Charles Caldwell, from Natchez MS, headed out west to work in a ranch in Colorado where he was exposed to the rise of local craft beers and fell in love. Over the next few years, Charles and childhood friend, William McGehee, started talking (and drinking) a lot of local craft beers, discussing the possibility of making their own. Now, it’s a dream come true and Tin Roof Beer is in over 450 retailers, are set to make over 1 million this year, and their only 3 years old.
I had a chance to sit down with him at his brewery in Baton Rouge, LA, to talk about his story, business, and beer.
Be sure to get a pen and a pad, his story is jam-packed with ideas and tips to grow your business.
Interview with Charles Caldwell
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- How hard is it to bring seasonal products to the market? (4:50)
- Moved out to Coloroado (6:15)
- “We have to do this, or quit talking about it.”
- How did you come up with the name? (10:55)
- How do you go from the garage to the brewery? (12:20)
- The Country Malt Group (link reference)
- Contract cropping (13:45)
- How can the guy in the garage get hops? (15:15)
- Austin Homebrew Supply (link reference)
- Did you start with one recipe? (15:55)
- “Our beer is a peice of Baton Rouge”
- How did you raise the money to get started? (18:25)
- Tin Roof Brewery’s story (video)
- “We make about 30 barrels in 7 hours, that’s 400 cases roughly.”
- How did you pitch to distributors? (21:25)
- What is the hardest single-thing you’ve faced so far? (23:15)
- How do you make your sanitation fool-proof? (24:35)
- “Sanitation is priority #1 around here.”
- All beer aside, what do you like to do outside the beer life? (26:25)
- What’s a book, a song, and a quote that you love? (27:05)
- What’s next? (29:15)
Play the interview
(Please excuse the audio quality, I was experimenting with new equipment that resulted with unwanted echos.)
The DOcast is a podcast of interviews from amazing entrepreneurs who are doing the unthinkable. With topics on how they got started, where they’re going, and how you can learn from them.
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