30: Ethan Buckman | Co-Founder of Stickman Brews

Ethan Buckman, 24, Cherry Hill, NJ The co-founder of Stickman Brews in Royersford, PA, Stickman Brews is an american farmhouse style brewery, that makes old Belgium and farmhouse styles of beer with new american flavor profile. It’s generally an enjoyable place to hang out with an awesome atmosphere and of course great beer.

Website: http://www.stickmanbrews.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stickmanbrews
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stickmanbrews/
Personal Twitter: https://twitter.com/rabbibuck

June 12, 2016 25 mins Download (MP3)

#Timestamp

00:30 - Introduction
02:00 - Selling Beer in his Dorm
06:30 - Passion For The Industry
08:15 - Struggles In Business
09:55 - How Ethan Received The Capital To Open His Business
11:40 - Importance of His Business Plan
14:30 - Failure of Over Paying The Graphic Designer
15:30 - Efficieny as a Brewer
16:45 - Resources and Old School Whiteboards
19:30 - Get Experience, Always Pay Yourself First, Start The Business With Partners And Stick To Your Roles
24:00 - Mussles, Fries, and Boozy Belgium Triple

Evan’s story starts in Cherry Hill NJ where he grew up. While attending college at The University of Pittsburgh, his parents were stable enough to give him a $25 a week allowance for him to spend at his leisure. But as Ethan states: “…But we all know that wasn’t enough! So Ethan decided to get a little creative. He used some of the money that he was given to purchase the items used to brew beer.

He then began brewing and selling beer from his dorm to college students and dorm mates throughout the campus. Ethan realized that if bars card at the door and/or ask for ID to drink, he could buy barley and become the mad scientist he is today.

Grabbed a full-time job at brewing and quit college.

Ethan lived in a frat house during his final year of college (Sophomore year). That’s where the brewing really took off. Ethan sold his beer at events, frat parties, and even traded his goods for other college related paraphernalia. During his time at college, Ethan decided to take his brewing skills to the next level and grabbed an internship at a local brewery. The only reason he got the internship in the first place was that he wouldn’t stop calling them.

Once the internship was obtained, he submerged himself into the culture of brewing. Eventually, due to a serious injury to one of the head brewers, he received a full time position at the brewery that later allowed him to quit school and focus on brewing full time.

The types of beer that he was brewing at the frat house were all over the place. He was trying to learn new things and to discover what he palette was like. Once he became more of a professional, he began to grew into a particular niche. During his time at his first few brewery jobs, Ethan was in charge of barrel aging and sour beers. (Which is a very specific niche in the beer world.) He carried this niche into another brewery that allowed him to developed some recipes that had a Belgium influence. The beers that he created seemed to sell on the more popular side, one in which recently won an award!

Ethan thanks Free Will Brewery for many of his accomplishments. He ran a great program and they gave him a lot of creative freedom to further his techniques and blends. This later turned into what Stickman Brews is today.

Growing up, Ethan always had a passion for culinary arts. No one in his family was ever a brewer but his mom has told stories about his family lineage, bootlegging in South Philly. When he was 15-16 he became intrigued by the culinary arts. His friend at the time, was into home brewing and that planted the seed. There, he began to read more about it the craft of brewing since he wasn’t at the legal age to drink.

You might be wondering how a 24 year old owns a brewery? It all starts with his business plan.

Collectively the Stickman Brews team had the perfect recipe for building this company. The brewing side came from Ethan, the business development came from Kate, and Jim (his other partner) came from a ton of skilled trades, law, and real estate.

Ethan and his team applied for an SVA Loan to lay the foundation for Stickman Brews. Ethan adds: “It doesn’t mean you have to be born into money (to obtain a loan), but you have access to the people who have the money! The first bank we sent the business plan and resumes and financial information to, gave us the loan. The business plan was what sold them… There is strength and brevity. Say what you need to say, you don’t need 600 pages to do it…”

 

Get Experience

Brewing is a tangible thing, just because you make good beer at home, doesn’t mean you are qualified to run a brewery yourself. Do it professionally and do it on a big scale first.

Always Pay Yourself First

I don’t mean this in the sense of just salary, but because you’re going to be poor for a while, you need to take care of yourself. Get enough sleep and take care of the things that matter most…

Start The Business With Partners And Stick To Your Roles

“Most businesses do not run well unless there is a team of people surrounding them. The reason we (our business) get along so well is that we have roles that we are good at and only meet in the middle when necessary. If you are good at your job and stick to what you’re good at, there is no room for micro managing…”