Big Ideas, Big Growth: Thirsty Pagan Brewing Company

Steve Knauss had a big dream: He wanted to create a destination brewery – a formidable logistical and strategic challenge. He set his sights on purchasing and expanding an existing brewery. For that he needed financing. Being a first-time entrepreneur, he also needed structured business development support.

How can a first-time entrepreneur with limited financial resources launch a complex, capital-intensive business?

Starting with a business planning class, the Entrepreneur Fund advised Knauss in crafting a detailed business plan, including multiple purchasing scenarios. When a suitable opportunity emerged, the Entrepreneur Fund facilitated financing to:

  • Purchase an existing brewery in Superior, Wisconsin
  • Add a pizzeria to increase differentiation and revenue opportunities
  • Expand the seating area

The Thirsty Pagan started with 6 employees; it now employs 23. In 2011 the business was featured in the New York Times Travel Section, as a Midwest brewery tour stop.

EFund Fact:
We offer SBA microloans from $5-50k. These loans are more flexible than traditional loans and come with structured business development services.