MARTO BREWING COMPANY - Destination Craft Brewery in Western Iowa

Dreamer: Erik Martin

Business: Marto Brewing Company

Location: Onawa, IA

Industry Contest: Pre-Revenue

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The Dream Big Grow Here grant will help our brewery increase beer cellar compacity and start us in the direction of becoming a Midwest destination. Producing world class beer and creating jobs for our area will be the result. We will brew classic styles, wild & sour beer, and experimental beers.
Business Description:
Marto Brewing Company will be an innovative artisan brewery. We will produce craft beer with the highest quality ingredients from all over the world. With these ingredients we will incorporate local ingredients, such as raw honey, fruit, and grains. We are also very excited to implement the use of whiskey and wine barrels to condition some specialty beers. We will combine these ingredients with traditional and unconventional brewing methods to produce world class beer. We are just as excited to hire willing and hard working local employees as we are implementing local ingredients into our product. Having employees who know our costumers and area will be a benefit to our business.

Marto Brewing Company was formed when a hobby turned into a pursuit to perfect the craft. With over 5 years of brewing experience, Owner and Brewer, Erik Martin has a proven track record of producing high quality beers. After a few years of brewing Erik began to enter brewing competitions and many awards were earned. Some of the most recent awards are Best of show at the 2014 Nebraska State Fair, Best of Show at the 2014 Omaha River City Roundup, and many 1st places in categories such as Imperial Stout and IPA. Erik also won the 2014 Omaha Beer Week Homebrew Showcase, which is organized by the Nebraska Brewing Company. That beer was re-brewed with Nebraska Brewing Company at their brewpub and served at a ticketed beer and food pairing event.

Our 5,100 square foot production facility and tap room will be located in downtown Onawa, Iowa across from the Historic Iowa Theater. The beer will be brewed on an American built 3.5 barrel brewing system. The tap room will have over ten taps to serve our customers from. The taproom will be a warming environment with the bar and decor built from old barn poles and wood. The barn wood was sourced from family farms, located right here in the Onawa area and the Loess Hills.

We will produce a core, seasonal, and a premium lineup of beers. Our core lineup will consist of traditional styles such as an American Pale Ale, IPA, Robust Porter, & Imperial Stout. Our seasonal styles will very from season to season and will incorporate seasonal fruits, grains, and hops to name a few. Our premium lineup is known as the Loess Hills Farmhouse Series.

The Loess Hills Farmhouse Series will be brewed with traditional, rustic old world, and innovative processes depending on the end result the brewer is intending. These beers will be fermented and conditioned in both stainless steel and wood. In this series we will ferment the beer with many different yeasts and bacteria at different stages of the fermentation. Something that will make our beer unique to any other beer out there, is the use of local yeast & bacteria. We will capture these cultures in the Loess Hills. We have already isolated a "wild" strain of brettanomyces yeast that has the characteristics that we are looking for. In our trial batches, this strain paired excellent with our other saison yeast strains. This series will be excellent to enjoy on the day we release them or they can be aged for years like a fine wine.

Along with purchasing our beer by the glass at the tap room, beer lovers will be able to take a "growler" home with them. Growlers typically come in 32oz & 64oz packages and are refillable at the tap room. We will also self distribute kegs of beer to select accounts in Siouxland, Des Moines,& Iowa City at the beginning phase of the business. We will also bottle the Loess Hills Farmhouse Series beers in 750 milliliter champagne style bottles. These bottles will be self distributed to Siouxland, Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Iowa City, and more locations throughout Iowa. As our production capacity increases and our current markets are saturated, we will begin to move to new markets.

Craft beer is our passion and sharing great craft beer with friends is a very rewarding part of it. After a 15% increase in 2012 and 11.9% in 2013, the craft beer movement continues to grow and we believe that quality will be the number one priority. As a craft brewer you must present a high quality product to make a positive and lasting impact on new consumers. Serving mediocre beer is unacceptable. Following these principles will position our brewery as a destination brewery in the Midwest.

Reason for Entering:
We are applying to help increase our beer cellar capacity upon opening. Increasing our cellar capacity will allow us to produce more beer early. This will increase our production and allow us to serve more accounts. This will get our beer into more craft beer lovers hands.