Finance for Millennials by Millennials

Great Flood Brewing Co

Great Flood Brewing Co

Zach Barnes, Owner of Great Flood Brewing Co, comes on the show and shares the story of Great Flood’s rise from idea to a brewery to canning and distribution.

Ever wanted to learn how a couple young guys could start a successful brewery? This is the story of how Great Flood Brewing Co got started.

Great Flood Brewing Co: 

  • Zach tells us how brewers decide which beers should go into cans, and gives us a teaser for future Great Flood beers.
  • We learn the guys’ biggest hurdle to actually opening a brewery.
  • While some people might think of opening a brewery as a fun hobby, these guys took a look at the market beforehand and made sure there was a need for their product before starting the business. They made sure success was not an accident.
  • The original plan was for Zach to be a silent partner but immediately had to come on board full-time after Great Flood ran out of beer opening weekend.
  • To differentiate their business, they decided to open a tap room and avoided the high overhead and hassle of running a full-service kitchen.
  • How did they come up with the name Great Flood?
  • What were the first two years like? How did the guys recover from a decline in sales after the huge opening weekend?
  • Zach explains how they have kept to their original business plan and used it to help them make their decisions. He also discusses the differences between reality and the expectations of the original business plan.
  • He also tells us the unglamorous side of operating a brewery and tap room, and the strain starting a business puts on relationships.
  • How does Great Flood differentiate the tap room and their cans from their competitors?
    • One of the coolest ways was creating an exclusive club for early supporters (and continuing to give them shoutouts on cans).
  • We learn the difficulties transitioning from homebrewer to owning a brewery, and also find out other brewers helped Great Flood with the transition.
  • We also learn the best parts of opening and running the brewery.
  • Zach shares his advice to somebody thinking of opening a brewery.

Last call questions and answers:

  • Best career advice:
    • “You can’t spend your way into making money.”
  • What advice would your 60-year-old self give you today?
    • Spend more time with your friends and family.
  • Best thing spent money on the past 6 months:
    • His new puppy, a Bernese Mountain Dog
  • What media do you recommend:
  • Favorite thing to drink (besides Great Flood):
    • Tequila

Special shoutouts and show notes:

Be sure to learn more about Zach and Great Flood by visiting their website at Also, follow them on social media @GreatFloodBeer and be sure to stop by their tap room at 2120 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40205.

Enjoyed this episode? Check out the episode where we brew beer with another beer-centric entrepreneur, John Ronayne from Brewgrass Homebrew.

Have any topics you want to be covered or amazing people you’d like us to interview? Let us know! You can email us at You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin. Please be sure to subscribe to our weekly mailing list at

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