159
8 min 4 sec

“Airbnb for Beer”: Digital Nomad Brews Up Frosty Profits

A brewing innovator bridges the gap between local breweries eager to make money off of their idle equipment and event planners who want to create their own customized beer.
Alcohol Events Service Unique Ideas

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What It's About

A side hustle that helps event planners customize beer for their events.

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Brewing Skills & Communication
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Let’s talk about supply and demand! You’re probably familiar with the basic concept: when more of something exists or is easier to obtain, the price tends to be lower. Similarly, when demand is high and there’s a shortage of something, especially something of limited quantity, the price is higher.

A lot of industries run into supply issues, and this issue relates very much to today’s story. The beer industry has a supply issue, meaning that sometimes breweries have excess capacity, so Neil's side hustle found a way to solve this problem. Is there an industry that you could help with a supply problem?

Fun Fact

A hotel client Neil just started working with in NYC doesn't care so much about packaging, but what they do care about is creating unique beers that they can serve at the hotel bar on draft. For that client, they're working with an extremely small brewery near Albany called Davidson Brothers which has a system that allows them to produce 12 keg batches. They work with the client and brewery to come up with beer styles that could work for their clientele, and the brewery will then produce and deliver the kegs directly to the hotel. 

Notes from Chris

Episode 159

For the past 9 months, Neil Soni has been building a side hustle called Unlimited Brewing Company, which helps anyone create their own custom craft beer. He does this without opening his own brewery, which might be fun but would definitely be expensive. Instead, Neil uses an Airbnb-style approach where he works with existing breweries and uses their idle equipment.

This flexible manufacturing method allows him to offer small-batch, custom beers to customers for an affordable price.

It all started from a blog.

Neil was passionate about beer and had a blog called Brewmaster's Reserve, where he interviewed brewery founders.

During the course of these interviews, he kept hearing the same complaints coming up, namely that 1) there was excess brewing capacity available, and 2) that demand was hard to predict (thanks to the three-tier system). Neil had worked in marketplaces for most of his career, so he started to connect the dots and saw that there has to be a better way to leverage the excess production capacity.

Neil sees Unlimited Brewery Company as a true middleman in the highly-regulated beer industry. He takes each client's request and manually matches it up with his brewing network's capabilities. If they don't have a brewery in the network that can get the job done, he’ll reach out to other brewers. Long term, he’s hoping this can be more automated, but doing it manually right now has been beneficial in terms of learning more about the industry and pain points.


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Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"Private label is a bit more complicated in beer than other industries because every label needs to be registered w/the federal government. So the conference beer gets registered with the government and we help manage all of that."
—Neil Soni #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau