Menu

Oregon Small Business Development Center Network

"Helping build Oregon's best businesses."

  • Hatch

    "A new tool to help Oregon based businesses raise capital”
    Community Public Offering
     Oregonians supporting Oregonians

    READ MORE >

    How our SBDCs help
    FIND OUT MORE >

  • Advantage Services Construction

    “I just can’t imagine if I hadn’t taken these courses.”
    Jeff Lightfoot
     Advantage Services Construction, Inc.

    READ MORE >

    can Counseling help?
    FIND OUT MORE >

  • Gathering Grounds Cafe

    “My time spent working with the SBDC was incredible!

     Brandon Sickler
    Gathering Grounds Café, Klamath Falls

    READ MORE >

    See your revenue rise
    FIND OUT HOW >

  • Promo2

    Looking for market research data to inform your growth strategy?
    The Market Research Institute is now open

    Get Market Research

  • Mudshark Studios

    “Everyone [at the 
    SBDC] really cares.
    They want to see
    us succeed.”
    Chris Lyon,
    Mudshark Studios, Portland

    READ MORE >

    Access online resources
    GET THEM NOW >

  • Highway Products, Inc.

    “The SBDC woke
     me up to what 
     Highway Products
     is capable of...”
    Gene Gros,
    Highway Products Inc., White City

    READ MORE >

    grow Your Business
    FIND OUT HOW >

“The president of Clatsop Community College came to the brewery for a tour,” said Fort George co-owner, Chris Nemlowill. “That’s what started the conversation with Clatsop Economic Development Resources and the CEDR/SBDC Small Business Development Center,” he said.

Nemlowill first met with the executive director of CEDR – which is part of the College organization – and then with the CEDR/SBDC business counselor. “We needed to know what it cost to make a keg of Vortex (the brewery’s signature beer) in order to justify our expansion,” Nemlowill said. “That doesn’t sound difficult, but it is when you consider expenses like gas and electricity that have to be split between beer production and kitchen operations,” he explained. “Our CEDR/SBDC business counselor looked at our financials, ran our books through analytical software, and was able to figure out what each keg costs to produce. He also got us started on a quarterly inventory schedule that we’ve since ramped up to a monthly routine,” Chris added.

The entire Fort George Brewery expansion involved several entities, including the City of Astoria, Enterprise Cascadia, Bank of Astoria, Business Oregon, CEDR/SBDC and others. “Everyone was willing, as long as they knew everyone else was in 100 percent,” Chris said. “And if there was ever a question, our business counselor was there for us.” As an example, the counselor worked with Pacific Power to reduce the cost of converting the expansion space from single-phase to three-phase power. “That would have been a $40,000 expense we’d not budgeted,” Nemlowill said. “Our business counselor showed Pacific Power the long-term value of our electrical consumption in the new facility, and worked with them to make the conversion happen without wrecking the budget,” he added.

The Fort George Brewery expansion included the purchase and remodel of an old 30,000-square foot Chevrolet dealership adjacent to the existing pub (est. 2007); construction of a new outdoor seating area; purchase and installation of a canning line; and purchase and installation of additional brewing equipment. The project was made possible by low-interest loans, a grant, and a loan that is forgivable dependent on the brewery adding 12 jobs over a specified period. The new canning line has been operational for just a few months, and employees are already being added to support the brewery’s increased production capacity.

The brewery held a public grand opening of its expanded facility and new canning operation on March 29, 2011.