We had the good fortune of connecting with Dave Gostenhofer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dave, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Everybody wears t-shirts, but very few people know how they are made or how we print them. I love to give our customers a shop tour when they are placing an order so they can see the behind the scenes action and gain a new appreciation for how much work goes into their order. From creating the design to making the screens, mixing the inks, to setting the job up on press. It’s a fun process but requires many different machines, hard work, and skills developed over a long period of time.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Shirts on Tap is a screen-printing shop that is heavily niched in the brewery and restaurant scene. We have two main services – we design and print custom merchandise that breweries sell in their tasting rooms and we also run our monthly box club where we feature breweries and release limited-edition boxes that include a custom shirt, a write up about the brewery, a discount to the brewery, stickers, and more. We started the box club in 2013 featuring San Diego breweries. Since then we have grown it to 7 different boxes every month. We offer a San Diego, Denver, Portland, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, and New England box. Growing a subscription-based business was a slow and painful process. The first few years were really touch and go. We would work every day of the week trying to gain traction. Our days were full of printing shirts, reaching out to breweries, participating in beer fests, networking, social media, etc. It was very much the quintessential start-up grind that you often hear about. The hard work has never stopped, but it is fun to look back on the early days and know that it paid off for us. At this point, we have worked with over 350 breweries from all around the world. We have a shop in San Diego full of all the best screen printing equipment. And we have been able to hire a wonderful staff of people to help us continue growing and gaining traction.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
San Diego really is the finest city. There is so much to do. Typically when out of towners come we spend a lot of time a the beach, eating amazing food and touring breweries. The greater North Park area has some of my favorite breweries and restaurants so it’s an easy spot to go and hit up a lot of different places without having to drive or uber too much. It’s hard to mention everyone, but my go-to spots for beer there would be South Park Brewing, Modern Times, Original 40, Pariah, Fall, Pure, the list goes on. A lot of my favorite food options also have a solid beer like Hammies, Kairoa, and Rabbit Hole.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to give a shout out to the greater San Diego brewing scene. We have been able to grow because these breweries believed in our vision and trusted us to print their merchandise. If it wasn’t for them I would still be printing shirts out of my dad’s barn.
Beers & Cameras