Almost two years ago to this day, I went before a committee of lawyers and entrepreneurs to pitch the idea for a craft beer bar. The goal was to get free legal service and a support team from a business clinic.
I ultimately got their approval, but since my business was so much in its infancy, there wasn’t work for them to do. “Reach back out further down the road,” was there response.
Serendipitously, Jeffrey Glazer, who wasn’t able to be part of my pitch because of a conflict of interest is now my official lawyer for the project. I hadn’t needed to reach back out to the clinic (because of building an awesome support team throughout the last two years), but I thought it would be worth sharing a glimpse into my pitch at the time.
Here’s the speech I wrote and gave to a group of people infinitely wiser than myself. Don’t laugh too hard, I’ve ironed a lot of items out since ’17. Or go ahead and laugh, it’s all part of the journey.
You know my business idea is to open a craft beer bar.
And this business idea might not work, and here’s why:
1) Competitive: There are so many places that sell beer, but what makes mine different is that it combines a product and a service that beer enthusiasts (and trust me, there are plenty of them) demand.
They demand the different. They want to try something new, so I’ll have wide selection of beer and I’ve already started conversations with various distributors to ensure variety. While other bars are selling the traditional PBR and bud light, I’ll be selling neat beers by breweries like MobCraft Beer and Toppling Goliath.
Additionally, local bars aren’t exercising a class B retail license by selling beer to go. While the conglomerate breweries keep buying shelf space at retailers, pushing out the craft breweries, Garth’s will be the go-to location for to-go beer. This will allow people to come, taste, and leave with more, turning a visit into an experience.
To make it a fulfilling one, Garth’s Brew Bar puts an emphasis on service interaction. You can go to competitors like HopCat, but you can’t get the story behind the beer or knowledge about brewing, tasting, pairing, origins, and any other questions you may have about what you’re consuming.
2) Success Is Uncertain: I’m doing my due diligence on research and planning and calculating success -, but at the end of the day this might not work: perhaps not enough people show up, perhaps I can’t get all the funding, perhaps I hire wrong and first impressions are wasted.
But here’s what I do know: I know it might work.
– I know there are enough people that care about beer to support the bar.
– I know it’s a concept that has worked in big cities like Chicago and small places like De Pere.
– And most of all, I know that I’ve got the passion to see this through, to give the Madison area a remarkable bar, one that helps the economy, one that makes Madison a destination for great craft beer again.
And I’d like your help.