The Start A Brewery Podcast

Episode 011 brings together decades of ingredients and processes experience for a thorough discussion of “What are you brewing?”.  Neil Witte, Erik Fowler, and Niko Tonks are all brewers who in time have specialized in quality, yeast, and hops. The scope of their work within the industry and connection to both the brewing and business side is apparent as they offer practical advice about everything from recipe costing, house yeast, secondary hops markets, and ultimately to the proper way to brew and serve a nitro beer.

Erik Fowler, Director of Education & Craft Hospitality, White Labs
Erik has been with White Labs since 2014. Before coming to White Labs, he worked for a prominent regional brewery, a nano-brewery, and several beer and wine focused retail outlets. He has led education classes on yeast handling, sensory techniques and QC. Erik holds his Cicerone® certification as well as a certificate in the Business of Craft Beer from San Diego State University.

Neil Witte, Associate Director of Exams for the Cicerone Certification Program, Founder/Owner of Tap Star & Craft Quality Solutions
Neil Witte is the Owner/Founder of TapStar and Craft Quality Solutions. He's a 23-year beer industry veteran, draft beer specialist and one of 19 Master Cicerones.

With TapStar, he takes the industry draft quality standards he helped develop as a co-author of the Brewers Association Draught Beer Quality Manual. and certifies quality standards at draft beer retailers. He then promotes those retailers who serve the highest-quality draft beer with consumers.

With Craft Quality Solutions, he travels the country helping restaurants, bars, breweries and distributors through such services as draft system design, installation, troubleshooting, and service; distributor draft department consulting and training; on-premise sales team draft system training; and brewery field quality and sensory program consulting and training.

About StartABrewery
StartABrewery is a collaboration amongst a fun group of craft beer industry veterans who are often invited to speak at beer business / brewing education programs. Each has offered to share their knowledge and experience to support the craft beer community as a whole by helping fledgling breweries in planning.

Conceived and coordinated by Candace L. Moon, The Craft Beer Attorney, and Laura Lodge of Customized Craft Beer Programs, StartABrewery is provided as an educational resource for those dreaming of opening a brewery, those who are taking steps to make their dream a reality, and those who are opening their brewery doors and living it.

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Positive Fat Bass Intro Loop by WinnieTheMoog
Free download:
License (CC BY 4.0):
Niko Tonks, Central Region Sales Manager, Yakima Chief Hops
Niko Tonks is the Central Region Sales Manager for Yakima Chief Hops. He started his brewing career at Live Oak Brewing in Austin, Texas in 2011, co-founded Fair State Brewing Cooperative in Minneapolis in 2013, and joined YCH in the fall of 2022. He has extensive experience with technical brewing, recipe development, and R&D brewing. He lives in Southern Minnesota and enjoys a fine pilsner beer.

What is The Start A Brewery Podcast?

The Start A Brewery Podcast covers all things with regard to starting (or growing) a brewery. New episodes are available every other Tuesday and track the process from the original vision, through developing a business plan and into Plan, Act, Open & Grow.