September 18, 2015
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The Promised Land

By:  Matt Silvers, Senior Vice President Real Estate and Brand Development


Well… in my humble opinion there is no such thing. Perhaps in biblical times when there were fantastic occurrences such as burning bushes and parting seas there may have been a promised land. But in business in the modern era, as we all know, nothing is promised – ever. Chasing land that is promised only to the most qualified and highest bidder in a hyper-competitive cinema environment is no exception. Every opportunity that is worth pursuing either has been or invariably will be sniffed out by a competitor. Hard decisions must be made quickly, each one of which could significantly impact the growth potential of the company.

All of this being said, I am confident in our ability to consistently and reliably source unique real estate opportunities for Flix. The number of new Flix Brewhouse opportunities I am able to find and review that have yet to be evaluated by one of our direct competitors indicates that we have built a strong sourcing program indeed. In the three years that I have been with Flix Entertainment, I have literally seen almost one thousand distinct real estate deals, logged and seriously evaluated roughly 250 of this total and actively pursued about 30 opportunities that I deemed appropriate for our concept. This effort has produced two new Flix Brewhouse stores in Des Moines, Iowa and Carmel, Indiana, both of which are open and maturing, and two new stores  in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Sugar Land, Texas (more on this development below). That is a lot of work and a ton of analysis for what might appear to be uninspiring results (a less than 2% conversion rate on deals actually evaluated). But, given the restrictive nature of locating movie theaters relative to other first-run cinemas, the intensity of the competition that we face for new locations and the high price tag of each Flix Brewhouse location, four high quality deals completed or in process (in addition to our original location in Round Rock, Texas) relative to our evolution as cinema operators is a solid achievement. I expect that the “hit” rate will continue to improve dramatically as we grow, learn and refine the process.
Flix Brewhouse, Carmel, Indiana
As for new locations, the cat is now out of the bag. Yes, we are going to have Flix Brewhouses in a terrific area of Albuquerque and in Sugar Land, a “sweet,” high growth suburb southwest of Houston. The Albuquerque location will be in the Village @ La Orilla, a trendy grouping of mainly entertainment and restaurant venues on Coors Blvd., the primary north/south arterial on the west side of the Rio Grande River. Because of its highly visible and strategic location, it will draw from a considerable distance. Given how quickly the craft beer movement is overtaking Albuquerque, our brand and offering will fit right in with the culture there and benefit greatly from the wave of craft beer excitement that has washed over the city. We hope to open this location sometime in the fourth quarter of 2016. Our Sugar Land location is situated in a prominent, mixed used project called the Crossing at Telfair, located at the confluence of two major state highways that both carry substantial cross-town traffic. Sugar Land is a strong corporate hub and a high growth area for successful young families and professionals. We expect that our Sugar Land location will open sometime during the first quarter of 2017. Rounding out the real estate picture in 2016 and 2017, I am actively closing in on more deals and expect to be able to announce another deal or so by our Q4 2015 newsletter. In the meantime, what I can promise our Flix fan club is that we will continue to work ceaselessly toward our collective goal of a national Flix Brewhouse platform that is revered by consumers, respected by competitors and highly profitable for all who are lucky enough to be called stake holders.

Crafting Content

By: Chad Borges, Manager of Content and Production

One would be challenged to find a group that routinely wears so many different professional hats than the Content Department.  From unboxing full sized, professional-grade Stormtrooper and Darth Vader costumes for the premiere of the latest Star Wars film this December to building a nine-foot tall display (from scratch) to be used by our brewing team at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver Colorado while simultaneously trying to determine the logistics of fitting a full sized sci-fi “landspeeder” vehicle replica into our lobby, we have our hands and minds on almost every guest-facing aspect of the company.

There are, however, far less sensational primary responsibilities associated with our daily grind. Preshow entertainment reels, 30 minutes-worth of unique, thematically relevant and appropriate video content for EACH first run release across all three of our locations (as well as for any special event or alternative content titles that week) are among them. Each preshow must also include a suitable quotient of engaging promotional material (all of which is also created internally by our department) to facilitate a great Flix guest experience, as well as the numerous fresh programming and event offerings  that are always on the horizon.  

Banners hang from the rafters to celebrate Oktoberfest in our Des Moines location.

Considering the ever expanding list of Flix Brewhouse locations, it is imperative that our content team stay organized enough to know which Flix is getting what material, when, and that everyone on the operational staff knows what to do with it. All of this must typically happen before Wednesday of each week so that there is enough time to replace digital files that might have been damaged or lost during one of the many hard drive shipments crisscrossing the nation at any given time.  There is always a long list of "to do's" in the Marketing and Content Department.

