will be important for the nominating committee to see a strong commitment from individuals wishing to have a seat on the board.

The board seeks to diversify its members and strengthen its geographical representation. They are looking for all areas of expertise -- from law to marketing, to fundraising, event planning and general leadership. The nominating committee will put forth candidates that demonstrate a willingness to work together on issues and help serve the craft beer community.

During the January 2018 meeting, all six seats up for election will be voted on by members. Only member breweries current on dues will be able to vote in this election. Invoices to renew 2018 membership dues will go out at the end of December, at least three weeks prior to the meeting. Memberships run from January to January, during a typical 12-month calendar year. Breweries will need to be physically present at this meeting to cast their ballot.

A committed and passionate board is essential to accomplishing the work of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild. Now more than ever, it's vital for a strong board and leadership team to help guide the Massachusetts craft beer community forward and serve as a unified voice when confronting all issues that impact the industry.

Those interested in joining the board can send their resume and cover letter to the MBG’s executive director, Katie Stinchon at Katie@massbrewersguild.org for review. In your cover letter please answer the following questions:

  • Why do you want to join the MBG’s board of directors?
  • Realistically, how much time you can dedicate to the organization a month?
  • Which committee you would like to donate your time to?
  • What major issues would you like to be involved in and how would you change them?

What’s expected of MBG Board Members? MBG Board Members Will:

  • Interpret the organization's work and values to the community, represent the organization, and act as a spokesperson
  • Listen carefully to board colleagues and members of the craft beer community
  • Respect the opinion of fellow board members
  • Respect and support majority decisions of the board
  • Recognize that all authority is vested in the full board only when it meets in legal sessions
  • Keep well-informed about developments relevant to issues that may come before the board
  • Attend bi-monthly board meetings (six a year – 1.5 hours long) and understand that they may be relieved of board duties if they miss more than two meetings
  • Actively participate in board meetings and actions
  • Become actively involved in at least one committee – driving goals and accomplishing tasks – (Marketing, Events, Government Affairs, and Membership)
  • Support MBG events and initiatives through participation
  • Bring to the attention of the board any issues that will have an adverse effect on the organization or those we serve
  • Refer complaints to the proper level on the chain of command
  • Recognize that the job of a board member is to ensure that the organization is well-managed, not to manage the nonprofit
  • Represent all of those whom this nonprofit serves, not just a particular geographic area or interest group
  • Consider yourself a “trustee” of the nonprofit and do your best to ensure that it is well-maintained, financially secure, growing and always operating in the best interests of those we serve
  • Declare conflicts of interest between your personal life and position on the board, and abstain from voting or discussion when appropriate

MBG Board Members Will Not:

  • Criticize fellow board members or their opinions, in or out of the board room
  • Use the nonprofit organization for your personal advantage or that of your friends or relatives
  • Discuss the confidential proceedings of the board outside the board room
  • Interfere with the duties of the administrator or undermine the administrator’s authority with staff

As a board member, the organization is responsible to you in the following ways:

  • To keep its board members regularly updated on the organizational activities, programs, policies, goals and objectives as appropriate
  • It is expected that board members and the Executive Director will respond in a straightforward fashion to questions that are necessary to carry out fiscal, legal and moral responsibilities to the organization
  • If the organization does not fulfill its commitments, board members may call upon the Board President and E.D. to discuss the organization’s responsibilities
  • The organization will carry directors and officers’ liability insurance

Top 5 Tips for Entering New Markets

By: Jerry Beaudion, Petainer VP Sales, North America - East

As breweries grow and build their brands, many seek to open new revenue streams by entering new markets, either domestic or internationally.  However, taking beer from one market to another often presents a number of challenges with marketing and supply chain.  By following some simple guidelines, you can avoid common pitfalls and make new market penetration a success.

Here's my top 5 tips for a successful expansion: 

1. Know your new market - it is vital that you understand the market you are entering and that there is genuine consumer demand for your product.  This can be achieved by visits or market research, by working with someone, such as a distributor, or importer/exporter who understands the local beer market and has a track-record of successfully launching new brands.

