Interview with TRVE Brewing – Part 1

by Billy Broas

Starting a brewery is unique experience. If you’ve never been involved in it yourself, it’s hard to appreciate what goes into it.

Nick Nunns of TRVE Brewing gives us a look behind the scenes in this video. TRVE is opening Denver in the Spring of 2012 in the up and coming Baker neighborhood.

TRVE Brewing Construction

Construction at TRVE before opening

This is the first video in a series we are planning on. We’ll follow Nick from before the brewery opens, to shortly after, to a year or so down the line. It will be cool to see the progression.

Let me know if you’re into this, and if you have any questions or comments for Nick, leave them below.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Ian February 3, 2012 at 1:40 pm

The equipment definitely looks new, not secondhand, and therefore rather expensive. How did you get the funding for this endeavor?
Are you planning on distributing outside of your own location at all?
Bottling or Canning?

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Nick Nunns February 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Hey Ian,
The equipment is new from Stout Tanks and Kettles. It’s pricey, but since it’s made in China it’s not as expensive as some of the American made gear out there.
As far as funding goes, my father passed away about three years ago and I used the proceeds from selling his house to get this up and running. An unfortunate way to start a business, but he’d be proud.
I have no immediate intentions to either distribute or package. My main goals are to brew killer beer, and serve it to amazing people I can forge new friendships with. It’s all about the interpersonal experience.
Thanks for the questions!

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Ian February 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Thanks for the response! It is a sad way to start up a business, but it’s a lot better than taking the money and coasting on it. As you said, it’s something any parent would be proud of.

I love the idea of the local brewpub, distributed only by draft at it’s place of origin. If you want some of my killer barrel aged stout, then drag your butt up to Colorado and try it. It’s the way beer used to be consumed in the world.

A heartfelt cheers and good luck to you Nick, I look forward to hearing more about your success!

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Steven McBride February 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Nick, why are you so awesome?

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Nick Nunns February 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm

It’s all the metal I listen to. Cheers, pal!

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Steven McBride February 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Well, heck, I need to crank some up, right now. Good luck. Next time I am in Denver I will stop by and have a few.

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Dave Butler February 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Question for Nick – you said you quit your desk job to start up a brewery. How long ago did you quit your job and how do you support yourself in the meantime while you are developing the brewery? Did you save up for this or are you still working on the side?

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Nick Nunns February 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Hey Dave,
I quit my job about a year and a half ago. I had some other ideas about what to do with my life before I decided to take this on.
A smarter person than I would have kept at least some part time work so as to conserve money to funnel into starting the brewery.
Cheers!

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PA_Jeff February 3, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Best of luck Nick. Are you going to be a brew pub with a restaurant, or a bar? What kind of capacity are you planning for?

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Nick Nunns February 3, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Thanks, Jeff!
We’ll be doing a taproom only. The whole brewpub thing is a lot more than I wanted to bite into. I’ll leave the restaurants to the real pros and concentrate on what I know I can handle: the beer. As the plans stand now it’s looking like we’ll have 45 seats, with a lot of room to put in some more tables as needed.

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PA_Jeff February 3, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Cool. What will your be brewing/fermenting capacity be? Have you done a lot of homebrewing? Again, all the best.

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Nick Nunns February 4, 2012 at 8:51 am

We’re starting off with three fermenters giving us nine barrels of fermentation space, as well as a three barrel brite.
I have been homebrewing a long time, and I’ve won some real tiny competitions, but I’m no NHC champ or anything.
Cheers!

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Jeremy February 4, 2012 at 9:45 am

Can’t wait for you to open up! How big is the space? Is leasing in Baker pricey? Love the logo.

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Nick Nunns February 4, 2012 at 9:57 am

Thanks, Jeremy!
The space is about 2000 square feet. My landlord is really excited about the idea so I was able to get a rent rate that works for both he and I. It’s not the kind of rate you get with warehouse space, but it’s also not what you’d pay in Cherry Creek.
Cheers!

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Justin February 16, 2012 at 9:57 am

Congratulations on getting going Nick. I love the small brewery scene in Denver and look forward to checking you out next time I’m out that way. Quick question, are there any books that really helped you think through your business plan and brewing set up that you would recommend?

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Nick Nunns February 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Hey Justin,
Definitely stop in should you be able to make it out here!
The books I referenced most were the BA’s “Starting Your Own Brewery” and “Writing a Convincing Business Plan” by DeThomas and Derammelaere. There’re like 80 bajillion books on writing business plans which probably all say the same thing in different ways. The key thing is to really, really focus on writing a sensible and thorough plan and making sure that you can back up all your assumptions.
Cheers!

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