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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Hire Experience You Don't Have

The dream of transforming a bar into a a brew pub and tavern meant that the owners had to hire an expert brewmeister.

Key Question:


Hire people who have already done what you want to do. 

We've seen it all. A person gets an idea they want a certain type of business then they go out and get the training to accomplish the goal. Or, a person gets an idea and hires people who already know how to accomplish their goal. Bill and Pat had no clue how to make beer and they knew they didn't have the time or the talent to learn so they hired the experience they didn't have themselves.

In the case of Mickey Finn's, by bringing in a third generation brewmeister they not only hired know-how, they hired confidence and creativity. These are the traits needed to meet the unquenchable thrist of brewpub customers who always want to try something new.

Think about it

What would you like to achieve in your business that might require you to hire a new expert? Where would you find that expert?

Clip from: Mickey Finn

It is hard to imagine at one time this downtown was bleak.

Libertyville, Illinois: Discover how two men changed the face and the fortunes of a town. Pat Elmquest and Bill Sugars invested in their local community when no one else would. They dared to dream an impossible dream. The old downtown was virtually abandoned -- over 60% vacancy -- with pawn shops and the like.  Pat had bought a little pub; then with a $2 million loan, they expanded to make a brewery and restaurant... and the old downtown transformation was underway.

They were true pioneers ...the visionaries.  Today, Libertyville is an award-winning historic business district.

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Mickey Finn's Brewery

Brian Grano, Today's Owner & CEO

Founders: Pat Elmquest & Bill Sugars
412 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Libertyville, IL 60048

Visit our web site:

Office: 8473626688

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1990

Hire Experience You Don't Have

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Brewmeister Ryan Ashley is critical to the success of the brewery, and he's not the first one in his family to mix magic in a brew house.

RYAN ASHLEY (Brewmeister): (Voiceover) We make, on an annual basis, about 25 different styles of beer. We typically have between five and eight styles that stay on, on a pretty regular basis. And then there's other seasonal rotations, just...

HATTIE: And if we want to taste this, when could we taste this?

RYAN: Since this is a lager, it's going to be about a month to a month and a half. (Voiceover) And this has been my passion for quite a few years. Actually, it was--this is how I spent my time when I wasn't working or studying. It started off as a hobby. It's been in my family blood. You know, during Prohibition, everyone was a bootlegger and...

HATTIE: (Voiceover) In your family?

RYAN: (Voiceover) In my family.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Really?

RYAN: (Voiceover) Both sides of the family, yeah. It's my hobby gone awry. Now it's my work. Now I need a new hobby.


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