2. Stay true to your brand - some breweries are tempted to radically change their products to fit into a new market.  Those that stay true to their brand and heritage are often more successful even if they make minor adjustments to ensure they are locally relevant.   Remember: customers enjoy and demand high quality, distinctive products. 

3. Start small - the other lesson learned from brewers who have successfully entered new markets is to start small.  Choose a region or country which doesn’t require huge initial investment or product, and be patient as there will challenges along the way!

4. Read the fine print – make sure you understand the fine print before shipping beer to a new market.  Every state and country has unique rules and regulations when it comes to beer.  If there is failure to comply, the beer will simply be stopped from entering the market, and will never reach its destination.  An expensive mistake to make, especially when shipping a non-pasteurized or sterile filtered beer.

5. Seek more cost-effective solutions - the complexities of transporting beer over longer distances may mean that you must look at alternative options to steel keg fleets.  Disposable kegs have helped many smaller breweries overcome the challenges of long distances, as well as saving the cost of transporting empty containers back to the brewery.  They can also be used on existing brewery filling lines designed for steel kegs which means there is no additional investment.  Typically, twice as much beer can be transported by truck and it reduces freight costs by 50 percent.

petainerKeg™ opens new markets, reduces costs, reduces initial investment, guarantees taste and is planet friendly.

If you are interested in finding out more about one-way kegs or would like some free samples, please contact Jerry Beaudion email: Jerry.Beaudion@petainer.com

Businesses Work Together for Western Mass Beer Week, June 10-17

The spirit of Western Mass Beer Week is best embodied when businesses come together for a collaboration, such as brewing a beer together or planning a thoughtfully paired dinner. 2017’s Beer Week is packed with special collaborative releases and food pairing events.

Exclusive Beer Week Collaboration Releases
(in order of release date):

Beer: “Abandoned at Lefty’s”
Breweries: Abandoned Building and Lefty’s Brewing
Details: An imperial stout aged on scotch barrel chips
Release Info: On draft at Abandoned Building beginning Saturday, June 10 with three different versions on tap--original, with cacao nibs, and with vanilla bean.16 oz cans will be distributed throughout the state at Lefty’s retailers during the week. Special versions will additionally be tapped at Beer Week events at the Brass Cat in Easthampton and Riff's North in Turners Falls on Thursday, June 15.

Beer: “A for Effort”
Breweries: Abandoned Building and Brewmaster Jack
Details: The second Beer Week collaboration from this duo is an IPA brewed and dry hopped with lupulin powder.
Release Info: Draft release Sunday, June 11, 1 to 6 p.m. at Abandoned Building Brewery with a special cask tapping at 2 p.m. Cans will hit Brewmaster Jack retailers beginning Monday, June 12.

Beer:  “Mo Way! Another IPA”
Breweries: Two Weeks Notice and Vanished Valley
Details: Two the newest western Mass. breweries combine their passion, love, and dedication to the art of brewing in the release of Mo Way! Another IPA.
Release Info: Sunday, June 11, 2 to 6 p.m. at the Hangar in Amherst. This will a very limited draft-only release.

Beer: “Manhan Trail Pale Ale”
Businesses: Abandoned Building Brewery and Beerology
Details: Brewed both on Abandoned Building’s commercial system as well as Beerology’s home-brew setup, this New England pale ale is named for the bike path that connects the two locales.
Release Info: Monday, June 12 from 5 to 9 p.m.  cans of Manhan Trail Pale Ale will be available for sale at Abandoned Building exclusively. Stop by Beerology any time during Western Mass Beer Week for a complimentary sample of the homebrewed version of this beer, and pick up the ingredients to brew it at home.

Beer:  “Toasted Coconut Creme Stout”
Businesses: Amherst Brewing and Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters
Details: Amherst Brewing’s third seasonal release with Shelburne Falls. For this batch they’re working with a crowd favorite, Toasted Coconut Creme, blended with Amherst’s Two Sisters Stout.
Release Info: Tuesday, June 13 at the Hangar Pub and Grill in Amherst during open business hours. Available for nitro pours on the bar and wax dipped bottles will be available for purchase.

