Granby’s tasting room brewery: How it works | SkyHiNews.com
Patrick Brower
Grand Initiative

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Granby’s tasting room brewery: How it works

I don't want you to think I'm bragging here, because I'm not.

And Kirk Main, the owner of Never Summer Brewing on main street in Granby, wouldn't come out and brag about his business either.

I can't brag because Kirk is the one who did all the work on his relatively new business. I just stood on the sidelines and coached when I could, hoping for the best. Kirk was one of my first clients in my work in Grand County with the Grand Enterprise Initiative. I first saw him more than five years ago when we started the process of enterprise facilitation with his venture.

With his permission, I'm telling a little bit of the story of his business evolution in Granby.

But I should say ventures, not venture, because Kirk originally started out with the idea that he'd be selling home-brew brewing kits, which he expanded into home wine making kits as well. This was a retail operation. And retail, with a few exceptions, is generally a difficult business model for Grand County, where we have only 14,000 permanent residents and highly fickle and seasonal tourist economy.

(Kirk is also no stranger to other business ventures in Grand County. He owned and operated the Fraser Brazier in Fraser for several years back in the Nineties.)

It was clear to Kirk after one year that he'd have to be doing something other than that retail business if he was to make it. He changed locations for less-expensive rent and then began to re-evaluate his business concept. Through a few conversations we learned that what Kirk really liked to do was make beer. He had originally thought that through selling the kits he could keep his hand in that hobby.

Kirk realized that he should really be doing exactly what he liked and we embarked on a new business plan for a tasting room brewery in Granby to be called Never Summer Brewing Company. We built a team, he borrowed a little money from the Grand County Business and Economic Development Association and he got to work on turning the brewery concept into reality in Granby.

I think it's important to mention here that Kirk is an extremely dedicated and hard-working entrepreneur, which is what it takes to succeed. This is best illustrated by the fact that his operating funds for these new ventures wasn't cold hard cash he had sitting in the bank — it was his other, full-time job where he worked the graveyard shift so he could fund his passion during the day.

This is not an uncommon occurrence with the dedicated entrepreneurs we have in Grand County.

The good news — and to make a long story short — is that Kirk's perseverance, hard work and open-mindedness paid off. He has a good micro brewery up and running right here on Granby's main street. It's been operating there for a year now and he's building some good local clientele and he captures the business of beer lovers from across the state and the region through a good, basic on-line presence that allows visitors to find his business.

And best of all for me — and for the market in general — is that he makes very good beer.

Patrick Brower is the Enterprise Facilitator for the Grand Enterprise Initiative. He provides free and confidential business management coaching for anyone who wants to start or expand a business in Grand County. He can be reached at 970-531-0632 or at patrickbrower@kapoks.org.