Entrepreneurs Brian Miller and Steve Patterson are seeking to make their mark on the Rochester craft beer scene. The pair aim to open their business, Prime Stein Brewery, in this city by the end of 2019 adding their fresh, approachable style of beers to the Rochester palate.
“I’ve been thinking of a way to be my own boss and own my own business for a long time,” explained Miller.
He began searching for something he was passionate about that could also create value for others, eventually landing on brewing.
Since then, Miller’s developed fifteen different craft beer recipes, including a “solid amber beer.” Patterson came onto Prime Stein about eighteen months ago to assist in marketing efforts for the business. The pair aim to create beers for everyone through Prime Stein, not just products for the craft beer enthusiast. Instead, they say their beers are not the darkest or the hoppiest and contain less intrusive flavors.
“It’s just really welcoming, local craft beer,” explained Miller.
Although relatively new to the brewing scene, these innovators are putting in the work, brewing up to five to six times a month out of Patterson’s basement.
“We’re basically trying to shove ten years of knowledge into two,” Patterson laughed.
Right now, Prime Stein is more of a brand than a brewery. Currently, Miller and Patterson cannot sell beer, but they can donate it. Last year they were involved in several events in the community where locals could sample their brews including the Soaked in the Sun Followed by a Night of Fun event this summer at the History Center of Olmsted County and Stationary Astronaut’s Meeting of the Minds this fall.
Currently the men brew using a one-barrel system, which can create thirty-one gallons of beer.
Miller and Patterson look forward to contributing to the rapidly growing craft beer culture in Rochester, where they say so much work has already been done.
“But the whole process is so long because you can’t sell until you have a license and you can’t get a license until you have commercially zoned property,” explained Patterson. “So basically, you run in circles until you get a break through. And we actually hit one now so we can make some progress on that now.”
Miller and Patterson are currently working on a letter of intent to lease property in Rochester for the brewery.
“We aim to be serving our very first beer by December 31st of 2019,” Miller said.
Although neither entrepreneur has ever opened a brewery before, they’ve entered into the process prepared and head-on. Miller wrote a forty-page business plan, which the pair took to business consultant Rick Indrelie at the local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for assistance. SBDC, explained Patterson, was a wonderful resource for business growth and provided valuable reality checks.
Patterson has had several side hustles to date and understood how to obtain things like federal and state tax identification numbers. But the process of seeking commercial space, filing the right paperwork, and seeking bank loans was all quite new.
Both men eventually hope to work full time in the brewery. But for now, they’re dedicated to doing whatever it takes to get this first location open in Rochester.
“The ten-year plan is to have several breweries opened under the Prime Stein name. We are hoping we can make that work,” said Patterson.