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This story first appeared in the July 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

1422 Monterey St.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 683-1868

  • Description: Do-it-yourself Microbrewery
  • Business started: 1995
  • Franchising started: 1996
  • Franchise fee: $25K
  • Total start-up (excluding Franchise fee): $200K-250K
  • Royalty: 4%
  • Number of franchisees: 20
  • Seeking: Western United States

When Scott Tobin, 26, says "This brew's for you," he means it literally. Tobin brewed beer at home for years as a hobby before hearing about Canada's personal microbreweries, also known as Brew-on-Premises or U-Brews. So in 1995, he and his father, Steve, 61, decided to try their hand at the microbrewery business and opened The Brew Factory Inc.

The brewing process is simple: Clients measure the ingredients, grind the grain and brew the beer in one of six 30-gallon copper steam kettles. "People can come in and with little or no experience and brew a beer that is equivalent to or better than the beer they buy at grocery stores," says Tobin, who hopes his franchise will popularize the concept throughout the United States.

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