Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Higherground Founder Writes Book on Starting a Brewery

How to Start a Small-Scale Microbrewery
Higherground Brewing co-founder, Jasper Miller, displays yet another talent, this time as entrepreneurial writer of his new ebook, How to Start a Small-Scale Microbrewery: A Primer, released this March on Amazon.

"This book will show someone how to open a brewery for less than $200k," says Miller, who opened Higherground Brewing with his partner, Fenn Nelson, in 2011 for just under that.

"But this isn't a Higherground story," explains Miller. "I read through some of the other 'How to Start a Brewery' books out there and most of them are just stories about opening their own brewery. I mention Higherground maybe a couple of times total. I want this book to be a real guide, from how to fill out permits to getting equipment, and factoring in building costs."

Miller also wanted the book to be affordable, citing that some of the other well-known books on the subject (and there aren't many to begin with) are in the $40-50 range.

Miller himself was a homebrewer-turned-pro, and at the time of opening Higherground was the youngest brewery owner in the state.
Jasper Miller and Fenn Nelson
Jasper Miller, left, with business partner, Fenn Nelson.

"To make this book as useful as possible, I even included forms people can take to the breweries they visit that covers what to look for, from the tasting room to the fermenters. I show people how they can get a commercial brewing set up for $30-40k," says Miller.

The book was a winter project for Miller, completing it over the last eight months.

How to Start a Small-Scale Microbrewery: A Primer is available for Kindle at Amazon.com for $7.99 (published March 6, 2014). Please check it out and leave a review. 

Book Description, via Amazon:

This book is written for the following:

1. Those interested in starting a small 1 (Nano) to 10 bbl. microbrewery
2. Those who have somewhat limited resources and experience
3. Those who are willing to work hard, are handy, and dream big
4. Those who are just curious about the whole deal

This microbrewery primer will take you through the process from “Okay, I'm ready to go for it” through the business plan and paperwork requirements to setting up a brewhouse and finally to an operational microbrewery. Links and resources will be given throughout this primer so that you may expand this information into a more comprehensive understanding and approach to accomplish your goal. This book is organized in sections, not necessarily sequential steps. For example, you may be working on the business plan but will need information from Section III, Equipment and the Brewhouse. And so it follows that you will be working on more than one section concurrently. If you have partners, it is also a good idea to assign each person to spearhead specific sections, with input from all, of course.

Before you begin I suggest you do what my now business partner and I did our senior year of college: Relax, drink a good microbrew and dream about being owners of a microbrewery. Then read this book- all the way through without taking notes- to see what you're getting into. Then drink another brew. (By the way it helps a lot to have a partner or two on the journey to start your microbrewery.) Now proceed to Section I, knowing there will be answers to all of your questions. Cheers! 

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