Main and Six is a small, five-barrel brewery based in Jacksonville’s historic Springfield neighborhood, started by home brewer Dennis Espinosa and his business-partner mother Cindy Lasky in 2017. Like many brewery owners, Dennis got his start brewing beer at home, and as his hobby grew, it quickly became a passion. After four years of making beer for friends and family, Dennis was ready to open a brewery of his own. Today, you can visit the cool tap room that has become a neighborhood fixture in Springfield and sample an incredible variety of delicious and unique brews.
What does beer have to do with cloud accounting?
Aside from the fact that many of us in the office enjoy an occasional craft brew, Main and Six was a perfect fit for our cloud-based accounting services. As Dennis prepared for the opening of the brewery, he knew he would need a lot of help on the accounting side, so he turned to Isaac Brohinsky, the CPA with whom he and his business partner had a long-standing relationship. The timing was perfect as GunnChamberlain was just beginning to spin off the tech side of our business, and we gladly accepted the challenge.
We started with Xero as the central hub for Main and Six’s accounting. Dennis appreciates the ability to quickly reconcile his books and sync with the business bank account. He looks at Xero daily to see what payments have cleared, how much cash is on hand, and what expenses are coming up. The process of making business decisions—like when to purchase equipment or order an expensive grain for a new beer—is simplified because of the real-time financial picture available in Xero.
From there, we used the portfolio of apps compatible with Xero to create a custom solution to meet the needs of a brewery without adding a lot of unnecessary features. Here’s what Main and Six is using along with Xero today:
- Point of sale: Square is a great point-of-sale system for specialty niches. As an added bonus, Square is adding an integration with the brewery software Main and Six uses to track inventory and store recipes.
- Payroll: To streamline the point-of-sale system, we set up Square payroll for employees to clock in and out right at the bar. Square’s full-service payroll system integrates seamlessly and makes payroll simple.
- Processing bills and payments: Because we provide full-service accounting to Main and Six, Bill.com was a no-brainer to simplify the process of entering bills, securing approval, and authorizing payments.
- Document management: In order to streamline invoice entry and collect miscellaneous information, we use Hubdoc to keep all documentation organized and secure.
Because we were able to set up bookkeeping processes and procedures before the brewery even opened, Main and Six was set up for success from day one. Dennis has valued our partnership as he has gotten his business off the ground and told us he couldn’t imagine running his business without cloud-based services. “It’s great to be able to send an email or take a phone call, and [my cloud accounting specialist] can look at the same thing I’m seeing,” Dennis said.
Brewing a community
Jacksonville’s beer community is growing by leaps and bounds. When Main and Six opened, it was one of nine breweries in town; two years later, there are 17 breweries with another handful slated to open later this year. Together, they’re creating a travel destination for beer aficionados, who come to town for tasting tours. Dennis values the relationships he has with other brewers in the area. “We all help one another,” he said. “There’s a lot of camaraderie in this specific industry, and people can go around town and have a beer at each place.”
Over time, Dennis plans to continue to grow his business, even expanding into the building next door to the current location and possibly adding food options to the beer menu. Someday, he hopes to have an additional location to brew more beer and begin distributing beyond the taproom.
We asked Dennis what advice he would give to another passionate brewer getting ready to start a business, and two things quickly came to mind. "Make sure you have a good accountant. You want a team who can help you right from the start," Dennis said. "Also, retain an attorney who specializes in brewery laws."
Giving back to the community
Dennis is passionate about his neighborhood, and for the second year in a row, he’s partnering with The Block Skate Supply to put on a St. Patrick’s Day block party on March 16th. The event benefits Sanctuary on Eighth, a non-profit that encourages and empowers Springfield’s youth and families in need by ministering to their spiritual, physical, social, and intellectual needs. If you’re in Jacksonville, come by Springfield’s Main Street for vendors, Irish food, music, a skateboarding contest, and (of course) beer. Our firm is a sponsor of the all-day, family friendly event, and we hope to see you there!