Manufacturer Success Story: Props Craft Brewery

Veteran Owned and Operated Manufacturing Brewery Success

Company: Profile Props Craft Brewery customers can enjoy their favorite beer and be right in the action of a working brewery. The Props team turned a small business loan into a successful distribution brewery and a detached brewpub and restaurant. With over 60 combined years of brewing experience, restaurant management experience, business education, and U.S. Air Force leadership skills, the owners developed and executed a successful business model.

Situation: In 2011, Props was established as a brewpub and experienced 30 percent annual growth over the next four years. In August 2015, Props entered a distribution agreement with the Lewis Bear Company and began distributing two beer styles throughout Northwest Florida. Props Craft Brewery needed to expand rapidly for capacity and growth reasons. Opening a regional brewery in 2016 would be a challenge; they needed to select the correct mentors, consult public partners, and seek funding.

Solution: The Props business team did their research and sought out the correct connections for expansion. First, they met with Nathan Sparks of the Okaloosa Economic Development Council, who helped them find a new location with a 10,000-barrel annual capacity. The Okaloosa EDC then pointed the Props team to the University of West Florida’s Dr. Brice Harris, Vice President of the Haas Center. Dr. Harris introduced them to the Industry Recruitment Retention Expansion Fund grant and to a manufacturing-friendly bank. Julia Montgomery of the UWF Small Business Development Center met with the Props team to provide assistance in global exportation.


  • $500,000 in potential new sales
  • $20,000 in potential retained sales
  • $100,000 in potential overhead cost savings
  • Nine job created and/or retained

Testimonial: “The benefits of the correct business relationships are invaluable. The public business resource connections to the Okaloosa EDC and UWF help small business to be successful and grow. I would recommend these resources to other small businesses,” said Nathan Vannatter, coowner of Props Craft Brewery.