Our annual Black Friday Party is going to be our second bottle release! We will be bottling Barrel Series: Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Porter. Bottles will be sold for $15 (while supplies last) and there will be a limited amount on tap. Not to mention live music, pop up shops, family style food specials, and Black Beer Flights!
We are the first women owned and operated brewery in the state of MN. We built the brewery with women in mind, but not at the exclusion of men. We have a taproom, beer garden, and kitchen. We offer great beer and fantastic food in a warm welcoming environment. We can also be found in bars, restaurants, and liquor stores – on tap and in cans. It is our mission to bring people together through beer. All are welcome – no matter how you vote, who you love, or how you identify. We’re beer for you.
What is something you found MAIA to be useful for? Can you share a personal story with us?
Making connections with other women business owners. I use it for on-line networking- it takes no time at all - and it’s free.
Jules, with Sweet Jules Caramels, is part of the MAIA community. Thanks to MAIA – we will be doing a collaboration beer caramel to be sold at the MSP airport, our taproom, and variety of other retail shops. When you work 80 hours a week, this platform enables users to peruse the list when it’s convenient. When you find a business on this list, you know you’re in good company. We don’t have to find each other in a busy room – we can connect on-line and get down to business. It’s a time saver for people trying to get stuff done. It’s important to support each other. MAIA provides interesting statistics that support that statement. Every dollar we spend matters. We do our best to keep our money local – to keep women businesses top of mind – MAIA is the facilitator.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle for female founders? How can we overcome it?
Traditional banks. We need Women’s Venture on steroids. Women are not getting the loans. What if we could remove gender from the loan app? What if we could remove any and all references to sex on the app? Assign a number? I think it would make a difference.
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
We’ve risked everything – our home, our retirement. We asked ourselves, “Will we have regrets if we don’t pursue our dream of opening a brewery?” The answer was YES. We may end up in my moms basement, but we feel passionate about what we are doing – it’s worth the risk.
Was it difficult get capital/investors? Has anyone underestimated you as a female entrepreneur? If yes, how did you handle it?
We were denied by 12 banks. Men and women underestimated our abilities – even with professional schooling (Deb has masters in biomedical engineering and masters in brewing). Even with professional experience- Jill owned 2 small businesses in the past, worked for restaurants and liquor stores. Deb worked at Summit Brewing and did new recipe development for Northern Brewer. All this to say, we invested 6 years to get experience needed to open a brewery. We were not just home brewers that thought it would be cool to open a brewery. We had industry experience. The comments we heard, “How will you girls handle those big heavy bags of grain?” How will women your age keep those late hours?” What?! The banks are a real problem. We could have easily given up, but instead they fueled our flame. It is our goal to be in the top 10 breweries in the state of MN not necessarily by volume, but by reputation. It is also a goal to be in every liquor store in the state of MN.