Finback Brewery 
Finback Brewery

 

Although Basil Lee was a licensed professional architect, he had a passion for drinking craft beer. After a few years of home brewing with fellow beer aficionado Kevin Stafford, the pair decided to pursue their dream of making beer on a commercial scale in New York City. Basil saw the Pace University (Manhattan) SBDC website and learned about the services offered. He met with Director Ira Davidson and announced that he wanted to open up a brew pub in Park Slope, Brooklyn, or another trendy Brooklyn neighborhood. Davidson offered a quick “No you don’t” and asked succinctly: “Do you want to run a restaurant, or do you want to brew beer?” Basil’s answer without any hesitation was: “I want to brew great beer!” With the assistance of Davidson, Basil put together a first-class draft business plan. After finding a wonderful location in the up and coming ultra-hip neighborhood of Bushwick, Davidson introduced Basil to several bankers. When the landlord changed his mind about selling his warehouse, the deal fell through. After several agonizing months, Basil and Kevin found a new location on the Glendale-Ridgewood area of Queens. Davidson and Business Advisor Greg Callender found a new bank to provide the financing. Key Bank met with and loved both Basil and his business plan. Basil and Kevin raised more than $300,000 of family money and received an SBA guaranteed loan for $650,000 from Key Bank. Basil and Kevin expect to open Finback Brewery in December 2013, and offer an India Pale Ale and a Smoked Porter as their first brews. The pair plan to brew a wide variety of beers, which will be served in the brewery’s tasting room.

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