Zilker Brewing Company to bring American-Belgo brews to Texas
How can you be successful building a business in an already crowded marketplace? For Zilker Brewing Company, the answer is to exploit a niche as they intend to be the only brewery in Texas to specialize in the American-Belgo style of craft beer, a hybrid style, blending bold innovative American brewing practices with traditional Belgian style ales and techniques.
“Our desire is to make truly great beer in the American-Belgo style,” said Forrest Clark, co-founder of Zilker Brewing Company. “We discovered the style while traveling globally and visiting over 100 different breweries. After our discovery, we started to experiment with Belgian pale ales and IPA’s. We were amazed by the added complexity from the Belgian yeast, and we immediately saw the selling potential of this novel sub-style. It’s a bridge-the-gap style that puts a new twist on some old favorites, and will please new and seasoned craft beer drinkers alike.”
Clark has already raised $315,000 from roughly 25 investors and is well on their way to meeting their goal of just over $1M. “Our next step is to finalize a location within the Austin area,” says Clark. “Once that’s complete, we’ll start outfitting the space for a tap room and ordering customized brewing equipment.”
He also notes that when starting a company, it’s important to make sacrifices in other areas of your life. For the leadership of Zilker Brewing, this has come in the form of cutting back on personal budgets and limiting leisure time. “It’s essential to get your family onboard. If you’re starting with partners, make sure that you share the same vision, passion, and priorities. Lastly, surround yourself with industry experience in the form of consultants, advisors and mentors.”
Zilker Brewing company consists of Forrest and Patrick Clark and Marco Rodriguez. When asked what was the most challenging aspect to starting the business, Forrest replied, “Raising capital is the most difficult yet most rewarding aspect of starting a business. Although it can be difficult to answer the same questions over and over again, each investor brings a unique perspective and has a unique set of expectations and priorities. We’ve learned to be patient, and that building a relationship over time often leads to an investment, even if it happens in an unexpected way. We enjoy the fact that capital-raising provides a good reason to meet fellow local entrepreneurs and successful business people, who can often contribute creative ideas which lead to long-term collaborations.”
While building a successful company based on the quality and drinkability of our beers is their first priority, an additional goal of Zilker Brewing is to foster community by supporting various local charities through outreach and sponsorship. In our experience, nothing binds a community together like shared goals and values.