Alex Chesbro's Blog

Brewing Up Some Dreams

July 28, 2009
2 Comments

I figured I should let y’all know what I’m actually doing.  For those who have already donated to the brewery fund, thank you.  For those who plan on it, get your ass in gear.  And for those on the fence, read on.  No, this isn’t a scam.  I’m not trying to take your money.  Although, that’d be awesome.  Instead of just blabbering, I’m going to write down our goals and our plans.  I’m writing up the business plan this weekend; I’m gathering all the data this week, so we can have something professional for when/if we go to a bank and a loan officer.

“Imagine drinking your favorite beer.  Now imagine paying $6 for that six-pack.”  That is our short pitch-line.

The purpose of our brewery is to “provide the American people with something that they deserve, but that they have been lacking: a beer that deserves the name ‘craft brewed’ or ‘import,’ but one that doesn’t empty the wallet.  A true Value for Money brand.”

Our goal is to bring this to the American people.  We want to give them an honest choice in the supermarkets, in the bars, in their home.  As it stands now, they can pay $3.50 for a 6-pack of Miller High Life, or pay almost $9 for Sam Adams, Dogfish Head 60 Min IPA, and more.  Or spend even more on specialty brews, seasonals, et cetera.  The time has come to change this structure.  While I respect all those expensive beers, and will buy them, it’s not something I like to do all the time.  So how about this.  A beer priced a between Miller and Sierra Nevada.  But a beer that’s quality reflects craft brewing, while it’s price reflects the Values of America.

So tell me, is there some Craft Brew Excise Tax?  Nope, there isn’t.  But most Craft Brewers don’t produce enough product to drive their prices down.  Sam Adams is the largest Craft Brewer, and I believe they come in a little shy of 2 million barrels per year.  Their goal is to be the 1st craft brewer to get to 3 million barrels a year, and I applaud them.  But their prices are still too high for their, in my opinion, mediocre products.  Most craft brewers, on the other hand, rarely brew more than 400-500,000 barrels a year (I could be wrong, though).  

My personal goal is to be able to sell our beers for 6 dollars a 6 pack.  Just think about it.  We’d be producing enough product that it would let us lower the prices while still covering our overhead and creating profit.  Lower prices overall mean lower prices in the bars too.  Imagine paying $2.50 or $3 for a pint of your favorite craft brew.  Blows your mind, huh?

In the Declaration of Independence, does it say that for every person who wants to pursue their happiness, that if their happiness requires something of exquisite quality, they have to pay hand over foot for it?  No sir, it does not.  I’m writing my own Declaration of Independence.  A Declaration of Independence from the tyranny of craft brewers who keep their stocks low and their prices high.  This isn’t war profiteering.  They’re not selling you a missile launcher.  

In Europe, in Germany especially, beer is cheaper than water, literally.  Each 500mL bottle costs anywhere from 50 cents to $1.50 in the supermarket, and 6-packs are rarely over $4.  And this is the good shit we’re talking about.  There’s no Bud Light equivalent.  We’re talking Sam Adams for 60 cents a bottle.

And that’s how it should be.  And that’s what I’m planning on.

So now that you know a little about the plans, maybe you’ll consider donating.  Any little bit helps.  $10, $5.  $100 if you’re feeling generous,  but I don’t expect that much, nor am I asking for it.  Every little bit really does help, and by helping us, you really are investing in a little help for yourself.  Because you’ll know when you see us in the store, or on tap at the bar, that you helped us get off the ground.

And it goes without saying, for those who donate, if you come to the brewery when it’s open, a few beers are on the house.

For anyone who wants more detail before donating, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me.  I won’t attach our business plan (proprietary information), but I will go in-depth and answer any questions that you may have.

Thank you.

Alex Chesbro