By Vince Roberts
IUPUI alumnus Jeremy Hough has made craft beer history by opening Indiana’s first and only brew-on-premise operation just south of Indianapolis.
Hough said what his business does is offer craft beer lovers who, “Don’t know what they’re doing and don’t have the equipment and basically, walk them through the steps and help them come out with a product that’s pretty good.”
Brew-By-U is the company’s name and it is located just south of County Line Road on State Road 135 in Greenwood. The shop officially opened just after Christmas last year. Hough said business was slow at the start but has begun to pick up due to promotions such as Groupons.
What makes the store unique besides the fact that it’s the only one in the state, is that it gives customers the opportunity to brew their own craft beer using Brew-By-U’s equipment and resources. Self-brewing at home is possible but can get expensive because of the cost.
Hough got the idea for Brew-By-U after attending a Wine and Canvas event. “I’ve been a home brewer and I’ve always wanted to do my own business,” he said. After attending the event he had the idea that someone should do this with beer.
One of the hardest parts of running the business, Hough said, is running it around a full-time job. “I can’t let it affect my day job,” he said. Hough is a director of business operations at Franciscan Physician Network and runs Brew-By-U in his spare time — which means lunch breaks, after work and on the weekends. He explained his dedication: “Any business, if you’re going to be successful, you have to be passionate about it. You can’t really go into it half-hearted or it’s just not going to work.”
Hough earned his master’s degree in health administration from IUPUI in 1997 and his master’s degree in business administration in 2001. What he knows now is that despite having gotten the two master’s degrees, the MHA was a MBA with a medical twist — a thought to consider for IUPUI students who are considering either options. “What I learned in my MHA was almost identical to what I learned in my MBA,” he said.
Another selling poing of Brew-By-U’s business is that it is one of the only places around that sell self-brewing supplies to customers. Hough claimed that not many places around sell the equipment so he figured that could be another way to make money. Another characteristic quality of his business is that — of the handful of brew-on-premise shops around the country — Hough’s is the only one that has electric brewing kettles, which he installed himself.
Brewing supplies and ingredients are also offered on the shop’s website. Groupons have become a way for Hough to grow his business and he’s trying any way he can. He said that his business has become an activity for groups and there’s even been a bachelor party there.