Beer: Worthy’s 2016 Homebrew Winners’ Collaboration
Breweries: Two Weeks Notice, Drunken Rabbit and Amherst Brewing
Details: An IPA brewed with the best hops from each brewery’s award-winning homebrews plus some Idaho 7 to give it another unique flavor.
Release Info:  Thursday, June 15 at 4 p.m. #TapThatThursday at Smith’s Billiards as well as at the Worthy Brew Fest on June 17, upstairs at Smith's later that night, and at the Hangar in Amherst, Westfield, and Greenfield.

Beer: “Down to the Wire”
Breweries: Amherst Brewing and Vanished Valley
Details: A new unique IPA
Release Info: Released exclusively Thursday, June 15 at Europa’s Beer Dinner and on draft at the Hangar in Amherst, Westfield and Greenfield

For more information about all special beer releases during Western Mass Beer Week, visit this link.

Beer Pairing Dinners

Location: Taphouse Grille, West Springfield
Date & Time: Tuesday, June 13, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Details: A five-course gourmet beer dinner featuring IPA's from western Mass. breweries: Abandoned Building, Brewmaster Jack, Building 8, Fort Hill and Iron Duke.
Tickets:  Seats are $65/person plus tax & gratuity.  Call for reservations: 413-363-1000.

Location: The Bistro at Gateway City Arts, Holyoke
Date & Time: Tuesday, June 13, 7 to 9 p.m.
Details: Five courses paired with five local brews: Fort Hill Hera Pilsner, Abandoned Building Lola Saison, Building 8 IPA, Element Red Giant, and Berkshire Brewing Coffee House Nitro Porter. Tickets: Limited to 50 tickets at $50 each. Call The Bistro 413-650-0786 to purchase. June 9 is the last day to make reservations.

Location: Sevenstrong, Northampton
Date & Time: Wednesday, June 14, 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Details: Chef Jonathan Adler, formerly of the 3-Michelin star rated Saison in San Francisco, will be serving a special seven course dinner paired with five Brewmaster Jack beers at his new Northampton restaurant, Sevenstrong. As the menu changes frequently at Sevenstrong, they will be waiting to finalize the menu until early June.
Tickets: $75 per seat and includes: seven courses, five beer pairings, and tax. Gratuity not included. Call 413-341-3395 for reservations. $50 deposit required with reservation (refundable if reservation is canceled by June 11). Beer flights will also be available at the bar for $19.

Location: Bistro 63, Amherst
Date & Time: Wednesday, June 14, 6 to 9 p.m.
Details: Taco + Beer pairing dinner, featuring 5 tacos and 5 local beers plus a beer-themed dessert.
Tickets: $40 plus tax and gratuity. Ticket link coming soon.

Location: Europa Black Rock Bar and Grill, Ludlow
Date & Time: Thursday, June 15, 6 to 9 p.m.
Details: Join Amherst Brewing and Vanished Valley Brewing Company as they feature some exciting beer and food pairings with the help of Europa Black Rock Bar and Grill. This is 5-course meal event with each course being paired with either an Amherst Brewing or Vanished Valley beer. One of the courses features the Western Mass Beer Week Amherst Brewing and Vanished Valley collaboration brew, Down to the Wire IPA.
Ticket: $50.00 per person (tax and tip included). Tickets are available at Europa for purchase or by calling 413-547-6443.

Other participating restaurants like Hope & Olive and Sierra Grille will feature daily menu specials with recommended western Mass. beer pairings. For information about all beer dinners and food pairing events, visit this link.

Events are still being confirmed for Western Mass Beer Week 2017. Please visit www.westernmassbeerweek.org for the most up-to-date calendar listings.

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About Western Mass Beer Week
Western Mass Beer Week is a coordinated week of events mid-June at breweries, bars, retailers and restaurants in western Massachusetts celebrating the beer brewed in the region. Its mission is to call attention to western Massachusetts as a beer destination and to develop a stronger synergy between the breweries, beer venues and all of the exciting things happening in the region’s beer scene. For more information, visit www.WesternMassBeerWeek.org.

 

 

 

 

New Growler Rule in MA: What it means for consumers and what it means for breweries

Recently Massachusett’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) put a new rule into effect allowing breweries to refill growlers brought in from outside the brewery. See the advisory here.