We have come a long way since the first days of Flix.  Over the years, we've taken significant steps to evolve along with the Flix brand, learning new skills and taking on new spheres of responsibility. Four short years ago, our little ensemble was tucked away at the end of a tech manager’s office at what was then our only location.  Now based out of corporate headquarters, we find ourselves the principal executors of strategic and tactical marketing initiatives, and as such, what we do permeates all aspects of the Flix Brand.

The Marketing and Content team is energized daily by our direct impact on guest experience and ultimately the company’s success.  To be nimble enough as a group in communicating the unique flavor, voice, style, and purpose of Flix Brewhouse into any of the multitude of projects we undertake, is a challenge all it’s own.  The Marketing and Content Department is proud and capable of being, quite literally, whatever the organization needs it to be as Flix continues to grow.  We truly find joy in entertaining anyone who may walk through our doors.  In a business that loves to create and share joy and happiness, there are few better fits as far as our team is concerned.

The Power of a Movie "Tie-in"

By:  Greg Johnson, Director of Marketing

The Marketing and Content Department at Flix Brewhouse has a unique opportunity that most businesses don’t have – the chance to associate our brand with some of the most iconic franchises in the world. This summer, we had the opportunity to do just that during Jurassic World.

This fall, we are presented with three unique opportunities to connect Flix Brewhouse to well-known franchises in the minds of our guests: James Bond, Hunger Games, and the biggest franchise of all time, Star Wars.

Star Wars is truly the ultimate movie franchise. Early projections show the seventh installment of the 40 year old series breaking every box office record in the history of American cinema! We know that our guests are going to come out in droves. Whether adults on date night, families with children, fanboys and fangirls, there will be more demand than space during opening week. Given this tremendous potential, we had to ask ourselves how we would best capitalize upon this groundswell of activity and bring the Flix experience to life in the Star Wars universe?

Star Wars at Flix Brewhouse

Truth be told, given the nature of our business as cinema exhibitors, it’s easy to find fans of Star Wars on our team. As we continue to develop our program, I’d like to share with you just a few of the pieces that we intend to execute (and in true Lucas fashion, we will keep some of them as surprises as well):

  • Branded beer: As a brewhouse, one of the elements our guests really enjoy is a clever beer name and style. Our brewers in all locations have created programs to launch new seasonal offerings that pay homage to the Star Wars cinematic universe. My personal favorite - Dark Helmet Imperial Stout.
  • Lobby experiences: Our Flix lobby areas are great places to hang out and spend time. As you’ve likely seen in photos or perhaps even experienced for yourself, our bar/restaurant area is a comfortable and enjoyable place even without attending a movie. We are bringing life-size replica vehicles like Snow Speeders and Land Speeders, hanging scale replica models of Naboo Fighters and Tie Fighters, and will have literally dozens of costumed Storm Troopers on hand walking around in each location. We’ve even planned for custom costumes of characters from this new film to be fabricated for us, but we won’t spoil that surprise.

In all, Star Wars is one of the most beloved series in cinema history. As we continue to build the Flix Brewhouse brand, having the ability to associate with other strong brands is a great stepping stone that should prove to be both incredibly fun for our team, as well as every guest that joins us.

Meet the Brewer

By: Chris Knott, Lead Brewer, Carmel

My name is Chris Knott and I’m the Lead Brewer at our newest location in Carmel, Indiana. I grew up in Columbus, Indiana and I graduated from Purdue University in 2004 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology.

