How to Start Your Own Brewery

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First you must research what it really takes to be in the business of your choice so that you understand the work involved. You could just jump all in without reflecting on why you want to begin your own brewery but knowing the answer to that question will help a lot when things get tough – and they will. With a bit of self knowledge and a solid plan you will be well on your way to weathering those tough times and creating the amazing craft brewery business of your dreams. Below are the basic steps that you must take when getting into the brewery business. 


Make a Plan 

You will need to create a strong business plan. This will be your blueprint for the first few years of business and a strong business plan can help you secure funding from investors or banks if you aren’t self funding the business. Now that you have created a solid plan, you will want to name your business. You want to make sure that your business name is original and one that people will remember. Your business name needs to reflect your brand and appeal to a wide variety of people. In order to really get down to the basics of your business’ brand, sit down with your team (if you have one) and really review your ideas for your business, your reason for starting the business and the values that you want your business to reflect. Finally, what type of brewery are you hoping to open? The smallest is a nano brewery, then a micro brewery – both are small breweries that sell their products on site. Next is a brew pub which is a cross between a brewery and a restaurant. This type of business creates their brews to accompany their eats. A tap room is a large brewery which creates a variety of brews often with the brewery adjacent to the pub. The largest are regional and contract breweries. 


Find Your Space and Get Funded

Now that you have a plan in place, you will want to secure funding. If you are unable to self fund then your options will be an investor or a bank. Using your business plan, create a pitch for potential investors and banks and begin reaching out. Once you have secured funding, begin researching and viewing potential spaces for your brewery. Breweries are growing in popularity so there may be multiple breweries already going strong in your area. When deciding where to look, think about whether you want to open your business in an area with a strong brewery presence which means that the customers are already there or in an area in which the clientele that you are hoping to reach are underserved. This could provide you the potential of growth with less competition. Your new business’ home needs to fit your aesthetic while still meeting your space needs. You want a space that is large enough for all of your equipment, your staff to comfortably move around in and space for your pub and restaurant if you are serving food. Once you have your brewery space rented or purchased you are ready for the next step. 


Purchase Supplies and Open Your Doors 

Once you have your funding and your space you will need to purchase your equipment for your restaurant. Setting up your brewery space to be user friendly and aesthetically pleasing to the public may take some time. Be patient. Time spent now getting everything just so will save you time later. With everything in place, you will be excited to move forward and open your doors. Before opening up to the public, consider a soft opening. A soft opening will help build excitement around your new business prior to opening your doors to the public. It will also give you and your staff a feel for what a typical day will feel like and will help you iron out any imperfections prior to a hard opening. A successful soft opening will help to get the word out to the community and get your potential customers excited about visiting your brewery. 

With breweries becoming more popular everyday, opening one of your own may seem like an exciting and fruitful venture. The above information is an overview of what it takes to prepare for and open a brewery of your own. Do a deep dive into research on the computer, talk to brewery owners and do some soul searching. With information in hand, you will be well prepared to reach for your dream and open a brewery of your very own.  



What is the startup cost for a brewery?

Even the smallest operation will cost at least $250,000 and can reach as high as $2million. 

Why do breweries fail?

Due to the high cost of starting a brewery, the reason most fail according to Craft Brewery Finance is “that they run out of cash”.

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