Jeremy Pryes, CEO and head brewer of Pryes Brewing, spent the past few years assembling the best team possible to help him get the company off the ground. Pryes has been homebrewing for 12 years and is currently taking courses at the American Brewer’s Guild in brewing science and engineering, but he knew he needed help with the marketing and business aspects of the brewery.
To tackle the marketing for the company Pryes recruited his chief marketing officer Ben Schuster, a graduate of Minnesota College of Art and Design who had worked at ad agencies and computer technology firms. Schuster is responsible for the artistic direction of the company’s brand.
Pryes quickly added Allan Flinn to the team to manage the books for the business. Flinn’s experience in public accounting and financial analysis makes him a great asset to the company.
In January 2014, the team added Mike Corneille whose experience with helping two tech start-ups will provide key insight in running a new business. Pryes is confident that his fellow co-founders and business partners are the perfect fit for Pryes Brewing. “These are the people who are the best at what they do,” he said.
The original business plan called to build a brewery space, but as they began to raise the necessary funds they decided to take a different tactic instead of compromising their vision. “As we raised money, different investors had different expectations,” explained Pryes.
Instead they pursued an alternating proprietorship model, most notably used by Lucid, Badger Hill, and Bad Weather. An alternating proprietorship would allow Pryes Brewing the opportunity to test a brewing system, get beer in market faster, and generate a cash flow before investing in building its own brewery.
During their search for a brewery to partner with Jeremy ran into Jon Messier of Lucid Brewing at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival and got some great news—one of Lucid’s partner breweries was moving into its own brewery and Lucid had space for another brewery partner. Pryes and the team accepted the offer and moved into the Minnetonka-based brewery.
The arrangement gives Pryes the chance to tap into the knowledge and experience of Lucid’s team. “The cool thing about working with Lucid is working next to Brian [Lucid’s head brewer],” Pryes said. “It’s not just a landlord-tenant situation. It’s kind of an incubator.”
“They have a depth of talent there that’s amazing,” added Mike. The partnership with Lucid made it possible for the company to be licensed by August and launch their first beer, Miraculum IPA, in the Twin Cities this September. The beer is made to complement food and can be found in several “craft food” restaurants and bars around town, according to Pryes.
Brewer: Jeremy Pryes
Beer: Miraculum IPA