Ultimate Guide to Starting a Brewery

Posted January 12, 2022 by in Career

Many people that like beer have thought about producing it themselves at some point – but not everyone has everything it takes to start and run a brewery successfully. Whether you are a complete novice to the industry or you need a business plan to grow your existing brewery, you have to discover all the possible ways to help improve the process right from the start.

Carefully following through with each step of our ultimate guide to starting a brewery will help you get a significant head start and will catalyze your success in the brewery business.

Brewery Business Plan Must-Knows

Every good idea needs a suitable plan of action, so the first thing you have to do is create a brewery business plan. In your business plan, you have to introduce your primary funding sources, whether that happens to be loans, angel investors, crowdfunding, or something else. 

The executive summary should elaborate on the company structure or whether it is a sole proprietorship, a partnership, LCC, or corporation, as well as the brewery type, or whether you have a brewpubs chain, a craft brewery, or something else.

Analyzing the company, industry, and competitors will help you find your audience faster, and you should include an initial analysis in your plan even though you will soon introduce upgrades. The marketing, operations, and brewery management should also be in your business plan if you want to set an all-encompassing strategy in motion.

Preparing and Developing Business Strategies

Prep-work makes the dream work, so make sure to conduct thorough industry analysis and acquire as much information as possible about partners and competitors. It’s easier to gauge your strategies and performance when you know what you’re competing against, and tailored analysis can help you get a better overview of the industry and marketplace in your vicinity. It is not unusual for businesses to start thinking through and developing business strategies while the official business plan is far from being concluded.

Researching the Competition and Your Place in the Market

Conducting market research is a standard preparatory procedure before taking the plunge to venture into opening a new company. Regardless of the competition, even if you are bringing something new to the industry, you will have to benchmark against existing businesses that are already prominent in the sphere. You will encounter different levels of competition even at the research phase, and the results will point out what standards you can afford to challenge.

Licenses and Legal Requirements

As it usually is with businesses in other industries, running a brewery comes with a set of legal requirements that vary in severity depending on the state where you decide to start your brewery. Besides insurance essentials, you have to obtain an operating agreement, a Federal Brewer’s Permit, a brewer’s bond, a retailer license, and a state liquor license.

Brewery Concepts and Themes

Breweries are unique to beer enthusiasts and connoisseurs for vastly different reasons. Even though your distinctive brews will be the selling point, factoring in other attractive facets like revisiting your menu or incorporating different themes could boost your popularity with diverse audiences.

Choosing Brewery Premises and Ongoing Expenses

Keep in mind that the initial costs are not always directly correlated with the expenses you will have on an ongoing basis when planning to launch your brewery. Whether you rent or own your premises, the ongoing expenditures will diminish compared to the gross profit.

Equipment and Machinery

Keeping things cool would be a non-issue if refrigeration was the only problem potentially related to running a brewery. You have to keep a list and factor in tanks for storage and fermentation and always be ready with refrigeration equipment, filters, kegs, and more.

Inventory, Your Menu, and Choosing a Draft List

One of the first problems new brewery managers encounter is stocking for unpredictable proportions of supply versus demand. You would under no circumstances want to compromise on quality, so make sure that your draft list and snack selection enable you to keep your business running while maintaining your reputation for fresh drinks and food.

Marketing Essentials

Amidst the sea of novel businesses and industries, breweries luckily still retained their originality, and you do not have to limit your marketing methods to get the wanted results. While traditional marketing is still applicable, you should not undermine digital advertising platforms and the potential they bring.

In an era where small businesses enjoy increased client confidence levels, a brewery is an excellent idea for a business, provided you can dedicate enough attention to developing and properly conducting a business plan. If you abide by essential guidelines for running a brewery business and are passionate about seeing your new brewery working full steam, you will have no trouble achieving fast results.

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