On July 31, 2012, in the midst of the disc golf tour season, Nate spent his down time reading “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing” by Charlie Papazian. This book is a great place to start, and gave Nate the overall knowledge of homebrewing. Once Nate finished the book, Val and Nate rushed to the closest home brew shop near Val’s parents house and invested in their own brewing equipment. After a 45-minute drive, and a $1,000 worth of stainless steel and ingredients, these two were ready to brew their first batch of homebrew.
This first homebrew day in Ohio got Val’s whole family involved in the process. Val’s parents, Sharon and Leroy, also love craft beer and have been brewing beer for years at a local brew-your-own store. But this, too, was their first batch of actual “home” brew. They even captured the brew day on video to remember how it all started.
This became the year when Val, Nate, Sharon, and Leroy began discussing how to make their brewery visions into a reality. With Val’s background in business marketing, she began to develop their business plan and write out the group’s ideas on paper. This opened their eyes immensely to all the integral parts required to run a business, but also helped them develop a strong foundation to center their focus on.
Their brewery vision revolves around their disc golf backgrounds, so that was an important factor to include in their brand development. On the other hand, they did not want disc golf to overwhelm the theme, so much to exclude anyone from our company. Through months of deliberation and working together with Two-Names designs, they developed the name and branding for Bevel Craft Brewing.
Another great thing to develop during the 2015 season was that Nate got the chance to work with Matt Cohen of Fiddlehead Brewing Company in Vermont. Matt is an avid disc golfer, which allowed these two to cross paths. Since they first met a few years back, they had been discussing the idea to do collaboration beer. 2015 was the year to make that all happen.
In August, Nate and Val flew to Vermont to brew their Session IPA homebrew recipe on Fiddlehead’s 15 barrel system, that they would then release during Vermont’s largest disc golf tournament, the Green Mountain Championship. Three weeks later, Nate and Val drove back to Fiddlehead and they were hands on to help with canning and packaging the beer to sell that following weekend.
The whole branding for this beer revolved around disc golf, including the can design to naming it after a disc’s flight characteristic, the Anhyzer. The beer was released the first day of the tournament, and the line to purchase the beer was huge! We got great feedback from disc golfers and even those who tried the beer prior at Fiddlehead’s tap room. Nate and Matt look forward to doing another collaboration for the 2016 Green Mountain Championship.
The business plan inches its way to become finalized every day, and their brewery goals are now in sight. The main roadblock in their path involves the investment in getting their business off the ground. The initial investment in the brewery is the largest undertaking because an efficient brewery involves quality equipment, which comes along with the large price tag.
While devoting our lives to the sport of disc golf has made us rich with memories, we are not fortunate enough to create a large savings account, like most professional athletes. We hope to raise funds through the support from our family and friends through the sport on our crowd-funding page. If we are able to raise enough through this effort, we can apply for loans to cover the rest of the costs associated with our start-up plans.
To continue to prepare for the brewery’s opening day, Nate continues to work on more beer recipes to further develop our portfolio, and strengthen his brewing knowledge. Val is testing out recipes every week of a new grilled cheese sandwich, and the ideas are seemingly endless when you’re talking about bread and cheese.