This advisory does have some provisions in it which may cause confusion for consumers and breweries alike. Here’s what our president has to say about it:

“This new rule opens up a great opportunity for many Massachusetts breweries that rely on growlers as their primary source of selling beer to-go. Ordering and storing pallets of growlers and maintaining the supply when business is good can be both expensive and challenging. We hope this alleviates some of that burden,” says Rob Burns, Mass Brewers Guild President and co-founder of Night Shift. “However, this change may also cause confusion for consumers as the new rule states that the growlers must be blank and devoid of other brewery branding. Ultimately, this won't help those eager to unload their branded growler collection. Also, breweries still have the right to decline filling any type of growler, or growlers at all. It will be up to the breweries to make their individual policies clear on their website and social media channels to avoid disappointed guests in their tap rooms."

What should craft beer fans know? According to the new rule:

  • Any growler can be filled by any brewery so long as it's "blank" which means devoid of another brewery's branding or labels. You cannot bring a branded growler to another brewery to fill. 
  • Any type of growler can now be filled: plastic, ceramic, metal or glass 
  • Any size growler can now be filled 
  • The growler must be empty of all alcoholic beverages (it should be clean too!)
  • Know before you go -- breweries can still decline to fill growlers from outside their brewery, or growlers at all.

What should breweries know? According to the new rule:

  • The growler must be filled from a tap by a Farmer-Brewery or Pub-Brewery licensed by the state.
  • Each brewer is responsible for ensuring their legality in their trade practices at the state and federal level and adhere to federal guidelines. See the FAQ page and seek legal consul or reach out to the ABCC with questions or for clarification.
  • Breweries should post their individual growler filling policies on their website site, social media channels, and in their tap rooms to avoid confusion.

A Survival Guide for Choosing Beer to Please the Masses: Memorial Day Edition

By Kenny Pantuso
Co-Owner/Manager of Vinal Square Craft Beer House & Premium Liquors

If you’re reading this, there is a good chance that you are perceived, in your circle of friends and family, as “The Beer Expert.” 

Whether you’re a head brewer at a successful brewery or just had a few too many at the last family gathering and confessed your love of a Boston Lager a little too vociferously, you are now in charge of the beer selection for each and every future gathering. Over the years, I have learned to love this task. So, if you’re stuck scratching your head wondering what beers to bring to the Memorial Day cookout, here’s my survival guide.

1.     Know Your Crowd

Today we usually find a nice mix of beer drinkers. You still have your light big national brand drinkers. On the other end of the spectrum you have your beer drinkers that won’t drink anything unless they’ve driven an hour and waited in line for it. And then there’s where most of us sit. These folks just like to enjoy a delicious craft beer anytime, anywhere. The good news is we live in Massachusetts and you can literally find beer to please everyone...seriously.

For the light beer drinker I would recommend a well-balanced beer. Forego the double IPA’s and the Barley Wines and think Pilsners or Vienna Lagers. Jack’s Abby comes to mind with their Saxony Lager and their Sunny Ridge Pilsner.

For your more selective beer drinker there a couple ways to attack this. My number one suggestion is Night Shift Brewing and here’s why. No matter the style of beer, Night Shift tends to hit the nail on the head each time. It’s also fairly accessible now so you can find most of their flagships at any reputable craft beer shop. I’d recommend snagging a few different One Hop This Time variations. They even have 4-packs with four different hop varietals now. The other option to please this group of beer lovers requires a bit of preplanning. Plan a day to go beer hunting. Stop by your local bottle shops and ask for any rare limited releases. New England Style IPA’s are all the rage currently so be sure to snag as many of those as you can find. You may have to stalk them on social media beforehand. This goes for brewery only limited releases as well.

The remainder and bulk of your buy can be what I like to call “crowd pleasers.” Most people can enjoy and appreciate throwing back a few Harpoon Wannamangos. Newburyport Brewing also has a stellar line up ranging from their award winning Plum Island Belgian White to their popular Green Head IPA. Most of these beers you can find in variety packs, twelve and fifteen packs which should save you a few shekels.

