North Iowa Entrepreneur Showcase – Lake Time Brewing

North Iowa Entrepreneur Showcase – Lake Time Brewing


[ Music ] The reason why we started Lake Time Brewery was pretty much out of a need. Clear Lake is just a great town. We double in the summer. It was one of those deals where I knew it was prime location for a brewery. With the brewery industry just kicking off like five, six years ago really doubling, It was one of those deals where if I didn’t do it somebody else was going to do it and then every time I went into that new brewery I could have known that that should have been mine. [ Suzy ] The community has been amazing help and support for us with the brewery. We have locals coming in to the tap room all the time giving us feedback on the products giving us ideas for new products. Without their support we really wouldn’t be here tourism is great but it’s our locals coming in every single week that really drives our business. currently we are canning five brands. So we have Peanut Butter Porter which is our number one distributed beer. Oreo Speedwagon is a chocolate vanilla milk stout. We have Main Squeeze which is a lemon weiss. We have Sandy Bottoms which is an American Wheat. And then we have, one of our newest is Haze of our Lives which is a New England Style IPA. [ Bob ] One of the most important factors to me in brewing beer is keeping your quality. So we never sacrifice quality going from the smaller system to the larger system and that will never end. [ Bob ] There’s been a few very important things I’ve learned by opening our own business and they change yearly In the beginning it was production, always running out of beer, and then later it was coming up with financing for our production facility and then now it’s changed again with distribution and cash flow. And I’m looking forward to see what’s next. So the Pappajohn Small Business Development Center help us all along the way. First of all, six years ago I took the Launch and Grow Business class and that got all my ideas into one solid business plan. And most recently they helped us with financing with our canning line that we were able to make sure that was a valid expansion for us. And it was, they agreed and we went with it. With this new production facility with our canning line we were able to expand throughout the state So we are able to distribute to 23 counties in Northeast Iowa and and also eight counties around the Des Moines Metro. So I think big picture for me is expanding the production facility into another section of this building and then expanding into more fermentors. That way we can hit more of the state. Because currently we have about five to ten percent of the state so there is still a lot of market for us to grow into. [ Suzy ] One of the most exciting things about our expansion this summer has been going to going to beer festivals outside of the local area and being able to tell the customers there and the participant that they can buy our beer in those areas. They don’t have to come to Clear Lake anymore. We’re distributing across the state so they can buy it anywhere. I think that as soon as you have an idea for a business you should reach out to the Pappajohn SBDC Center because they can help you decide weather that idea is a valid business plan or not. So immediately, that’s the first step.

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