My wife and I started our brewery path 5 years ago. Like most brewers, I started homebrewing. While I was in the Navy, we decided our own business venture was our ultimate goal. We conducted primary research for 2 years by hosting 2 hour beer tasting on our back patio. We invited people to taste our recipes and give us feedback. We asked people to fill out a worksheet that asked specific questions about our recipes. For example, Do you like the color for this style? Is the carbonation level adequate? Do you enjoy the mouthfeel and body? For demographics, we asked their gender and where they lived in San Diego. From the demographics, we built our customer list and e-newsletter that we have today. And of course, we also entered several contests throughout the US. We received valuable feedback from judges. From the feedback that we received from our tasting and judges, we finalized the recipes we have today.

In our third year, my wife and I started to buy equipment for our future brewery. I decided to attend the Art Institute of California – San Diego to pursue my Advertising Degree, so I would be able to market our future company. During this same year, I retired from the Navy and started working at the Home Brew Mart that is owned by Ballast Point Brewing Company. I learned valuable brewing knowledge, and I networked within the brewing community. I am thankful for the experience.

In our Fourth and fifth year, I left Home Brew Mart due to my internship requirement for school. After searching for half a year for an internship, I interviewed at Aviatech for a Digital Social Media Marketing Internship position. I was offered the position, and I completed the internship in my 9th quarter of school. During this time frame, we started our brewery licensing.

We signed our business commercial lease, established our business insurance, setup an account with Brewery Supply Group, completed our paperwork and label approval with the Alcohol Tobacco & Tax Trade Bureau, completed our paperwork with the ABC, completed our paperwork with the BOE and we have paid all fees for Federal and State licensing. Now, we are waiting for ABC Type 23 approval.

I am in my 10 quarter of school, and I am scheduled to graduate in December 2012. Our dream to start our own business has been a learning experience, but the real work is still ahead of us.