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SUBMITTED BY Kevin O'Brien ON Tue, 04/15/2014 - 00:00

It is with great excitement that I post my first blog entry for CRAFTINGASTRATEGY.COM. Sam and I have known each other for several years so when he asked me to consider blogging for his new venture I jumped at the chance. As a CPA (and home brewer) with a particular focus on the alcoholic beverage industry, I am excited to become part of a program that is supporting the growth of an industry that I have long admired. Sharing a passion for the craft beer industry, Sam and I have enjoyed several pints discussing different aspects of the craft beer industry – where it’s been, where it’s going and more importantly, how we can help. We are both strongly committed to leveraging our experience to assist entrepreneurs in accomplishing their craft brewing dreams.

With many years of experience working with wineries/breweries/distilleries from the start-up phase to over $100 million in revenue, I am excited to share my insight with the CRAFTINGASTRATEGY community. I’ve always enjoyed the numbers and operational drivers behind a great business strategy. My work history has included working on both the buy and sell side of the acquisition equation, helping buyers look for the right kind of company and also helping sellers position their company as an attractive target. Additionally, working at an alcoholic beverage focused CPA firm has allowed me greater insight into specific tax strategies; record keeping best practices, requirements for bank financing and more.

My focus on the CRAFTINGASTRATEGY member’s only blog will be giving you the mindset and the tools to structure and analyze your company from a financial perspective. Here is a look at upcoming blog posts for the next 6-8 months:

  • Contribution margins and business model development
  • Cash is king, the importance of cash flow
  • Using financial models to understand where the profits lie
  • Why good recordkeeping is crucial
  • Valuing your business model as multiple profit centers
  • Positioning your company for a sale, key thoughts on valuation and how to maximize value


As stated above, I am very excited to be supporting the craft beer industry through the CRAFTINGASTRATEGY community. I hope that my posts provide some food for thought in the financial arena and allow you to look at your business from a different perspective. I look forward to being a resource to all members in order to help in the continued success of this great industry!

About Kevin O’Brien, CPA: Guest Expert Blogger for Crafting A Strategy, Kevin is Director of Business Advisory for Irvine & Company CPA’s, specializing in financial modeling, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions. Kevin has been involved on both the buy and sell side of over $250 million in food & beverage transactions.

Irvine & Company CPA’s: Certified Public Accounts 345 NE 102nd Ave, Portland, OR, Phone 503-252-8449