A Craft Beer Brand's Winning Recipe? Outsourcing

Photograph by Dave Shafer/Getty Images

Beer lover Jeremy Cowan hadn’t ever brewed a single batch of beer when he launched his craft beer company, Shmaltz Brewing, out of his Mission District loft in San Francisco in 1996. Instead, Cowan, then a technology purchasing manager at a startup, paid a local brewer $1,500 to make and bottle the first 100 cases. In a nod to his Jewish heritage, Cowan named the ale He’brew Genesis. His other contribution to “the chosen beer,” as its tagline reads: the juice from eight crates of pomegranates, which he and a few friends squeezed by hand the night before the inaugural brew.

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