Small Business Success Story: Barbarian Brewing

Owners Bre Hovley and James Long have used SBA financing from Zions Bank to get the brewery off the ground and fund an expansion.

Jun 7, 2018

Starting their own brewery was something Bre Hovley and James Long talked about for years.

Bre waited tables during and after college while James was an avid home brewer who enjoyed it so much, he went to brewing school. With her business degree, Bre wrote the business plan for Barbarian Brewing and now loves seeing their operation grow, with eight employees between two locations.

Barbarian Brewing specializes in sour and barrel-aged creations which are aged in barrels anywhere from three months to two years to develop unique flavor profiles. Their most popular brew is Beta Wolf 2.0, a sour IPA infused with mango and passionfruit. There’s also the Folkvang, a tart German beer made with strawberries, cardamom and rosewater and a harvest ale for fall, flavored with butternut squash and spices.

A U.S. Small Business Administration loan from Zions Bank enabled Bre and James to start their business, and a second SBA loan supported expansion of their business. To entrepreneurs seeking funding, Bre offers the following advice.

“I wish I would have understood that the funding process takes much longer than you'd think and that you have to have certain items locked down (e.g., lease signed, initial investment spent) before the SBA funding process can really begin,” she says.

She also advises aspiring business owners to find a good mentor and an accountant before opening your doors. “These are two people who can take an objective look at your numbers, projections, financing, etc. and offer sound advice that you may be missing because you are so focused on all the other details needed to get open.”

Finally, she says get ready to put in that work. “I also wish I would have gotten a bit more traveling done before we opened our doors,” she says. “We work a ton!”

Zions Bank Offers Support for Entrepreneurs

In addition to SBA loans, Zions offers financing for small businesses including credit cards, term loans, lines of credit and equipment leasing, plus checking and savings accounts.  Our Business Payments and Technology products and services can help your business optimize cash flow, streamline disbursements and reduce risk.

Zions Bank offers a wealth of resources for entrepreneurs, including Business Resource Centers in Utah and Idaho. The centers help aspiring, new or existing business owners start, expand and finance business ventures with the knowledge, tools and guidance needed to succeed. Services are complimentary and available to the public regardless of where you bank.

Check out Zions Bank’s online Business Resource Center, which includes business templates, financial calculators and expert columns.

Loans are subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. See a banker for details.

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