Hope everyone's having a great summmer! It feels like it's been way too long since we've had a thorough blog post about some key aspect of starting a new business, or even about a current event going on in our never ending quest to build Williamsburg's newest craft brewery. Needless to say, that's for a good reason...we've been busy! So this update in and of itself is more like hemidemisemiquaver of an update than a full post. But since we've been so busy, we figured the least we could do was take a quick break to fill everyone in on what's been going on in the world of Virginia Beer Co.
- Location - We are bursting at the seams to formally announce where Virginia Beer Co. is going to be physically located in Williamsburg (we'd like to think the spirit of Burg Beer is all around us). It's been a long road to find the right space - though that space may not feature a long road - but we are very close to signing a lease on our dream property. We have a great real estate agent who's been helping us along the way, and we're in the final stages of negotiating our lease with the developers. It takes time to get this process completed but you only have one chance to get it right - stay tuned for that announcement later this summer!
- Legal - Starting a business requires a lot of legal advice and paperwork! Items include a Term Sheet, Subscription Agreement, Operating Agreement, Employment Documents, Lease Reviews, and everything in between. It's important to find the right legal representation to help guide you through the sea of Legalese you'll need to sail in order to get your business up and running. And we've been spending a lot of time with our team!
- Trademarks - Just to add a bit more legal work to our dockets, we've been doing some additional trademark work on our secondary logos. It's a big world out there and we want to make sure we're doing our due diligence as we expand our brand identity. That means more legal advice and more legal paperwork!
- Insurance - You can't start a new business of any kind without basic insurance coverage. This includes various forms of operations insurance, employee health insurance, workman's compensation insurance, etc. It's an important part of preparing for operations and building a team, and it takes times to get everything organized and filed. Don't wait until the last minute for this one.
- Payroll - We don't have an operating brewery quite yet so regular paychecks are still a thing of the future, but we're taking the time to consider how to manage payroll for the staff - and eventually, we hope, ourselves!. There are a lot of self-management tools and third party companies that will handle this task for a business, all at varying time and cost expenses, so it's worth considering the process early and often.
- Banking - A relationship with a trustworthy banker is going to make managing your business a much smoother process in the future. Setting up deposit accounts, payroll accounts, and engaging in conversations about future company needs are integral aspects of financial planning for small businesses of all kinds. It takes time to find the right bank and support team, as well as to get those accounts set up and activated.
- Investors - We've been blessed with a great group of supporters, many of whom have been with us since the early stages of this venture in 2012. As we continue to finalize our plans for a brewery, taproom, and beers, we continue to meet people interested in learning more about Virginia Beer Co. It's important to keep supporters, both new and tenured, apprised of the brewery's current events and answer questions along the way. We enjoy doing so in person when we can, so we've spent a lot of time on the road providing updates and getting folks excited for the future of Burg Beer!
- Networking - One of the best parts of entering the craft beer world is all of the camaraderie. Chris and I get to spend a lot of time exploring the craft beer scene in Williamsburg, speaking with distributors and retail managers, and most importantly hanging out with other people who love craft beer! It's great to meet make new friends and we couldn't be more stoked for the expanding craft landscape in and around Williamsburg.
- Events - We were thrilled to be part of New Town Summer Fest back in June, and we're excited to announce that we'll be participating in the DoG Street Pub Craft Beer Festival on Sunday, August 3rd. We won't be serving beer but we'll be providing more news about the brewery's future and handing out lots of free Burg Beer swag. Get your tickets!
- Craft Beer - TEST BATCHES! We're brewing lots and lots of test batches with more and more to come.
- Travel - Summer...even with the full time job of starting a new craft brewery, you have to travel a little bit in the summertime. We've been able to steal some time to explore the craft beer scenes in Northern Virginia; Washington, DC; Durham, NC; Charlottesville, VA; Upstate New York; and beyond. It's great to see so much craft beer out there and we look forward to taking VBC on the road a few more times in the coming months to try a few more great beers.
It's been a busy summer for many good reasons. We're working to build an amazing business. We continue to make strides in locking in our location for The Virginia Beer Company. We're getting the infrastructure in place to be ready to welcome new partners. We're learning more about the craft beer landscape in the Historic Triangle and elsewhere. The adventure continues and we'll have many more updates to come.