Early on, I was influenced by an older fraternity brother who was a bit of a hippie and worked at a campus liquor store. Whenever he came to the house after work, he would bring a different single bottle or 6-pack of beer I’d never seen before. I was always intrigued to try these new and tasty brews. I moved to Athens, Georgia for an engineering job in 2006 and I began homebrewing there in 2008. I had already considered myself a beer geek for a long time, but my obsession went "next level" in Athens. I became entrenched in the fantastic beer and food scene there and was greatly influenced by the beers coming out of Terrapin Beer Company and the wonderful selection of draft beers available at Trappeze Pub. My engineering job at the time was highly stressful and I happened to see a Sam Adams commercial in which Jim Koch said, “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I decided right then to become a brewer. In 2009, I moved to Indianapolis to be closer to family and was fortunate to be hired as Assistant Brewer at Ram Brewery. The day after I accepted with Ram for $12/hr and no benefits, I got an offer from Chrysler for $33.50/hr + OT and full benefits but I didn’t think twice. Brewing is physical work and not nearly as glorious as many people fantasize. But I love what I do. Ram was a great place to learn and looking back, I really couldn’t have asked for a better first brewing gig. Shortly after being promoted to Head Brewer, I left Ram after three years to become the Head Brewer and help launch Scarlet Lane, where I oversaw production and developed all of the recipes until my departure. I was fortunate enough to be part of a team at Ram that won a total of 14 medals, four of which were my creations. At Scarlet Lane Brewing Company, I won three medals at the Indiana Brewers’ Cup after only 10 weeks of production.
Left to Right: Brewer Chris Knott, Head Brewer Justin Rizza, Assistant Brewer Spencer Mason
I’m a beer geek, first and foremost! I love and respect all styles of beer. I love classic styles and I love trying all of the weird stuff that my favorite breweries are inventing these days. If I had to pick a favorite style, however, it would be Belgian Saison. They can be complex and experimental or simple, clean and refreshing like, Saison Dupont. More often than not, I’m either drinking a Saison or an American IPA. There's no such thing as a crazy idea when it comes to craft beer anymore. The beer revolution in this country is built on experimentation, pushing the envelope, clashing with the status quo and not being afraid to rub flavor in your face! Here in Carmel, we’re creating old world styles like English Mild and German Altbier, but also experimenting with nontraditional ingredients like fresh ginger, cinnamon sticks and green (unroasted) and “first crack” roasted coffee beans. The bottom line is, everything must be in balance. I'm not "down" with the trend of throwing a kitchen sink of ingredients into a beer. Flavors must compliment each other and not become muddy when combined. I’m a firm believer in water chemistry. Nailing the water profile turns a decent, well made beer into a great, well executed beer.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to brew great, well executed beers at Flix Brewhouse, and for the tremendous amount of freedom I'm given to do what I love!

Award Winning Brews

By:  Justin Rizza, Head Brewer

We brewers receive an enormous sense of accomplishment when we create something special after the arduous task of formulating, brewing and properly conditioning. When a finely crafted beer brings joy to others and generates positive feedback, the personal satisfaction that we brewers feel is truly amazing. Now if that creation earns a medallion, something shiny to brandish with pride, a deep profound sense of professional satisfaction sets in.

In July of this year, our Carmel, Indiana brewhouse helmed by Lead Brewer Chris Knott, took home three medals at the 2015 Indiana Brewer’s Cup. Chris’ very first specialty offering, Generation Alt, won gold and his Mario Gose with blood orange puree and our own core beer,  Flix Golden Ale, both captured a bronze.  This level of recognition at such an early stage at our newest location is truly remarkable and I know Chris is brimming with pride and excitement. Getting the brewing system kinks worked out at that particular location was at times discouraging, but getting it all accomplished and instantly commencing with the production of award-winning beer gives me great pride.

We now prepare for our next major competition at the end of September, which just happens to be the grandest one of all, The Great American Beer Festival (GABF).  Stakes are raised exponentially and I could not be more confident in our entries this year. It's amazing to think that just 11 months ago I was at the GABF in Denver representing our one little movie theater/brewpub located just north of Austin. Now, this year, I will be there representing three Flix Brewhouse locations alongside all three of my fantastic brewers.  I really can’t wait to experience the inevitable sense of camaraderie as we stand behind our (double-sized) booth on the festival floor and exhibit the products of our craft to 50,000+ attendees. Multiple brewery locations this year will provide us with not only more floor space but more competition as well.  As a result we "went big" and have entered 12 Flix beers this year. We are entering a solid representation of all six Flix "core" beers, as well as several limited edition specialty selections from each location.

Do we spend our days and nights brewing and thinking of new recipes, contemplating traditions and new brewing techniques, browsing endless brewing literature and absorbing market trends and changes for the sake of winning a lustrous pendant hanging from a satin ribbon? No, not exactly.  But it sure is nice!

Beer of the Dead

By:  Justin Rizza, Head Brewer

With inspiration drawn from Mexican cuisine and culture surrounding Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) this Fall Seasonal offering is lovingly created to celebrate the lives and souls of friends and family no longer with us. Burnt orange in color, this richly flavored ale is brewed with the addition of fresh orange peel and Mexican chocolate and is fermented with three distinct yeast strains to produce a unique and flavorful ale to keep us company as we reminisce and watch the seasons change once more.

Copyright © 2015 Flix Entertainment Group, All rights reserved.

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