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An Online Beer Rating Community – Beer Genome, LLC

Name of business: The Beer Genome, LLC. 

• Mission: To facilitate an online beer community, and to provide accurate customized recommendations to our users.

• Where: Online – headquartered in Boston, MA 

• Began in: Spring of 2009

• Initial Investment: $5,000 

• Founder: Connor Tyrrell (’08), Justin Unger (’08), Jopy Henriques, Mike Kelly, and John Muggeridge

• Employees: Founders only

How The Idea Began:

The genesis of the Beer Genome began with the music web site Pandora which recommends music based on a user’s profile.  If it can work with music, we felt that it would work very well with beer. With lots of beer choices and not insignificant beer prices, we believed we could provide beer drinkers with valuable guidance and have some fun doing it.


The idea was floated at social gatherings over a period of several months, and a team coalesced around it.

• Favorite Thing about the Business: We are in a niche market and providing a service for beer drinkers. Hearing testimonials of how we have helped people find new beers they enjoy has been very rewarding.

• Worst Thing about the Business: 

We’re too early in the business life-cycle to have anything “bad” yet, so far we have only encountered a few challenges that are merely bumps in the road that we will overcome.

• Biggest Challenge:

Our biggest challenge has been carving out time to focus on The Beer Genome. All of the founders hold down full time jobs in addition to creating The Beer Genome. In addition to scheduling we are currently facing an issue of identifying the best-fit revenue model for our business.

• Lesson Learned:

It took a lot longer to create a functional site that fits the mold of what we envisioned the company to be. We have learned very quickly not to bite off more than we can chew, and to face each challenge as an opportunity.