No Experience? In Ecuador That’s No Problem

Let me tell you about three young college graduates from Oregon who landed in Ecuador early in 2012.

They were eager to go into business. They didn’t have a lot of experience but they did come up with a terrific idea.

Ryan, Nathan, and Daniel—all now aged 25—were used to the good craft beers of home. Could they make a microbrewery work in Ecuador?

The advantages were clear: there was almost no competition—there are fewer than four microbreweries in the country—and there is a burgeoning tourism industry.

“Plus, there was no way we were going to live in Ecuador on a semi-permanent basis and continue drinking Pilsener [the local mass-produced beer],” says Ryan.

The three young men named their enterprise Bandido Brewing and leased a property in the historic part of Ecuador’s capital, Quito.

“We’re near some pretty popular traveler hostels, which is nice for us because it makes it easier to attract that crowd,” says Daniel.

Setting up was much cheaper than it would have been back home. “We would have never been able to put together the capital in the States without having to sell shares of equity,” says Nathan. “As it stands, the three of us own 100% of the brewery.”

The red tape involved in establishing themselves was challenging, but they acknowledge that the Ecuadorian government is working to improve this. As Nathan points out, “The flip side of that coin is that there are in general fewer rules, permits, and so on to worry about than there would be in the States. Not to mention the cost is laughable compared to what we would have had to pay in the States.”

Now that their reputation is established, increasing production and selling from other outlets is the next step. “I believe as we begin distributing more beer we will see better returns and feel like we are reaching our projections,” says Ryan.

In the meantime, they make space in their lives for recreation and enjoy a good work-life balance…biking in the mountains…relaxing at the coast…and seeing something new every weekend.

Now that’s the way to live an overseas life to the full.

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