2.     Consider the Season

In this case you’re going to a Memorial Day cookout. It’s warmer outside so you’ll want to stick with lighter bodied styles of beer. Wheat Beer, Pilsner and Saison to name a few. People tend to drink a bit more volume when it’s hot out too so consider beers with lower alcohol levels. Session beers lend a helping hand giving you beers with ABV levels around or below 5% without sacrificing flavor. Notch Brewing conveniently specializes in such drinkable beers.

3.     Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

It’s literally my favorite part of running a craft beverage store, when someone comes in and asks for help picking out various beers. They give you bits and pieces as to what they’re going for and you get to choose the beer that most accurately fits that mold. So, if in your hunt for beer you are torn or stumped, don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions. It also might be wise to get some background on the beer you select. I can almost guarantee there will be someone at the party that will drill you on this “crafty beer thing.”

Just stick to the basics stated above and above all have fun! After all, the one who shows up with all the beer is the hero right?! 

Vinal Square Craft Beer House & Premium Liquors is a craft forward liquor store offering a vast variety of products. Its mission is to continuously educate patrons leaving them empowered with their choice. Vinal Square Craft Beer House & Premium Liquors is located at 11 Vinal Sq. in Chelmsford MA. For more information, visit vscraftbeer.com or contact, Kenny Pantuso at kenny@vscraftbeer.com.

Vinal Sq. Craft Beer House logo.png

MA Breweries Raise Awareness and a Pint to Support Veterans

Joining the Black Ale Project to start an important conversation over a beer

Black Ale Project.jpg

Former Marine and non-combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War, Dave Pappas, 47, is partnering with breweries across Massachusetts and the country to support the Black Ale Project, a craft beer initiative to raise money and awareness on behalf of U.S. war veterans.

Pappas, a craft beer lover and former blogger, is tapping into the power of the Massachusetts craft beer industry to support this cause close to his heart. The Black Ale Project, founded in 2015, isn’t a charity organization itself but serves as a conduit to support existing veteran charities. The idea is simple: breweries brew a special dark beer and donate all or part of the proceeds to a veteran charity of their choice.

Bay State breweries Medusa Brewing Company, Wormtown Brewery, and Stone Cow Brewery have already collectively raised more than $11,000 for the New England Center and Home for Veterans, Veterans Inc., and the Boston chapter of Pets for Vets. Castle Island Brewing Company, Idle Hands Craft Ales, and True West Brewing Company currently have their Black Ale Project beer for sale in Massachusetts and will donate to their selected veteran charities once the beer sells out.

“This project was not designed to place a heavy financial burden on the participating breweries, so they choose how much they will donate,” says Pappas. “Whether it’s 100 percent of the proceeds or a dollar a glass, we just ask that breweries be completely transparent with the consumer in regard to their contribution.”

Pappas does not handle the money at any time during the process; each brewery writes a check and delivers it directly to their chosen charity. He will provide a list of local veteran nonprofits that have been vetted by Charity Navigator upon request, and hopes that breweries keep in touch and build long-lasting relationships with these local organizations.

“Every glass of beer poured starts a conversation about the struggles our veterans face,” says Pappas. “Suicide, mental and physical health issues, homelessness – these are topics we want people to talk about and ultimately do something about.”

Massachusetts breweries joining the cause this year include Brewmaster Jack, Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company, Brazo Fuerte Artisanal Beer, Barrel House Z, Henry & Fran Brewing Company, and Bone Up Brewing Company. Wormtown Brewery is also planning a second release later this year.

“We are proud that so many of our Massachusetts breweries are signing onto this project and working to provide support to our service men and women,” says Katie Stinchon, executive director of the Mass Brewers Guild, a nonprofit organization that protects and promotes Mass craft breweries. “Massachusetts craft breweries care about their communities and the ways in which they can make them stronger. We are grateful to the Black Ale Project for bringing this mission and message into tap rooms, backyard barbecues and homes across the Commonwealth and country.”

Supporting the Black Ale Project is easy: buy a beer, help a veteran. For more information, visit blackaleproject.org.

