How Jonathan Buford Grew Arizona Wilderness Brewery to $5.5M

Jonathan Buford co-founded Arizona Wilderness Brewery without a brewing background and turned it into the #1 rated new brewery in the world in 2013. Listen to this episode to learn how they did it and last year generated $5.5M in revenue.

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Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • [01:24] How Jonathan transitioned from a window cleaning business into the brewery business
  • [06:02] How he learned how to brew beer and got things started
  • [10:07] How they marketed the business and raised the money they needed in a short amount of time
  • [11:50] How they signed a lease and started construction for the brewery
  • [15:31] Why they had to delay their opening for quite some time
  • [18:54] How they developed this incredible quality product
  • [23:07] How they leveraged getting awarded Best New Brewery in the World to create a buzz
  • [25:09] Jonathan’s marketing strategy advice
  • [29:04] What worked and what didn’t work for them when it came to hiring people
  • [39:00] What had the biggest impact on their growth

Key Takeaways:

  • You risk so much by not knowing what construction timelines are and the true cost of things.
  • If you have a ‘hype person’, you should also match them with a ‘logic person’.
  • If you put all your money in the quality of your product, one thing that’s going to have to become cheaper is either labor or marketing.
  • As long as you’re doing business ethically and you’re including everybody in the community and you’re not discriminating against anything and you have a story that’s exciting, you can save a lot of money in marketing because you’ll have people telling your story for you at high rates.
  • When you sign a contract with somebody, there is no law that can get you out of that contract until a judge gets you out of that contract, and you don’t want to go to a judge or an arbitrator. So what happens is that contract that you have with that person is just a negotiation point.
  • There is a soul to a business and there does need to be an ownership team and an executive team that all really love each other.

Action Steps:

  • Keep your day job when you’re building a company unless you know what you’re doing. And you’ll know you know what you’re doing when you have money in your bank account.
  • Be exciting enough to have other people tell your story for you.

Jonathan said:

“Always set yourself up that other people do the marketing for you, so be exciting, be bold, tread it heavily. Don’t tread lightly. Be loud about what you’re doing and tell the story…”

“Sometimes the only way to win a battle is if you both win. And that’s a complicated topic but just know that when you’re going into business, you have to have a partner…”

More from Jonathan Buford and Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.:

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.’s Instagram (@azwilderness)

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.’s Twitter (@AZWildernessCo)

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.’s Facebook

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.’s Website

Jonathan’s Instagram (@thewildernesshumans)

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