Expansion Considerations for Craft Beverage Companies
Dave Michelow, president and co-founder of The Veil Brewing Co.; Patrick Murtaugh, co-founder of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery; and Brad Cooper, founder of Steam Bell Beer Works and Canon & Draw Brewing Co. shared their unique insights on craft brewery expansion considerations during Keiter’s Fall EmergingRVA event. The panelists discussed financing, branding, and hurdles they have faced in expanding their tasting rooms and manufacturing facilities.
In this article, we feature highlights of comments from our panelist, Dave Michelow from The Veil Brewing Co, a craft brewery located in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia.
Q: What considerations influenced the selection of the location of your satellite breweries?
“We really focused on keeping to our original business model. We wanted to own the real estate and situate the new locations in urban revival areas similar to our Scott’s Addition location.
Our second location is scheduled to open in late spring of 2019 in the Ghent neighborhood of Norfolk. The area is being revitalized into what is now called the Railroad District. The retail space in the area is set to include other breweries, restaurants, and coffee shops. It really mirrors the Scott’s Addition area when we opened the original location in 2016. It will be a natural fit for our brewery.
We will be adding a third location in the “Southside” of Richmond on Forest Hill Avenue. The location is currently undeveloped but it will be a part of a mixed-use development that will include restaurants, retail, and apartments. The Forest Hill location is also a neighborhood in upward transition and we are excited to open additional location that will support and enhance the community.”
Q: Looking to the future, what do you see for the local craft brewery market concerning competition?
“Brewers are not only competing with other breweries for the consumer’s dollar, but now entertainment venues such as bowling alleys, arcades, golf venues, shuffleboard etc., are serving a nice selection of local and regional craft beers, or brewing their own beer in-house. We do have a singular focus on our quality beer but, as time goes by, having additional amenities onsite is going to be part of the strategy for most breweries. Craft brewers will need to provide a holistic customer experience in order to compete in the market.”
Q: How do you approach the supply and demand dynamic in forecasting and budgeting for expansion and its impact on your other locations/product lines.
“We really rely on our accountants and finance consultants to assist us with budgeting, forecasting, and business advice. It’s very important to have a team of professionals that understand your business and your growth goals.”
Keiter is focused on supporting emerging businesses and their owners to successfully manage and grow their businesses. Interested in joining us for future EmergingRVA educational and networking events? Contact us. 804.747.0000 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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