Mystery Brewing's Erik Lars Myers won $50,000 in a reality TV show contest that aired Tuesday on CNBC.
The Hillsborough-based microbrewery owner competed against two other new companies in an effort to convince three judges and the audience of the new cable TV show Crowd Rules that his business plan is the most deserving of the cash prize.
In the end, Mystery Brewing tied the other finalist Sky Fitness, a Myrtle Beach, S.C.-based gym, at 50 percent. But when the judges votes were removed (two for Sky and one of Mystery), Myers won 49 percent to 48 percent. "All I need is this little push to make us fly," Myers said in his final 30-second plea to the crowd.
The judges criticized Myers decision to open a tap room in Hillsborough instead of buy more kegs. Myers told the judges that $50,000 in prize money to buy more kegs would increase monthly revenues by $20,000. "We need to get more beer out the door," he acknowledged.
The theme of the show -- the second in the series -- was "debt," an ode to companies in the red at the start. As Myers told me in recent Pintful column the first year was a challenge. But the prize money will surely help move his vision along.