Brü Co. Taproom is a craft beer bar and bistro located in downtown Sacramento, founded by Justin and Jennifer MacClanahan in August of 2018. Located close to the capitol and to Golden 1 Center, Brü Co. serves working professionals, celebrating sports fans, and anyone else looking for great beer and a delicious meal.
Justin was drawn to the bar business because his father managed a pub as a member of the Coast Guard, exposing Justin to the industry from a young age. As an Army veteran, Justin traveled regularly for work, which allowed him and Jennifer to experience a wide variety of beer. Their travel experience and passion for beer inspired them to open a bar of their own.
All of the food and drink they serve is sourced from local farms and breweries because they strongly believe in the importance of supporting local businesses. “That’s kind of our mantra around here,” he said. They have also created ten jobs for people from the local community.
Jennifer and Justin are developing their menu into a unique Mexican-German fusion, reflecting Justin’s German background and Jennifer’s Mexican background. The cuisine of these beer forward cultures pairs naturally with their beverage selection. Their rotating menu features twenty-three brews, with the greatest selection of their tap in sour beers.
Justin feels lucky that he had access to these business resources as a veteran through Main Street Launch. It was especially helpful to receive assistance from Mike McGrane, Senior Vice President, throughout the loan process, who is also a veteran and understood his past experiences on a deeper level.
Jennifer and Justin used the loan they received from Main Street Launch to build-out the space, to purchase their initial inventory, and as working capital. When bad contractors delayed the construction process and ate through some of their saved funds, the loan proved to be crucial to the advancement of their business. “We wouldn’t be here without the loan,” Justin said.
If Justin could give his past self business advice, he would say that it is important to have both personal and business finances ready to not make money for months, because the costs are always more than anticipated. He also wished they had put more effort into online marketing earlier in the launch process. “It is important to use social media strategically,” he said.
Be sure to check out Brü Co. Taproom the next time you visit Sacramento!