Two friends shared a passion for making craft beer and building community around that product in a way that harkens back to the early years of our country when there was a brewery in every town. We got some basic advice from SCORE mentors and friends about opening a business. At first we were so small we could barely be considered a commercial brewery. That initial start-up was fueled by two guys working lots of hours and a core group of friends who came out and purchased our beer and shared our brewery with others. A year and a half in, another friend joined our partnership and we moved the brewery and expanded with a major scale up. SCORE mentors counseled us as we made decisions about how to organize, manage, and grown the company. We went from no employees in the first 1.5 years to 4 full-time and 9 part-time in the following 2 years. SCORE mentors assisted as we doubled the production of the brewery through a second major scale-up of the operation and they continue to advise as we work on multiple growth projects moving forward (now 4 years in business).
In four years from opening as a nano brewery in the hills of West Glenville, WHBC has grown significantly in both retail and wholesale sales. The value of our company has grown as well. The brewery is one of just three in Schenectady County - we operate a tasting room which served more than 33,000 pints last year and sells wholesale kegs to more than 75 area bars and restaurants. We are self-distributed and working on multiple projects to expand our services and retail markets.
Lawrence Krause - Larry Krause has been a tremendous listener, first and foremost. He has picked up on specific details and asked key questions, offering summary and advice, after understanding our situation, which have all helped to clarify and direct our decisions and moves as a business.
The SCORE team continues to meet regularly with us and provides an experienced sounding board for our ideas and strategy moves as a start-up and now, young company. SCORE mentors have also offered advice, direction, and connected us to people and resources who have been able to help our growth process immediately.