There’s never been more attention paid to breweries than there has been over the past decade or so. The idea of a local brewery has exploded in popularity, with craft breweries of all shapes and sizes popping up in American cities from coast to coast.
The world of craft beer is thriving and you might want to hop on top of the rising wave. If you’re interested in learning how to start a brewery, you’ve come to the right place. Getting into the beer business isn’t difficult, but it does take a lot of proper know-how.
What are some of the basics you’ll need to familiarize yourself with if you want to get started? Read on, and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
Set Your Overall Goals
You can’t start a new business of any kind without first setting some solid goals to go after. As far as breweries are concerned, there are a great many reasons why someone might want to open one.
You’ll need to decide for yourself what your goals are as a new company. Are planning to sell your brews regionally to other distributors? Will your brewery be a standalone entity with food and atmosphere?
It doesn’t matter what your plan is, what does matter is that you have one. Refining a business idea and model will be essential for the long-term success of your brewery.
It’s a good idea to look into the different market segments that breweries generally fall into. Generally speaking, that’s the brewpubs, microbreweries, regional breweries, and contract brewing companies.
Are you going to fall into one of these categories? What’s your plan to turn a profit? Answer these questions in as much detail as possible, theoretically, before you get started, can be a real life-saver.
Budget and Determine Cost
A brewery is not the most inexpensive of businesses to start, especially not from scratch. If you’re going to launch your own brewery, you’ll need to ensure you have the finances to cover its creation and continued existence.
The last thing you want is to get halfway through the process of starting a brewery only to realize you don’t have the funds to finish. Budgeting ahead of time can help combat this issue.
How much money will you need to start your brewery? We don’t want to scare you, but most seem to fall somewhere in the $500,000 and above range. In some instances, you may need more than a million dollars in order to get a proper operation going.
Of course, your own start-up costs will vary depending on your location, services, size, and a number of other such factors.
You’ll have to finance a great many expenses during the course of establishing your brewery. While there still might be unforeseen costs you’ll have to face, budgeting will give you a proper walkthrough of the expenses you’ll come to expect.
Equipment is often the major cost a new brewery faces. You’ll need to purchase and install kegs, kettles, boilers, cooling systems, tanks, fridges, and a whole lot more. These all add up and the total costs can be difficult to face.
You might need to bring a few investors on board in order to ensure you have the funds you need to get going.
Build Your Brand
Your brewery is going to be your own, not some anonymous place. A lot of the work of bringing in new customers and retaining them has to do with building the brand of your business.
Your brand has a lot of different factors as well. You can think of it as the identity of your brewery. Many times, this starts with something as simple as your name. What kind of vibe and atmosphere are you conveying to your intended customers?
You can follow this atmospheric goal through a number of other important decisions. Everything from your architecture to your website design should feel in line with the kind of brand that you’re establishing.
That includes a number of things you’ll need to make decisions on, from the design of your beer labels to the kind of customer service training you provide for your employees.
Before you get started with your brewery, make sure you have a strong sense of what you want your brand to be. See what niche you might be able to create for yourself in the beer business.
Once you’ve decided on your brand, make sure you’re following it through on every decision you make about your business. Ensure customers are getting a clear idea of who you are and what you stand for.
Choose a Location
Is there somewhere in town that would prove to be the best location for your brewery? You’ll need to consider a number of factors.
Is there a neighborhood that would fit with the brand identity that you’re trying to establish? Where can you position your business so that the target audience you have in mind will be most likely to come in through your door?
The more you can focus on the benefits of certain locations, the more success you’ll ensure for your brewery later on.
How to Start a Brewery
If you’re curious about how to start a brewery, the above information can be essential to get familiar with. Starting a brewery is no simple task, but it can be insanely rewarding as well. The above information can ensure you get started on the right foot.
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