Brewer Kelly Meyer Started a Damn Brewery at the Wrong Damn Time

Brewer Kelly Meyer Started a Damn Brewery at the Wrong Damn Time


Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.

My guest for Episode #133 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Kelly Meyer, the author of How NOT to start a Damn Brewery: Ten Business Lessons From The Front Lines of The Craft Beer Industry — and a podcast of that same name.

In today's episode, Kelly shares his “favorite mistake” story about starting a brewery (New Braunfels Brewing Company) at the wrong time — and how he sold that brewery ten years later. His book talks about 10 major mistakes that he made… it’s a fun read, even if you’re not interested in starting a damn brewery.

We talk about that story and other topics including:

  • Not getting out – 3 moments of insolvency… How close were you to getting out?
  • Had sold a chain of fitness centers — what made that successful? Did you think that would be transferrable?
  • 2022 – when the EIDL funds run out…
  • Why write the book? Cathartic? Warning for others?
  • Are you working as an advisor to others?
  • Was it a mistake to curse in the book?
  • “Most people… don’t want to hear the truth” — Magazines don’t want to print anything negative
  • “Mistakes are just weaknesses leaving your business”
  • Would you ever start another brewery based on what you learned the first time?
  • Tell us more about the podcast — No shortage of guests?

Scroll down to find:


"The magazines by and large refuse to print anything that is negative [like my story]. And the argument that I've gotten back - and I actually printed one and framed it - is that the reason is that everybody knows business is hard. "
Is there temptation to start another brewery?"No, there is not. Not only would I not do that, I would be a single man if I did, and I love my wife tremendously. And so I'm not willing to start another."
Was it a mistake to curse so much in the book?"I don't think that was a mistake because there was no other way for me to do it. Anything else that I had written would have been disingenuous and it would have been just a money grab."

Subscribe, Follow, Support, Rate, and Review!

Please follow, rate, and review via Apple Podcasts or Podchaser or your favorite app — that helps others find this content and you'll be sure to get future episodes as they are released weekly. You can also become a financial supporter of the show through

You can now sign up to get new episodes via email, to make sure you don't miss an episode.

This podcast is part of the Lean Communicators network.

Other Ways to Subscribe or Follow — Apps & Email

Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.