BYO Nano Brew Podcast

Starting a brewery from scratch is hard, but so is taking over an existing one. Our panel of experts is here to talk through the many layers that come with buying and running an existing brewing business.

Show Notes

On this episode of the BYO Nano Podcast we’re talking about best practices and advice for someone who wants to take over a small, existing brewery.

The idea came from a listener who wrote: “I'm someone who is overwhelmed by the non-beer aspects of starting a taproom from scratch - legal, regulatory, architectural design and layout, branding, marketing, and a blank sheet of paper. I've explored a couple of taprooms and small brewpubs for sale. What's a smart way to go about this?”

That’s a jumping off point and our panel will start with the from scratch aspect then transition into what it takes to acquire an existing brewery. 

The lessons shared are also applicable to someone just starting out as well.  

The panel includes:

Jon Carpenter who his career as a summer brewing intern at Drakes Brewing Co in 2002 while attending UC Davis, studying Brewing Science. After graduating with a BS in Food Science & Technology (Brewing Emphasis) and a BA in Political Science in 2005, he went on to work for Anheuser-Busch in their Research Pilot Brewery. From there he went onto Dogfish Head, and then to Golden Road followed by Alchemy and Science, the Boston Beer collection of breweries. Today he works at Opensō Consulting, Independent Brewery and Craft Beverage Consulting firm. 

Michael Brewer, the president of Alcoholic Beverage Consulting Service, a leading alcoholic beverage licensing firm.  Alcoholic Beverage Consulting Service represents numerous alcoholic beverage licensees in all segments of the alcohol industry. Brewer was a regulatory auditor for the United States Custom Service and holds a Master’s degree in accounting from San Diego State University. 

And Matthew McLaughlin,  founder of McLaughlin, PC, a boutique commercial law firm specializing in the beverage industry. He has represented breweries and distilleries throughout the United States for nearly 20 years advising clients on business entity formation, ownership structure, startup financing and expansion financing, federal and state regulatory matters, and intellectual property. 

Matthew has also served as the executive director of the Mississippi Brewers Guild and was instrumental in the passage of House Bill 1322, a bill that expanded retail sales opportunities for breweries in Mississippi and fundamentally changed Mississippi’s brewpub laws.  In April 2017 at the Brewers Association’s annual Craft Brewers Conference, Matthew received the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award.

The BYO Nano Podcast Episode 33 is sponsored by:

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BYO Nano+ Membership
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BYO Nano Brew Podcast Episode 33
John Holl
Guests: Michael Brewer, John Carpenter, Matthew McLaughlin
Music: Scott McCampbell

Creators & Guests

John Holl
John Holl is the host of the BYO Nano Podcast and the author of several books including the Craft Brewery Cookbook.
Brew Your Own
The How-To Homebrew Beer Magazine. Sign up for a free trial digital membership at:

What is BYO Nano Brew Podcast?

The Nano segment of craft brewing is growing fast with the majority of new breweries opening up falling into this small-scale, hyper-local segment working on brewing systems five barrels or under. Each month on this podcast learn the business, marketing, and brewing strategies targeted for this smaller-scale sized brewery needs. From strategies to maximizing taproom sales to forecasting brewery budgets to brewing great beer in small spaces, you'll learn from craft beer experts and fellow Nano brewers the tips and strategies for success to improve - or launch - your small brewery. The BYO Nano Brew Podcast is brought to you by Brew Your Own, the leading homebrew magazine as well as organizers of the annual NanoCon event for this small-scale craft beer niche and the monthly BYO Nano Newsletter available by email.