FIVE KEY REASONS FOR WRITING A BUSINESS PLAN

By Kate Smith, Craft Brewery Loan Officer at Live Oak Bank

 

Whether you are planning to start or expand your craft brewery, your first step is to develop a sound business plan. Indeed, any business project that requires a considerable financial investment and is expected to return a profit should generate a business plan before a single dime is spent. Why? Because the business plan is your blueprint for creating profitability and success. Without a detailed blueprint, how do you know what you are building?

Here are five important ways a business plan can help you succeed with your craft brewery start up or expansion.

1)    Establishes the viability of your project.

A well-constructed business plan requires you to think through and document a range of logistical requirements for your project in order to establish its viability and ascertain its likelihood of success. Your business plan will answer certain market-related questions such as:

·      Where is your business located and what are the demographics of the area?

·      What competition do you face in your local community and how do you plan to market your business?

·      How will you measure success?

·      Who’s your management team?

·      How much capital do you need to complete your start up or expansion project?

·      What are the projected monthly income and expenditures for your business upon completion of your project?

By carefully researching and documenting the answers to these questions in your business plan, you gain an understanding of the true potential of your company and can initiate your project with greater confidence.

 

2)    Provides a basis for negotiating with lenders.

Most likely you will need to borrow a significant amount of capital in order to start or expand your brewery. The business plan forms the basis for negotiations with potential lenders or investors. It details your business objectives, market research, and plans for staffing, marketing, and cash flow management. If thoroughly researched, it provides a foundation for determining the potential value of your business, and conversely, the level of risk your lender would be undertaking in funding your project.

When choosing your lender, look for a lending institution that is familiar with the brewing industry as they are more likely to understand your specific situation and financial needs. Additionally, lenders who specialize in the brewery category may be able to help spot potential flaws in your rationale or project calculations, possibly saving you valuable time and money in initiating your brewery buildout.

3)    Creates a guideline for cash flow management.

The business plan is a living document that should be updated periodically to reflect changes in the company vision and cash flow projections. As a living document, it also serves as a guideline for cash flow management, identifying funding resources and projected outflows for the business over a period of several years. Understanding the cash flow of your business allows you to respond more quickly and appropriately to market trends and opportunities. You are also better positioned to plan your next stages of growth.

As with any major business initiative, you will undoubtedly run into surprises along the way like maxing out capacity. Your business plan provides spending parameters and accounts for contingencies to ensure adequate funds are preserved for critical investments that will support your brewery’s ultimate success.

4)    Functions as a business communications tool.

Many small business owners find there are times when they need to effectively communicate the mission and expectations of their company to customers, suppliers, attorneys, distributors, and other third parties. The business plan, partially or in whole, provides a thorough overview of your company’s vision for its future. It can therefore be a valuable tool for giving employees a broad view of the company, educating key partners and suppliers about the scope of the business, and informing financial supporters of your specific plans for future success. Again, the business plan can be considered the blueprint for that success, describing in detail what it will look like and how it will be built.

5)    Empowers you to determine your future.

Whether your objective is to run a small, profitable local brewery, or become a leading industry competitor, the only way to ultimately control the outcome of your business undertaking is to plan for it. In the end, this may be the greatest value offered by your business plan. By documenting your ideas and strategies – what you want to see happen and how you plan to get there – you are taking control of your future and placing the power to direct the final outcome in your own hands.

These are just a few of the most important reasons for creating a business plan. You might also consider the benefits your business plan can provide in outlining specific objectives for managers, key investment decisions such as whether to rent additional space or distribute, valuing your business for estate planning and tax purposes, or defining your personal exit strategy.

Developing a thoughtful business plan can help you focus your vision for the future and positively impact your level of success. If you haven’t already done so, get started on your craft brewery business plan today. For instructions on how to write your business plan, see the second article in this series called Crafting an Effective Business Plan for Your Brewery.

Live Oak Bank is the second largest Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in the United States1 and the top SBA lender to craft brewers nationwide in 20152 – Member FDIC. 

Sources: 1 - Small Business Administration - 100 Most Active SBA 7(a) Lenders by volume in U.S. in FY 2016. 2 - Based on SBA data a